Draft minutes of the SGB EC Meeting February 4, 2000

1.0 Welcome

Ellis and Chesnais opened the meeting and welcomed the EC and guests. The plan for the evening was to review the agenda for the SGB meeting and assist those participants presenting SGB reports with their recommendations. The goal was to present clear, concise recommendations to the SGB allowing their discussion to be focused.

2.0 Review SGB Agenda

Chesnais received a request to move the SGB best practices session before lunch. Although a good suggestion, the constraints for some of the presenters and the program review schedule made that difficult to do. Chesnais indicated that the suggestion would be taken under advisement for the next meeting.

To make the discussion flow better, the SGB EC granted a request to switch items 10 - DL Revenue Recommendations and Discussion and 11 - Computing Portal Update and Discussion.

It was reported that the slate of SGB candidates was not yet completed. In order to give the nominations committee time to ask additional candidates, items 5 - SGB EC Nominations report and 6 - TSC Recommendation and Discussion were swapped.

The agenda was then discussed item by item as follows:

Voting Practices - Chesnais would remind the Chairs of the number of votes each had and how the voting would work for those items requiring a weighted vote.

Report on IFIP Activities - Aiken planned to provide a handout and presentation describing IFIP: background on the organization, administration and activities. The goal was to provide the SIG leaders with a better understanding of IFIP paving a way for a better working relationship between the organization and the ACM SIGs. He planned a 20-minute presentation followed by a 20-minute question and answer period.

Election Task Force Report and Discussion - Baer planned to report on the survey the elections committee distributed along with some suggestions for future elections. The most controversial item discovered was that some SIGs would prefer 2-year terms and others 3. In order to move ahead with that, ACM's bylaws would require amending as well as the appropriate SIG bylaws.

SGB EC Nominations Report - Steve Levitan, Chair of the Nominations Committee was at a DAC meeting and therefore would not be participating. Other members of the nominations committee reported that the slate was incomplete. They hoped to complete it by the end of the SGB meeting.

TSC Recommendation - Soffa indicated that the SGB EC needed to make a recommendation to the SGB regarding the Technical Standards Committee. The committee is inactive and there doesn't seem to be much interest in standards. It does seem valuable to have pointers to standards from ACM's website but there doesn't seem to be any interest from the SIGs for a committee. Soffa sent e-mail to the leaders of SIGGRAPH and SICHI asking their opinion on revitalization of the committee. They are two of the SIGs that participate in standard activities. Neither has provided her with input. Since ACM's role has been to disseminate information on standards rather than set them and Standard View has been dissolved; do we really have a responsibility for a committee? It seems that this is an area that ACM should worry about rather than the SIGs. Although the idea is good, the SIGs don't have the volunteer energy to make it happen. The SIG leaders should explicitly be asked to include their standards activities in their annual reports. The SGB EC does not view standards strictly as a SIG activity; it is the responsibility of ACM. Soffa will prepare a clear recommendation for the SGB's consideration.

Program Reviews - Notkin reported that there would be 4 full program reviews and an update on SIGCUE. ACM HQ provided a 2-page history for each of the SIGs to be reviewed.

SIGDOC- The SIGDOC review will be presented by SIGDOC Chair, Kathy Haramundanis and is expected to be very straightforward. SIGDOC is seeking approval to join INTECOM. This organization gathers participants from many sister organizations worldwide. SIGDOC believes that by becoming a participating member they will benefit current SIGDOC members and bring in new members. Other than paying dues, there are no obligations.

Motion:The SGB EC recommends that SIGDOC continue in their multi-service status. In addition the SGB EC has endorsed the INTECOM relationship move forward to the ACM EC.

SIGAPP - Notkin reminded the SGBEC that SIGAPP was placed in transition by a low election return. Although they had 8 candidates, only 5 ballots were returned. There is dispute over whether this was a low return or a mailing problem.

Recommendation: The SGB EC recommends that SIGAPP continue in transition and run an election.

SIGCUE- SIGCUE is a longstanding SIG with serious volunteer development issues. Notkin has been in contact with Jim Hightower, SIGCUE Chair. Jim has agreed it is an appropriate time to look toward dissolving.

Recommendation: The SGB EC recommends that SIGCUE remain in transition with the expectation that the SGB EC may take action to dissolve.

SIGAPL- SIGAPL continues to strive to catch up on their newsletter. They put together a schedule that indicates the issues will be caught up at this time next year. They have met all the deadlines set. The SGB EC indicated concern that the '99 conference was still not closed. SIGAPL Chair, David Siegel reported that there are still some vendors that haven't paid for their space and that steps are being taken to collect the money. He expects it to close shortly. Even if those collections are written off, there will still be some surplus. The SGB EC asked why the APL'00 conference program had been released prior to receiving ACM conference approval. Siegel has exchanged e-mail with the conference leaders indicating that the TMRF was needed immediately and that the rates publicized would have to match the rates in the budget. In addition, the offerings will have to be set according to ACM policy. He believes it was merely a communication problem with the leaders and will be taken care of shortly.

Recommendation: Continue SIGAPL's status as a multi-service SIG with a one-year review of newsletter activity.

