After lengthy discussion in the staff forums, we've instituted several administrative changes, which I'll summarize in this post. There are no ToS or procedural changes related to this restructuring, although we might improve the ToS in the future. If anyone has any proposed changes to the ToS, I'd recommend you provide specific proposed wording changes in a Q&S thread that you think moderators might realistically agree with, and ask a moderator to propose it internally in the staff forum.
The first change is that the Hexagon Council will begin to take a more active role in moderation again. Originally moderation was led by Hex, but over the last year or two management of moderators has ended up falling largely on the senior moderators, with little Hex input. This has created the problem that although Hex is in charge of staff, the most active and influential branch of staff has been operating without its participation, and occasionally at cross-purposes with it.
To this end, Søren and TheFirstONeill have kindly agreed to join Hex. They will continue in their current role of managing moderation, but from Hex now. For moderation purposes, senior moderators are to be considered roughly the equal of Hex members, and count as their equal in all moderation-related votes. Conversely, even Hex members who do not focus on moderation will have an equal voice in moderation-related issues, should they choose to exercise it. Hex will retain sole authority over other parts of the site as before.
For the time being, we will not promote any more senior moderators to fill the vacancies. We will try experimenting with different ratios of Hex to senior moderators and see how it goes. In the long term, it's possible that we'll merge senior moderators into Hex altogether, as they were until 2007 or so.
The second notable change is that the distinction between global and junior moderators has been abolished. They now have the same badge again (as they did until maybe a year ago), and junior moderators will be promoted to global as a matter of course after a few months' experience if they do well.
The third change is not yet apparent, but will become so over time. We have introduced a new moderator rank: Moderator Emeritus. Moderators emeritus are largely the same as normal moderators, including access to staff forums, but they have no badge or bold name, and don't appear on the forum leaders page. They have only a title beneath the badge, like CdeC members. On the other hand, moderators emeritus are not required to be active. To avoid confusion, they should not give infractions, post thread warnings, or do anything else that members expect only those with badges to do.
From now on, moderators in good standing who fall inactive will be demoted to moderator emeritus instead of member. Likewise, those who wish to resign due to inactivity may choose to become moderators emeritus instead. A moderator emeritus can choose to rejoin the ranks of regular moderators at any time. Members with a bronze mace or better can apply to be a moderator emeritus under the same conditions as usual, except that they don't have to make an activity commitment.
The goals of the moderator emeritus rank are to encourage staff members not to resign completely when they feel they need a break, and to allow policy discussions and votes in staff forums to draw on a more diverse body of opinions.
The fourth change is not really member-visible, but I'll briefly mention it anyway. Appointments of new moderators and approval of moderation branch policy changes (including ToS changes) are now conducted entirely within the lowest moderator forum, so all moderators can participate, and all can vote. Previously staff appointment was done by senior mods/Hex only, and while juniors could join in policy discussions, they couldn't vote.
The goal of these changes overall is to increase staff inclusiveness and unity, so that more people are able to productively contribute to different parts of the site. It is my personal hope that in the future we'll institute mechanisms that allow better feedback from the general membership as well, but none of those made it for this round of reforms. Nevertheless, feel free to comment on the changes here.