Re: [rfc-i] IAB Seeks Feedback on Independent Submissions Editor

John C Klensin <> Fri, 13 September 2019 12:26 UTC

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Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2019 08:26:45 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Ted Hardie <>, Michael StJohns <>
cc: Cindy Morgan <>, IAB Chair <>, RFC Interest <>, IETF <>
Subject: Re: [rfc-i] IAB Seeks Feedback on Independent Submissions Editor
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While I appreciate your reflections on what is going on here,
including sticking to expected dates and process and the
reassurance that the IAB is not expecting a change or to run a
call for candidates, I have to agree with Mike that the timing
is exquisitely unfortunate.

As has been said many times before, one of the IETF's (and
IAB's) strengths traditionally has been our ability and
willingness to make adjustments and do the right thing rather
than taking the position that the procedures are the procedures
and we just need to follow them no matter what.  In this case,
it seems to me that it would have plausible for the IAB to have
had a quiet conversation with Adrian (some weeks ago -- the IAB
obviously knew this was coming) as to whether postponing this
review would cause any inconvenience to him and, if not, asking
the community if, under the circumstances, there were serious
objections to doing so.  That would have been orderly, it would
not have seriously violated community expectations (especially
if done a few months ago) and it would have been, at least in my
opinion, a much better way to handle things.   I wonder if it
was even considered.


--On Thursday, September 12, 2019 21:06 -0700 Ted Hardie
<> wrote:

> Hi Mike
> (snipped some earlier discussion to make this more readable)
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 2:09 PM Michael StJohns
> <> wrote:
>> I went and reviewed the various emails since Nevil's original
>> appointment, and what I realized was that his "term" was
>> directly related to his contract to perform the ISE work. He
>> had some sort of MOU starting 10 Feb 2010.  The 2/6/12
>> announcement of his reappointment has him with a 3 year
>> contract term beginning around 15 Feb 2012.  He got 2
>> extensions of 2 years and 1 year (the 2 year extension was
>> granted nearly 4 months in advance), all with end/start date
>> of 14/15 Feb.
>> Adrian got the appointment on 18 Oct 2017 for a 15 Feb 2018
>> start, but AFAIK, he's not on contract for a specific term.
>> (Feel free to correct me on that - I can't actually find
>> anything that points one way or the other). While you're
>>   correct that the appointment message said "2 year term",
>> there's no actual underlying document (e.g. contract or RFC)
>> that requires such a term.
>> As you know, the ISE is an unpaid position, so the IAB did
>> not ask Adrian
> (or the other candidates) to agree to an unbounded term;
> setting it at two years is a way to ensure that there is a
> regular cadence to asking the incumbent if they can still
> dedicate the time.  Adrian has agreed that he still can afford
> to do so, as I noted in my previous email.
> The IAB is not conducting search; it's asking the community
> for feedback on the incumbent.  That's  how the community can
> weigh in on extending the term, and, as I'm sure you saw in
> your review, it's pretty much the standard way of making sure
> the community is consulted for appointments like this.
>> It seems to me that selecting an arbitrary date for a review
>> might be a useful approach in normal times, but now - not so
>> much.  I think that date has been overtaken by events, and
>> the IAB should - in consultation with Adrian of course - set
>> a review date and term expiration date a bit further in the
>> future, either changing that date now, or agreeing to defer
>> setting a date until the RSE discussion is a bit more settled.
> I believe it is in no one's interest to have the RSE and ISE
> positions both
>> up for grabs at the same time.
> As I pointed out, the IAB is not conducting a search; the ISE
> position "is not up for grabs".
>> If there's some underlying reason that can't be waived (e.g.
>> contract), then let the community know what your firm
>> constraints are.
> The guiding principle here is to continue consulting the
> incumbent ISE on his availability and the community on how
> it's going at the pace that was previously set out.
> Speaking as a member of the IAB, not as its chair, I believe
> the community guidance has been in part to avoid surprises;
> changing the term now or avoiding community consultation would
> both be surprises.  Given that we have the time to run the
> usual process and a willing incumbent, I'd personally rather
> do that.
> As chair, I will ensure that your feedback on the process will
> be heard by the IAB.  Should the consensus be to change the
> process, I will be happy to go along with that consensus.  In
> either event, I urge you and other readers to provide
> feedback; even if the process does change, Adrian has
> indicated that he is interested in whatever feedback can be
> channeled back to him, so it will serve a good purpose in any
> event.
> regards,
> Ted Hardie