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Fellowship Committee Background Report 26/04/01

In 1998 the Society named three inaugural fellows, myself, John Houlker and Richard Naylor. There have not been any additional Fellows named since that time. Last year the Fellowship Committee (consisting of the three current Fellows) put forward three nominations which the Chair would not action without reference to Council, which was not possible in the time frame. Thus those nominations are still "on the table".

This revealed a clear difference of opinion about the process by which the grade of Fellow is awarded. The Executive Director and I have tried to resolve this, but in fact the issue is very unclear. This motion is presented in the hope that we can agree enough procedure to bring forward both the tabled and new nominations for this year's AGM.


MOVED: That Council

  1. Confirm the adoption of the original proposal to establish the membership class of `Fellow of the Internet Society of New Zealand'.
  2. Confirm the membership of the standing Fellowship Committee, until the next AGM, as John Hine (chair), John Houlker and Richard Naylor.
  3. Appoint a working group to formally document the complete process for elevation to the grade of Fellow and to report not later than the first Council meeting following the next AGM.


(1) The Admin Committee Report to Council on 14 May 1998 included the following paragraph:

  • A paper outlining a proposal for a Fellowship scheme has been put forward by Jim Higgins. There will need to be an interim Fellowships committee (FC) established. Once a group of fellows is in existence, they could constitute a FC. It is noted that confidentiality is critical.

There is no motion recorded in respect of this report.

On 20 August 1998 the Admin Committee Report stated:

Fellowship Scheme - as noted in the last Minutes an Interim Fellowship Committee is to be set up - the AC will act in this role. Note that nominations are confidential. Nominees do not have to be NZ citizens, but must have an NZ connection. They do not have to be members of ISOCNZ.

ACTION: All Councillors - forward nominations directly to Jim Higgins by email. NB - use personal email address not list.

Again no motion was recorded, however it is clear that the Admin Committee and Council considered the proposal "accepted" and were acting on it.

Three Fellows were announced in 1998, apparently without reference to Council. Thus while Council was acting consistently with the proposed policy a key component was omitted in the first round. This omission and the temporary loss of the original document caused last year's Fellowship Committee to act in a similar way.

Given the lack of motions but certainty of actions and existence of three fellows confirmation of the proposal would be appropriate.

(2) The minutes of the Council Meeting of 26 February 1999 state under General Business:

Fellowship Panel

The first group of Fellowships was selected by a special panel. Now that there are a number of Fellows, one of their 'duties' is to set up a Fellowship Panel to select new Fellows.

ACTION: Executive Director to write letter to Fellows advising them of responsibility to set up a Fellowship Panel to determine new Awardees.

This action point resulted in the current Fellowship Panel being established.

(3) As well as confirming the current process there are issues with that need clarification. For example:

  • How big is the Fellowship Committee?
  • Must a nominee for Fellow be a member of the Society?
  • Can the grade of Fellow be revoked?
  • What subscription should a Fellow pay?

©2001 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 23 April 2001

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