[Fluid-announce] The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation restructuring and Fluid, Fluid Engage and Decapod

Jutta Treviranus jutta.treviranus at utoronto.ca
Fri Jan 15 23:09:40 UTC 2010

Dear Fluid Community,

Many of you have heard the news regarding the restructuring within 
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Mellon is merging the RIT program 
with the Scholarly Communications program and, sadly, Ira Fuchs and 
Chris Mackie will be leaving the foundation. A recent article in the 
Chronicle covered this transition: 
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/In-Potential-Blow-to/19519/ .

As you know Fluid Engage and Decapod are currently funded through 
this program. We were officially informed of the change on December 
18, 2009 (see message copied below). We were informed that our 
projects have been transferred to the Scholarly Communications 
program, under Don Waters. Don Waters and Helen Cullyer have begun 
the process of getting to know the projects. We have also discussed 
the next round of funding for Fluid Engage. We do not anticipate that 
the restructuring will affect Fluid, Fluid Engage or Decapod as they 
address the core objectives that The Andrew W. Mellon  Foundation is 
reaffirming through this restructuring. Don has assured us that our 
current support from the foundation will not be affected.

As is the case with other RIT projects, the Fluid Project has been 
working on strategies for long term sustainability that do not depend 
on funding from Mellon. One step we have taken is to  form a 
not-for-profit, charitable organization called the Fluid Foundation. 
We will be exploring a number of ways to raise ongoing support for 
the work of Fluid not covered by funded projects such as Fluid 
Engage. We have also been successful in receiving grants from both 
the provincial and federal government in Canada to cover some of the 
central costs of Fluid over the next five years.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

all the best,

>Dear Jutta,
>I am writing to you with news relevant to your Mellon Foundation 
>grant of March 23, 2007 and March 20, 2009 to support Project FLUID 
>and December 22, 2008 to support Decapod.
>The Foundation is making a number of organizational changes designed 
>to consolidate resources and concentrate them more effectively on 
>the Foundation's central objectives in support of its five core 
>program areas: the liberal arts and humanistic scholarship in higher 
>education, scholarly communications, museums and art conservation, 
>performing arts, and conservation and the environment.  As part of 
>these changes, the Research in Information Technology Program (RIT) 
>will be merged into the Scholarly Communications program and cease 
>to exist as a standalone grantmaking program of the Mellon 
>Foundation, effective January 4, 2010.  The Scholarly Communications 
>program, which will be renamed so as to indicate, explicitly, that 
>technology-based grantmaking is part of its mandate, will assume 
>responsibility for managing existing RIT grants and the planning of 
>future grant initiatives that emphasize the development of 
>information technologies in support of the Foundation's core focu!
>  s.
>As this merger occurs, my colleagues, Ira Fuchs, who founded the RIT 
>program at the Foundation in 2000, and Christopher Mackie, will both 
>be leaving the Foundation.  You may have questions and I am happy to 
>discuss them with you at any time.  You should feel free to send me 
>email or call me (212-500-2470).  You can also reach my colleague, 
>Helen Cullyer (hc at mellon.org).  In the meantime, let me reassure you 
>that our objective is to facilitate in every way possible the 
>progress of your current grant activities.
>In the coming months, we will be evaluating all of the RIT grants 
>and developing a plan for supporting those activities that will best 
>meet the ongoing priorities of the Foundation.  We will, of course, 
>be contacting you to discuss your grant as part of that evaluation, 
>and I look forward to speaking with you.
>Again, if you have any comments or questions, please let me know.
>Best regards,
>Donald J. Waters
>Program Officer
>Scholarly Communications
>Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

More information about the fluid-announce mailing list