Apereo Foundation Fast: Apereo Foundation's involvement in the OSPO++ Working Group

Apereo Foundation Fast (AFF) is a new interview series that gives a quick "behind the scenes" peek at the amazing work of our community members, volunteers, member institutions, and project leaders. This installment is an interview with our Interim Director, Patrick Mason (PM) about Apereo Foundation's involvement in OSPO++ (Open Source Programs Office ++) and how Apereo members and the even broader higher education community can become involved.

Thanks, Patrick for your time and bringing us up to speed, and being our first guinea pig!


AFF: Apereo Foundation is working with OSPO++ to promote Open Source Program Offices in colleges and universities. What is Apereo's special role with this group?

PM: Specifically Apereo is participating in the OSPO++ Working Group (https://ospoplusplus.com/working-group/), focusing on how to introduce open source to college and university leadership as a campus-wide strategic initiative. Most of the contributing organizations have distinct experience with different aspects of open source: as open source software users or developers, foundations supporting open communities of practice, or institutions of higher education. There are very few that have experience in all three areas. Apereo is uniquely positioned to offer insights, connections, references, and resources on all three.


AFF: What Apereo Foundation specific goals do you hope to meet in this partnership?

PM: Open Source Program Offices can play a critical role and provide core components for implementing and managing a variety of open initiatives within institutions of higher education--open source software, open educational resources, open data, open access journals, etc. Unfortunately, despite open source softwares' long and successful history, many institutions lack even a fundamental understanding of what open source is, how to engage authentically with the communities of practice that support it, and the impact of open projects and communities can have on their institutions. By fostering greater awareness and adoption of open initiatives, Apereo will not only serve the open source and higher education communities but also Apereo projects and our supporting members, as well. 


AFF: Are there any volunteer opportunities for Apereo community members?

PM: Any Apereo member institutions that would like to participate would be great. Ideally, these campuses would have a centrally managed resource for promoting, implementing, and/or administering open intellectual property (content, courses, data, journals, software, etc.). Of course, anyone who is working in open source within a campus, and would like to help extend open initiatives there, would be great too. I imagine many current Apereo-member campuses--as well as the individuals who work with Apereo directly--are not only advocates of Apereo tools, but open source software more broadly. Sharing their experiences introducing open source software and cultivating community would be a tremendous resource for others trying to do the same.


AFF: Other updates we want the community to know about this partnership?

PM: Anyone can join and contribute and we very much invite them to do so. Please reach out to me if you are interested in volunteering or getting your institution involved - patrick.masson[at]apereo[dot]org