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March 27, 2009 SGB Meeting - Best Practices Session

Walker (SGB ACM Council Representative) explained that when it comes to nominations, often times the current chair will appoint a chair of a nominating committee by looking around the SIG to see who is active. But to outsiders, it looks like people are choosing their friends. There are a few SIGs that have open nominations. A member also requested details of a SIG’s finances. Some members want to know about how their dues are spent. The required fund balance or the allocation to conferences, etc aren’t easy to explain but perhaps there could be some summary that leaders could give to the members on a regular basis. Walker asked the SGB to share their experiences in these areas.

Most SIGs don’t do open nominations or share finances. Walker invited those who do have open calls for nominations to tell the SGB how they manage this in a reasonable way.

The responses are as follows:

  • SIGACT – We just had an election this year, in fact, this is my last meeting. Appointed a nominating committee (myself included). We did an open nomination process through surveys using university resources.
  • SIGUCCS – no comment
  • SIGSIM – have completely open nominations.
  • SIGMICRO – show charts at business meetings for finances at conference, we help people understand.
  • SIGCAS – completely open nomination process – it’s flawed. Surprises me how many people nominate themselves or agree to be nominated, but don’t volunteer to do anything else otherwise. We receive nominations and have a committee that vets them.
  • SIGIR – put together board that people will vote on. Share financial information at annual meeting, but not in great detail
  • SIGDOC – has an open call for nominations
  • SIGSPATIAL – no election yet, just started
  • SIGPLAN – closed nominations – the past chair and current chair choose people to run because there is a fear that no one would run. We report financials at an open meeting once a year and post on the web.
  • SIGBED – committee for elections – publically announced, but first they ask around and have a rotating scheme. The one or two members that have experience get the chair.
  • SIGSAM – With one percent of the SIG membership, you can be added to the nominees the committee chooses. We show finances at the annual conference.
  • SIGMM – currently do it by letting the past chair of the EC nominate people. They go out and look at various conferences and see who is invested and selects nominees. We present finances at MM conference at lunch, and upload a published report on MM website.
  • SIGGRAPH – broken nominations process few years ago. It was closed and secretive. Now it’s open. Financials have been reported
  • SIGEVO – works through a nominating committee
  • SIGKDD – governing board of six people
  • SIGMOD – I appoint chair to nominating committee. The people who are involved most discuss first round of nominees, get more recommendations.
  • SIGWEB – closed process, single nominating chair finds 3 candidates and 1% rule. We are very hesitant to have completely open nominations because it is important that potential leaders understand the operations.
  • SIGAda – just like SIGWEB
  • SIGCSE – needs to be wider spread, financial reporting at business meeting with summary of financial state, not been putting it on the web, had previously been in the newsletter.
  • SIGMETRICS – like SIGSAM – one candidate per position, hard part is arm twisting people to run, full disclosure at meeting, nothing goes to members for finances. Considering stealing page in quarterly newsletter to report these
  • SIGMIS – past chair serves as chair of nominating committee. This year used another person. Finances at business meeting
  • SIGSAC – nominating committee
  • SIGSOFT – closed process, interested in opening a bit
  • SIGAPP – each candidate applied for certain positions, distributed those positions out. One position we had 3 candidates. We have pretty detailed discussion at business meeting. Fairly transparent
  • SIGCHI – with respect to financials, CHI has open policy – finances reviewed with committee. Past president chairs nominating committee. We typically get 2-3 candidates per position, they are both
  • SIGOPS – finances: dispose finances at business meetings, nominations: European chapter holding elections. Had a nominating committee and solicited open nominations from membership. WE received 0 from open call, not a single one
  • SIGMOBILE – closed nomination process – whether not enough people nominated, too many people nominated, didn’t want 4 or 5 people running, so we went with closed. Compromise of showing pie charts of numbers, no raw numbers