Minutes of the SIG Governing Board Meeting August 13, 2005 Newark, New Jersey

Welcome, Introductions and Voting Review

Konston and Walker welcomed the SGB leaders, introductions were made and the meeting was opened at 9:00 am. Konstan announced that many of the leaders were new to the SGB and he reviewed voting practices.

Report from the CEO (White)

John White discussed the general state of ACM. Overall membership has increased for the third straight year. ACM's Market Research initiative provided valuable information regarding ACM and its products and services. Practitioners and Managers make up 61% of the membership while Researchers and Academics/Educators make up the approximately 32%. Conference satisfaction received the highest rating within the Member Satisfaction Survey.

The 2005 Fiscal Year ended with a healthy balance with the SIG area netting $844K. The Digital Library Distribution to the SIGs is $1.2 and expected to be $1.4 in FY'06. As always, Membership and financial performance continue to be a priority for the ACM. A Professions Board was created to begin research on new products and services for professionals. White indicated that Steve Bourne, the Chair of the newly established board would be providing an outline of activities later in the day.

White discussed initiatives and indicated that ACM was enhancing current membership offerings such as Queue Magazine, PD courses and the books program. Another new initiative taking place is the designation of two new member grades: Senior Member and Distinguished Member (which would be just below the "ACM Fellow" status). Additionally, ACM is considering a lifetime membership offering which would allow interested members to pay a pro-rated membership fee.

ACM is participating in a year long effort to assess the globalization of IT with a job migration study. ACM continues to be actively engaged in shaping public policy and improving the issue of the public's declining interest in IT.

ACM's Educational Activities include it's involvement with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) which was introduced in January 2005. With the current membership at 2,500, the goal is to create a national voice for computer educators on the high school level. In the past six months, fundraising has been successful and a strategic plan has been adopted.

ACM is looking to increase it's visibility in countries such as India, China, Russia and Latin America. By continuing its multi-year brand awareness initiative, ACM and its members have and will continue to advance computing as a science as well as a profession in these countries. We need to enhance our skills, broaden our community and promote our perspectives.


ACM History Committee (White and Mahoney)

The ACM History Committee was developed in July 2004 with the goal of fostering and preserving the history of ACM and its role in the development of computing. ACM has reached a point where there are very few people around now who were with ACM at the beginning. The intention of the committee is to collect information from ACM conferences, speakers, presidents, Turing award winners, staff members and others. The SIGs can help by continuing to maintain consistent record keeping which include: Program Committee, Keynotes, schedule and session chairs, acceptance rates, etc� The development of an ACM History Website will allow the committee to link historical information and SIG activities. By learning more about the first 50+ years of ACM we can gain insight into the future of ACM as well as the area of computing.

SIG leaders were encouraged to begin efforts like HOPL (History of Programming Languages) in their specialties.


IFIP (White)

The International Federation for Information Processing (aka IFIP) is a non governmental, non profit umbrella organization for national societies working in the field of information processing. Within IFIP there are a number of technical committees as well as standing committee. By becoming a member of IFIP (about 5 years ago), ACM has allowed its SIGs the opportunity to appoint representatives to the various IFIP committees and working groups. White asked the SGB about their activities and interaction with IFIP. Many of the SGB leaders present were new to their leadership positions and could not provide feedback. White encouraged all of the SIGs to review the IFIP areas of computing to take advantage of the opportunities having a representative allowed.


SIG Program Reviews

SIGAPP (Bryant)

Since the last viability, SIGAPP has seen an increase in its affiliate and student memberships which bring the SIG to a total of 334 members. The SIG's fund balance has also increased by almost 60% each year for the past 3 years. Likewise the APP conferences have also increased in attendance including a dramatic 67% increase in paper submissions (since 2002). The SIG's newsletter was terminated in 2002 after SIGAPP became a conference-only SIG. Since then, members have indicated a desire for a refereed publication (ie ACM Transactions on Applied Computing). Because of the healthy fund balance, the SIG is considering the possibility of providing conference proceedings (on CD) to its membership.

Motion: The SGB finds SIGAPP viable and will continue its status for the next 4 years. 
Motion proposed by the SGB EC and unanimously passed by the SGB.


SIGOPS (Marzullo)

Since the last viability, SIGOPS has seen a slight decline in its membership however it is still fairly stable. The fund balance is also stable and the SIG leaders have expressed their interest in using some of that money to help fund a new chapter within their area. Operating Systems Review, the SIGOPS newsletter, has produced sub par issues. The problem is due to the amount of papers being submitted that are not relevant to Operating Systems. For now, the SIG is planning on moving forward with the newsletter but will rethink the long term roles and objectives. Perhaps the newsletter could reflect a more referred style publication or possibly simply announce conferences and events. In March 2005, the European SIGOPS Chapter was created. In addition to promoting information via a website and other publications, the chapter will work closely with SIGOPS on activities such as lectures, professional development seminars and technical briefing

Motion: The SGB finds SIGOPS viable and will continue its status for the next 4 years. 
Motion proposed by the SGB EC and unanimously passed by the SGB.


