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PSF Fellow Recognition Program

Proposal editor: Nick Coghlan

Proposal status: Superseded

This proposal was superseded by a proposal to formally amend the bylaws to permit Fellow nominations by any PSF Member, and to delegate the task of reviewing nominations to a chartered Working Group rather than requiring a ballot of all voting Members:

That resolution was passed as part of the 2017 PSF Board elections, and more information on the PSF Fellow working group can be found here:

(DRAFT for discussion with full PSF Membership)

These are DRAFT nomination guidelines for new PSF Fellows, as described in the PSF Bylaws:

Approval process for these guidelines

After an initial review by the board, these draft guidelines are currently posted for discussion with the full PSF membership as described in PythonSoftwareFoundation/ProposalsForDiscussion/StrategicDecisionMakingProcess. They will be amended as appropriate based on that discussion, and then placed before the Board for formal ratification through the Board resolution process.

The precise mechanics for submitting nominations or requesting formal letters of recognition are currently still TBD, but it is likely that Google Forms will be used as an interim solution until the capability is available as part of the web service. (This would be similar to the approach recently introduced for self-nomination as a Contributing or Managing Member)

The current list of nominated members should also be republished as a public list of PSF Fellows. This serves not only as public recognition of the contributions of these members to the Python community (albeit, and unfortunately, without the public statements of recognition included as part of the revised nomination process), but also as a public record of the individuals that are already eligible to sponsor new candidates for PSF Fellowship.

As suggested in the PSF Bylaws, it is considered desirable to eventually establish a working group specifically tasked with seeking out, contacting and nominating new candidates for recognition as PSF Fellows, rather than relying solely on individual nominations by existing PSF Fellows. For example, it may make sense to conduct such activities as part of a larger "Recognition Programs" Working Group, and have that group also advise the Board on the design and execution of the PSF Community Service Awards, the PSF Lifetime Achievement Awards and nominations for the Frank Willison Memorial Prize.

However, actually establishing such a working group is conditional on the availability of volunteers to define its scope, propose a Working Group Charter in accordance with the bylaws, establish its methods of operation, lead it, and participate in its deliberations, and is hence not a precondition for approving these nomination guidelines for use by individual PSF Fellows.

(DRAFT for discussion with full PSF Membership)

PSF Fellow Recognition Program

The PSF Fellow recognition program aims to explicitly acknowledge notable efforts of Python community members in contributing to, managing and growing the global Python community.

While anyone that identifies as a member of the global Python community is eligible to self-nominate as a PSF Contributing Member or Managing Member in accordance with the bylaws, this recognition program operates by allowing existing PSF Fellows to nominate new candidates for recognition, with these nominations then being subject to ratification by the full body of PSF Voting Members.

Nominating candidates for recognition as PSF Fellows

To nominate a candidate for recognition as a PSF Fellow, the following steps should be completed by the nominating Fellow:

  1. affirmatively ensure that the potential candidate is interested in recognition as a Python Software Foundation Fellow
  2. confirm the candidate has registered as a PSF Member
  3. work with the candidate to prepare a recognition statement for reference by Voting Members when voting on the recognition nomination
  4. submit the nomination to the PSF Board for inclusion in the next PSF Fellow recognition ballot

Nominations for recognition as a PSF Fellow should be based on one or more of the following criteria:

The following non-exhaustive list of significant contributions to the Python community and ecosystem may help make the above criteria less abstract and provide assistance in preparing a compelling recognition statement:

Recognition statements are typically expected to be short paragraphs summarising a community member's contributions, rather than in-depth essays providing full details of their efforts. Current PSF Fellow Fabio Pliger has granted permission for his statement of recognition to be used as the basis of illustrative examples in these guidelines, so a hypothetical nomination for Fabio's recognition as a PSF Fellow might look something like:

Recognising nominated candidates as PSF Fellows

At the direction of the PSF Board, a "PSF Fellow recognition ballot" will be prepared periodically and distributed for the consideration of the PSF Voting Members. This voting process is not intended to judge the value of the contributions of candidates for recognition directly, but rather how well those contributions are described in the recognition statement provided as part of the nomination process and how well that statement aligns with the guidelines for recognition as a PSF Fellow.

If a nomination for recognition is approved by 2/3rds of the eligible Voting Members (discounting failures to vote and abstentions), then the candidate will be formally recognised as a Fellow of the Python Software Foundation, explicitly thanking them for their significant contributions to the Python community.

Continuing the above illustrative example, Fabio's formal recognition statement has been formulated as follows:

On request, the Python Software Foundation will provide PSF Fellows with a signed letter affirming their statement of recognition. Letters of recognition may also be requested by PSF Fellows nominated as PSF Members under earlier versions of the PSF By-laws, in which case a suitable statement of recognition will be prepared based on that member's original nomination for PSF Membership, as in PSF Letter of Recognition - Fabio Pliger.pdf.

If a nomination for recognition is not approved by the eligible Voting Members, then the nominating Fellow should work with the candidate to determine appropriate next steps, which may include submitting an updated nomination for consideration in the next recognition ballot (if the issue is believed to be with the proposed recognition statement failing to adequately reflect current contributions), or identifying the candidate's preferred areas of continued contribution which may provide the basis for future recognition as a PSF Fellow.

Proposal Acknowledgements

(Note: these acknowledgements are a personal note from the proposal editor and will not form part of the final guidelines. They're included to provide additional context on the intended purpose of restructuring the previous PSF nominated membership program as a more public recognition program)

In addition to building on the structural framework established in the 2014 revision of the PSF Bylaws driven by Van Lindberg (current PSF Chairman) with the assistance of a number of other contributors, the specific drafting of these guidelines has been strongly influenced by the following recent posts on recognising community contributions:

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