Dear UCosmic Stakeholders,

I am pleased to report on progress made regarding options for the accelerated development of UCosmic following our discussions at the stakeholders’ meeting in May.  Given the concurrence of membership at the meeting, we have consulted with the Outercurve Foundation and within SUNY, as well as with the principle UCosmic partner institutions (University of Cincinnati and the University of South Florida),  to determine the most appropriate manner for engagement.  Below are the details of our proposed partnership with the Outercurve Foundation (OCF).

  1. UCosmic remains a separate entity, with SUNY as a lead institution until spring 2016 (pending continued availability of grant funds through Santander Bank);
  2. UCosmic becomes a Research Accelerators Gallery member of OCF, with no assets transferring over to OCF. OCF will provide service in lieu of annual consortium membership fee;
  3. OCF becomes a managing member of UCosmic, with a level of code access on the same footing as other consortium members;
  4. OCF helps UCosmic to determine a path forward that may include: a) becoming a separate consortium or foundation, or b) remaining within OCF as a “foundation in a box.”  SUNY would like UCosmic to be a self-sufficient, sustainable set of assets, with a clear governance model and a clear sponsorship model (both in terms of in-kind code and monetary support from consortium members);
  5. SUNY and all consortium members will have access to all versions of the code (including the core and any forks created by in-kind contributions).  UCosmic will be released into the open source community as an asset that accrues value back to SUNY and the other stakeholders;
  6. With the guidance of OCF, UCosmic will need to create the governance infrastructure and evolve the model from SUNY-led to consortium-led, with a managing class structure proposed, along with a governance board.

At this time we intend to create within the UCosmic consortium the role of managing member and invite OCF to become the managing member. OCF will take over some of the tasks currently being performed by SUNY, and will bring considerable expertise regarding both consortium and open source software development.

To quickly accelerate software development, OCF is poised to organize a hack-day on UCosmic for spring 2015 if member institutions are willing to participate.  This event will produce code that will advance modules (to be identified) within UCosmic.  Please let me know if this is something your institution would like to work on.  Although OCF will do much of the legwork for this event, each member institution will need to assist in organizing its own institutional participation.

Please let me know your thoughts on the proposed OCF engagement. For questions of a more general nature about UCosmic, I ask that you email the general address at info@ucosmic.org. Once OCF is on board, it is our intention to organize a Stakeholder Meeting for some time early in the spring semester. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about the proposed plan, please let me know.

Best regards,
Sally Crimmins Villela
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs

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