Professions Board Update (Bourne)

The Professions Board was established to help provide more service to those members who are developers, IT specialists and managers. The board will focus on products and services that support technical development in that field. The first meeting was held in June where discussions were very productive. An infrastructure was established to evaluate and support: the creation and development of chapters, opportunities for support and cooperation between different communities, best practices etc� A marketing plan has been developed to promote ACM as a source of information for the computing profession.

The Board will look at ethics and professional standards as well as privacy and security throughout all aspects of IT. Future goals for the professions board include: reviewing current ACM products and services for professionals, reviewing best practices and wiki ratings, identifying partnerships and evaluating the marketing and messaging efforts that are already underway.


ACM Board Reports

Council Update (Walker)

Walker reported that ACM held an offsite Council Retreat in April. Much of the focus revolved around the creation of the Professions Board. He explained that the MSB charter will be modified to accommodate this new board. The board will look at the creation of new membership grades, models and awards to better recognize the professional member. New membership grades may consist of a "Senior" member which is based on length of membership as well as professional experience. One other possible category is the "Distinguished Member-Scientist or Engineer". Finally there is also the possibility of a Lifetime membership option. This option would allow members to pay one fee for their respective membership options. The new membership grades and pricing are currently being discussed by ACM headquarters with the intention of being proposed to ACM Council sometime in the near future.


Membership (Konstan)

The Member Services Board (MSB) oversees membership services. This includes a lot of different areas such as member benefits, marketing, chapters and services associated with chapters. By meeting and discussing student membership, ACM is taking a hands-on approach to redefine the issues behind student retention. The Chapters area is being evaluated with the goal of increasing between ACM and the chapters. They are considering having chapter leaders take part in an orientation similarly to that of the SIG orientations held every few years. They would bring in 20-25 rising chapter leaders and spend a day reviewing ACM, budgets, staffing and providing a better understanding of their options as part or the organization. The MSB is also involved in the redesign of the ACM website.


SIG Program Reviews (continued)


SIGMOBILE has seen an increase in its membership and a steady retention rate. While the SIG's finances are strong and growing they are currently below the required fund balance. The SIG attributes this lapse to a severe conference loss in 2002 as well as the recently increased fund balance requirements by the SGB. The SIG credits the increasing fund balance to its healthy conferences and solid member benefits. MC2R, the SIGMOBILE newsletter is a high quality publication similar to a journal in that its papers are peer reviewed (double blind). SIGMOBILE also provides a monthly email newsletter that includes announcements and pointers to news articles, calendar of events etc..

Konstan explained that the SGB EC was happy to see SIGMOBILE doing so well. There is some concern about the fund balance being below requirements but it's clear that the new leadership is doing a great job and the SGB EC is glad to see their participation in the SGB meeting.

Motion: The SGB finds SIGMOBILE viable and will continue its status for the next 2 years. 
Motion proposed by the SGB EC and unanimously passed by the SGB.



SIGUCCS is a group of IT professionals who support and manage IT services in the university setting. The membership has increased steadily over the past few years and the fund balance exceeds the required amount by more than $100K. UCCS hosts 2 main conferences each year: SIGUCCS is held in the fall and CSMS is held in the spring. Member benefits include a CD of the sponsored conference proceedings. The new leadership's focus for the future includes striving for a closer relationship between the conference treasurer and the SIG leadership (mainly the SIG treasurer). Additionally the leaders would like to increase the marketing and vendor relationships as well as contracted services for the conferences (ie meeting coordinators and registration management).

Motion: The SGB finds SIGUCCS viable and will continue its status for the next 4 years. 
Motion proposed by the SGB EC and unanimously passed by the SGB.

SIGWEB (Nuernberg)

SIGWEB was founded 15 years ago under the original name: SIGLINK. The Members, academics, professionals and writers stem from a variety of different backgrounds such as computer science, literary studies, library studies etc� SIGWEB currently co-sponsors a number of different conferences including HT, JCDL, DocEng and ICSOC. The membership has shown a significant drop through 2004 but has somewhat stabilized. To alleviate the decline in membership and conference finances, the SIG is looking into the possibility of CD-only proceedings for its conferences. Additionally, the SIG is planning to take a more active role in the conference steering committees.

