RFC Series Editor: Update and Call for Nominations

IAB Chair <iab-chair@ietf.org> Thu, 05 November 2009 11:13 UTC

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Subject: RFC Series Editor: Update and Call for Nominations
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Dear Colleagues,

This message contains a call for nominations but will first provide an
update and background on the state of the selection of an RFC Series

On 8 June 2009, the IAB announced a call for nominations for the
position of RFC Series Editor (RSE) [1] based on the procurement
process and job description previously discussed with the community
[2] and the RFC Editor Model now published as RFC 5620. Despite the
extended discussion of those documents and descriptions, both within
the IAB and with the community, the combination of the job
description, the relevant elements of the model, and the selection
process failed to produce any candidates who where a good match, in
terms of mutual expectations, to the position as defined.

Based on the feedback from the interviews and a recommendation from
the ACEF the IAB concluded that its approach to finding RSE candidates
needed changing, while still maintaining the continuity of the series,
and taking into account the current understanding of the community

At least part of the difficulty in finding appropriate nominees
appears to have been due to uncertainties about how things
would work out with the new arrangements for the Publisher and
Production Center, arrangements for which the RSE would have to
assume responsibility.

Another element of the difficulties we encountered appears to
have been the disclosure of names of applicants.  As community
members who have been the subject of job searches will no doubt
appreciate, we have concluded that such disclosures are
inappropriate for a salaried position for a senior person who
might not want their interest in the position disclosed unless and
until it is actually offered.

Rather than repeat the call for candidates and hope for a different
result, it became clear to the IAB (as advised by the ACEF) that by
focusing the responsibilities of the first RSE to drive the
implementation of the model ---with an explicit responsibility to
refine the role an RSE after initial transition and possibly propose
modifications to the RFC Editor Model--- might give us a higher chance
of a long term success. We came to call that role a transitional RSE.

A transitional RSE will be appointed for a shorter term and with a job
description that includes the original elements but that concentrates
on formulating the position in practice (analogies to "running code"
come to mind) and advising the IAB and the community on a longer-term
job description and candidate search process.

The IAB believes this approach is sufficiently in line with the
community consensus on RFC5620 and previous community feedback, that
we can proceed along this path by starting a nomination process based
on a revised statement of work while also allowing, and taking into
account, any input the community might have. The IAB expects that the
scope of community input is such that it can be taken into account
during an interviewing/negotiation stage. 

Finally, since the contractor for the production center (AMS) has
recruited Sandy Ginoza and Alice Hagens (see [3]) the IAB does not
believe there will be any immediate problems with continuity of RFC
publications. In addition we are exploring other possibilities to
maintain continuity if an RSE cannot start on or before Jan 1, 2010.

The open nomination process for this revised position, described in
[4], will begin on November 5. Please submit your nominations in txt
format to RSE-Nom@ietf.org. The IAB will begin evaluations on November
23 and may fill the position as soon thereafter as a satisfactory
candidate is found.

For the IAB, 

--Olaf Kolkman

[2] http://iaoc.ietf.org/rfced-procurement.html
[3] http://iaoc.ietf.org/announcements/ann18.html