The first half of the minutes

8. Services

8a) GUM NCC

This NJE service, inherited from EARN, is now being wound down. All service will cease on 31 December 1997 and fees are no longer being collected. The surplus from previous years is being used to fund the wind-down which is being handled by Ulrich Giese of Nijmegen University.

8b) RIPE NCC Update

RIPE NCC continues to grow with a budget for 1997 of ECU 2M. There are now 24 employees working at RIPE NCC and this will probably increase to 30 by the end of the year. It is now much bigger than the rest of TERENA where the secretariat staff have had to devote increasing amounts of time to NCC affairs.
It is now felt that the time has come for an amicable separation and attention was drawn to the document within the notes detailing the proposed new structure for RIPE NCC as a separate, legal entity. This is not the first time that a service which started off in the bosom of TERENA or RARE has been set up as an independent organization (e.g. DANTE, Ebone).
Advantages of a separation were the disappearance of financial liabilities and the simplification of management structure. Disadvantages were the introduction of yet another player in the networking field and a reduction in the scope of TERENA's activities.

On balance it was felt that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. From experience though a separation is not easy to achieve and takes time. A small working group had been set up to investigate this and, with professional advice, they had produced the paper GA(97)017 now submitted to the GA. In a short discussion the GA expressed its support for the comments expressed in the document and gave approval to TERENA to proceed with preparations for the new legal structure of RIPE NCC, including the establishment of an association as proposed, and approaching the authorities. Decisions on financial consequences will be tabled at the next GA meeting and the new structure is planned to be operational by 1 January 1998.

New Action
A07 - 05 TERENA to proceed with preparations for the new legal structure of RIPE NCC as proposed in document GA(97)017 and to present the developed plans to the next GA meeting for formal approval.

9. Executive Committee Elections

9a) President
Nominations:
Stefano Trumpy nominated by Kees Neggers and seconded by Lajos Balint

There being no other nominations for President, the TERENA Treasurer asked that Stefano Trumpy be re-elected for a second term of office by acclamation and this received unanimous approval.

9b) VP Services
Nominations:
Kees Neggers nominated by Stefano Trumpy and seconded by Michael Walsh
Tomaz Kalin nominated by Peter Kaufmann and seconded by Jan Gruntorad

There being two nominees for the role of VP Services, a secret ballot was held with the task of counting the votes undertaken by Daniel Karrenberg and Steve Druck.
The result of the ballot was:
those in favour of Kees Neggers 52 votes
those in favour of Tomaz Kalin 35 votes
abstentions 5 votes

9c) VP Technical Programme
Nominations :
Brian Gilmore nominated by Agathoclis Stylianou and seconded by Kees Neggers
There being one candidate the President asked that Brian be re-elected for a second term of office by acclamation and this received unanimous approval.

D07 - 06 The General Assembly appointed Stefano Trumpy to serve as TERENA President.
D07 - 07 The General Assembly appointed Kees Neggers to serve TERENA Vice President, Services.
D07 - 08 The General Assembly appointed Brian Gilmore to serve as TERENA Vice President, Technical Programme.


10. Conferences & Workshops

10a) JENC8 early impressions

JENC8 attracted 420 participants from 45 countries including the NATO workshop participants. Early feed back, both verbal and from the questionnaires, is mostly very positive. Financially the conference will lose money though it was too early to provide meaningful figures. The strength of the pound and the lack of freely loaned computer equipment to the local organiser contribute to this. It also proved very difficult to attract sponsorship money and the impression was received that sponsorship fatigue is setting in amongst the companies traditionally associated with JENC. There are now many large commercial conference with delegate numbers in the thousands which appear more attractive for sponsors.

10b) NATO Workshops

TERENA, again this year, organised a NATO sponsored workshop in the week preceding JENC. The workshop, titled "Migrating towards a High speed Networking Service" was organised by PDO John Martin at UnivEd in Edinburgh with help from the Multi-media Communications Group of Glasgow University and staff of Bay Networks whose generosity in donating equipment and man power was very much appreciated.
The workshop had participants from 16 countries in Eastern and Central Europe with one further participant from the University of Bethlehem. Feedback from the participants was, in all but one case, extremely positive for which much is owed to John Martin.

