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

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Fri May 12 18:12:27 EDT 2017

On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 1:58 PM, Alyssa Moore <alyssa at alyssamoore.ca> wrote:

> I, for example, am grateful to the folks who encouraged my own
> participation in the community. I am both qualified, and fill some
> diversity criteria that have been historically scarce on the AC
> (woman/young/non-Ontario Canadian/non-profit background). I would not be
> here if it weren't for measures such as the Fellowship Program and ample
> support from various community members.

Hi Alyssa,

And glad we are to have you around.

> Size
> I sympathize with Bill W’s comments on large boards being less effective
> (I sit on one with -40 people…), but I’m not sure that adding 1-2 seats
> pushes the Board over the threshold from small and mighty to large and
> unwieldy.  The Board will know better than I do what the current working
> dynamic is, and whether adding 1-2 seats will be crippling.

The size of effective decision-making bodies has been studied. A lot.
Essentially every study says: odd number. As for which odd number...

seven:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rule-of-7-the-ideal-work-group-size/
4.6 (five): https://sheilamargolis.com/2011/01/24/what-is-the-optimal-group-
20 or more tend to deadlock and for some weird reason exactly 8 is very

There are also some papers liking nine. Seems to be consensus that three is
too small. The most common numbers the studies report as an optimal size
for decision-making bodies seem to be five and seven.

> Term Limits
> I disagree with the folks who have chimed in that the pool of expertise is
> too small to warrant term limits. It is this very attitude that precludes
> the embrace of new people in positions of leadership.

I think term limits could potentially be handled on a "one year off" basis.
After taking one year off, you can run again if you choose with a fresh
term limit.

While a complete understanding of the complexities and history of numbers
> is an asset, it’s certainly not a requirement to carry out the high-level
> duties of a Board member.

I could not disagree more. ARIN is not a charity, it's a _regulatory_ NGO.
The very technical decisions made at ARIN have billion-dollar impacts. No
one who hasn't yet learned the hows, whys and wherefores has no business
running for the board and certainly no business serving on it.

Bill Herrin

William Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
Dirtside Systems ......... Web: <http://www.dirtside.com/>
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