Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom

"Murray S. Kucherawy" <> Thu, 19 February 2015 04:56 UTC

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Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 23:56:12 -0500
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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom
From: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <>
To: Allison Mankin <>
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On Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 2:07 PM, Allison Mankin <>

> The Nomcom is and always has been a "search committee" and as such it
>> gathers and winnows candidates before proposing them for confirmation.
>> Indeed, there is no bar to the Nomcom proposing multiple candidates for a
>> position and allowing the CB to choose its preference - that hasn't
>> actually been done, but its not barred.
> ​AJM:  Mike, I have always wanted the Nomcom to be like a search
> committee, but on the other hand, search committees do produce short lists
> as you say, and every time I've suggested this as a way to offset some of
> the problems with the unevenness of the Nomcom participants' skills, in
> every hallway chat I've ever had, I've received massive pushback.  So while
> the confirming bodies approve the selection, the selection is made by the
> Nomcom.  When confirming bodies request an alternative selection, this is
> not something that can be seen by us outside the process, but the hallways
> tell me also that Nomcoms who have experienced this are frustrated and
> angry.  Therefore, we should perhaps add something to clarify that the
> selection/the hire as it were, is really made by the confirming body, and
> see how that fares in discussion.
> Actually as I read Section 5.14, a NomCom can't present the confirming
body with a short list.  It specifically says "a single candidate for each
open position" and then goes on to include what backing materials have to
be provided.

> AJM:  Also, hiring manager in my part of the world does not imply that the
> person becomes a supervisor of the selectee - the term is used for the
> person who makes the hire happen.
> I think that's a fair point.  I've adjusted her suggested text accordingly.
> ​AJM: What do you think about explaining what a search committee is, in
> that case, and noting the option to send short lists rather than single
> selections.  ​
> It appears to be moot in the face of what 5.14 says.  Are we looking to
open discussion of changing that?

>> The digression to "thinking slow" is interesting, but somewhat trendy.
>> Next year there will be another interview and decision method that will be
>> trendy and its unclear why this "thinking slow" would be a better choice
>> than next year's flavor and why it should be immortalized in the next
>> version of 3777.  I would instead focus on the virtues of clarity,
>> completeness and fairness and leave the rest of it to the best abilities of
>> the chosen Nomcom.  In any event, attempting to "program" the Nomcom
>> members to a specific behavior pattern will be unsuccessful.
> I tend to agree with this, though since we do have an appendix that talks
> about "oral tradition", there's probably little harm in including this
> stuff in a similar appendix.  We could even label it clearly as something
> that worked well for NomCom 2013.
> ​AJM:   I disagree with the idea that advising people to be deliberative
> in their review of candidates is trendy and could easily be superseded by a
> next trend.  I don't care if the text needs to not reference a social
> science expert on this, which I did in part because IETFers are rather
> contrarian, and can be hard to make a plain and simple human resources
> point.   I also think that the previous nomcom, where I was Past Chair,
> practiced slow thinking and/or deliberative, thorough review, though
> sometimes I found I had to help out.  My observation: the candidates who
> are not famous enough to be recognized by most of the voting members what
> their varied usually were summarized incompletely in the initial review
> discussions - relevant accomplishments were omitted from discussion until
> the thorough process (and some reminders) got those back onto the table.
> Maybe text that says this more directly rather than by means of a social
> science reference could be included.  I feel strongly that it is not a
> given that Nomcoms will take their time and give enough diligence, given
> the other pressures on them, especially time pressures.
I think removing the specific references to "slow thinking" and doing some
text massaging still captures the point you're trying to make.  I'll
include something in -03, which I'll post shortly.