This consultation is now closed. The final version of the Terms of Reference is available at:


Following the recommendations from the eduGAIN Futures Working Group whitepaper the working group continued to work on Recommendation 3.1 of the whitepaper. As a result the working group has revised the eduGAIN Constitution and drafted the Terms of Reference for a to be formed Steering Committee. This consultation is for the proposed new Terms of Reference for the eduGAIN Steering Committee.  The eduGAIN Community is invited to review and post comments on the documents below.


The document for the consultation is available as a pdf attachment.  All comments should be added to the changelog below or sent directly to:  Comments posted to other lists will not be included in the consultation review. All comments must be received by 2nd June 2023.

Change log

Please add your comments to the change log below

Line/Reference #Proposed Change or QueryProposer / AffiliationRecommendations to Working GroupStatus

Lines 41-42 state that candidates will be vetted. By whom? And using what criteria?

If the vetting is that the eduGAIN Secretariat will ensure the slate is diverse & representative (as in lines 44-45) then I propose that the current lines 39-45 be replaced with:

"Requests for nominations to the eduGAIN Steering Committee will be initiated by the Secretariat. Candidates can be self nominated, nominated by their organisation or by another organisation including current eduGAIN Service Team members.

The eduGAIN Secretariat will ensure that the slate of nominees is diverse and representative of the eduGAIN community. A list of proposed nominees will then be circulated to the General Assembly."

Alex Stuart/JiscAccept proposalAmended

'eduGAIN Service Owner': This role/function is not mentioned in the Constitution. Is that intentional?

Wolfgang Pempe / DFNYes - the SO has no specific role in relation to the constitution.No action

'Technical Profiles': perhaps better 'Technology Profiles' in order to meet the wording of the Constitution?

Wolfgang Pempe / DFNChange to Technology ProfilesAmended

Definitions, Steeting Commitee: "voted for" then "nominatated by" is backwards, reverse order

Peter, ACOnetremove "nominated by Member Federations’ representatives" - unnecessary wordingAmended

Also, "a body that consists of representatives voted for by Member Federations nominated by Member Federations’ representatives" isn't fully correct: not only "Member Federations’ representatives" can nominate, also eST, cf. line 41

Peter, ACOnetas aboveAmended

I'd prefer we avoid any and all duplication between Consituency Glossary, ToR Definitions, etc.
ToR sec 2 duplicates Constituency sec 2.2 (if those are even fully identical, I haven't checked, why should anyone check?).

If we want to be able to update the ToR more easily (i.e. without getting the constitution re-signed by everyone) keep all related definitions, responsibilities, etc. (only) in the ToR and have the constitution reference those as needed.

Peter, ACOnetthe definition set are not always precisely the same and the documents need to be meaningful and stand alone.No action

Clarify "ex-officio role". Wikipedia mentions both possibilities of voting and non-voting ex-officio roles. I could try to infer the intention (4 assembly members + 2 others + 1 service owner = 7 which can never be tied, cf. line 66, implying the role to be non-voting) but simply amending the enumeration of non-voting roles in lines 31-33 makes that explicit.

Peter, ACOnet

The SO will have a vote which is why recognised as a formal member of the SC.  Others are only observers.

Add "as observers" to line 35.


"Candidates can be self nominated, nominated by their organisation or by another organisation" – how will those "organisations" know about when and where to even nominate someone? Will votes be announced across the wider community to reach the "organisations", beyond and outside of the Member Federation's representatives? Or does that just mean "Member Federation's representatives" here again?

Peter, ACOnetThis is just process for the Secretariat, doesn't need to be codified.No action

Covered by Alex (so +1): Add "by the eduGAIN Secretariat" after "Candidates will be vetted", even though that's answered in the next paragraph. Or merging those two paragraphs.

Peter, ACOnetas aboveNo action

"ensure ... diverse and representative": it may not be within the powers of the eSec to actually ensure that, e.g. due to a given set of nominees/candidates willing to do the work. Maybe "try to ensure"? "will make efforts to ensure"?

Peter, ACOnetAccept proposalAmended

I feel this gives the eSec too much power -- filtered/ignored/blocked nominees would never be seen and could never be voted for by the assembly.
Full transparency (i.e., informing the assembly who's nominations where excluded and on what grounds) would seem like a necessary (though possibly not sufficient) condition: Silently dropping people from the list of nominees at the sole discretion of the eSec doesn't sound proper to me as it invites a certain potential for arbitrariness.
N.B.: This is not commenting on the trustworthiness of the people acting as the current eduGAIN Secretariat but on rules that might outlive any of the people we currently rely on. Also, a thought experiment (whether the ToRs as stated might give too much power here) is only/more useful if actors with at least slightly adversarial behaviour are imagined.

Peter, ACOnet

I think this assumes that the Sec has more power that it does.  I don't think the community would allow this to happen if there were inconsistencies, and there are dispute resolution processes in place.  We've tried and failed to codify a different approach.

Add wording to say that the Secretariat may nominate further candidates to ensure diversity. 


More voting: Why is a separate ballot necessary? Just mark them as external on the roster.
(I don't see the strict need for even that but an "FYI" can't hurt, of course.)

Peter, ACOnet

Prefer separate ballots but can be part of one voting process in Zeus for example.



More voting: If the member is interim anyway why have a vote? Let eSC chair or eSO decide. Or what exactly is "interim" about such a member if there's voting needed anyway?
Alternatively, drop the "interim" concept (and any text/processes specific to that) if the "interim" case doesn't deviate from the "ordinary" process of replacing members drastically.

Peter, ACOnet

Discuss with Futures WG

This is actually a by-election - remove interim wording


More voting: See my comment on the Constitution Consultation for one possible alternative approach that'd save us all a lot of (pointless, I'm arguing) voting which might then also be extended for (most) other cases the documents currently call for votes.

Peter, ACOnetSee comments on Constitution on voting.No action
15Section 3

Can we have more than one SC member from the same organisation?


Make it clear that positions are individual and not there to represent the federation

"Steering Committee members are expected to represent the community needs in their decision making."

  • No labels