SIGBIO- This SIG was placed in transition 1 year ago when the SGB became concerned with its lack of a focused program plan. BIO submitted a new program plan but there are still some concerns about its mission. There seems to be a fairly long history of lack of a clear view and the SGB EC is concerned and would like to see a more sharply stated mission with a focus on the goals of the SIG. During the recent SGB EC call the members discussed the volunteer development issues and the lack of mission and are leaning toward recommending they be placed in transition with dissolution and a possible end. Ed Lamie was present and agreed that their mission statement wasn't focused and there has been some progress toward improvement and volunteer development. The SGB noted that this was an important area in computer science where ACM should have a presence. Lamie was asked how he could commit the SIG to make an effort to make itself a player in the area and focus strongly on that area. One possibility would be to find a sub-field or group to serve. If this were the 1st time the question was brought up the SGB EC would be more sympathetic. Can the organization realistically adapt to changing the way they do business? Lamie was asked how SIGBIO was seen in the community, what was its reputation and relationship with other organizations and experts specializing in this area? Lamie indicated that he'd need to do some research on that. It was suggested that the SGB might want to dissolve BIO and start a new SIG in the area of biomedical computing with a specific focus.

Special Project Funding Proposal - Klein indicated that he planned to provide the proposal written by the SPF committee. He'll outline the history and procedure that has been created. His plan is to make a motion that the proposal be considered the operating rules for the fund. The SGB EC suggested that it be made clear that the SIGs don't have to participate. They may explicitly opt out resulting in not voting on the proposals that are submitted for funding.

Motion: Move to recommend acceptance of the SPF proposal.
Soffa, Baer

Awards Report and Discussion - Johnson will report on the new SIG Awards that have been endorsed by the ACM Awards Committee over the past year. He intends to stress the progress made. He will push for the SIG leaders to supply ACM HQ with the names of award recipients so that they can be captured in the awards brochure.

DL Revenue Recommendations and Discussions - See 3.0

Computing Portal Update and Discussion - Snodgrass was to report on the progress of the portal.

Allocation Task Force Report - Chesnais has set up a web-site, which will allow all SIG leaders to participate in the allocation discussion. He's working with Ellis to make sure there is sufficient representation from various sized SIGs on the committee.

Conference Software - Cassel will provide a report and update. The time allotted is adequate for her needs.

Publication Update - Cohoon will report the highlights of the last publications board meeting. The pub board would like the SIG leaders to work with them to come up with a new category for SIG newsletters.

Best Practices Session - Ellis will facilitate a best practices session.

3.0 DL Revenue Brainstorming

The SGB EC conducted a 30-minute brainstorming session regarding the division of the DL surplus.

Reminder of the "Problem":

  • Distribution Goals
  • Distribution Formula


  • SGB agreed to proposal that 30% of DL surplus be returned to the SIGs
  • Income to SIGs and ACM is after expenses of DL (including infrastructure enhancements)
  • SGB urged ACM to reinvest in the DL
  • Get the whole ACM corpus into the DL
  • Spend to get important non-ACM content
  • Costs of non-ACM content are a recurring expense; must be in regular budget

Things to do with the money
Philosophical Goals:

  1. Encourage SIGs to put material in the DL
  2. Make up for lost print sales income

Things to do with the money

  1. Create a pool managed by SGB to do good works with / for the SIG community
  2. Return money to the SIGs

Create pool to do good works:

  • Match SIG endowment contributions
  • Make SGB endowment contr. to ACM award
  • Funds for Start-Up SIGs
  • Funds to enable a SIG to make a "splash" and take leadership in their field
  • Outreach: DL for K-12; DL for 3rd world
  • Subsidize SIG membership for people
  • joining >1 SIGs
  • Contribute to DL for non-recurring expenses

Return money to the SIGs:

  • Offset Allocations (HQ and SGB ops)
  • Pay SPF allocations for all/some SIGs
  • Direct rebate

The Questions:

  • What major things to do with the money?
  • How to proportion it between those things?
  • How to divide it among the SIGs, if some is to be returned to the SIGs?

SGB-EC Recommendation:/Use the money for two things:

  • 50% returned to the SIGs
  • 50% pooled for good works

SGB-EC Observation:

  • There are lots of ways to split the return to the SIGs "fairly" evenly
  • pro rata on members, income, MB of DL material, number of downloads
  • rebate based on income or fund balance (progressive or regressive)
  • Some are easy to manage; some are hard

Moving Ahead:

SGB-EC Recommendation: Approve the idea of 50-50% split for a good works pool and a rebate to SIGs

  • Delegate to the SGB-EC to implement rebate policy.
  • Small committee to propose detail policy: volunteer at [email protected]
  • Appointed by and reporting to SGB Chair
  • Report by March 6
  • Opportunity for SGB feedback on plan prior to implementation

4.0 TSC Recommendation:

See above

5.0 Open Discussion - Issues and other Reports:

No additional issues or reports were discussed during the meeting.



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


  • Robert Aiken, ACM IFIP Representative
  • Stuart Feldman, SIGecom Chair
  • Kathy Haramundanis, SIGDOC Chair
  • Mark Scott Johnson, SGB Council Rep
  • Bruce Klein, SIGCSE
  • Ed Lamie, SIGBIO Chair
  • Jon McGrew, SIGAPL Newsletter Editor
  • Maritza Nichols, ACM AA
  • Patricia Ryan, ACM COO
  • David Siegel, SIGAPL Chair
  • Mary Whitton, SGB Council Rep