Congratulations to Mortendk and Matthew Saunders, our newly elected Directors at Large, representing the community on the board of the Drupal Association. Please join me in thanking all the candidates who put themselves forward to stand for election.

This was our third community election for the rebooted Drupal Association. We've learned a lot along the way and made some minor adjustments as we went, but it´s always good to reflect in the process, and perhaps reassess how we go about this in the future. We're excited to welcome Matthew to the board and have Morten continue on for another year.

In late 2011 we had a series of discussions on about how we should elect community representatives to the board. You can review those discussions online.

This year we've heard and share the community´s disappointment about the lack of diversity amongst the candidates and welcome everyone's ideas on how to ensure we reach out wider next time. If you know great people who would be willing to serve on the board, please help us and encourage them to nominate themselves next year.

We also need to encourage more people to vote. This year 668 people cast their vote. That is 0.36% of eligible voters, which compares with last year when 0.55% of eligible voters cast a vote.  Voting was open for 6 days, as opposed to 2 weeks last year. So that may well be a factor in the lower turn-out. Nonetheless we should explore the reasons, and find ways to engage more of our community in this process in the future. We´ll be opening discussion on the elections on and invite all those interested to share their thoughts.

Finally, I'd really like to thank Tatiana, Neil and Holly for taking on the work of running the elections, and outgoing community board member Pedro Cambra not only for wrangling the election software, but for being so great to work with over the past year.


nedjo’s picture

Thanks for the update Donna.

Before we implemented the new board structure, there was a lot of internal Drupal Association discussion about the proposed structure. The blended structure adopted in the Bylaws - a mainly self-perpetuating board (the "class" directors) with some community-elected members ("at-large" directors) and a seat reserved for the project lead, Dries Buytaert ("founding" director) - was designed to balance continuity and change, allowing the board to self-select for specific skills and balance while still providing a direct community voice.

Concerns and questions we raised at the time included:

  • Given that community elected board members were few in number and elected only for a one-year term, would they be able to play an effective role? Would they spend most of their time getting up to speed? Would it be more effective to have a more balanced distribution between the "class directors" and the "at-large" directors, both in number and in length of term?
  • Given the move to relatively long terms for "class" directors on the board, along with self-selection, would we see sufficient renewal and diversity of composition and perspective on the board? Would we end up with a core board that remained largely static or became inward-focused over time?

If I recall correctly, we said at the time that we would come back to review the structure once we had a bit of experience under our belts, but I don't know if we've done so yet.

For sure, looking at details like vote numbers and candidate diversity is worthwhile. But it would probably be most effective as part of a larger step back. How well is the board structure serving our aims? What adjustments if any should we consider? What's been the experience so far of our community-elected board members in terms of feeling effective, achieving their goals, and so on?

I'd be happy to participate in such a review.