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Strategy Articles

The Search for the Second Edition Director

by Charlie Plaine, Director of First Edition

13th January 2020

Greetings, all. As you know, Ross Fertel (Faithful Reader) has recently stepped down as the Director of Second Edition. In order to find a replacement, Executive Officer Maggie Geppert (jadziadax8) asked me to lead the search committee. I have spent the last month consulting best practices and reading through forum threads with community feedback to determine the best method to proceed. This article is meant to outline that process and provide an estimated timetable. I'm happy to consider feedback and answer questions on the contents.

Step 1: The Search Committee
The search committee will consist of seven (7) personnel, to ensure the widest possible number of player types and points of view have a say in the process. The goal is to create as balanced a group as possible, with as close to equal numbers of "competitive" vs "casual" players, North American vs Non-North American, and volunteers vs. non-volunteers.

Note: Individuals who wish to apply for the position of Director of Second Edition are not eligible for the selection committee.

To ensure that current staff within the Department of Second Edition, the first three (3) members of the selection committee are managers from within the department: TJ (tjark) from Errata, Amber (Marquetry) from Rules, and Jonathan (Triumph) from Creative. While they will be focusing on the particulars of Second Edition and the volunteer work during the process, all members of the selection committee are free to define their own criteria by which to judge candidates.

The exception to that policy is myself. As the chair of the selection committee, but not an active Second Edition player, I will be focusing only on the candidates skills as required for a Director position. As I currently hold the identical position in the Department of First Edition, I feel I am qualified to recognize and measure those skills where I wouldn't necessarily be qualified to judge the particulars of the modern Second Edition experiences.

The other three members of the selection committee will be drawn from interested parties in the community. I have developed a list of criteria and I will choose the three (3) volunteers that together meet the largest number of these criteria. Some of these are redundant, but again the goal is to have the final three members of the selection committee meet as many of these criteria as possible. Some criteria appear more than once, and this is intentional to help create balance. The criteria for the remainder of the selection committee are:



In the event that multiple groups of applicants for the selection committee meet the same number of the above criteria, I will select the group that represents the most number of diverse play groups. In no case will more than two (2) players from the game play group be selected to fill the remaining three (3) positions on the selection committee.

Step 2: Director Applications
Once the selection committee is in place, we will post the application for candidates interested in taking on the position of Director of Second Edition. My intention is to keep the application simple and quick, only asking basic demographic information and a brief statement about the candidate's qualifications and interest in the position. For an example, look at the recent application for First Edition Rules Manager. The intended application for this position will be of similar length. The goal is to make it easy for any interested applicants to apply.

Step 3: Interviews
The entire selection committee will be able to see applications as they are submitted. Members of the selection committee can indicate if they wish to schedule an interview with any applications. If any applicant receives three (3) such indications, they will be interviewed. This is to ensure that a majority of the selection committee cannot control whom is or is not interviewed. Once a candidate has received three (3) indications, they will proceed to the interview step.

Because coordinating schedules is difficult even with two (2) people, let alone eight (8), interviews will be scheduled at a time that works for both the candidate and the chair of the selection committee. All members of the selection committee will be invited to all interviews, and any that are willing and able to attend may do so. If at all possible, the candidates will be informed who will be attending before their interview. All interviews will be recorded for review by the selection committee and possible public release in the future.

Step 4: Deliberation and/or Voting
Once interviews are completed, the selection committee will be given a brief period to deliberate the candidates. The goal is to find a candidate that wins the unanimous approval of the committee. In that case, the candidate will be offered the position without any selection committee votes. This is the idea outcome, for if a panel that represents a cross-section of the community can unanimously agree on a candidate's qualifications, it is likely to be a candidate that will receive equal approval from the community at large.

After a period of deliberation, if there is not a unanimous outcome, the selection committee will vote on the candidates using a ranked choice voting system. In this type of system, a single ballot is cast by each member of the selection committee where they rank any number of the candidates in order of preference. In this style of vote, voters choose their first choice, second choice, third choice, and so on. The only difference between the standard model and the model we will be using is the threshold: rather than simple majority, the winning candidate in this vote must earn five (5) out of seven (7) votes to be declared the winner. Thus, determining the winner proceeds as follows:



By raising the threshold from a simple majority to a super-majority (5/7ths), I have aimed to eliminate political considerations as much as possible. Again, the ideal result is a unanimous decision, but I recognize the unlikeness of such a result. Ranked voting will result in a candidate with the strongest possible support among the selection committee, which will hopefully be mirrored in the public perception.

Step 5: Appointment
Once a candidate has been selected, the candidate will be offered the position on a probationary basis. He or she will be presented both to the board of directors and to the public for a comment period. At this time, the plan is to release the candidate's interview and application to the public (minus any discussions of confidential information, such as upcoming product knowledge) and invite anyone to review this information and comment on the candidate's selection.

The candidate will begin working as the new Director of Second Edition for the probationary period, which will be set as either three (3) or six (6) months by the selection committee. At the end of the probationary period, the board of directors will vote on confirming the appointment of the candidate. Any public comments will be factored in, as well as the candidate's performance during the probationary period. However, it is my hope - and hopefully the hope of all of us - that the selected candidate will be up to the task and will perform exceptionally and gain public approval.

I will be keeping the process moving as best as I can, however, any process involving this many people is likely to fall behind. It is my goal to have this process complete by the end of February, 2020, if not sooner. Here is a rough timeline of events:

One Week (1/12 - 1/18): Solicit applications for joining the selection committee.
One Week (1/19 - 1/25): Solicit applications for the Director of Second Edition.
Two Weeks (1/19 - 2/1): Schedule interviews with candidates.
Two Weeks (2/2 - 2/15): Deliberate and vote on candidates (if necessary).

To begin the process, I am looking to fill the last three (3) positions of the selection committee. If you are interested in joining, please send a private message (PM) on these forums to MidnightLich with the Subject of "Director of 2E Selection Committee." In the message, provide your first name and last initial, a valid email address, and a brief statement about why you want to choose the next Director of 2E. I will be choosing the three (3) remaining members no later than January 18th, and all of those that contact me will receive a reply in any case (chosen or no).

I am happy to receive feedback on this plan, and will be reading the comment thread for this article for questions. Because I want to be adaptable and receptive to feedback, I reserve the right to change elements of this plan based on any feedback received. Any changes will be announced and made clear to everyone before proceeding. The goal is to be open and honest to the fullest possible extent. I look forward to leading this selection committee and finding the best possible candidate in the most reasonable amount of time.

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