Bamboo funding

"Right now we're in a process designed to lead to a plan - various perceptions of what the goal of the plan is (more money?). Another goal: celebrate Mellon's contribution, create something self-sustaining without it. Truth is somewhere in-between, but how we structure depends on how we think of goals." (W2, Plenary Sharing 5, Facilitated Discussion with Greg Jackson)

"Wanted to float idea of establishing grant opportunities, esp for teaching and pedagogy development -- not even necessarily big grant opportunities" (W3, Education, Report: Proposal and Moving Forward)

"Relationship between consortium and implementation phase - will consortium be enough? Will you set up a consortium between participating institutions, then use as a springboard for various applications for funding? This could give more independence/flexibility to consortium; implications for ownership of Bamboo ground." (W3, Straw Consortial Model, Q&A)

"I can't see our [Mellon] funding being sufficient to sustain this. We hope to contribute catalytic resources, but we've assumed all along that additional build-outs (connecting of Bamboo to other connections) would be funded by a mix of places. Anywhere anyone can find money. No need to worry about our engagement - we'll be evaluating on our best judgment for sustainability, plausibility given resources, and our board will evaluate based on whether foci line up with the Arts and Humanities scholarship they're inclined to support." (W3, Straw Consortial Model, Chris Mackie)

"I'd measure success if individual projects could seek funding knowing there's resources and capabilities and community behind those projects to make them successful/help them be successful. Bamboo helps give those projects initial leverage. There's not One Grand Funding Moment, but creating opportunities for a lot of innovation to occur." (W3, Straw Consortial Model, Chad Kainz)

"Critical gaps that could be addressed: since funding model is very unclear now, and sounds like the farther you are into gray area the less likely that you'll be getting any funding from PB, but maybe using PB services, maybe a mechanism for some sort of cost-shared role for PB to say "we're providing this service, it's worth X, you can fold into your other grants to use as a support for your related work"." (W3, Table Discussions of Consortial Model 2, Table 6)

"Q: So why would they go to PB to explore, except there's some resources there that make it more possible? Is that the case? Do you envision having resources there? A: PB isn't meant to become a funding agency - what are the other funding elements? Deeper resources from other institutions? There'll be some outcome from this, for better or worse. There's an allocation issue built inside of this." (W4, Program Document Section 5, Q&A, Chad Kainz)

"But in the beginning it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a few PB sanctioned labs doing fundamental exploration. Then we get to resource issues - labor isn't free, but you're not a funding agency. Want to elicit cost sharing, but if PB had incubator fund for first year, to help labs form (w/ understanding that labs "home" would have at least one-to-one matching) - could lead to sustainable model." (W4, Program Document Section 5, Q&A, Neil Freistat)

Q: "Important factor in expressing a view [about whether to "ratify" the Bamboo proposal] is the financial viability of the project. Amount of money that projects like this receive from Mellon will be less. There are some proposals for scale of fees from different institutions, contribution in kind, etc. Do you have some back-of-envelope calculations (that you might not be willing to share yet), but do you have ballpark ideas about how much resources would need to be available?" Chad Kainz: "This is why trajectories are important; the more things we do, the smaller the money for each. Fee/leadership structure: idea is that it goes into supporting community and activity there, so we can focus grant funding on projects, MAoW. Overhead of running Bamboo could otherwise eat up grant funds. "Can we do this? Can we do this in the first year?" Adjust scope as necessary due to funding resources." David Greenbaum: "We're not trying to hide anything; first round of institutional conversations was to get a sense of things; we know from Mellon what they're holding. If it's a successful proposal, and financial world doesn't change again, they're holding about a million dollars per year for the next several years as investment for Bamboo. High-priority project for them. Pushing us on building and doing and constructing something that could be of value for many universities. Institutional conversations: people's general ability to stay involved, and what that looks like. Presume we have 25-30 institutions staying involved even in a minor way, hopefully a number in a significant way -- those are 2 resource pools. Berkeley/Chicago are committed, but we also have financial situation to deal with. Trying to look at total pool, what it'll be, use that as factor to adjust the work. We want to scale down from what we had in program document, scale down further here, figure out most important things. Did rough calculations a month or two ago, but even in last month, for some institutions things have gotten tighter. Could we be in a situation where we could have (this is rough), total resources of $3 mil per year? Maybe it's more? Leadership role - 2 programmers, more, could equal $250k itself-- not a lot of people were able/willing to make that commitment yet. What that will total up to be, how that can be shifted around, we need to figure this out. We need to get best thoughts for what's really important, and use that to prioritize. Things have gotten harder for us re: resources." (W5, Daily Agenda, Q&A)

