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RE: stds-802-16: Meeting schedules

[Notice: It is the policy of 802.16 to treat messages posted here as non-confidential.]

Rodger -

I do not think that you grasped my point.  Let me try again in a different

My objections were to the frequency of 802.16 gatherings and to the
debilitating consequence of these frequent meetings.  

There are three annual IEEE plenary meetings that are interspersed with
interim meetings.  Therefore, anyone who wishes to consider herself or
himself as an active and valid contributor must climb on an airplane six
times a year.  If there appears to be other "ad hoc" gatherings that are
held in addition to these six official meetings, an active contributor feels
duty-bound to participate in them as well.  

It is an overwhelming dilemma.

Gene Robinson's summary of the April 12 ad hoc gathering in Dallas listed an
impressive attendance.  Gene, Scott Marin, Leland Langston, and the other
attendees collectively have a great depth and breadth of working knowledge
in successful communications systems and in the bureaucratic elements of
regulatory matters.  I have high respect for these people.  They are capable
of making enormous progress in creating the foundation for the standards
that will emerge from 802.16.  I had hoped to contribute to building these
foundations, but I sense that it will be largely completed before I can
attend the next official gathering. 

I am happy for them that their employers can support them while they
participate in 802.16 activities.  But many of the rest of us are not so
fortunate.  For many of us, participation in IEEE activities is just another
personal volunteer activity equivalent to participating in Boy Scouts or the
Parent-Teachers Association.  When we return from volunteer efforts, we must
work extra hours to plow through the stack that accumulated on our desks in
our absence.  It is demoralizing to miss a volunteer gathering and not
participate, but it is exhausting to attend a volunteer gathering and then
afterwards work extra hours to catch up on the tasks that our employers pay
us to do.

I do not question whether the IEEE has delegated authority to you to call
interim meetings.  I have been an IEEE member for over 40 years, and I know
some of the rules.  

I have no objection to various individuals getting together to brainstorm on
ideas before they submit them to the group.  It has the benefit of making
their submissions more focussed.

But I do object to the excessive number of official and unofficial meetings,
even though the destinations are pleasant.  The effect of these frequent
meetings is to disenfranchise people who cannot attend all of them.

Finally, I call your attention to the comments by Brian Petry who recommends
using the reflector in place of airplanes and who is disappointed with the
lack of contributions thus far.  I suspect that Brian is experiencing the
consequences of this disenfranchisement.

