Minutes of the March 21, 2004 SIG Governing Board Meeting-Draft

1.0 Welcome, Introductions, Voting Process

Klein opened the meeting and welcomed the participants. Each of the attendees introduced themselves. Klein reviewed the standard process for voting and explained the way weighted voting would work should it be necessary.

2.0 ACM Update

John White discussed the current status and objectives of ACM. A major goal for the association is to increase the awareness and visibility of ACM as a whole. To implement this, ACM has utilized a number of focus groups to help evaluate the perceptions in which the membership community has. Additionally the focus groups have helped (and will continue to do so) determine the most efficient way of developing and/or evaluating possible brand messages.

OFAC: Office of Foreign Assets Control. The mission of this agency is to enforce economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists etc� Exchanging info is exempt but various interpretations have caused societies to review services and the way they deal with these targeted countries. According to our interpretation of these guidelines, we are most affected within the area of paper submissions. ACM has engaged in sorting out "what it means for us". While peer reviews fall within the guidelines, copy editing does not. Currently ACM is operating within the OFAC guidelines, however our conference leaders need to be made aware of these guidelines and any questionable papers/authors need to be brought to the attention of the organizers and/or SIG leaders.

Action: Donna Baglio will forward a statement outlining the OFAC regulations to be distributed to conference chairs.

CSTA: Computer Science Teachers Association. It is the culmination of more than four years of work in the K-12 grades area and subsequently has become an organization within ACM geared towards middle and high school teachers of computing. It currently overseas JETT (Java Engagement for Teacher Training program), K-12 curriculum, and its annual symposium; ACM/ISTE: Symposium for Secondary CS & IT Teachers.

Overall, ACM's financial status is stable. ACM has not increased its membership dues in three years nor has there been an increase in the individual subscription rate for the Digital Library. Additionally, ACM continues to see a growth in its membership as well as a general awareness of ACM by the computer industry.

3.0 SIGDOC Program Review

Scott Tilley presented an overview of SIGDOC including its plans for the future. The annual conference has been experiencing decreases in attendance over the past few years, but was able to prevent the '03 conference from losing money. Plans for conference development include replacing tutorials with workshops; collaborating with other SIGs on shared areas of interest. An overall interest to increase membership and viability while restoring its fiscal health is a priority for the current leadership.

Motion: Move to accept the SGB EC recommendation to find SIGDOC viable and continue its status for the next 4 years. 

Action: Donna Baglio to inform appropriate ACM headquarters' staff that SIGDOC was found viable and that their next review is currently scheduled for March'08.

4.0 International Activities

Alan Berenbaum reported that he was asked to be a member of EUACM to be modeled on USACM. SGB was asked to provide names of possible volunteer leaders interested in serving. SGB was also encouraged to provide ideas on improving ACM's image internationally. Alan Berenbaum explained that ACM sponsors people to go outside of North America and give lectures. Since the SGB are experts in their fields, they were asked to provide possible candidates for the program to David Wise. Re-evaluating financial budgeting, more diversity on committees and expansion of chapter programs are all possible means to help provide more visibility and awareness to the program.

5.0 History Committee Report

Mark Scott Johnson outlined the goals, current projects and future projects of the committee. The SGB members questioned whether the project would focus on the history of the organization or the field. They were told it was to preserve the history of the organization but by doing so would naturally cover the field. Some SGB members questioned the number of people that would benefit by capturing the organizations history as opposed to the computing field.

6.0 Conference Multimedia Activities

6.1 DVD Production

Alain Chesnais and Bob Walker gave a report on DVD and multimedia activities going on within SIGGRAPH and SIGDA. To help avoid mistakes and errors that both SIGGRAPH and SIGDA encountered, they offered to provide guidance to other SIG leaders wishing pursue this project. SIGs were encouraged to capture more than proceedings for the DL.

Action: Donna Baglio to issue SIGGRAPH DVD and SIGDA DVD (Compendium to all SIG Chairs).

Action: Alain Chesnais to prepare a summary regarding SIGGRAPH DVD preparation to the SGB.

Action: Alain Chesnais will send links to the DVD material that appear in the ACM DL to the SIG Chairs.

6.2 End System Multicast

At the suggestion of the SIGCOMM leadership, Hui Zhang of Carnegie Melon University provided an outline of End System Multicast which is a video streaming system that runs on a desktop computer. He indicated that conference leaders could set this up at a low cost. He and his team were willing to help ACM SIG Chairs with their sponsored conferences. He had already worked with SIGCOMM and encouraged other leaders to get in touch with him if they were interested in providing live streaming of their events.