Q: "Mellon isn't the only funder out there; there's lots of other places that Bamboo can go." David Greenbaum: "We're trying to go to them too, we just have to finish this process now." (W5, Daily Agenda, Q&A)

"If [Bamboo Services Platform] succeeds in helping humanities and NEH get a better, bigger buy-in at federal level. Our funding is a "rounding error" on the scientists' funding. That's the value assigned to us." (W5, Open Discussion: Major Areas of Work, Services Platform)

"Concern re: governance and other things - any external funding would be eaten by administration. How do we minimize that? Membership fees: financial investment and resource investment. Fees = what does it take for us to sustain this community? Workshop(s). Outreach, coordination, contest idea, that takes resources. Potentially in the future, as services platform comes up, eventually you have to pay for technology underneath these things for them to run. Membership fees look at sustaining/maintaining Bamboo as a community moving forward. Members: student enrollment of 3500 or less: $6000/yr + $9k equal resource investment; over 3500, $8k/$12k ERI. Affiliates: non-profit: $6k/$9k ERI. Commercial, for profit, up to $2.5m; $8k/$12k ERI. Commercial, for profit, over $2.5m; $10k/$15k ERI. Looked at Sakai for the commercial rates. Leadership requires an additional financial/ERI requirement. Don't have anything for financial model for this at this point. Idea is for leadership part to focus in on project management/coordination across all different projects. Trying to keep overhead to a minimum. Executive director, program manager, part-time communicators officer. Looking at Kuali, other projects. Comparing to things like Internet2 with a lot of overhead. Being creative about how we can accomplish work with different institutional investments. Needs to be more put into governance section; how much do we need for proposal vs for community?" (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "Expectation/assumption is a million from Mellon. Projected cost for first year - $3 mil?" David Greenbaum: "What's the resource pool? Not what's the projected cost. Six weeks ago, doing rough projections for what the total resource pool might be - rough estimate of $3 mil including Mellon money; could be higher/lower. Let's say resource pool (cash/in-kind) is $2-3mil; cash can be moved around more easily than in-kind. May have some areas with gaps due to lack of in-kind." Q: "Dollar specifics less important than areas where finances get applied. Expectation is that Mellon money would be used for project activities. What is the other money going to be used to pay for? Slim project management team - so where does the money go? Or is it that Mellon will only pay for a piece?" Chad Kainz: "Yes, Mellon will only pay for a piece." David Greenbaum: "It's total combo of Mellon money + institutional commitment that will fund MAoW. Lightweight management overall, but need right amount of people guiding/managing each piece. Get work straight, build project management around work, lightweight overall structure." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "If you want larger to be 50% larger than smaller, math isn't quite right. Leadership role = a lot more investment. Why charge a leader added fees? It's a disincentive. Unless you're looking for people to buy into leadership role." Chad Kainz: "This is why it hasn't been built out; figure out right balance. Whatever the "leadership fees" are - how do we fund overall program management coordination piece? Haven't sorted out yet that cost. Could be in-kind. Bamboo as a project, like Kuali, or Sakai - could say " we need someone to dedicate their time, we're investing in hiring someone". We need Rich to keep the project moving forward; most of his time is on Bamboo, Berkeley has made that investment." Q: "Why tax the leaders and not just everyone for that?" (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "From a timing standpoint, first year is Jan 1 - value of PB doesn't kick in for some point down the road. A lot of other projects, you don't pay up-front. Until you see what it is. From a budgetary perspective, you're hitting mid-year for an academic institution. When you're doing model of how to pay for things, is that the window you're thinking? Sept 1?" David Greenbaum: "Timing of planning project leads us to have start date of Jan 1. All convinced we don't want to wait until July 2010, want to start January or earlier. Just have to deal with the awkwardness. Want to add in something - point of reference/comparison - Kuali Student. Modeled some of planning process on it. Early on they said that each leader has to put up a million dollars a year-- who's in? Took almost opposite approach-- put up a big number, got 5-6 institutions, that was it. We wanted to get the right kind of community, different areas and diversity of institutions from the start, but right now we need people who can/will carry a heavier load. Now, what's the right shape of that? Especially with amorphous result re: when/what." Chad Kainz: "Other thing that has created a challenge, prior to W4 we had an epiphany, if all these institutions continue forward, it changes the financial model. If you read original proposal, were supposed to fill half the room. Figured 7 institutions left standing; there's about 25 still here. A lot of things here coming from phonecalls - what are people willing to do, what can they do. Creative thinking about structuring PB participation in other ways. Trying to grapple with this here; we're all struggling with cost of participation in any of this. Want something that'll do the right things to keep the activity of PB moving forward even if we hit sin wave things where things aren't going on. feedback/thoughts/ideas/comments, we appreciate them. Want to make sure PB exists over time, not a single project effort. Building that into how we work/function now." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "Goals for what membership needs to be over 3 years? What kind of mass we need for success? Promoting use of Bamboo, not discouraging." David Greenbaum: "Good point, esp re: cost of running services platform. Lots of costs not calculated into year 1-2, need to be indicated for the future." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "Gonna kvetch about how we've been pushed to structure this. A little like Mellon stepped back when they needed to step forward. You will get more buy-in once they see what they get for buy-in. Stepping off the edge of a cliff and assuming it'll be ok. Asking re: relative amount of Mellon vs community investment. It's not just year 1 - it's ongoing. At my institution, $20k cash + ERI won't break banks, but would be better if there were funding up front to prove concept before we have to go talk to chancellors. Worried it'll be too long before payoff." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

