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From Benson Margulies <>
Subject Re: Identifying and removing inactive mentors
Date Sun, 24 Mar 2013 19:27:20 GMT
Given some other arguments going on around here, I think that I am shortly
going to have to start suppressing my own opinions and focus on neutral
facilitation. However, I'm going to have a little fling on this topic,

I think that it is a mistake to emphasize the idea that roles convey honor
and distinction and that, on the other hand, removal of roles conveys
dishonor and disrespect. Obviously, there are disrespectful ways to handle
anything, but that is not, in my view, a reason to never remove anyone from
any list. I think that listing a person in a role should mean, first and
foremost, that the person is, in fact, performing the role.

I submit to you all that we list specific individuals as mentors for a
reason. Otherwise, we'd just view it as the collective job of the IPMC to
'mentor' all of the podlings.

Having the mentor listing reflect the realistic time-commitment of the
people on it serves several good purposes, in my opinion. (1) it makes it
clear to everyone when a project needs more mentor help. (2) it makes it
clear to people inside and outside the podling where to go in case of need.
(3) It gives credit where credit is due to people who devote real time and

We all know that, as volunteers, our effort levels will wax and wane. So
pushing people when they are inactive for a month is probably

On the other hand, I'll note that we seem to be succeeding in reducing the
average length of incubation, so once someone has left the scene for a few
months, they are at risk of irrelevance.

I would offer a compromise process. If someone does not even sign off the
report for two or three months running, send an email to that person,
copying general@, asking, politely, if they wish to remain a mentor.

In spite of my remarks above, if someone prefers to remain on the list in
spite of their lack of time to do much of anything, I don't mind leaving
them there. It is my belief that, 99% of the time, an email reminder will
either result in activity or an agreement to be removed from the list, so I
see no reason to have an agonizing email thread about the very unlikely
case in which it might be appropriate to remove someone against his or her

In any case, the most important thing to do with the mentor activity
evidence is to discover podlings that need more assistance and try to find
it. In this respect I do agree with Ross, even though the above disagrees
with him other respects.

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