Minutes of the January 11, 1999 SGB EC Conference Call

1) February Meeting Schedule and Agenda -

HQ Liaison Baglio indicated that invitations to participate in the February SIG Meetings were sent to the SGB, SGB EC, Board Chairs and Executive Staff. The SGB EC's invitation included information on the pre-board meeting to be held on Friday afternoon. The SGB was not formally invited but if members are in San Francisco and want to participate they may.

The agenda currently includes a 60 minute discussion on alternate SIG Models, a sharing session, program reviews for several SIGs; none of which have requested a postponement, the ACM Executive Director, the Publications Board Chair and reports from Cunningham on the SDF, the Reviewer Database Software Report from Snodgrass, the Nominations Committee from Ellis and the Technical Standards Committee from Furuta. Baglio reported that Dave Arnold, ACM's newly appointed Membership Chair was also considering participating.

Vice Chair Furuta asked Baglio to check with L. Johnson with regard to the amount of time he'll need on the agenda for the alternate SIG Models. He doesn't believe he'll need a full 60 minutes as his committee has just begun their work and will be seeking more participation and buy-in from the Chairs prior to moving further ahead. Secretary Baer suggested that portion of the agenda may also be a good time to discuss the election issues facing so many of the SIGs. It was decided that Lewis Johnson would be invited to the pre-SIG Board meeting to discuss the activities that of the Alternate Model SIG Task Force prior to the SGB meeting.

Action: Baglio will send Johnson a note regarding his time needs on the February SGB agenda.

Action: Ellis will invite Johnson to the pre-board meeting.

Action: Ellis, Notkin and Baglio will fine-tune the SGB EC and SGB agenda.

2) SIGAda Issues -

Conference Advisor Snodgrass led the discussion. He requested that the SGB EC review the documentation submitted by the SIGAda leadership. It is located at http://www.acm.org/sigada/conf/sigada99/sgbec. He indicated that it would likely take the EC a few days to go through. He then reported on the list of requirements issued by the SGB EC in order for the SIGAda leadership to proceed with the SIGAda'99 conference:

By 1/11/99, the SIGAda leadership was asked to submit the following:

  • the final, closed books of SIGAda'98 (while SIGs are normally given 120 days to close out a conference, in this special situation we need an accurate accounting of the conference expenses, income, and the SIG's fund balance),

The books were being closed with a $30K loss bringing the SIGAda fund balance to $17K. Snodgrass asked Baglio to review the activities involved in the closing of the event that were unique to SIGAda. Baglio reported that the SIGAda leadership held payment from several vendors believing they had not performed properly even though ACM HQ had provided them with sufficient back-up indicating they had. After several additional weeks of research done by ACM HQ, the SIGAda leadership determined that the vendors had indeed performed just as requested. SIGAda always seems to have a problem with their vendors, as a result ACM HQ can no longer make recommendations on vendors to them.

  • a completed budget for SIGAda'99, with a break-even of 100 paid participants; this budget should also be consistent with conventional publicity charges of 4-15% of expenses,

The budget was submitted as requested with 100 paid attendees. They did not submit it at the requested publicity level of 4-15%. Instead, it came in at 22%.

  • the completed CFP for SIGAda'99, including a complete list of all the organizers of the conference (chairs, PC, etc.),

The CFP was submitted and both Baer and Soffa had commented on it. There were concerns that the leadership had extended the focus of the conference beyond the scope of Ada. Several of the areas papers were being sought, were already covered by established ACM events. The SGB EC agreed that in order for the conference to survive it must be broadened but it shouldn't be broadened so much, to step on the other SIGs. VC Furuta pointed out that for a number of years the group has been saying that they know how to survive, they're important and in the past the SIG Board had given them the benefit of the doubt. The SGB EC will need to help SIGs through transitions when their topics become less popular. The SGB EC decided that the conference and the viability of the SIG were two different issues. The conference would be approved if the leadership met the criteria set by the SGB EC including a CFP more focused on Ada and a budget that met the publicity expense guidelines.

  • data from the last two years on the technical program, in particular, the number of papers that were submitted, and were accepted,
  • a discussion of the technical focus of the conference, as it relates to that of prior years,
  • a summary of the major changes to be made this year in the handling of the conference, as compared with previous years, (this can include the discussion you sent earlier), and
  • a detailed list of milestones for conference activities

The above information was submitted and can be found in the documentation provided by the SIGAda leadership.

  • Ben Brosgol serve as the single point of contact with ACM HQ.

Snodgrass reported that since January 1 when the single point of contact rule went into effect, there have been several messages sent directly to ACM HQ. Most have been from Hal Hart. Vice Chair Notkin informed Baglio that the SGB EC understood the drain that a SIG like Ada was to the ACM HQ resources. He indicated that they'd do whatever they could to keep this from continuing. The SGB EC decided that e-mail coming from anyone other than Brosgol should be ignored by ACM HQ. Baglio was asked to report other SIGs that overused the HQ resources.

