This is probably of interest to this list.

Delegation of policy-making authority

This was approved on December 13, 2016 by the Board of Trustees.

Whereas, the Board of Trustees has traditionally approved certain global
Wikimedia Foundation policies (such as the Privacy Policy and Terms of
Use) as requested during the July 4, 2004 Board meeting

Whereas, the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director has authority to
conduct the affairs of the Wikimedia Foundation, which includes adopting
and implementing policies;

Resolved, the Board hereby delegates the authority to adopt, alter, and
revoke policies to the Executive Director, who may further delegate such
authority to Wikimedia Foundation staff as they deem appropriate;

Resolved, the Board may continue to review and approve policies for the
Wikimedia Foundation upon request to the Executive Director or as required
by law. 


   Christophe Henner (Chair), Maria Sefidari (Vice Chair), Dariusz
   Jemielniak, Kelly Battles, Guy Kawasaki, Jimmy Wales, Nataliia Tymkiv,
   and Alice Wiegand

I wonder how much of this resolution is formalizing what was already
happening and how much of this is moving the Wikimedia Foundation in a new
direction. After a very tumultuous year at the Wikimedia Foundation, this
is certainly a notable development.

I also wonder in what ways this abrupt change will alter the relationship
between the editing communities and the Board of Trustees. The Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees seems to be committing itself to downsizing
its role and responsibilities. The concern is that a change like this will
reduce accountability when policies are set, unset, and changed by someone
overseeing a large staff that regularly comes in conflict with an even
larger set of editing communities. The Executive Director, of course, is
unelected and has been a central point of repeated controversies recently.
It's been less than a year since the previous Executive Director resigned
after being forced out by her staff. In the context of the recent history,
this resolution is all the more puzzling.


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