"We've tried to bring this up, fundamental to PB model is that there has to be investment at institutional level from start for this to succeed or it's not sustainable as an overall project or locally. Trying to keep it modest, but there has to be an argument made locally everywhere that this is worth doing - there's risks, but it's worth it. Can't keep relying on kindness of strangers. Mellon money is icing on cake; we need to bake the cake." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance, David Greenbaum)

"To what extent would affect Mellon's attitude if a lot of their funding went to seeing whether it would be administered and managed; and they'd say "you have an unsustainable model for future?" Leaves open question of what the member benefits are. Benefits have to go to generalized criteria, taking a leadership role in creating something that'll make fundamental difference, give profile to those institutions; those members are going to have some influence over trajectory and kind of priorities. We have ideology of open source; trying as much as possible to enable fellow academics to work together in teams, distributed ways. Institutions we're working with are realizing that distributed services are the only way to get high-end research. Invest a little bit of resource into something that will have a big return. Everyone will benefit - our ideology is that we want to share." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "During conference call, talked about Madison going in for Hub Zero, talked about numbers; went to talk to CIO w/ executive research committee -- we're putting up $100k to Hub Zero. $100k for them was chump change. Part of me now says that the ask should be bigger-- get people's attention. Potential funders beyond Mellon?" David Greenbaum: "This is important point; we may have under-set what the ask should be. This is a resource request from your allocators to help w/ combo of both local and Bamboo coordinated effort. If you're trying to secure a new faculty/program/etc, if it's tied to your local work, provides value on both sides. Should the ask be higher?" (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "Was thinking, how long are you asking for this commitment? 2 years? Or do you want to ask to commit $20k + cash/ERI over 5 years? It's a way to up the ask -- "the longer and higher up the ask goes..."" David Greenbaum: "A faith-based initiative? Contract offices will freak out if asking a 5-year commitment for 2-year grant." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

"OU - it's easier to get contribution in kind (esp for staff) than to get authorization of cash payment. Balance may need to be changed." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance, John Wolffe)

Q: "From perspective of large state university, FY11 could be terrible, horrible; if I said to dean, all I need is $8k for Bamboo, he would give me counterstories about other units in the college right now who all need money, why would this be more important? Easy answers in the past are when "we'll be doing work that will bring money back in". That will be the easiest way to have memberships-- schools doing part of the work, so funding is going back into them. To be realistic with FY11 budgets, tough sell unless there's specific member-only benefits." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "If work has to be done, people will be given money to do it. "Bamboo Fellowship" model - also a way for universities to get something back. Faculty/students get something tangible right away." David Greenbaum: "Almost no discussion yet about distributing yearly resources. Some proportionality to cost-share commitment, helping make cost-share more reliable, things we couldn't make happen if we did "take money and divide by X". But now, based on work/institutions, what's a reasonable way to do the right kind of seed investment." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: Looking at these numbers, I come from a R1 institution, but our endowment is small. Seems like in-kind is low. I can make cases for more in-kind. Cash contribution - CIO will say "so what're you not going to do". Understand long-range benefits, but in an organization that has to deliver things to faculty on short-term, not going to be easy saying " we won't do any projects this year" (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

