New Vacancy on the PASS Board

Last week James Rowland-Jones announced that he would be resigning from the PASS Board to accept a position with Microsoft. JRJ was the incoming VP this year  and that causes a certain amount of turmoil:

  • JRJ was appointed to be VP starting in 2016, but because his seat wasn’t technically vacant until Jan 1, 2016 we didn’t elect a candidate to fill that vacancy. That position has been historically filled by taking the next highest scoring candidate from the last PASS election. That’s one vacancy that can be filled Jan 1 (or later).
  • JRJ steps down, creating the VP vacancy. That must be filled from with the Board it requires at least a year on the Board, so it’s really a subset of the Board that is eligible. Moving up that person to back fill JRJ leaves a vacancy which will also be appointed by the Board.

That new vacancy is interesting. There was only one ‘extra’ candidate on the 2015 ballot, so the Board can choose from the community, or leave it vacant until the next election. I’d like to see it filled – there is work to be done! I’d like to see a “special” election held, but it’s not required by the by-laws as I understand them and I can appreciate that the Board will want to move quickly – an election would take at least 60 days to complete.

With that in mind, I have two suggestions for the Board:

1. Ask the community for recommendations, perhaps after explaining what talents they most need if they can find them in a willing candidate.

2. Look first to former Board members. They’ve been vetted and know the system and can get to work immediately.

My own recommendation to the Board is to appoint Allen Kinsel and ask him to lead – again – the Chapters portfolio. He has been strongly considering running for the Board in 2016, he knows the work, he knows PASS HQ well, and he would be willing to serve (I asked).


7 thoughts on “New Vacancy on the PASS Board

  1. Robert, that’s a good question. Right now chapters is unassigned, but was presumably going to the person that the Board was going to appoint to backfill for JRJ. The other portfolio that will need to be filled is unknown at this point. Given that’s early in the year, the Board could reshuffle assignments based on the talents/interests of the two appointments.


  2. Mickey, Grant is scheduled to take over SQLSaturday beginning Jan 1 – was announced at Summit and on the PASS blog. The new owner of Chapters wasn’t announced because it was going to be whoever the Board appoints.

    There are two positions on the Board that will be open. Chapters is one, the other is unknown until the Board appoints someone to the VP role.


  3. Unfortunately, the board has taken the easy way out again in this situation and just appointed the runner-up from the last election. Since the slate from the last election only included three candidates and only one didn’t get elected to the board, it seems to me that more thought should be given to who gets appointed to the open seat than just take the next person in line. I agree wholeheartedly, that the board should have interviewed willing individuals who have previously served on the board before just appointing the person who received the fewest votes in the last election.


    1. Tim, it may well be the easy way out, but I don’t see it as bad. Part of that stems from the dustup we had a few years ago where the Board bypassed Sri (ranked #4 in votes) to take the #5 ranking candidate. It didn’t resonate well. I like filling seats from the runner up pool – they’ve been vetted, are clearly willing and available to serve, and it means that a decision can be reached quickly. The counter argument is that when a vacancy happens you might want to go get specific skills. That’s not without value, but it means that the Board (and only the Board) is picking. No NomCom, no vetting. Keep in mind that the Board can appoint non-voting members at any time if they need more depth in an area for a year.

      I’m glad to see the seat filled quickly and without a lot of drama so that work can move forward.


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