Motion: The SGB finds SIGWEB viable and will continue its status for the next 4 years. 
Motion proposed by the SGB EC and unanimously passed by the SGB.


Classic Book Series for the Digital Library (Patterson)

Patterson indicated that young researchers today are much better read than they were a decade ago. They use search engines like the ACM DL to read classic papers of CS. Patterson suggested a campaign, whereby ACM annually places 20 "classic" computer science books online. The possible books would be classics in CS but are no longer in print and no longer available though normal venues. To help promote this campaign, the SIGs need to suggest their favorites. A wiki can be created where individuals can post their favorites and others can leave reviews and comments. Advertising for this promotion can/should be done via SIG newsletters, CACM, etc. The SGB leadership was very enthusiastic about this idea, provided positive feedback and even began making title suggestions.


Best Practices Session - Focus on Volunteer Development

The best practices session focused on volunteer development; how to improve and/or retain volunteers within the SIG community. Many of the SIGs represented indicated that their support for the student level involvement is what helps carry them through their professional volunteer involvement. SIGDA hosts a University Booth at its flagship conference each year. This booth is not only well publicized but frequented by both students and professors.

SIGCHI offers student volunteer programs where it is fairly easy to 'get your foot in the door' and ultimately move up the latter within the SIG. Similarly, many SIGs have determined that more volunteer opportunities occur within the conferences and from there, additional SIG activity is achieved.

In an effort to recruit additional members/volunteers, SIGADA utilizes a 'traveling' booth that goes to non Ada conferences.

SIGMOBILE and SIGSAM use poster and program committees as stepping stones to bigger and more involved positions.

Members of SIGMOBILE's program committee are often selected based on previous papers they written/submitted.


ACM Board Reports (continued)

Education (Report Only)

Walker indicated that he was attempting to strengthen the ties between the SGB and the Ed Board. The SGB already works closely with the Publications Board and the MSB. He plans to invite the Education Board Chair to the next SGB meeting to provide an update of their activities. The Education Board is working on some great projects and it's important for the SIGs to be made aware of them to better serve their members. The SIGCSE and SIGITE leadership indicated that they are already involved in Education Board activities and agreed that it was important to make the other SIGs aware of what is happening in that area.


Publications (Marzullo)

The Publications Board is currently developing a policy to help combat plagiarism. Over the past 2-3 years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of plagiarism claims involving ACM publications. This policy will also address the issue of self-plagiarism as well as procedures for handling claims, and punishments for those being found guilty. SGB leaders were glad to see ACM looking at plagiarism issues and encouraged Marzullo to let the publications board know that the SGB believed that policies needed to be developed quickly.

Other issues being discussed amongst the Pubs Board include new journals. While this helps broaden ACM's visibility and also provides new content for the digital library; some are worried that the additional publications could 'water down' the quality of existing journals etc. The Pubs Board needs to understand that people will not submit if they do not believe there is an obvious forum to publish in.

The Digital Library branding remains an important aspect of the work the board is doing. The creation of the distinction between ACM content and non-ACM content is in the works and will be finalized soon. Eventually, the level of refereeing for each article will also be shown within the DL. Future issues relating to the Pubs board include: reviewing copyright policies related to the distribution and use of software archived in the DL, and the creation of a CACM Task Force.


Athena Project (Proposal)

The Athena project was proposed by Susan Landau and Elaine Weyuker. The idea behind the Athena Lecture is honor women who have made fundamental contributions to computer science research. They would like ACM sponsored meetings to nominate potential speakers whereby if that speaker is chosen, she will give a one hour lecture at the ACM meeting which nominated her. Until an industry sponsor is found, ACM will cover travel expenses, honorarium and award for the winner which is estimated at about $4100. The Selection committee will consist of research computer scientists chosen by ACM-W. They will determine the winner based on a one page application outlining the nominee's contributions and professional experience. Possible publicity for the project includes a web page devoted to the Athena Lectures and well as a publicized write up of the talk in CACM.

The SGB leadership thought this to be a good idea but were concerned that from the point of view of the conferences there were some logistic issues. To select a speaker there's a given time of year and the cycle could be off. To propose someone, you need to talk to them, get their availability and then if they don't win; conference leaders have a commitment they may not be able to honor (travel and honoraria). It was suggested that ACM - W consider the program at the SIG level rather than the conference level. That would allow a SIG to propose a nominee and the winner could then select a conference sponsored by that SIG in the upcoming year.

The SGB indicated that they might want to consider this becoming the Athena Lecturer for a year and going beyond the person giving a single talk.

Action: Jouppi and Baglio to discuss SGB concerns with ACM-W leadership regarding Athena Lecturer.