[ARIN-consult] Amended ACSP Consultation: Expanding the Size of the ARIN Board of Trustees

David Farmer farmer at umn.edu
Tue Apr 10 14:13:31 EDT 2018

I am not opposed to the idea of expanding the board, a change from six to
nine elected board members with the CEO as an ex officio member seems
reasonable to me. However, I cannot support the current proposal as
written.  The primary flaw I see in the current proposal is that it simply
expands the board without modifying how the board is selected. I believe
the issue at hand is as much about how the board is selected as much as it
is about the size of the board.

Currently, a combined slate of candidates is proposed by the nominating
committee for the two board positions up for election each year, and the
two candidates with the most votes from the combined slate are selected.
This sometimes degrades into a popularity contest.  Name recognition plays
as big a role as the qualifications of a candidate in determining who
prevails, potentially leaving the board without necessary expertise even
though the slate may have included candidates with the necessary expertise.
Just adding another position selected by this same process, selecting the
three candidates with the most votes from the combined slate, I fear will
only have a nominal effect on the composition of the board, and simply
result in a larger board with many of the same issues.

In addition to expanding the board, I suggest each of the three board
positions up for election have a separate slate of two or more candidates
each year, instead of the current process with it's combined slate.
This allows the nominating committee, with advice from the board, to select
candidates with the expertise needed by the board to compete for a single
position and ensure a candidate with the necessary expertise will prevail
in the election. I don't think criteria for each position should be
enshrined in the bylaws, as the needs of the board will change and evolve
over time, but many of the issues discussed recently should be considered;
sector representation, organization types, etc...


On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM, ARIN <members at arin.net> wrote:

> (You are only receiving this final version.)
> In May 2017, the ARIN Board of Trustees proposed expansion of the size of
> the Board of Trustees in order to increase opportunities for diversity in
> the background of Board members, including geographical and gender
> representation. This proposal was the topic of an energetic community
> consultation with mixed outcome indicating both support and concerns with
> such a change. The ARIN Board considered the outcome of the consultation,
> but ultimately the measure did not achieve the four-fifths approval
> threshold necessary for changing ARIN's Bylaws.
> In February of this year, the ARIN Board discussed an additional issue
> related to the present size of the Board: specifically, the challenge that
> a smaller Board poses when engaging in strategic discussions, for example
> in regard to long-term direction or relationships with other Internet
> organizations. While many of these topics are discussed with the community
> prior to decision (e.g. formation of the NRO, support for the IANA
> Stewardship Transition), it is often up to the ARIN Board of Trustees to
> decide whether to explore these initiatives when they are at an early
> stage. There is a very wide diversity of the Internet ecosystem that can be
> affected by ARIN's strategic direction and this includes Internet service
> providers of all sizes and types (transit, access, etc.), Internet online
> and content industries, data center and cloud operators, educational and
> government networks, commercial firms, and civil society. While the
> Trustees elected by the community often have a bro
>  ad knowledge of the Internet ecosystem, seven Trustees is a relatively
> small group to evaluate impacts across the entire Internet ecosystem.
> As a result of this discussion, the ARIN Board agreed to initiate a new
> community consultation to expand the number of elected Board members from
> six to nine, in order to allow for wider representation of the Internet
> community during Board discussions.
> Board proposal:
> ARIN should add three more elected voting seats to the Board of Trustees,
> raising the current six (two elected per year) to nine (three elected per
> year). New Board seats are to be added to the Board in a phased manner -
> one per year in the 2018 thru 2020 elections as noted below
> *       October 2018: 3 Board members will be elected for 2019; 8 Trustee
> board (9 if the appointed seat is used)
> *       October 2019: 3 Board members will be elected for 2020; 9 Trustee
> board (10 if the appointed seat is used)
> *       October 2020: 3 Board members will be elected for 2021; 10 Trustee
> board (11 if the appointed seat is used)
> The link to the proposed Bylaws amendment necessary to effect such a
> change can be viewed at: https://www.arin.net/about_us/
> bot/20180216/exhibit_e.pdf
> We are seeking community feedback on this proposed change to the size of
> the ARIN Board of Trustees. This consultation will remain open for at least
> 30 days.
> Please provide comments to arin-consult at arin.net. You can subscribe to
> this mailing list at: http://lists.arin.net/mailman/listinfo/arin-consult.
> Discussion on arin-consult at arin.net will close on 14 May 2018.
> If you have any questions, please contact us at info at arin.net.
> Regards,
> John Curran
> President and CEO
> American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)

David Farmer               Email:farmer at umn.edu
Networking & Telecommunication Services
Office of Information Technology
University of Minnesota
2218 University Ave SE        Phone: 612-626-0815
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3029   Cell: 612-812-9952
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