[I'm sorry to be joining this discussion late.]
I see several different goals in John's draft:
1. Setting guidelines for length of service.
2. Early notification to incumbents.
3. Reducing the nomcom's workload.
I think giving the nomcom more guidance about appropriate length of
service is a fine thing. (And I tend to agree that service beyond three
terms should be unusual.) Having a generally-recognized length of
service would help generate candidates to replace a well-regarded AD who
has served several terms.
I think announcing early decisions regarding incumbents is not good. I
think there's great value in looking at the slate of candidates as a
whole. I don't like the idea of making a decision about an incumbent
without seeing the pool of potential replacements.
The goal of simplifying life for the nomcom is laudable, but in fact if
an AD incumbent is doing a good job, there are generally very few
credible & willing alternatives for the job so it doesn't take many
cycles to sort out the situation. So I don't think this proposal would
reduce the nomcom's workload.
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