Re: nomcom and confidentiality
When I saw a non-nomcom member having access to what I thought was
nomcom-confidential, I was very concerned and now doubt the entire
process. I was told that it is secure, but it has not been verified
as far as I can tell. At this point, no offense to the tools team, I
Time was, the nomcom chair would maintain all the archives on a
personal server. That model has some reasonable amount of
security. We moved to the new model last year, some people
complained. We do more of it now, apparently without fixing all the
problems. I sent a few nominations and got tired of it and
complained. After a few email exchanges, I got this from Henrik:
"This is worrisome. I've checked up the status of submissions now,
and I see (encrypted) entries from you for only two: Thaler and Housley."
At this point, it is important that people realize it is not about
Henrik or any of the people involved. I appreciate Henrik's
service. I use his other tools all the time.
The point is that the boundaries of Nomcom confidentiality are
fuzzy. If people don't care about that, I wonder perhaps if they
won't have problem with perhaps other things. It's a slippery slope.
By the way, last I checked "liaisons" are "not voting members." In
one of the nomcoms I was in, the liaisons were allowed to vote in
straw polls. It was a terrible idea. It negates the checks and
balances we have put into the nomcom process, for instance no more
than 2 people from the same affiliation should be in the nomcom,
especially in a voting capacity.
I am done with this topic. I am also going to remove myself from the
nomcom activities. Good luck.
At 10:44 PM 11/6/2006, Fred Baker wrote:
I think I agree with most of what you say: what goes into the nomcom
shouldn't come back out unless it is contained in a formal
announcement specified in the RFC as the intended result of the
process. Every year we have rumors floating around and concerns about
those rumors. I have to say that on nomcoms I have served on, the
rumor mill has had well less than 50% accuracy. I tend to think a lot
of it is just that - people reading tea leaves in the eyes of people
they know well, and sometimes guessing right. As near as I have been
able to tell, information that goes into the nomcom does in fact stay
But that isn't what Lakshminath said. What he said was that the
information should be confidential to the voting members of the
nomcom, and he mentioned the liaisons as not being voting members. As
one of the liaisons to the nomcom this year, having been a liaison to
the nomcom in the past, and having chaired a nomcom, I think I am in
a position to say that the implications of his statement are simply
On Nov 6, 2006, at 2:39 PM, Sam Weiler wrote:
On Mon, 6 Nov 2006, Fred Baker wrote:
On Nov 5, 2006, at 6:59 PM, Lakshminath Dondeti wrote:
Frankly the feedback does not need to seen by anyone other than
the voting members IMO. What do others think?
So your point is that the chair of the nominating committee should
not know who the candidates are?
I think Lakshminath was NOT referring to the list of candidates
(which is confidential, but historically has been shared with a
fairly broad list of people) and feedback on the candidates offered
by others in the community (whether solicited or not), which is
currently considered confidential. It would be silly to try to
keep the chair from knowing the names of the candidates.
But as for the feedback:
As a NomCom member, I found the community feedback very valuable,
and I strongly suspect that we would have gotten less rich feedback
had we not promised to keep that feedback confidential. While I
can imagine situations where the voting NomCom members, or even a
subset of them, might want to keep particular feedback to
themselves, I don't see a need to formally restrict the set of
people who generally see the feedback. The chair and liasons, in
particular, probably need to see that feedback in order to
participate fully, as 3777 says they may.
As for other matters:
I would like to see the list of nominations kept confidential for
much the same reasons as keeping the feedback confidential -- it
will encourage more input.
As for the list of candidates, one of two things should happen:
either make it public (my preferred choice, since it will encourage
richer feedback) or do more to keep it confidential. If it's going
to be confidential, NomCom needs to be more active about making the
"short list" a bit "noisier", perhaps by including far more bogus
candidates (credible ones, perhaps drawn from those who declined
nominattions) and, to the extent the NomCom can easily present
different "short lists" to each individual asked for feedback,
randomly dropping names from the "short list". In favor of
continuing to keep the list confidential (again, NOT my preferred
choice): doing so would give the NomCom more latitude to do
something a bit outside the rules, like allowing late nominations
and even selecting a candidate who wasn't on the public list, which
it may well find to be a compelling choice.
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