TERENA staff visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels in February 1997 and continue to be in contact with the officials involved. NATO have strongly encouraged TERENA to submit proposals for further workshops.
A provisional schedule of three workshops has been devised by TERENA to take place during 1998 :
April 1998 Lower Layer/Infrastructure
May 1998 Management/ Policy
October 1998 Information Services/Web
Proposals for the first two will be submitted in September 1997 and the third will be submitted in January 1998. LITNET have already offered to host the first workshop and talks are in progress between TERENA and CEENet to collaborate in the organization of the second and possibly third workshops.

10c) Conference in 1998

TERENA made an agreement with ISOC not to hold a JENC conference in May of 1998 as INET98 is to be staged in Europe that year. Geneva has finally been selected to host INET98 which will take place in July of that year. TERENA is to hold anther type of conference in October of 1998 and DFN have kindly agreed to host the event which will take place in Dresden. Manfred Bogen has agreed to chair the Programme Committee; the conference name and format have yet to be decided.
Preparations have begun and Secretariat staff are to meet with representatives of DFN and Dresden University during July to arrange a venue and set out the basic details of the conference. At the end of JENC8 the participants were called upon to suggest a name for the 1998 conference.
A Conference chairman and committee are now to be sought.

The VP conferences is to write a document setting out a concept for future TERENA conferences and this will form part of the plans for Dresden. He put forward the view that JENC conferences are now falling between the old academic conference, held at a university venue with around 250 participants, and the large commercial conferences with more than a thousand delegates.

He felt that, to remain viable, future TERENA conferences should be set in this commercial setting aiming to attract a much wider audience and thereby attracting big sponsorship. It was acknowledged that this would not be easy with the current Secretariat staffing and that a full time conference professional would be required. It was however pointed out that TERENA did not have the budget to take on more conference staff. Many felt that TERENA's first obligation was to the academic and research community which it served and that it was not appropriate for TERENA to organize large commercial conferences which were less technically orientated. It was suggested that a strong programme was the key to attracting delegates. JENC8 may have lost money but it was the history of JENCs that some made a surplus and others a deficit. It was felt that the circumstances of Edinburgh were unique and it would be possible to have financially viable conferences in the current format in future years.

11. Forecast budget for 1998

A budget forecast for 1998 was presented to the meeting which showed a small reduction in expenditure from that anticipated in 1997. Unlike the past few years in which a negative budget had been approved, the income from membership fees had been increased in order to produce a balanced budget. To generate that level of income from membership contributions an increase of 16.7% would be required and a table indicating each member's fee was also presented.
It was pointed out that the figures presented were very much dependent on some of the TERENA membership improving their current payment behaviour. The treasurer reported that, with continued negative budgets and mounting bad debts of some of the members, TERENA finances could be in serious trouble in just a few years. It was also pointed out that the outlook for 1998 membership income did not include France and that their membership would contribute a substantial amount which would relieve the burden on the other members.

The Executive were urged to try and find someone in France interested in participating in TERENA. It was agreed that attempts would be made to get French interest in rejoining TERENA but a warning given that this may not happen in time to affect 1998 membership fees.

The Executive Committee, having expressed their concern about the effect of continued negative budgets on TERENA reserves, sought opinions from the General Assembly.
There was some support for the feeling that whilst a balanced budget was desirable, TERENA should seek external funding from bodies such as the European Commission. It was also suggested that if TERENA wished to increase membership fees to that extent value for money must be demonstrated with major projects and exciting ideas to sell TERENA membership as an attractive proposition. The new Executive Committee were called upon to take initiatives that begin to deliver perceptible improvements in value for money before the October GA meeting when the decisions will be made on 1998 fees.
There was some feeling expressed that it was time for TERENA to review the GNPs of member countries and thereby the category of membership applicable to each. It was pointed out that, whilst this is possible, some countries will be in higher categories and therefore pay more money.
There was some concern over the proposed increase and a warning that if fees increased by the proposed amount that some countries may have to resign as Israel had because of financial restrictions. The Bulgarian represented wished to have minuted his feeling that it was a dangerous move for TERENA to increase membership fees by the amount proposed.

