[ARIN-consult] Community Consultation on Increasing the Size of the ARIN Board of Trustees

Bill Woodcock woody at pch.net
Fri May 12 00:26:49 EDT 2017

> On May 12, 2017, at 3:51 AM, William Herrin <bill at herrin.us> wrote:
> Howdy,
> I oppose increasing the size of the board.
> Firstly, the larger the board, the less control each member has over ARIN's direction. The bigger the committee the worse in functions. As a practical matter, this will result in an increased concentration of power in the hands of ARIN's President and CEO whose day to day decisions are more strongly represented in ARIN's activity than most actions of the full board. Even if John could flourish with more power, there's no guarantee the next individual in his position will have as good a grasp of or care as deeply about the technicalities surrounding number policy.

I agree with this.  A larger board is a less effective board.  The more people there are, the harder it is and the longer it takes to get a conversation to a meaningful and actionable conclusion, and the easier it is for everyone to just sit back and assume that someone else will do the heavy lifting.  On a small board, everyone knows they need to pull their weight, and you don’t spend 90% of your time listening to a long table full of people say something because they feel like they need to say something, even when they don’t have anything specific in mind to say.  I’ve been on large boards and small ones, and only the small ones are functional.

> Secondly, the board is selected by the voting membership. It's diversity (or lack) correctly reflects both the candidates who ran for election and the selections of the members. There is no reason to believe that increasing the number of board members would in any way change the board's social diversity.

I agree with this.  Increasing board size is in no way a solution to diversity.

> Thirdly, social diversity is not ARIN's mission. Internet number management is a weird and narrow technical specialty with few really smart individuals of any nationality, race, creed or gender. Getting those few individuals to serve is vastly more important than serving the politics of social justice.

Eh, this seems to me to be conflating two unrelated things.  The point of having a broadly representative board is not “social justice” but instead good decision-making.  Having a board that consists of a bunch of buddies who all think the same way yields really crappy outcomes.  A diversity of opinions on the input side of a conversation yields measurably better decisions on the output side.


> For these reasons I OPPOSE increasing the size of the ARIN Board of Trustees.

...I agree wholeheartedly with your first two points and your conclusion.


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