Re: [IETF] Re: NOMCOM - Critical shortage of nominees for multiple areas

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Thu, 24 October 2013 19:20 UTC

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Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 15:20:03 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Thomas Narten <narten@us.ibm.com>
Subject: Re: [IETF] Re: NOMCOM - Critical shortage of nominees for multiple areas
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--On Thursday, October 24, 2013 14:16 -0400 Thomas Narten
<narten@us.ibm.com> wrote:

> Going back to something said earlier. While I understand that
> it may be good for the nomcom/ietf to develop a list of
> alternate candidates even if the incumbent is strong, just for
> backup, etc., there is a flip side as well.
> 
> Applying takes time. The survey isn't exactly short, and going
> through the motions to get internal support can also take
> time. And for someone who has applied and is waiting the
> results, they may find themselves in an awkward position
> w.r.t. planning future work activities (will they have time to
> take on new activities or will the nomcom select them?).
> 
> All this uses resources that arguably could be spent more
> productively, e.g., doing WG work.

Not only that, but if someone has to cause an
intra-organizational fuss to get permission to volunteer for a
position that is later filled by an incumbent who turned out to
be (or appear like) a foregone conclusion, it may be much harder
to get permission later.  The "awkward position" you mention
above may apply not only to the potential candidate but her
management and organization.

> I think it's fine to say no to the nomcom and say something
> like "incumbent is doing a great job and nomcom should not
> waste folks' time beating the bushes to build up a list when
> there is no compelling reason not to just quickly reup the
> incumbent.

It seems to me that it might even be reasonable to tell the
Nomcom "incumbent is doing a great job ... but, should the
incumbent withdraw or otherwise be inappropriate, I am
reasonably sure I can get permission to volunteer within a
reasonable time after you ask" (and not spend time filling out
questionnaires, etc., unless that situation develops).
 
Of course, if it were public which incumbents were hoping to be
re-upped and which ones were not (an occasional public "I'm not
going to do it again" note notwithstanding), it would help
considerably with the approaches both of us have suggested...
and reduce the odds of a last-minute scramble somewhat.

best,
   john