New Actions
A07-06 Secretariat and Executive Committee to look into the possibilities of external funding in order to limit increases in the membership fees.
A07-07 Executive to continue to talk with French organisations who are potential TERENA members and to work towards the return of France to the TERENA community.
A07-08 Executive to review GNPs of member countries and make a proposal to the next GA meeting for possible changes to the categories of certain national members.

12. TERENA Secretariat Matters

The Secretary General gave a report on staffing within the secretariat and at RIPE NCC as per document PA(97)095.
An update was given on Peter Valkenburg who, since the notes had been made, had signed a new contract on the basis of 90% of a FTE where previously he had worked 82.25%.
The Executive Officer, Marieke Dekker, returns from a one year leave period on 15 July 1997. Fay Howard's contract as Interim Executive Officer ends on 1 September. The SG expressed regret at this and praised the contribution she has made to the organization and the long hours she has worked in recent months to keep the office functioning during difficult times.
Mina Janssen, the Personnel and Operations Officer, left TERENA on 1 April. As most of the personnel work relates to RIPE NCC, it was decided to create a position for a Personnel officer at RIPE NCC who will, in the short term, take on TERENA's personnel work. On the return of Marieke Dekker, tasks within the secretariat will be re-shuffled and may accommodate the TERENA personnel function.
TERENA is still looking for a part time IT support and efforts to find a suitable candidate continue.

RIPE NCC structure remains the same with Daniel Karrenberg as manager with three units headed by Paul Ridley, Carol Orange and Mirjam Kühne.
They have created a new function of Scientific Programmer within the Engineering department and two people have been recruited at that level.
Three new network engineers and two further Hostmasters have been taken on since the last meeting.
RIPE NCC have recruited their own bookkeeper to take some of the heavy workload created for the TERENA bookkeeper by the rapid expansion of RIPE NCC. She is also beginning preparations for the financial split of RIPE NCC from TERENA.

An update was given on the matter of updating TERENA's Terms of Employment.
The lack of clear job descriptions, assessments of function and explicit remuneration criteria led to unrest amongst some of the staff. Outside consultants from KPMG were brought in during March and they have been charged with drafting clear job descriptions and advising on market conformant salaries for each function within the Secretariat and for the RIPE NCC Manager. The consultant has interviewed the staff as well as receiving input from management and is currently drafting job descriptions. First drafts are expected soon and, will be passed to the staff members concerned for their agreement.

The task of fitting these jobs to a newly created salary scale then begins and will be reported on at the next GA meeting.
The question was raised about the intentions of the SG if the salary of an individual was found to be much higher or lower than that of the band advised by the consultants based on market rates. He reported that if the salary of any individual was much lower than the market rate TERENA would have to takes steps to bring it into line.

If an employee's salary proves to be much higher than the recommended salary band however, it is not possible to simply reduce it without their consent and other options will be investigated such as freezing the salary. Whilst this exercise may be costly in the first instance, the benefits will be felt later and as new employees are recruited at appropriate salary scales.

13. Possible TERENA Reports on Issues of Common Interest

It was agreed that this item had been covered during other items of the agenda and that the CTO's plan to make enquiries of the national networks with regard to their technical programme and budget will bring forward the necessary information.

14. Liaison

CCIRN
The 1997 meeting of the CCIRN will take place in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 28 June 1997 and will be organised by the European Co-Chair, Kees Neggers. Members of the G7 project, GIBN (Global Interoperability of Broadband Networks), will also attend to discuss areas of common interest and it is hoped that agreement can be reached on a more formal co-operation between the two bodies. On 28 June an executive meeting of the CCIRN co-chairs and the GIBN representatives has been arranged. TERENA is mandated to nominate European attendees of the CCIRN and the General Assembly were advised that it was still possible to attend, if interested. The European delegation so far will probably include representation from Italy, Switzerland, DANTE and TERENA staff with the EU represented as an "8th GIBN country".