7.0 Publications Report

Hans Boehm discussed conference related pages as well as proceedings in the Digital Library. A committee co-chaired by Boehm and Michel Beaudouin-Lafon was formed in September 2003. The Committee had three conference calls and also conducted most of its business by email. The following report was issued:

The original goal of the committee was to investigate whether a general procedure could be developed for submission of conference papers to the DL that would facilitate generation of HTML versions. The committee considered:

  • Evaluation of display options MathML
    electronic book formats?
    what type of multimedia -- in what formats?
  • Facilitating submission of richer metadata -- Save ACM work and give more detailed metadata. Proceedings authors fill out a web form along with their paper submissions that would list: their ACM author/member IDs, title, DOIs for all papers cited
  • Processing ancillary materials (demos, posters, etc) for the DL.

It became clear very quickly that dealing with all these goals was extremely ambitious and would take much longer than anticipated. Additionally, it became clear to the Committee that ACM HQ was already working on a number of these issues, and so the Committee decided to focus on two areas that would seem to provide the most value to the DL and to the SIG Proceedings efforts:

  • Identifying, capturing, and presenting more SIG multimedia content in the DL
  • Creating a standard template to capture richer metadata, and more conference information

Recommendations and Action Items

  • SIG Multimedia Content in the DL -The committee was pleased that capture and inclusion of multimedia files in the DL for some conferences (SIGGRAPH, UIST, CFP) has started. The Committee has asked Staff to create a set of general specifications that provides explicit instructions to conferences for the preparation of multimedia files. This is expected to be completed by the end of May 2004.

    -The Committee noted that many SIGs have extensive multimedia content of past conferences and workshops (videotapes, CDs, etc.). It was recognized that the capture, processing, and synchronization of these files is a huge task, and financially beyond the SIGs and ACM HQ at this point. ACM HQ will focus only on the inclusion of current and future multimedia in the DL. Further, ACM can only load into the DL multimedia content that is in conformance with the specifications for preparation of these files. The Committee also asks that beginning in 2004 and going forward, for all SIG Conferences with multimedia content, to please provide ACM HQ ([email protected]) with an inventory of that content.

  • Capturing more Conference Information
    A subset of the Committee (Boehm, Allen, Beaudouin-Lafon) provided Staff with a set of elements not currently in the Proceedings DTD, for capturing more detailed conference information. Staff will include these elements into the existing Proceedings DTD. These elements provide actual conference information, as well as more detailed article information. Program Chairs will be asked to supply the relevant conference information, which will require only minimal additional time. Based on the conference elements submitted, staff will construct, host, and serve out these standardized conference pages. The Committee agreed that any additional work resulting from authors being asked to provide more information should be minimal. Any additional work beyond what will be in the expanded Proceedings DTD should be optional for the author.

To conclude, there are a number of ongoing initiatives as described above, and progress in these areas will continue to be reported to the SGB as part of the SGB/Pubs Liaison's reports. The Committee sees this not as an ending, but as a beginning of an ongoing dialog between Pubs and the SIGs.

8.0 SGB EC Recommendations

8.1 SIGS in Transition


Bob Walker reported that Vicki Hanson turned in a transition plan. She issued an e-mail to the members saying that they were contemplating bylaw changes for the SIG name and scope and received several responses. Everyone was extremely enthusiastic about a change. A few suggested names and a few others have volunteered to help the SIG in any way they could. One of the stronger name possibilities is SIGASSETS, Special Interest Group on Assistive Technologies.

Motion: Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC that SIGCAPH will remain in transition through the March 2005 SGB meeting while their new leadership moves ahead with activities based on their transition plan. The leadership is encouraged to reconsider the SIG's name and their membership obligation to produce a printed newsletter. Unanimous

Action: Vicki Hanson to provide Robert Walker with an update on SIGCAPH activities prior to the Fall'04 SGB Meeting.


SIGGROUP has a strong conference which provides a great conference by-product for the DL. Their finances are in good shape. Unfortunately, the bulletin is 3 issues behind and in April it will be 4. They don't have the volunteer development they need. A possible solution offered was to make newsletter type articles available electronically to the membership without promising specific printed materials. Feedback from the membership could help determine the necessary actions the SIG should take in order to remain and/or increase viability.

Motion: Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC that SIGROUP will remain in transition. The leadership will be appointed to EC positions, and must develop a plan for volunteer development and reconsider their membership obligation to produce a printed newsletter. The new leadership of SIGGROUP must provide an update on their volunteer development and activities to Robert Walker (SGB EC Vice-Chair for SIG Development) by a final deadline of May 15, 2004, otherwise the SGB EC will consider dechartering the SIG. 
Motion Passed

Action: Wolfgang Prinz to provide Robert Walker with an update on volunteer development and activities for SIGGROUP by May 15, 2004. Without this update, the SGB EC will consider decharter of the SIG.