Jerry Woodard
Wytec, Incorporated

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Roger Marks [SMTP:r.b.marks@ieee.org]
> Sent:	Wednesday, April 14, 1999 5:12 PM
> To:	stds-802-16@ieee.org
> Subject:	Re: stds-802-16: Meeting schedules
> [Notice: It is the policy of 802.16 to treat messages posted here as
> non-confidential.]
> Jerry,
> Your comments are based on several misconceptions.
> * There was no "interim" meeting in Dallas on April 12. Due to the
> confluence of several participants, an informal gathering was held there.
> I
> had hoped that my announcement ("This is not an official 802.16 meeting.
> No
> decisions will be made.") would have gotten this point across. This
> "get-together" primarily served to educate some potential new participants
> attending the conference at which it took place.
> * There will be no "interim" meeting in Dallas before May 12. There is no
> 802 rule against individual participants contacting each other or meeting
> with each other, and I would not consider it exceptional for two or more
> people to jointly develop and submit a contribution. (In some cases, those
> two or more like-thinking individuals may be from the same company.)
> * I am willing to entertain an objection to the use of the email reflector
> to promote informal gatherings as running contrary to the reflector's
> limitation to "the Group's official business." However, when the Chair
> attends a meeting where 802.16 issues are addressed, I believe it is
> appropriate to announce that meeting, making clear that it is open and
> unofficial, so as to avoid any appearance of decisions being made in the
> dark.
> * 802.16 will indeed be meeting in Montreal in July along with the 802
> Plenary. Like every active 802 Working Group, we will meet at each 802
> Plenary. These take place in March, July, and November, not quarterly.
> * In addition to the Plenary Meetings, 802 rules provide for the Chair to
> call, with 4 weeks' advance notice, additional Interim Meetings. Active
> 802
> Working Groups typically hold at least one such meeting between each pair
> of
> Plenary Meetings. At the March meeting, I announced tentative plans to
> hold
> the Boulder meeting and heard no objection. On March 19, I emailed the
> tentative times (which have since become official). On March 31, the day
> after the reflector was turned on, I sent out detailed information. On
> April
> 6, I made an official announcement.
> * 802 rules provide that attendees of the first official meeting of a
> Working Group become voting members of that Working Group (and retain that
> status as long as they comply with the voting rights retention rules). At
> the March 802 Sponsor Executive Committee (SEC) meeting, I was asked to
> make
> sure that the first official meeting, for the purposes of determining
> initial voting rights, was in July. I replied that I had the same intent
> and
> that I therefore planned for the May meeting to formally be a meeting of
> our
> Task Groups but not of 802.16 as a whole (note that the web site
> announcement reads accordingly). I was told to call it an 802.16 meeting
> but
> make clear that it is not the first official meeting for voting rights
> purposes and that any votes taken will be tentative.
> * The May Interim Task Group Meeting is duly constituted, and I will
> proceed
> on this basis with the understanding that any decisions are tentative. For
> example, if the Coexistence Task Group is able to complete a draft PAR and
> approve its submission, I will submit it to the 802 SEC in time for
> consideration at the July Plenary. 802.16 will of course have an
> opportunity
> to revise the draft and finalize the submission decision in July.
> * Future duly-constituted Interim Meetings will be proper venues for
> binding
> votes. For your advance information, you might take note that I have
> already
> informed all 802.16 participants that I am planning to call an interim
> meeting for August 5-6 at the Denver Marriott Southeast in Denver,
> Colorado
> to take advantage of co-location with the 1998 IEEE Radio and Wireless
> Conference, which is providing free meeting space and featuring a
> significant technical program in broadband wireless access.
> * If you believe that a schedule including interim meetings is too
> rigorous,
> you are welcome to make that opinion known. However, I would prefer that
> you
> avoid questioning the integrity of the process without good cause.
> Roger Marks
> Chair, 802.16
> ----------
> >From: Jerry Woodard <JerryW@wytecinc.com>
> >To: "'stds-802-16@ieee.org'" <stds-802-16@ieee.org>
> >Subject: stds-802-16: Meeting schedules
> >Date: Wed, Apr 14, 1999, 1:57 PM
> >
> > Folks -
> >
> > Let me see if I have this 802.16 schedule straight:
> >
> > (1) We have a regular quarterly meeting scheduled in Montreal starting
> July
> > 5.
> > (2) We have an interim meeting scheduled in Boulder starting May 10.
> > (3) There was an "interim" interim meeting held in Dallas on April 12.
> > (4) There is yet another "interim" interim meeting desired to be held in
> > Dallas before May 12.
> >
> > I understand that anything that is "decided" at these ad hoc meetings
> will
> > not become official until "voted on" at the main meeting.
> >
> > I object.
> >
> > This process is a charade that disenfranchises most of the 802.16 study
> > group.  It is expensive and disruptive for most of us to stop work on
> our
> > employer's assigned tasks and fly off to attend a series of hastily
> > contrived volunteer committee meetings.
> >
> > I see that there are two possible choices for 802.16:
> > (1) A couple of you folks just go ahead and make the decisions, write
> the
> > documents, and then ask the rest of us to mail in our votes so that
> there is
> > an appearance of a consensus, or
> > (2) Limit the meetings to the quarterly gatherings at which times an
> open
> > discussion can be held on all topics with no preconceived outcome.
> >
> > Jerry Woodard
> > Wytec, Inc.