[AUUG-Talk]: AUUG2007 speakers

Adrian Close adrian at auug.org.au
Thu Feb 8 02:16:55 EST 2007

On Wed, 7 Feb 2007, David Newall wrote:

> People have left AUUG because it offers insufficient value, and this is just 
> fine with the president.  What a sad state of affairs.

Please don't misrepresent what I said.  People have left AUUG because it 
offered insufficient value to _them_.  In our relatively free society, 
this is their right.  I do regret that they didn't want to stay, but I'm 
not going to spend my life agonising over it.  I'd rather focus on what we 
can do with the resources we have.  We did discuss this in some detail at 
the AGM - it's a shame you weren't there to participate.

> commended for his generosity of time on behalf of AUUG's members, but I think 
> he's wasting that effort when he could be giving it for a greater good, to

Please don't presume to tell me what I should do with my time.  I do not 
believe there is an equivalent organisation to AUUG.  Some overlapping 
ones, sure, but not an equivalent.  Hence my continued involvement with 
the organisation and a desire to run a successful AUUG2007.  I'm pretty 
sure I'm not the only one.

> It used to give a student prize (the John Lions Award.)

This needs someone to co-ordinate.  Are you volunteering?  In any case, it 
may be that this one is actually a victim of a changed academic 

> It used to publish a newsletter containing original content.

This needs both original content and someone to edit it.  We'd love to do 
this, but we don't have the resources.  As I've mentioned to you before, 
AUUG is a volunteer organisation.  I would certainly not stand in the way 
of anyone who wanted to take up the reins of AUUGN.

Meanwhile, what we _can_ do is run a conference.

> Now it spends its bankroll whilst dreaming of the past.

We're not dreaming of the past - we're planning a _future_ conference. 
And we're not actually spending all that much.  Certainly we took a hit on 
AUUG2006, but as I'm sure has been explained, it turned out to a better 
idea to run the conference than to cancel it, fiscally and otherwise.

> It's most unlikely that AUUG will ever again be what it once was.  What 
> remains of value is its name, history and bank balance.  The most useful 
> thing that can be done with these is give them to a deserving organisation.

I don't think anyone really wants AUUG to be what it once was.  Things 
evolve, and as I keep saying, we're trying to do something useful with the 
resources we do have in the changed and changing environment in which we 
exist.  I do not believe the greater good is served by giving away the 
financial resources.

If the members (financial or otherwise) do seriously believe that the 
organisation should be wound up and monies distributed charitably then I 
encourage them to speak up now (we even have a procedure for voting on 
this stuff).  But this certainly was not the view put forward by the 
attendees at the AGM so I think we're honour-bound to continue planning 
the conference.

You're welcome to be a part of the conference.  If you don't want to be, I 
respectfully request that you let those that do get on with the job 
instead of sidetracking us with talk of dismemberment.


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