Minutes of the February 28, 1998 SIG Board Meeting

1.0 Welcome and Introductions [Lidtke]

The meeting was called to order at 2:05 pm. Lidtke welcomed the group and introductions were made. Lidtke informed the Board that Keith Miller would join the SIG Chairs' meeting tomorrow.

2.0 Approve August Minutes [Lidtke]

Corrections to the August'97 SIG Board minutes were made.

Motion: Move to approve the minutes of the August'97 Board meeting with changes.
Shapiro, Cassel

3.0 Review SIG Chair's Agenda [Lidtke]

Lidtke reviewed the SIG Chair's agenda and indicated that it was a full agenda requiring them to start on time.

Lidtke mentioned that there would be a SIG Showcase at the next Council meeting taking place at Policy'98 in Washington, DC. Lidtke explained that all too often Council isn't aware of all the good things the SIGs are doing. If agreeable with the Board, she would like SIGGRAPH to be one of the presenters. Lidtke asked the Board to consider another SIG of smaller type to showcase along with SIGGRAPH. Baglio suggested SIGCAS since they will already be at Policy'98. Additional suggestions and approval on a second SIG to showcase should be sent to Lidtke. Cunningham agreed to showcase SIGGRAPH pending Board approval.

Irwin was scheduled to give a short talk on the constitution and bylaw changes during the Chair's meeting. Lidtke informed the Board that encouragement was needed for everyone to vote in the next election. If the bylaw changes pass there will be significant changes to the governing boards. Lidtke stressed the importance of making the SIG Chairs aware that they will now be directly represented in Council with 4 SIG representatives directly elected by the SIG Chairs. The Chairs will be the governing body and they will decide what happens at the SIG Board level. Lidtke would like the board members to send e-mail encouraging people to vote. The ballots will go out April 27th with a scheduled return date of May 27th.

Furuta suggested ACM staff include this information on the back cover and in the SIG newsletters. Baglio indicated this could be done and requested a Board member come up with appropriate wording to convey their message.

Cohoon indicated that e-mail might go out to members as a whole.

Action: Cassel will prepare a letter from the SIG Board to be used as a filler or replacement ad in SIG Newsletters. This letter will encourage members to cast their vote regarding the Constitutional changes.

Whitton discussed the SIG Governing Board Executive Committee (SGB EC) Operating Rules proposal she'd be presenting at the SIG Chairs meeting. She carefully reviewed the election section with the Board members. Lidtke indicated that a representative of the elections committee must be present to supervise any elections. The nominating committee will need to present their report no earlier than February 1st.

Action: Baglio will check with appropriate members at HQ to determine if petition signatures are acceptable via fax with originals due within 5 days in order to meet the petition deadline.

The Board discussed the options for nominations/petitions as suggested by Whitton. After a lengthy discussion of the pros & cons of accepting nominations for Council and the SGB EC from the floor, the Board decided that this would be difficult to administer. Instead they'd prefer to give each nominated/petition candidate an opportunity to prepare a statement for distribution to the SGB for consideration of their votes. This mean that mail ballots were the most appropriate route. The Board agreed they would need to experiment at this point. Lidtke would like these elections to be as parallel as possible to other ACM elections.

In the case of a tie in the election, the Chairs will revert to having 1 vote per SIG.

Whitton was thanked for all her hard work on the SIG Operating Rules.

4.0 USACM Update [Simons]

Barbara Simons addressed the Board and discussed Policy'98, an ACM conference coordinated by USACM. Simons is very excited about this meeting. The speakers include Ira Magaziner, Vern Ehlers, Constance Morella, and Juris Hartmanis. This is a first attempt on ACM's part to sponsor an event like this. The conference is being kept small to allow for people to interact.

As Chair of USACM, Simons is on the subcommittee of the President's Export Council on Encryption Policy as a representative of USACM and ACM. The Chair of this subcommittee is Joe Dorgen. Simons showed the committee the USACM report which was produced in 1994.

Other things USACM has done:

  • - USACM has been working cooperatively with other organizations to oppose a bill increasing restrictions of encryption, such as requiring all domestic encryption to have key recovery. They have organized a joint letter on encryption with signatures of many sister professional societies. This is very time consuming because other organizations are not as involved.
  • - Simons has testified for of the Procode Bill before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate in 1996 on behalf of USACM. A copy of this testimony is on USACM's web page. A few months ago, Simons also testified before the California Legislature on a resolution to support the bill in congress to loosen export restriction on encryption.
  • - USACM also produces their own Newsletter on a regular basis.
  • - USACM is also participating in discussions on intellectual property.

Lidtke thanked Simons for her report.

5.0 SIGBIO Review [Lamie]

Lamie presented a program review for SIGBIO. They currently do not have a mission statement. SIGBIO has operated primarily as a "newsletter" SIG, and has co-sponsored several conferences.

In the spring of 1997, elections were conducted for the officers of SIGBIO. The position of SIGBIO Newsletter Editor is open. Ed Lamie, SIGBIO Chair will continue to serve as Editor until a replacement is appointed.

New Initiatives:
The next edition of their newsletter will be assembled by a guest editor.

Current or Planned International Efforts There are no planned efforts at present. However the SIGBIO Chair is currently affiliated with the American University of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa and will make every effort to "internationalize" SIGBIO.

Conference Activities
SIGBIO is a co-sponsor of SAC'98 and will continue to participate in this event.

Collaborative Efforts with other SIGs
SIGBIO recently signed an agreement with SIGAda as an "In-Cooperation Sponsor" of the SIGAda'98 conference/tutorials/expo in November 1998.

