Minutes of the March 3, 2000 SGB EC Conference Call

1) Review status of current action items -

The following Action Items were reported closed:

Action: Alternate SIG Model committee to put together formal guidelines and proposal. L. Johnson heading Model committee. Ellis to follow-up (7/22/99).

Action: For February'99 meeting - Ellis and D. Johnson are to present the FCRC steering committee Composition and guidelines.(10/3/99)

Action: Notkin will talk to Haramundanis regarding SIGDOC joining INTECOM. He will find out what the responsibilities and the obligations of the SIG are in order for the SGB EC to endorse and the ACM EC to approve this external relationship.(12/23/99)

Action: Siegel to come back to SGB EC in 1 month to indicate which officers are willing to extend terms for 1 year. For those unwilling, he was asked to supply candidates for appointment. (2/5/00)

Action: Baglio to send copy of SAC proceedings to Notkin. (2/5/00)

Action: Ellis to bring bylaw amendment request regarding 2 year election terms to ACM EC. (2/5/00)

Action: Ellis to inform ACM EC of SGB's decision to dissolve TSC. She will also inform them of the importance of keeping an updated web site with pointers to standards activities.(2/5/00)

Action: Ellis to request approval from ACM EC on external relationship between SIGDOC and INTECOM.(2/5/00)

2) Update on ACM EC meeting -

Chair Ellis reported that the ACM EC approved the EATCS relationship contingent on SGB EC approval. This was an item that hadn't formally come to the SGB EC.

Motion: Move to approve external relationship between EATCS and SIGACT.
Notkin, Johnson
motion passed

In addition, the EC has also approved a 1 year extension on Supercomputing vendor contracts. This was endorsed by the SGB EC during the December conference call.

Ellis reported that she participated in the annual ACM EC budget meeting. A great deal of time was spent on allocation of flexible amounts in the general budget. There was a report from John White and lots of talk about the digital library. There are funds going to the European Summer School Project and other education board projects. Funds are likely to be requested from the SIGs for adding on-line tutorials to the digital library and support of a career resource center.

There was a discussion on investment of ACM funds. A decision was made to invest ACM funds to allow more of a return, recognizing that there would be less access to those funds in the near future. The SIGs have always relied on the fact they wanted to remain liquid. Now that ACM is investing differently perhaps some of the SIGs would be interested in investing some of their funds this way? White wanted to discuss this with SIG leaders during the next SGB Meeting. The SGB EC asked Ellis to suggest that White discuss with the larger SIGs, a group of 3-4 people. Once that's done other SIGs could be consulted on doing the same. It would be very difficult to try to discuss an issue such as this with the entire SGB. It should be settled with a small group and then brought to the larger group indicating "this is what's been done, do you have an interest in participation?"

Action: Ellis to inform White that discussion regarding investments should be made with the 3-4 largest SIGs and then brought to the SGB.

Ellis reported that ACM'01 is to be held March 12-14. Bob Metcalf has resigned as Chair and the new theme is Beyond Cyberspace. There are exciting goals in terms of fund raising and children's activities. Fran Allen is co-chair of the PC and they're looking for a Chair. Ellis does not know who the treasurer is or who is doing the financial reporting. They do not have an approved budget. Ellis believes the budget will be prepared for EC and Council's next meeting. The SGB EC is extremely concerned about ACM'01 and the exposure associated with the conference. If ACM's funds are invested and the conference loses money, the SIGs will likely be expected to pick up the tab. Lidtke indicated that during ACM'97 there was no accountability and lavish parties were thrown. Ellis will voice the concerns of the SGB EC if still appropriate during the next ACM EC meeting.

Ellis reported that SIG Support is running at a deficit because the SIG revenue is down. The SIGs will likely need to dip into the SARF in order to meet the allocation expenses this year. Baglio was requested to provide more details. She explained that there was a projected shortfall of $30-60K on the allocation this year resulting from conference and organizational revenues being down. The picture is gloomier for next years budget. She plans to make suggests to alter the allocation formula to the allocation committee being chaired by Chesnais. She was disappointed to see that only one SGB leader has responded to Chesnais' request to provide input on the allocation website.

Action: Chesnais will send reminder to SGB requesting input for the allocation discussions.

Simons wants to expand the Washington policy office, not to lobby (we're not permitted) but to have a stronger presence in Washington. She requested a large amount of money to do that. If we're an international organization we don't want people to believe that we focus on US Policy issues. Why emphasize by expanding the group. Are we a US or an International organization? Ellis reported that the allocation this year for the group is relatively conservative. Joe Turner was asked to scope out the issue and make a recommendation to the EC. Simons' view of CRA is that they deal with research community and ACM has a broader base well beyond the research community. She can come up with 1 example after another of issues that wouldn't have been touched by CRA.

The issue was never looked at like this as she's never asked for that much money before. Notkin's take is that a lot of this stuff is important but the agenda will decrease when Simons is not in charge. She may go back to being responsible for policy. The SGB EC does not know whether the SIGs or the community are that enthusiastic about this issue. Don't disagree that ACM should take a role but to what degree, its so UScentric. Some of the stands we might take could anger people outside the US. Even on a national level, there's a great deal of difference of opinion.

The SGB EC has not seen where decisions on policy come from. Who is guiding this currently and if it truly reflects the concerns for the members. How are USACM and the policy office currently managed. Governance is more of the real issue here. It was suggested that the SGB EC suggest some areas that Turner's report cover.

Action: Ellis to ask SGB for input on Turner's committee on US policy office.

3) Publications Update -

Publications Advisor Cohoon reported that he has been receiving a SIG Newsletter schedule from ACM, allowing him to follow-up with the SIG Leaders that are behind on their publishing schedule. SIGCUE is behind but has sent in 2 issues this week and is ready to send the third during March. SIGCPR did not realize they were off schedule. The newsletter editor asked for assistance in finding ways to get people to submit. Cohoon has suggested they move to a "newsy" publication relying less on submitted papers and more on informational items. They may at sometime want to consider a differently structured SIG. SIGCAPH was reported behind but believe they are up to date. METRICS, MIS and UCCS are all behind.

Aciton: Baglio to let Cohoon know which of the reported SIG newsletters discussed during the 3/3 conference call have submitted newsletters to HQ.

4) SGB EC Member Reports -

Updated Action: Notkin, Whitton and Baglio discussed triggers for reviews with the SGB. It was decided that a listing based on the HQ report for viability reviews be placed in the SGB SOR.

Notkin reported that SIGAPL leadership formally requested an extension of terms for the next year. This will allow them to get back into the standard election cycle.

Motion: Move to approve the request for a one-year term extension for the SIGAPL leadership allowing them to get back into the standard election cycle.
Notkin, Soffa

Action: Notkin to let Siegel know that officer terms have been extended for 1 year.

The SGB EC touched on the SIGBIO issue and ACM's presence in their area of computing. ACM does have the RECOMB conference and Baer and Notkin spoke to some of the leaders. This does give ACM a presence in computational biology. Soffa will continue to gather this information.



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