[AUUG-Talk]: Re: AUUG: Time to pull the plug?

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Thu Sep 14 14:44:51 EST 2006

Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote on 14/9/06 11:52 AM:

I was a founding member. It'd be nice to see AUUG continue, but since
2000 it's not been a well puppy.

I've had on-going issues with the board since 2002/3 - *everything* I've
emailed has been black-holed. Promises of "we'll get back to you" have
never been kept...

I've posted some positive suggestions for new, scalable "continuing
format" meetings based on the SANS proven "What Works" idea - and been
told "close but no banana"...

Last year when I heard Liz had quit, I offered my services as paid
admin, *cheaply*.  Months later I followed up on the non-reply. Got yet
another "we'll get back to you"... Still no answer or acknowledgement.
18 months on, I'm no longer interested.
Perhaps there is a retired or under-employed member who might take on
this role?

Last year I drove to the conf. in Sydney just for the AGM.
Nothing the (then) committee said gave me any confidence that:
 - I'd ever get responses to emails
 - any real change would happen.

I've talked with Steve Landers on and off for some years.
He's capable and a competent business admin and focussed on rebuilding AUUG.

I just don't see any results.... Yes - there is a new AUUG portal.

I decided last year to not renew at 30/6 this year.
But have yet to notice an invoice or reminder...

And in 2000 I kicked off the John Lions Chair appeal at UNSW.
It's up to $1.6M thanks in large part to Qualcomm, Greg Rose, Gernot
Heisner, John O'Brien and Chris Maltby.  It's not enough to permanently
fund a Chair - but enough is there for 10+ years, so the intention is to
appoint someone Real Soon Now (since end 2005, in fact).

> My questions at the moment:
> - Do enough members think that it's time to dissolve AUUG?

That's too harsh. Put some numbers on it. Such as:
- If the money in kitty drops below $50,000, or
- if membership numbers stay static (+/- 1%) for 3-4 consecutive years,
- if the conference fails 2 years in a row

But you don't ask: "What are AUUG's Aims?"
=> We've promoted Unix and it's done really well.
   That would seem to be "Mission Accomplished"
   The directions I've seen from the new board(s) haven't included
   a public discussion of this AFAIK.

> - How many members do we have?

Didn't come up at the AGM last year.
At the Melbourne AGM, it was about 200 - IIRC.

The really pertinent questions about members are:
 - How many *new* members?    [Are the old guard being replaced?]
 - How many *student* members?
 - Average age, avg. yrs membership and their trend-lines...

Other appropriate "org. health" figures are:
 - Total Turn-over + yearly trend
 - Conference income/profit + yearly trend.

> - How do we know who the members are?  At this stage, I'd say that the
>   only proof is a receipt for payment of membership fees.

That would be covered in the constitution as "financial members".
Seemingly not billing members is an administrative oversight.

> - If we dissolve AUUG, what do we do with the funds?  I can see a
>   number of possibilities:
>   - AUUG should merge with Linux Australia.  I think it's pretty clear
>     that Linux Australia is conceptually the successor organization.
>     The problem I have (and that LA shares) is that there's no place
>     there for users of proprietary UNIX.
>   - Donate all the funds to the John Lions chair of computer science
>     at UNSW.

The UNSW Chair could use the money well.
Linux Australia is *linux* not Unix. Not a good match of aims.

> Greg
> --
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Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://www.canb.auug.org.au/~sjenkin

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