"Cost structure - talking with other small arts college folks, might be easier to make things match rather than separate for yearly investment. If I said "we're all paying $8k" rather than "we're paying $6k, they're paying $8k"." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance, Rick Peterson)

Q: "Coming from multi-institution w/ Cal State system; would this count for all of CSU's, or each one. Can we get a bulk deal? In-kind contribution is much easier than cash; can do a lot of in-kind fund-raising." Q: "Similarly - if membership is institutional, this raises tricky questions about schools and divisions w/in institution. Don't want to say free-rider, but there's internal and external free-riders. Maybe large institutions need to see if the case can't be made to involve other divisions." Q: "We'll have to sort that out w/in our own institutions. No Oxford pot of money, there's lots of departments and sub-divisions. Argument that we want to be part of this project because of potential spin-offs and other projects that can be built on this platform. Humanities computing project can say they're part of Bamboo - good for visibility." (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

"How easy is it to get a hold of this amount of money, who pays it, how to get in-kind contributions - this is different for everyone. Advantage of cash contribution is that it's easy to cheat and fake on contribution in-kind ("let's call this an in-kind because it's sorta related"). Easy to not really get places on-board if they can just say "oh yeah, this is Bamboo". Cash requires work of persuading people. Before we get used to "ERI" abbreviation, that's European Research Infrastructure. Try something else. Institutional Resource Investment? IRI?" (W5, Open Discussion: Governance)

Q: "Funders besides Mellon?" David Greenbaum: "From start, wanted to work on other funders. We think that'll happen, can't say exactly when. Giving a presentation to NEH on Monday. New chairman coming in to participate. Want to set stage for what we as community are doing in Bamboo. Ways for NEH support at Bamboo or local institutional level. Explain where we are in planning process, general approach through Atlas/Schol Net, shared services model/platform, working collaboratively, multi-institutional consortium. We've been working w/ private sector partners, where could see investments coming from company like Sun re: parts of infrastructure investments. Once we get a little further at program level, want to work w/ others." Chad Kainz: "One of other areas that's come up in phonecalls, how PB and its efforts and pieces of PB moving forward might also fit into funding for international projects (EU, Australia, other national connections). Also actively looking at that -- not necessarily building The One Thing but capability to do many things. As different needs come up, there's opportunities for connecting. Wonderful learning experience re: how to deal w/ multinational projects. A lot of talk re: where Bamboo might intersect with NSF projects. Have to get proposal to Mellon, but looking into long term we have discussed practically a 10-year program. What makes sense, different opportunities moving forward. Mellon doesn't equal the only source of funding; Chris Mackie said as much in W3." David Greenbaum: "Encouraging to see funders talking w/ each other and helping us to think about appropriate coordination that could happen between IMLS, NEH, Mellon, etc. Taking all this time to work out the planning puts us in a better position for leveraging Bamboo on other kinds of proposals." (W5, Open Discussion: Bamboo Community)

"Lateral to issue of community, but relevant to it - in discussion yesterday, consciously slipped out of discussing the second category of payment that you had in there, for the leadership component; it was there in the diagram, but it wasn't taken up or developed. Seeing it in terms of payment is a problem. Have an idea that what is going to exist in long term is 2 levels: consortium, and membership. Consortium: those institutions who have resources (computational, financial, etc) to be the building blocks if you get a structure going. Don't want to make that criteria for using it, being a member. Asking, do you have local resources/service you want to put towards Bamboo? Heading towards that. Do you need to build that into the structure you're doing; then it begins to answer what the community is. A community necessary to work hard together, keep service agreements, and a community that are just paying as members. These people will really be a community, because they'll be an active network. Then there's the wider issue of it being open to everyone." (W5, Open Discussion: Bamboo Community)

"Round of conversations July-Aug. By early Sept, early final draft. Sept-mid Oct: Mellon discussions. Revisions based on that feedback. RIT proposals for Mellon, 4-6 weeks of back and forth w/ program officers, asked to revise things, they give us ~ 7 pages of comments to go through. So program officers who present this to board understand what's going on, how to appropriately represent. Clarifying points, addressing issues. Having these conversations and feedback on drafts at workshops-- when we present drafts, we can say "look, it's been community design". Important to capture this as part of the story of the planning process." (W5, Open Discussion: Bamboo Community)

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