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Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:23 pm
by ShariCarnahan
Thank you so much kisaac for acknowledging that sisters have abilities with technology. I am the ward website administrator and also help members in our ward and stake(brothers and sisters) with all types of technology. Were that a ward clerk calling I would not be able to do this as a calling.

I am perfectly capable of setting up networks, fixing computers, instructing members in use of computers, etc., I enjoy serving people in the ward in this capacity. If "technology" is put in as a Clerk position, essentially all women are shut out of being able to do this service.

So is setting up a projector or preparing a video conference a male only task? I don't see how gender at all implies this ability and we lose the opportunity for such service for able members to contribute.

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:30 pm
by KenRichins
I think there is ample room for BOTH. IF the Ward Clerk where the CTO then he could have a Sister serve as Ward Website Administrator. This would allow the Clerk or Assistant Clerk access to the confidential data that only a clerk should access and allow Sisters to serve as Web Administrators to provide the needed assistance with the many other duties and responsibilities of the technology in a ward functioning properly and also giving needed assistance to the members in the ward with their technology challenges. At the Stake the Stake Web Administrator serves under the Stake Clerk, so I thiink it only natural the at the ward level the same would be true. This would give us greater access to the many talents available to these sisters that otherwise would be unavailable to us.

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:40 am
by nutterb
What exactly is the problem with giving a sister access to confidential data? We give sisters access to MLS with organizational rights already, which is all the ward website administrator or chief technology officer would need. I don't see why having access to financial or temple recommend information would be essential to technology or website administration.

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:09 am
by aebrown
nutterb wrote:What exactly is the problem with giving a sister access to confidential data? We give sisters access to MLS with organizational rights already, which is all the ward website administrator or chief technology officer would need. I don't see why having access to financial or temple recommend information would be essential to technology or website administration.
It depends on the definition of "confidential"; there are certainly some aspects of membership information that are clearly restricted to only bishopric members and clerks, and thus will never be available to sisters. But you're certainly right that ward website administrators can provide great service with the access they are given by virtue of that calling, and it's not significantly different from organizational rights on MLS, at least not for purposes of this discussion.

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:50 am
by nutterb
aebrown wrote:It depends on the definition of "confidential"; there are certainly some aspects of membership information that are clearly restricted to only bishopric members and clerks, and thus will never be available to sisters. But you're certainly right that ward website administrators can provide great service with the access they are given by virtue of that calling, and it's not significantly different from organizational rights on MLS, at least not for purposes of this discussion.

Agreed. It seems to me the only information a ward website administrator or chief technology officer would need are the membership record number and the birth date. I know organizational rights give access to the birthdate, and I think it gives access to the membership number (I could be wrong about that). If that's all that is needed, then I don't see why the technology officer couldn't be a woman.

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:45 am
by eblood66
nutterb wrote:Agreed. It seems to me the only information a ward website administrator or chief technology officer would need are the membership record number and the birth date. I know organizational rights give access to the birthdate, and I think it gives access to the membership number (I could be wrong about that). If that's all that is needed, then I don't see why the technology officer couldn't be a woman.
Although Organizational rights in MLS do currently provide access to the MRN, the trend I'm seeing is to restrict access to the MRN to the bare minimum. So that may change. But I don't know why the website administrator needs access to MRNs. While members need the MRN to sign up for an LDS Account, they can obtain that from a clerk (or their temple recommend) before the website administrator helps them sign up. I don't know of any other time the MRN would be needed.

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:17 am
by aebrown
nutterb wrote:I don't see why the technology officer couldn't be a woman.

I know this thread introduced the term "technology officer" in the context of a ward, but I wish we would get away from that. I don't see how it helps to talk about a calling that doesn't exist, which implies a level of responsibility that such a person wouldn't (and in my opinion shouldn't) have. A ward website administrator, or one of the clerks, can certainly provide great assistance to members and leaders in the ward in the realm of technology. But it's much more of a service and support position than an executive managerial position, as is implied by the CTO name.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:15 am
by nutterb
aebrown wrote:I know this thread introduced the term "technology officer" in the context of a ward, but I wish we would get away from that. I don't see how it helps to talk about a calling that doesn't exist, which implies a level of responsibility that such a person wouldn't (and in my opinion shouldn't) have. A ward website administrator, or one of the clerks, can certainly provide great assistance to members and leaders in the ward in the realm of technology. But it's much more of a service and support position than an executive managerial position, as is implied by the CTO name.

You're right, and I"m sorry. That wasn't my intention. My feminist sensibilities got riled up when unnecessary gender requirements were thrown onto a non-existent calling. This isn't the right place for that crusade, however, and I probably could have stayed a little more focused. Apologies to all.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:27 pm
by kisaac
It is correct that the discussion originally started asking if a ward clerk was a WTO, but turned to a more general question of if the ward clerks (or assistants) have a responsibility over technology.

I agree that "officially" it resides at the stake with the stake assistant clerk called to that position.

However, on the ward level, while a Ward Technology Specialist calling doesn't exist as a "standard" calling, it does exist in practice, as this thread attests. In some cases, this is by actual "custom" calling designation, in others maybe more as a line item job description of another calling, like the Ward Website admin or a clerk. I think the discussion is valid as more units might be seeking such a position.

In my perspective, (and mine only- no Handbook references!) which I hinted at earlier, if you make a clerk or assistant clerk a WTO:[INDENT]
  1. You will tie it to a priesthood calling, excluding sisters AND those who don't hold the priesthood, or who are not yet baptized.
  2. You will tie it to an extended "bishopric" calling, which involves the stake in the calling process, and may also limit who is considered for the call on a ward level, or who is approved on the stake level.
  3. You are "allowing" them to have access to the data in the leadership section of LDS.org that is accessible by any "assistant clerk." While perhaps not "temple recommend" sensitive, I consider names, addresses, birthdays, callings, MRN, priesthood office and the like to be still sensitive if you personally haven't been given that knowledge by the member him/herself, or do not have a calling where you need that information. The clerk has always needed this information, and some assistant clerk duties need this information. Ward auxiliary leaders, including RS and primary, need some of this information and have access to it if granted by ward leaders through MLS user rights. This has everything to do with data security by limiting the hands and eyeballs that have access to it, and nothing to do with gender.
[/INDENT]A clerk-technology specialist call on a ward level may work great for some bishops. I'm simply advocating keeping it a matter of local choice, and pointing out some pros and cons that all could discuss if, or when, the topic comes up. This gives leaders far more flexibility in investigating the alternatives suggested, like callings under the Library, with Sunday School presidency oversight, or the Ward Website Admin, with Bishopric (counselor,clerk or exec secretary) oversight.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:44 pm
by russellhltn
kisaac wrote:A clerk-technology specialist call on a ward level may work great for some bishops. I'm simply advocating keeping it a matter of local choice, and pointing out some pros and cons that all could discuss if, or when, the topic comes up.
A major issue is that as far as access to see and change the information, the only calls that can do that is a member of the extended bishopric (including assistant clerks) and the ward website admin. And that last call has some limitations. A Tech Specialist without special powers is rather handicapped. If they're happy to work within those limits, then that's fine.