MathOverflow is a bit different from most of the sites in the network in that it is not operated only by Stack Exchange, but it "belongs" also to the nonprofit MathOverflow corporation. If I understood information given here on meta, at the moment all MO moderators are at the same time board members of the non-profit organization.

Question. Will the moderators elected in the future election become members of the board, too?

I suppose this information might be interesting in the context of upcoming election. (This might influence some of the prospective candidates.)

The same issue has been raised before by one of the current moderators:

As Gerhard mentioned, there is a separate non-profit run by the moderators which exists mainly to hold onto our option to go independent of the larger StackExchange world if the need ever arose; it also exists to accept funds which could potentially be used against future costs (ironically, the main thing we have actually used money for is to set up the LLC; this was done with a grant from the Sloan Foundation). Again, I don't think that the MO community would elect someone who didn't appreciate the site's mission and what makes it different, but a moderator election would raise some sticky questions (would we commit to adding the new moderator to the board before the election?) that seem like unnecessary complications.


2 Answers 2


This is an important question, thanks!

My response is a clarification of @Todd's answer, but it seems better to give it as a separate answer. The board exists because of the need of a legal entity to enter into an agreement with SE. It has seen its role as to have a negligible footprint, although at our annual meeting we always ask ourselves how the site is doing, and how it is serving its mission as we see it. New moderators do not automatically (i.e., legally) become part of the board, but the current board has expressed the explicit assumption that we will ask all new moderators to join the board. There is no requirement that they accept; being on the board brings with it legal responsibilities (as well as mild bureaucratic ones). There is also no requirement that a future board invite new moderators to join (although I would hope there would be a very good reason for this).


The members of the MO board are the six current moderators, Anton Geraschenko, and Ravi Vakil.

Whoever becomes a moderator becomes a member of that board.


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