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RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Addition of second vice chair position to SEC

Hi Roger,

I feel I have to disagree with your view of what a Vice Chair does / should
do.  While there are specific duties for a Vice Chair detailed in the 802
rules, these duties do not make up the bulk of what the Vice Chair does.
The Vice Chair's primary role is the be the Chair's right hand man.  The
chair delegates work to the Vice Chair that is of an interruptive, and
unpredictable nature.  Often these matters only last for a short duration,
and they are not the kind of things you want to try and detail in the rules.
All the other positions on the SEC have a particular focus in their duties,
except for the Chair, and Vice Chair.  They are general purpose, catch all
positions.  In the end, when something has to get done, it really falls to
the Chair to make it happen.  However, in most groups I've been involved
with, some part of these activities get off loaded to the Vice Chair to make
the Chair's position more bearable.  The offloading occurs at the Chair's
discretion, and the tasks are often not of a predictable nature.  Since all
the other positions on the committee are more targeted in their roles, it
would not be appropriate to delegate these tasks to those positions.  Aside
from the chair, I would argue that the Vice Chair is the only other general
purpose position.

In recent years, 802 has grown in both the number of participants, and I
beleive in the number of Working Groups / Task Groups that are active.  This
means that the number of issues (some explicitly dealt with by the rules,
some not) that must be dealt with by the SEC has grown.  In the end it fall
upon the Chair to make sure all these issues are resolved.  The issues are
often of short duration, and may require a quick response.  As such they are
not the kind of things that can be delegated to say a study group or TAG.  

Growing group size and increased leadership work load has already become an
issue at the WG level. At least 2 working groups that I have had involvement
with decided to deal with the situation by having two Vice Chairs.  These
are general purpose Vice Chairs, and the WG rules involved do not (to my
knowledge) differentiate in their roles and responsibilities.  This allows
the Chair two general purpose individuals to delegate to, and makes the
Chair's position much more bearable.  As far as I know, this organizational
approach has worked well at the WG level, and it has been in existance for
some time. I don't beleive there has been a great deal of confusion from
having 2 people responsible for the same activities within the rules.  The
number of parties involved is small enough that they can keep track of who
is doing what. (I leave it to folks like Stuart and Bob Heile to correct me
if I am wrong in any of these details).

So, what I would suggest is that we don't want rules that differentiate
between the Vice Chair positions.  We want general purpose individuals that
the Chair can delegate to equally.  We want to migrate a leadership
structure to the SEC that has already been proven at the WG level.  Note
that in my opinion, having 2 Vice Chairs should be optional, and not a
requirement.  I think it should be up to each SEC Chair to decide if they
desire that level of support or not. 

Talk to you soon,



Matthew Sherman 
PTSM - Communications Technology Research 
AT&T Labs - Shannon Laboratory 
Room B255, Building 103 
180 Park Avenue 
P.O. Box 971 
Florham Park, NJ 07932-0971 
Phone: +1 (973) 236-6925 
Fax: +1 (973) 360-5877 

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger B. Marks []
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Addition of
second vice chair position to SEC

I vote "Disapprove", with the following comments:

Under the current position descriptions, we do not need two Vice 
Chairs any more than we need two Chairs, two Treasurers, or two 
Recording Secretaries. In each of these cases, we are better off with 

As described in the rules, the duties of the Vice Chair come down to 
maintaining the rules change process. While this is an important 
responsibility, it does not cry out for a second person to help 
manage it. On the contrary, having two people in charge of the same 
task only decreases the likelihood of someone taking responsibility 
for it.

Before I can support a rules change to specify two Vice Chairs, I 
would like to see their explicit assignments defined. I don't think 
it's appropriate to split the work by technical topic (e.g., 
wireless/wireline) because the SEC is not a technical body. I think 
it would be more valuable to take a look at where the SEC needs some 
help. I suggest that the place to look is Procedure 8 ("PROCEDURE FOR 
PROJECT MANAGEMENT"), which lists a number of jobs that are currently 
not done at all or have been done by the Vice Chair. Many of those 
jobs are related to the general topic of gathering and distributing 
information about our standardization activities. Perhaps we should 
re-write Procedure 8, adding related assignments that we need help 
with (webmaster, publicity coordinator, etc.) and dividing up the 
work among two Vice Chairs.


At 2:42 PM -0500 02/03/31, Paul Nikolich wrote:
>Dear SEC,
>This email provides notice of the rules change letter ballot for the
>addition of a second vice chair to the SEC.  The detailed changes are
>included in the attached PDF file.
>Scope:  Rules Change to add a second SEC vice chair.
>Purpose: To amend to rules allow the SEC to have two vice chair positions.
>The scope and size of the IEEE Project 802 has increased to the point where
>the amount of project 802 management work and range of knowledge has
>significantly increased in the past 5 years.  Adding a second vice chair to
>the sponsor executive committee will better enable it to manage IEEE 802's
>wide range of activities.
>The ballot opens March 31, 2002 and closes June 8, 2002 12 midnight EDT
>(remember if you do not vote or abstain it is equivalent to a DISAPPROVE
>vote).  Buzz, please ensure this gets sent to the 802-wide email list as
>well.  WG chairs, please invite your WG members to comment through you.
>--Paul Nikolich
>Chair, IEEE802 LAN/MAN Standards Project
>cell:    857.205.0050
>mail:   18 Bishops Lane, Lynnfield, MA 01940