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Guest Loreen

After the Nominating Committee has reported it's slate, can committee members answer questions about why a particular candidate was or was not chosen or is that confidential forever?

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Debate on the qualifications of nominees is perfectly proper, in general.

I'll have to leave "particular details" up to the discretion of the participants in the debates.

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52 minutes ago, Guest Loreen said:

After the Nominating Committee has reported it's slate, can committee members answer questions about why a particular candidate was or was not chosen or is that confidential forever?

I agree with Dr. Stackpole that nominations are debatable but I don't think a Q&A between the assembly and the committee is proper.  If a member of the assembly thinks the committee should have nominated Jane instead of John, they should simply nominate Jane from the floor and tout her qualifications for office.

Edited by George Mervosh

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Am I imagining things or isn’t there a provision somewhere in RONR to the effect that details of committee deliberations should not be disclosed to the membership? I’m thinking the provision is in the book somewhere, but I am not able to find it at the moment.

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Guest Loreen

Maybe I will rephrase the question: The sitting president was not selected as the candidate for the next term. When the report of the slate is made to the board there may be questions about why she was not selected. Can the committee chair reveal specifics about why? Or simply say that our determination was that she was not the best candidate?

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5 minutes ago, Guest Loreen said:

Maybe I will rephrase the question: The sitting president was not selected as the candidate for the next term. When the report of the slate is made to the board there may be questions about why she was not selected. Can the committee chair reveal specifics about why? Or simply say that our determination was that she was not the best candidate?

No rule requires the committee to answer the question at all, and it should not.

11 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Am I imagining things or isn’t there a provision somewhere in RONR to the effect that details of committee deliberations should not be disclosed to the membership? I’m thinking the provision is in the book somewhere, but I am not able to find it at the moment.

"No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent. "  RONR (11th ed.), p. 528

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3 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

"No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent. "  RONR (11th ed.), p. 528

Thanks, George.  I knew it was in there somewhere. 

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I'll bet there might be an argument:  The fact that the committee didn't select the sitting president was most certainly "alluded to" as having occurred in the committee by virtue of the content of the report.  So it would seen a proper rhetorical question to ask "Why not?"  Whether an answer goes much beyond "Well, we didn't think he/she was the best person for the job" is up to whoever responds to the question.

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3 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

I'll bet there might be an argument:  The fact that the committee didn't select the sitting president was most certainly "alluded to" as having occurred in the committee by virtue of the content of the report.  So it would seen a proper rhetorical question to ask "Why not?"  Whether an answer goes much beyond "Well, we didn't think he/she was the best person for the job" is up to whoever responds to the question.

That rule appears to say that if the committee wanted their reasoning to be known, they would have put it into the report.  I don't see how, having chosen not to include it, they could thereafter go into any detail without alluding to their deliberations.

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2 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

That rule appears to say that if the committee wanted their reasoning to be known, they would have put it into the report.  I don't see how, having chosen not to include it, they could thereafter go into any detail without alluding to their deliberations.

I’m not looking at the book, but I believe the text says that the reasons can either be stated in the report or, with the unanimous consent of the committee, can be provided verbally. 
 

edited to add:  therefore, I believe the committee can grant advance authorization for the reporting member to elaborate upon the report. 

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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18 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

That rule appears to say that if the committee wanted their reasoning to be known, they would have put it into the report.  I don't see how, having chosen not to include it, they could thereafter go into any detail without alluding to their deliberations.

Well, the rule does say, pretty clearly, that by unanimous consent, the committee can consent to having its deliberations disclosed.    " No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent" .  Emphasis added.  I can envision situations where, say, a nominating committee does not go into its rationale in its report, but authorizes the chairman or reporting member to provide the rationale for a particular nomination if requested by a member of the assembly.  Nominating committee reports usually just provide a list of the nominees.

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Guest Zev

The thing that worries me about this thread is that if the committee reports some reason for not selecting a particular candidate and that reason includes some information of a personal nature, if such a report is delivered in an open assembly and non-members are present, then the information may unintentionally cause some damage to the candidate in another venue. Perhaps it would be prudent to deliver such reports in executive session to avoid any potential problem.

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4 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Well, the rule does say, pretty clearly, that by unanimous consent, the committee can consent to having its deliberations disclosed.    " No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent" .  Emphasis added.  I can envision situations where, say, a nominating committee does not go into its rationale in its report, but authorizes the chairman or reporting member to provide the rationale for a particular nomination if requested by a member of the assembly.  Nominating committee reports usually just provide a list of the nominees.

I think it would make more sense for the committee to put whatever information it wanted to convey into the report.  And I don't think the committee could authorize the reporting member to provide additional info except by unanimous consent.  They could include it the report by a majority.

Would it be limited to information on only one nomination?  Can this unanimous consent request be qualified that tightly?  And only if someone knew, or guessed, that the reporting member might provide info on deliberations if it were requested?  Someone familiar with RONR's rules probably would never ask.

You may be right as the rules apply, but it strikes me as kinda janky.

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On 11/8/2019 at 5:30 PM, jstackpo said:

I'll bet there might be an argument:  The fact that the committee didn't select the sitting president was most certainly "alluded to" as having occurred in the committee by virtue of the content of the report.  So it would seen a proper rhetorical question to ask "Why not?"  Whether an answer goes much beyond "Well, we didn't think he/she was the best person for the job" is up to whoever responds to the question.

The rule specifically and clearly states that “No one can make allusion in the assembly to what has occurred during the deliberations of the committee, however, unless it is by report of the committee or by unanimous consent.” If all that the report is stated who the nominees were (as is generally the case), the committee chairman cannot answer a question regarding the reasons behind this decision (unless there was unanimous consent), as this would violate the rule.

I suppose it would be fine to give a non-answer like “We didn’t think she was the best person for the job,” since it seems to me this does not allude to the committee’s deliberations.

I am also curious why the nominating committee is reporting to the board at all. Generally, the nominating committee reports directly to the membership.

21 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I’m not looking at the book, but I believe the text says that the reasons can either be stated in the report or, with the unanimous consent of the committee, can be provided verbally. 
 

edited to add:  therefore, I believe the committee can grant advance authorization for the reporting member to elaborate upon the report. 

Actually, I think it is somewhat unclear whether the “unanimous consent” in this rule refers to the committee or to the assembly. I have asked this question previously.

In other words, it is not entirely clear whether this rule is intended to protect the committee and its deliberations, or if it is intended to protect against wasting the assembly’s time.

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3 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

Actually, I think it is somewhat unclear whether the “unanimous consent” in this rule refers to the committee or to the assembly. I have asked this question previously.

I agree with Mr. Mervosh's reply to you back then (when he still called himself George instead of Bob) that it refers to the assembly.

The sentence refers to the events during the meeting of the assembly. The committee is not meeting at that time, so the unanimous consent must be that of the assembly's.

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:25 PM, Atul Kapur said:

I agree with Mr. Mervosh's reply to you back then (when he still called himself George instead of Bob) that it refers to the assembly.

The sentence refers to the events during the meeting of the assembly. The committee is not meeting at that time, so the unanimous consent must be that of the assembly's.

I think I get more answers correct as Bob, so I might stick with it.  :) 

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