8.2 Chartering of New SIG (R. Walker)

SIGEVO, Special Interest Group for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation The proposal to charter SIGEVO was received last year and discussed by SGB EC. Questions and concerns were forwarded to the EVO leadership and answered. The SGB EC requested comments from the SIGART and SIGKDD identified as overlaps. The SIGKDD leadership responded that they saw no conflict and they would be pleased to find some way of collaborating. The SIGART leadership had some concerns regarding overlap which were forwarded to the EVO leaders for response. Based on their response the EC asked the SGB to consider chartering. The SGB discussed and received an OK from the SIGART Chair to move ahead and proceed with the chartering process.

Motion: Move to proceed with the chartering of SIGEVO, an ACM SIG for the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation. 
Motion Passed

Action: Donna Baglio to begin chartering process with SIGEVO leadership.

8.3 Allocation Delta

Chesnais reminded the SGB that during the September'03 meeting they asked the SGB EC to determine and modify the allocation formula starting point from 16% to 16% + delta (maximum of 2%). When the SGB EC attempted to do this they realized that the 2% maximum would not cover the cost of the FY'05 allocation.

FY'04 July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004

Allocation return to ACM is budgeted to be $2,575,441. Based on the current operating expenses for FY'04, the SIGs are projected to return $2,138,692. This will result in a shortfall of $436,749 from the budgeted amount. It was suggested that the shortfall be covered as follows: $86K from the SARF, $175K being forgiven by ACM and $175K being repaid by the SIGs through future allocations.

FY'05 July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2005

Berenbaum indicated he had a preliminary discussion with the ACM EC. They discussed reducing and freezing the allocation to $2.4 million in FY'05. Utilizing the FY'04 operating expenses and the new allocation method including a delta of 2%, the SIGs will return $2,519,355. At this level there will be an excess of $119,355 which will be used to cover the $175 FY'04 shortfall, leaving $55,645 to be repaid in a future allocation.

This plan will allow the SIGs to meet their allocation obligations and begin to build the SARF.

Cost to the ACM general fund to absorb � of shortfall for FY'04 = $175,000
Cost to the ACM general fund to reduce the allocation to $2.4M in FY'05 represents a reduction of $175K based on the original allocation estimate.

Motion: Move accept the SGB EC recommendation to request that the ACM EC agree to absorb � of the FY'04 SGB allocation shortfall, lower and freeze the allocation to $2.4 million for FY'05 and FY'06. 

Action: Alan Berenbaum to bring request to ACM EC requesting that ACM absorb � of the FY'04 SGB allocation shortfall, and freeze and lower the allocation to $2.4 million for FY'05 and FY'06.

8.4 Grant Task Force

Bob Walker reported on behalf of the SGB Grant Task Force. The TF was asked to make a recommendation on allowing an exception to the allocation formula for expenses related to grants. HQ reported that $1.2 million dollars in grants was collected by SIGs and conferences last year. The committee realized that removing the associated expenses from the allocation formula would require the allocation starting percentage to increase beyond the 2% delta already approved for FY'05. The SIGS that would receive the most benefit from the exception would be SIGGRAPH, SIGDA and SIGCHI. The exception would mean an allocation shortfall of $100K which would need to be made up by all SIGs. The committee agreed that it is customary for grants to be subject to overhead outside of ACM and that ACM's overhead is often lower. Also, the current sliding scale formula was put into place to prevent the request for exceptions. The SGB chose to accept their recommendation not to exempt grant expenses from the allocation.

8.5 Fund Balance Requirements

Alan Berenbaum reported that he recently reviewed the SIG fund balance requirements as part of a SIG financial meeting with ACM HQ. As everyone is aware, the total SIG fund balance has decreased over the past 2 years and is projected to decrease again at the close of FY'04 making this a good time to review financial policies.

The fund balance is a SIG's net worth, the cumulative net of all a SIG's revenues and expenses. In accordance with the approved recommendations of the 1990 Presidential Commission on ACM SIGs, each of the SIGs is required to retain an amount equal to 50% of their annual operating expenses (not including conference expenses), and 20% of their conference gross expenses.

The 50% represents an amount which is generally adhered to by the association community. Conferences should have been included in the definition of operating expenses, but given the state of the SIGs in 1990; the Presidential Commission recommended requiring only 20% of gross conference operating expenses. The SIGs were under great financial pressure at the time and 20% was suggested to ease the new financial restrictions.

