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From Julian Hyde <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Rotating the PMC Chair
Date Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:38:54 GMT
Feb 17 as a term end date sounds good.

We don’t necessarily have to wait until Feb 17. If we want to move on this sooner, the next
Chair could serve a slightly longer term, ending on Feb 17 2022.

> On Sep 29, 2020, at 11:25 AM, Wes McKinney <> wrote:
> This sounds reasonable to me. We are approaching our 5 year
> anniversary as an Apache project (on February 17, 2021) and I have
> thought that it would make sense to rotate PMC chairs at some point,
> but making it an annual thing makes things even simpler.
> For what it's worth, in this project the PMC chair (Jacques) has
> mainly only had to exercise the unique responsibilities of the role in
> the submission of board reports and in giving PMC karma to new PMC
> members. There have been a handful of instances where the PMC has
> engaged with the board beyond our routine reports over certain
> matters, but overall IMHO we've had a generally healthy dynamic in our
> governance.
> On Tue, Sep 29, 2020 at 2:12 AM Julian Hyde <> wrote:
>> There has been some discussion in the Arrow PMC about rotating the PMC
>> Chair (also known as the project VP) every year. I wanted to raise the
>> topic here for discussion among Arrow committers and within the
>> broader Arrow community.
>> Quite a few Apache projects have adopted a policy where they choose a
>> new Chair on a regular basis. This has several advantages. First, it
>> helps avoid the perception that the project has a BDFL [1]. Second, it
>> broadens the skills of the people in the project, exposing them to the
>> workings of the Apache Board. Third, it can drive cultural change in
>> the project, because different leaders have different styles.
>> To be clear, a PMC Chair has very little actual power. Their main role
>> is to keep the Board informed, by submitting quarterly reports.
>> Decisions are made by the PMC, and the Chair's vote has no more power
>> than any other vote. But the perception is that the Chair speaks with
>> authority and sets the agenda, and perception tends to become reality.
>> In Calcite, for example, we have adopted a policy (without writing it
>> down as bylaws) where we choose a new Chair around the project's
>> anniversary, in October every year. Around the same time, the Chair
>> starts a “State of the Project" discussion thread where we discuss the
>> challenges and opportunities for the project. It has worked extremely
>> well. We now have 5 current and former chairs, all of whom are active
>> in the project, and all of whom can speak authoritatively for the
>> project as "Former PMC chair, Apache Calcite”.
>> I think such a scheme would be of benefit to Arrow. What do you all think?
>> Julian
>> [1]

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