[Linux-aus] Converting Linux Australia's "Committee" to a "Board"

Glen Turner glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Fri Feb 16 14:07:10 UTC 2007

Bret Busby wrote:

> The correct title is CHAIRMAN. It has nothing to do with gender. The
> word uses the Latin root of the word man, for the action of doing, so
> the word chairman, simply means the person who chairs. It has nothing to
> do with the use of the word man to mean a person who is a male. Any
> decent book or training in meeting procedure, should reveal that.
> Perhaps, the members of the LInux Australia committe, should read an
> authoritative book on meeting procedure, to explain these things.

"Chair" is the term used in the Corporations Act, is the term
used by our own Commonwealth Parliament since Federation and its
usage dates from before "chairman".

Roberts Rules of Order Revised (1915), the classical meeting procedure
text (still in use by many US legislatures), suggests the position be
named Chairman or President, the holder being addressed as Mister Chairman,
Madame Chairman, Mister President, or Madame President.  It notes

  "In organized societies the constitution always prescribes the
   title, that of President being most common."

Since Linux Australia is an "organized society" rather than a
business, it seems to me that the "authoritative book on meeting
procedure" suggests we retain President.

I think Linux, and computing in general, has enough problems with gender
imbalance without going looking for any trouble.  Since Chair and President
are reasonable terms with long authoritative histories I suggest we use one
of those.


More information about the linux-aus mailing list