Re: [Gendispatch] Academia (Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF)

Fernando Gont <> Thu, 25 February 2021 04:36 UTC

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To: Theresa Enghardt <>, Keith Moore <>
Cc: GENDISPATCH List <>, "''" <>
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From: Fernando Gont <>
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 01:35:51 -0300
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Subject: Re: [Gendispatch] Academia (Re: Diversity and Inclusiveness in the IETF)
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Hello, Theresa,

Thanks a lot for your comments! In-line...

On 25/2/21 00:59, Theresa Enghardt wrote:
> One perspective that I missed in this document is academia, as I have 
> participated in the IETF as an academic for a few years.
> The document mentions "Universities" as an example of organizations for 
> which IETF participation might not [be] attractive or feasible. I'm not 
> sure I agree.
> Some benefits of participating in the IETF for researchers, PhD 
> students, etc, potentially to be added to Section 4 as a separate group, 
> include:
> - Getting feedback on your work, e.g., assumptions you may be making, 
> things you may have overlooked, direction for future work
> - Input for your own teaching (learning about the IETF and its processes 
> has very much enhanced discussions with my students)
> - Making industry connections, e.g., for joint projects
> - Professional networking, career advancement

Probably part of the issue here is that our I-D talks about 
"participation", where we probably meant something along the lines of 
"active participation" or "making contributions to the IETF" -- e.g., 
reviewing documents, submitting Internet-Drafts, etc.

What you describe does indeed seem beneficial, but in principle doesn't 
seem to necessarily contribute to the work of the IETF.

   -- but please do correct me if I'm missing something or 
miss-interpreting what you're saying...

> When it comes to attending IETF meetings, I think it's worth mentioning 
> that they are sometimes co-located with ANRW, an academic workshop, and 
> that a lot of IRTF meetings are taking place during the same week. Also, 
> there are efforts in the IRTF, such as the IRTF research prize, which 
> may help PhD students get an ROI for their IETF-related work, feedback, 
> and the opportunity to attend an IETF meeting.

We should certainly incorporate something along these lines -- I'll come 
back to you once we have crafted text along this lines. (of course, if 
you have specific text that you'd like to suggest, please do let us know!)

FWIW, what you note is one of the motivations/arguments for e.g. 
introducing f2f meeting fee waivers -- since in such cases there could 
be people that might be able to attend the meeting (space/time-wise), 
but might not be able to do it as a result of the meeting fees. IIRC, 
netdev was also hosted next to the IETF meeting in the past.

> One specific example would be Economic Constraints, Section 9: 
> Universities usually have a travel budget and they may also have rules 
> on how much a hotel is allowed to cost per night. IETF hotels are 
> usually, if not always, outside of that budget, and overflow hotels are, 
> too.

I couldn't agree more. In fact, from our perspective this was actually 
assumed (!)... but we should definitely spell this out.  (the same 
probably also applies to the list of "recommended restaurants" that 
somehow circulate in the attendee mailing-lists, as well as some 
interesting 90USD+/meal dinners that get organized during the week).

> I've usually managed to find something in adequate distance, but it 
> did feel a bit strange to be basically excluded from the "official" hotels.

Believe me that I know exactly what you mean. :-)

Thanks a lot!

Fernando Gont
SI6 Networks
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