Action: Snodgrass will provide SIGAda leadership with the suggested CFP changes from Baer and Soffa and request that they be changed accordingly. Soffa and Snodgrass will review once changes are made and Snodgrass will determine if it can be distributed.

Action: Snodgrass will request a revision of the budget to bring the publicity expenses down as requested to the level of 4-15%.

Action: Cassel will talk to Brosgol about usage of ACM HQ and convey the restriction on single point of contact. She will inform him that e-mail to HQ will be ignored if it does not come from him. In addition, she will explain that an out of cycle program review could mean the possibility of transitional status.

3) Future of SIGNUM -

Small SIG Advisor Cassel led discussion. She reported that SIGNUM had a solid financial status. Their membership was declining but not more dramatically than some of the other SIGs. Cassel will contact the SIGNUM Chair and find out the status of their merger. She'll inform the Chair that the procedure to merge the SIG or dissolve it would include an announcement to the membership. A request would be made at the same time seeking members to volunteer to keep the SIG going. In her experience with a few SIGs that have changed status and one that was dissolved no one has ever come forth. The SGB EC felt that the topic was worthy of having an ACM presence. They suggested that another type of SIG perhaps an electronic forum would be more appropriate. Baglio reported that the SIG was inactive, had no programs other than their newsletter and a small percentage of co-sponsorship on the ISSAC Conference. She indicated that Program Director Goetz spent time following up on the late issues of their newsletter. The group was surprised that they had as many members as they did considering that their only activities are a late newsletter and a 25% so-sponsorship of a small conference. Cassel indicated the mission focused on being a part of a community. That could be the benefit that people are satisfied with.

Action: Cassel will talk to the SIGNUM Chair. She will find out the status of the merger, ask about other members of the community taking on the activities and find out their perceived benefits of membership. She will advise them on how to proceed.

4) Final Chartering of SIGECommerce -

The SGB EC was prepared to formalize the chartering of the SIG on E-Commerce based on the work already done by the SIG Board and the bylaws and budget that had been submitted. Past Chair Lidtke was instrumental in moving this group along so, the SGB EC chose to use her e-mail motion to charter. There was still concern expressed about the name and the SGB EC would like the leadership to consider SIGecom. The final decision is theirs.

Motion: Move to charter the Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce and appoint Stuart Feldman, Chair.
Lidtke, Ellis

Action: Baglio will inform Feldman and the appropriate ACM staff that the Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce has been chartered.

Action: Baglio will request that Feldman consider the acronym SIGecom and find out what he'd actually like to use.

5) Late Newsletters -

Publications Advisor Cohoon was not available for the call.

Action: Late Newsletter will be placed on the February conference call agenda.

6) SGB EC Member Reports -

There was no time during the call for reports from Rick Snodgrass - Reviewer Software Task Force, Carla Ellis - IFIP TC appointments, Baer - Election Task Force, Furuta - SIG Model Task Force.

7) Nominating Committee Report - Chair Ellis will provide report on Nominations Committee members.

Chair Ellis reported that she will appoint Steve Cunningham for a 1 year term and Doris Lidtke for a 2 year term. Finding a nominating committee member for a 3 year term is proving to be a challenge. Several current and immediate past Chairs have indicated that they've an interest in running for either the EC or Council positions. It was suggested that she find someone for the three year period with the understanding that they can resign should they choose to run. Furuta suggested asking previous SIG Board members but the SGB EC was concerned that these people were too far removed from the current people that make up the SGB. She indicated that she had a few more possible candidates and hoped to have the committee complete by the end of the week.

8) Review status of Current Action Items -

There was no time during the call to review action items. Committee members that have completed action items should report them to Baglio.

9) Other Business -

Baglio reported that SIGPLAN requested approval on submitting their election slate with only a single candidate for Vice Chair. Soffa explained that the position of Vice Chair was an important job and that members of the EC were groomed for the position. Several of the members-at-large brought on this year have decided not run for higher office making it impossible to run another experienced candidate.

Motion: Move to allow SIGPLAN to run only one candidate for the position of Vice Chair.
Furuta,, Notkin

Action: Baglio will inform appropriate HQ staff that SIGPLAN can run election with single candidate for vice chair.



  • Jean-Loup Baer
  • Donna Baglio
  • Boots Cassel
  • Carla Ellis
  • Rick Furuta
  • David Notkin
  • Richard Snodgrass
  • Mary Lou Soffa
  • Mary Whitton
  • Doris Lidtke
  • Jim Cohoon