Yes this is wonderful news. It’s the collective hard work of folk like yourself who are cooperating and working behind the scenes in their organisations, OERu working groups and community lists to progress the implementation of the OERu.
Yes, we will pursue matching fund projects in the coming months.
Our first success with a shared / matched funding position
Our first priority was to expand technical capacity for the OERu. The open source survey which we distributed earlier in March 2015 this year included an EOI question on whether any partner institutions would be willing to contribute financially to a shared open source technologist position. We were very fortunate to receive positive responses from four of our OERu partners who agreed to contribute to the shared open source technologist position. The following partners now have platinum tier status in the OERu by virtue of their contributions to this shared position:
- Otago Polytechnic
- University of Southern Queensland
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- University of the Highlands and Islands
The OER Foundation “contribution” to this position was made possible through the generous funding support from the Hewlett Foundation. We have now exceeded our 2015 KPI for progressing the community source model. Moreover, this shows that the shared / matched funding idea works and has significant potential for progressing the implementation of the OERu.
Next shared / matched funding position.
The general operating support Grant from Hewlett means that the OERF will be able to cover our existing operational costs for the next three years. Our forecast for the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year is on the break-even point taking into account the funding support from Hewlett. This means that as we recruit new partners to the network, we would be able to allocate the additional revenue from membership fees, for example to a new matched funding position.
We are in dire need of programme development and related administrative support to progress OERu product development. So I suspect that the next shared position will be in this area. There are a few options:
A number of partners could agree to contributing resources to fund a shared programme development position
As new OERu partner institutions join the network, the OERF could propose a shared / matched funding position. So for example, if we were to recruit 10 new partners we could post an EOI for a dollar matched position.
The OERu could consider a rotation model where partners allocate staff time for specified roles for a predetermined time which is rotated among the network.
Keeping fingers crossed that a few more OERu partner institutions would like to achieve platinum tier status by following the example of those partners who are contributing resources to the shared open source technologist position.
All advice, comments and ideas to progress this concept are well received.