This wiki space is to be used for the development of the ALAC Statement on the Academia Representation on NomCom, initially drafted by EURALO member Christopher Wilkinson.  The ICANN public comment announcement can be found at

Click here for the final version of this statement submitted on 18 May 2011.

Second Proposed Version

Under Review until 28/05/2011, 22:00 UTC

Statement of the ALAC Academia Representation on NomCom

The ALAC notes that this request for public comments is focused on one specific default act: the amendment of ICANN By-Laws by the removal of Article VII, Section 2.8.c:

“An entity designated by the Board to represent academic and similar organizations;”

Removal of this article would be considered if no effective way is proposed by the community to select members of Academia to serve on the NomCom and this would remove the position described from the composition of the Nominating Committee.

If no other proposals are made, the ALAC has, in principle, been in agreement with the removal of this clause, provided this is undertaken as part of a wider process keeping academia involved in the Nominating Committee, whether via the GNSO or otherwise. This process appears to exist, as described in the introduction of the Request for Public Comment.

A fuller description of the manner and type of wider involvement from Academia in ICANN, is out of the scope of this statement, but the ALAC would be willing to provide input about this subject in the future.

<end of statement>

At-Large members are asked to submit their comments regarding the text below.  The deadline for comments is Wednesday, 25 May 2011, at 23:59 UTC.

ALAC Statement on the Academia Representation on the Nominating Committee (NomCom)

1.  The "academic" seat on Nominating Committee should not be deleted but reassigned in a way that would maintain the non-commercial/commercial balance within the ICANN Nominating Committee.

Also, the wide range and large numbers of academic Internet technologists and users, world-wide, should retain a fully justified and historically well-earned role within the ICANN community.

2.  ALAC volunteers to undertake to fill this seat (in addition to the existing ALAC quota) on the following basis:

  • Priority would be given to accomplished and recognised people from the regional research/university networks, world-wide (e.g. Educause, Terena, and their colleagues in other regions);
  • Geographical diversity would be maintained by rotation on a biennial basis; and
  • Gender balance in the ICANN Nominating Committee.

On this basis, ICANN would maintain the existing balance of representation and affiliation in the Nominating Committee and At-Large would be able to contribute its wide range of contacts among the Internet community world-wide, including the academic community.

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  1. On 02 May 2011, at 19:46, Christopher Wilkinson wrote:

    > Good afternoon:
    > May I draw your attention to the consultation about the ICANN 
    > Nominating Committee, below:
    > Indeed it is not evident how the ICANN Board could identify a single 
    > entity and a single individual to represent the global academic 
    > community world wide.
    > (I recall that the seat was filled for a time, in the past, by 
    > <>, although I may be mistaken. )
    > Consequently, I have some sympathy with the proposed amendment.
    > The proposed text is:
    > <<Deleted: c. An entity designated by the Board to
    > represent academic and similar organizations;>>
    > However, the real question is how this newly vacant seat on NomCom 
    > will be re-allocated, or not. The original intention expressed in 
    > the ByLaws was that the academic user community world wide (there 
    > are quite a lot of them) would have a voice and a vote in this 
    > context.
    > From the At Large point of view, deletion of this seat will 
    > intrinsically shift the balance of opinion and votes in the NomCom 
    > away from the user interest, albeit not radically on this occasion.
    > Accordingly, I would suggest that an appropriate re-allocation of 
    > the vacant seat be undertaken to maintain the present balance of 
    > opinion and votes in the ICANN Nominating Committee.
    > We may discuss - quickly - how this point might be made, either 
    > through the Chair of ALAC or the Chair of EURALO.
    > Alternatively, I shall respond personally to the consultation before 
    > the deadline, 30 May, 2011.
    > Regards to you all,
    > Christopher Wilkinson
    > ALS: ISOC-Wallonia

  2. Firstly we need to look at the need for / desire for balance between Commercial and Non Commercial Interests in the NomCom

    The proposed amendment to Section 8 with the removal of part c. "An entity designated by the Board to represent academic and similar organizations;" Can be perceived to be a shift in balance between the interests of the voting Commercial and Non-Commercial interests if it is viewed as follows:

    Current Voting delegates balance:

    Non Commercial Interests
    5 ALAC appointed delegates;
    1 delegate from consumer and civil society groups, selected by the Non-Commercial Users Constituency;
    Total pre Bylaw change = 6 (5 from ALAC 1 from GNSO)

    Commercial Interests
    1 delegate from the Registries Stakeholder Group;
    1 delegate from the Registrars Stakeholder Group;
    2 delegates from the Business Constituency, one representing small business users and one representing large business users;
    1 delegate from the Internet Service Providers Constituency;
    1 delegate from the Intellectual Property Constituency; and
    Total pre Bylaw change = 6 (all from GNSO)

    Also representation of other stakeholders arguably with predominantly but not purely Non Commercial Interests are the:-
    1 delegate from Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization;
    1 delegate from Council of the Address Supporting Organization established;
    1 delegate from Internet Engineering Task Force;
    1 delegate from ICANN Technical Liaison Group; and
    1 delegate appointed by the Board to represent academic and similar organizations. Proposed to be deleted.
    Total pre Bylaw change = 5 Post proposed ByLaw change 4

    In my view therefore the amendment does not represent a high risk shift of representational balance to Commercial Interests though it does produce a risk of non ICANN Stakeholder specific interest currently (presumably) being served by the Academia Representation delegate seat being removed. Academic and the interests of similar 'public interest' organisational interests outside of the current ICANN Stakeholder mix is however planned to be further addressed in the future (not limited to NomCom appointments but to the wider changes in the GNSO's NCSG with additional constituencies being planned for and developed including one for Academia. and this also would when established provide for "this voice to be heard' in ICANN matters for both PDP's and NomCom activities...

    So I find myself at variance with the ALAC proposal to contribute a delegate to the NomCom in "replacement" for this current seat although it would balance the GNSO and ALAC contributions to the NomCom it would give little return on the bandwidth required to select such a delegate via our 5 Region model that is globally acceptable / representative.

    Should however ALAC take on such a role, in the future it may be more appropriate for such representation to come from the Academia Constituency of the GNSO's NCSG as an appointment in consultation with the ALAC and with the clear purview of Public Benefit focus and Independence from Commercial Interests being a key criteria along with those of Higher Educational Institutional body representational role and similar considerations being taken into account.