The last few years have shown the risk associated with conferences. During the January 27th call Alain Chesnais and Bob Walker related recent financial concerns regarding the SIGGRAPH and SIGDA events. The SGB has witnessed conference losses having a large effect on SIGMICRO and SIGMOBILE.

The SGB EC agreed that there was a need to increase the requirement but preferred not to do it all at once. Instead it was suggested that the increase to 40% of conference expenses be phased in at 5%/year over the next 4 years.

Motion: Move to update the SIG fund balance requirements from 50% operational / 20% conference expenses to 50% operational / 40% conference expenses. The increased requirement for conferences will phase in at 5% a year from FY'05 - FY'08. 
Motion Passed

Action: Darren Ramdin to update the SIG budgets to phase in an increase in the fund balance requirement for conferences to 40%. This requirement will phase in at 5% a year from FY'05 - FY'08.

9.0 Election Models

Now that all SIGs have the same designation, all will be required to hold elections. Mark Scott Johnson presented the SIG leaders with alternative voting and election models providing them with more options. Some of these options include shorter or longer slates where shorter slates allow the elected positions to designate the remaining open positions. Longer slates allow and excess of candidates who move into positions as necessary. Johnson also introduced the Chair Elect position. The Model SIG Bylaws are suggestions. Provided that the bylaws are modified accordingly, SIGs can hold an election in whatever format they choose. The SGB members thanked Johnson for the ideas.

10.0 Best and Worst Practices

SIGCHI has been experiencing a general increase in "student" registrations and decrease in tutorial registrations. Additionally fraudulent registrations are on the rise. Baglio confirmed that these three trends are occurring across the board. ACM HQ is currently putting together a plan to prevent the processing of fraudulent registrations. Additionally conference organizers should take the other two trends into consideration when budgeting for future events.

An SGB member asked for opinions on purchasing data projectors and other a/v equipment like power cords rather than renting form the hotels. These items are costly and the purchase could save the conference money. Baglio cautioned the SIG Leaders with proceeding in this way; many hotels will charge a service fee on equipment brought in from the outside. In addition, the hotel will refuse to service that equipment if something goes wrong, even if it's simply a light bulb replacement. The SIG leaders would also be responsible for tracking, packing, shipping and storing the equipment.

10.1 Increased Conference Submissions

Hal Gabow explained that conferences have been receiving an increase in paper submissions since 2002. SIG leaders should be careful in assuming that the increases in paper submissions will lead to increased attendance.

11.0 Other Business

SGB Leaders indicated that they would like to hear an update from the ACM IS team at a future meeting.

Action: Wayne Graves to provide update on ACM IS during a future SGB meeting.



  • Donna Baglio, ACM Director of SIGs Services
  • Alan Berenbaum, SIGARCH Chair and SGB EC
  • Hans Boehm, SGB EC
  • Michael Burke, SIGPLAN Chair
  • Alain Chesnais, SIGGRAPH Chair and SGB EC
  • Currie Colket, SIGAda Chair
  • Ernesto Damiani, SIGAPP VC
  • Erin Dolan, ACM Program Coordinator SIG Services
  • Kemal Ebcioglu, SIGMICRO Chair
  • Jennifer Fajman, SIGUCCS Past Chair
  • Hal Gabow, SIGACT Chair and SGB EC
  • Maria Gini, SIGART Chair
  • Leana Golubchik, SIGMETRICS Chair
  • Vicki Hanson, SIGCAPH Chair
  • David Hicks, SIGWEB VC
  • Sushil Jajodia, SIGSAC Chair
  • Mark Scott Johnson, SGB Council Rep
  • Tom Jewett, SIGCAS Chair
  • Norm Jouppi, SIGARCH Chair
  • Bruce J Klein, SGB EC
  • Joe Konstan, SIGCHI Chair
  • Eydie Lawson, SIGITE Chair
  • Keith Marzullo, SIGOPS Chair
  • Peter Nuernberg, SIGWEB Chair
  • Mark Pendergast, SIGGROUP
  • Darren Ramdin, ACM Associate Director of Finance
  • Jennifer Rexford, SIGCOMM Chair
  • Pat Ryan, ACM Chief Operating Officer
  • Janice Sipior, SIGMIS Chair
  • Scott Tilley, SIGDOC Chair
  • John Tufarolo, SIGSIM Vice Chair
  • Emil Volcheck, SIGSAM Chair
  • Henry Walker, SIGCSE Chair and SGB EC
  • Robert Walker, SIGDA Chair and SGB EC
  • Michael Wellman, SIGecomm Chair
  • John White, ACM Executive Director
  • Alexander Wolf, SIGSOFT Chair