Volunteer Recruitment
Each SIGBIO newsletter contains a plea to members to participate and to become volunteer workers for SIGBIO. The SIGBIO web page contains links to officers, thus providing ready access to officers.

Self Assessment
SIGBIO is financially healthy and maintains a positive cash balance. This cash balance will permit them to invest in new conferences for which the financial backing is otherwise partly missing, and it will permit them to "co-locate" with other meetings or conferences to attract new members or encourage volunteers.

Lamie indicated that SIGBIO membership continues to decline and the newsletter is always late.

SIG Board Concerns
The most pressing problem appears to be the lack of volunteers. The fact that the Chair must also serve as the Newsletter Editor is a significant indicator of this problem.

Furuta questioned the issues on volunteers. Lamie explained that Rada had difficulty finding someone to run for Vice Chair so Rada ran himself. SIGBIO couldn't decide their direction during their last program review. The problem is that they have no real focus. Lamie indicated that if they could find the right niche they could create more energy. Cassel questioned if there were competing organizations. Lamie didn't think there was any competition within ACM. Furuta indicated that there is a large need for standards in bio informatics.

Baglio reviewed the SIG Board options for SIGBIO.

Action: Yaverbaum and Lamie will discuss the future direction of SIGBIO. Lamie will work with his leadership to develop a program plan and discuss it with Board during the March 11th conference call.

Action: Baglio will place SIGBIO on the agenda of the March 11th conference call.
Lidtke returned to the agenda discussion.

The SIG Board will appoint the Nominating Committee (this time only) by July 1st, to elect the SIG Governing Board. This will be proposed to the SIG Chairs. The current SIG Board will appoint the Nominating Committee with input from the SIG Chairs for the transition period. The Nominating Committee will begin their activity on June 1st. There will be a 30 day period for petitions and a 30 day period for mail ballots. This SIG Board will function until September 15th.

The SIG Board discussed whether they should go ahead with the selection of the 2 SIG Board Member-at-large positions considering the possible governance change. The consensus of the Board was to go ahead with the selection of the 2 Members-at-large during the SIG Chairs meeting.

Motion: Move to proceed with selection of 2 SIG Board Members-at-Large during the SIG Chairs Meeting.
Cohoon, Shapiro

6.0 Area Director Reports

6.1 Area A [Wishbow]

Wishbow reported she has not established contact with SIGSOUND.

SIGCOMM is working on a joint publication with IEEE.

SIGPLAN has no issues.

SIGGRAPH continues to be an overachiever. In addition to their main conference, they sponsored a successful new workshop with European Graphics Society.

SIGMM could use some advice and direction. They have to decide if they want to continue as a full-service SIG. They have launched a new webzine called Horizons. SIGMM's main issue is the they are a conference only SIG but conference attendance is dwindling.

Action: Wishbow will discuss the future direction of SIGMM with their leadership and report to SIG Board.

6.3 Area C [Yaverbaum]

Yaverbaum reported that SIGMOBILE is doing well. Their membership increased by 42% even after all their problems. Yaverbaum feels they are an enthusiastic group of people and they have many new activities planned.

SIGSAC has become a conference only SIG. Yaverbaum will check to see if a letter regarding this change was sent to its members.

SIGSIM would like its officers' terms extended. Yaverbaum felt that although SIGSIM has issues that have to be dealt with, changes to the SIG should not be made at this time since there was not a SIGSIM representative present. One option would be to re-appoint it's officers, and continue them as transitional. Yaverbaum will inform Roger Smith that they will continue in transitional status and should stop their election process. They will also discuss future plans for SIGSIM.

Action: Yaverbaum will discuss the future direction of SIGSIM with their leadership and report to the SIG Board during the March 11th conference call.

Action: Baglio will place SIGSIM on the agenda of the March 11th conference call.

6.4 Area D [Cassel]

Cassel thanked Alisa Rivkin for providing information for her report.

Cassel will talk to SIGLINK's Chair and SIGCAPH's Chair regarding their areas since their 1999 projected fund balances are below the required fund balances. All other SIGs meet requirements.

6.5 Area E [Bonnette]

Bonnette reported that 3 of the SIGs in this area are scheduled for a program review at these meetings.

SIGAda continues to lose money on their conference.

SIGCUE is focusing on the production of their newsletter. In December they produced 3 newsletters, one was a 2 volume issue, and the other a single. SIGCUE is also trying to address the decline in their membership.

Action: Bonnette will discuss the future direction of SIGCUE with their leadership and report to the SIG Board during the March 11th conference call.

Action: Baglio will place SIGCUE on the agenda of the March 11th conference call.

Bonnette reported that all of Area E SIGs meet their required fund balance.

SIGMOD is in the middle of a great activity. They are going to produce a Test of Time Award for the best paper issued 10 years ago. They will also have the CD ROM Anthology with the best of last 25 issues. The CD ROM is scheduled for October'98. SIGMOD is also planning on producing an annual CD as well.

This year is the first time SIGCSE has had an independent conference. SIGCSE'98 was very successful with over 900 attendees.

Bonnette indicated that the Board should continue to monitor SIGAda and SIGCUE.

Meeting adjourned at 5:25 pm.


SIG Board

  • Doris Lidtke
  • Jim Cohoon
  • Nina Wishbow
  • Gayle Yaverbaum
  • Lillian Cassel
  • Mary Whitton
  • Stuart Shapiro
  • Richard Furuta
SIG Chairs/Representatives
  • Ed Lamie, SIGBIO
  • David Siegel, SIGAPL
  • Jon McGrew, SIGAPL
  • Steve Cunningham, SIGGRAPH
  • Barbara Simons, USACM
  • Donna Baglio
  • Maria Rivera