Four working group meetings will also take place on 23 June in respect of Performance measurements, Caching Hierarchy, MBONE and Internet Security. The European delegation for these meetings will be led by John Dyer and representatives are sought amongst those intending to go to Kuala Lumpur for the 1997 INET. It was pointed out that TERENA cannot pay expenses for attending these meetings other than for TERENA staff.

UNESCO
It was reported that Stefano Trumpy and John Dyer had recently participated in a RAITNET conference in Tunisia. RAITNET is the newly established Regional Arab Information Technology Network. UNESCO are getting more interested in TERENA as a provider of workshops etc. but do not have much money to fund such events. It was suggested that the possibility of TERENA staging a workshop with UNESCO at the next RAITNET meeting could be investigated. The GA approved the President's proposal that TERENA apply for observer status in RAITNET.

D07 - 09 The General Assembly approved the proposal that TERENA apply for observer status in RAITNET.

15. Next meetings

GA8 will be hosted by RedIRIS and take place in Madrid on 23/24 October 1997. Manuel Rincon of RedIRIS reported that plans were well underway for the meeting. A venue is still sought for the 9th GA meeting of Spring 1998. A suggestion was made that it might be possible to combine the event with the NATO workshop which TERENA are staging in respect of managerial and policy aspects of running a national network. It was proposed that the workshop be held in Moscow and the Secretariat are to investigate this suggestion further.

GA10 will be hosted by DFN and take place in Dresden, October 1998 following on from the 1998 TERENA conference to be held there at that time.

New Action
A07 - 09 TERENA Secretariat to investigate further the possibility of holding GA9 in Moscow to co-incide with a proposed NATO workshop.

16. Any Other Business

None

Decisions of the 7th General Assembly

D07 - 01 The General Assembly approved the final draft minutes of the 6th TERENA General Assembly meeting, GA(96)033, without change. D07 - 02 The GA unanimously approved the change of national member for Turkey to ULAKBIM.
D07 - 03 The GA unanimously approved the acceptance of LATNET's application to join TERENA as the national member for Latvia who will have one vote and pay one fee unit per year membership fee.
D07 - 04 The General Assembly, by a clear majority, decided not to allow IIUCC Associate member status from 1/1/97.
D07 - 05 The General Assembly adopted the 1996 accounts.
D07 - 06 The General Assembly appointed Stefano Trumpy to serve as TERENA President.
D07 - 07 The General Assembly appointed Kees Neggers to serve TERENA Vice President, Services.
D07 - 08 The General Assembly appointed Brian Gilmore to serve as TERENA Vice President, Technical Programme.
D07 - 09 The General Assembly approved the proposal that TERENA apply for observer status in RAITNET.

Actions following 7th General Assembly

A07-01 The SG, together with DANTE, to complete the document being drafted reacting to the Commission's proposal for the Vth Framework Programme of the EU.
A07-02 Steve Druck to inform the Executive of IIUCC's decision regarding national membership of TERENA following the decision not to grant Associate membership.
A07-03 The Secretariat is to keep the General Assembly informed of the outcome of ongoing discussions with the Dutch tax authorities concerning TERENA's VAT status.
A07-04 CTO to carry out a survey of TERENA members to ascertain the true level of funding which might be available for TERENA wide projects and common areas of development.
A07-05 TERENA to proceed with preparations for the new legal structure of RIPE NCC as proposed in document GA(97)017 and to present the developed plans to the next GA meeting for formal approval.
A07-06 Secretariat and Executive Committee to look into the possibilities of external funding in order to limit increases in the membership fees.
A07-07 Executive to continue to talk with French organisations who are potential TERENA members and to work towards the return of France to the TERENA community.
A07-08 Executive to review GNP's of member countries and make a proposal to the next GA meeting for possible changes to the categories of certain national members.
A07-09 TERENA Secretariat to investigate further the possibility of holding GA9 in Moscow to co-incide with a proposed NATO workshop.