Minutes of the May 18th SGB EC Conference Call

1) ACM EC Update

Chair Ellis provided a summary of the recent ACM EC and Council meetings held on May 15th and 16th in NYC. Three action items related to the SIGs were passed. The ACM EC:

  1. Unanimously approved proposed amendments to the SIGGRAPH Bylaws (the proposed amendments included minor editorial revisions as well as a change in the composition of the EC).
  2. Unanimously recommended that Council decharter SIG3C.
  3. Unanimously approved SIGCOMM's involvement in the CSTB project on how to accelerate the deployment of broadband network access to consumers in the home.

During Council SIG 3C was officially dechartered.

Action: Baglio will let the appropriate staff members know that SIG 3C has been dechartered.

Action: Goetz will work with membership department to distribute letter to SIG3C members and informing them that the SIG has been dechartered and offering them membership in SIGCSE to fulfill ACM's membership obligation to them.

Ellis reported that Snodgrass provided a Portal presentation to Council and it was received with enthusiasm. He made it clear that this was being led by the SIGs and should be considered a SIG project. The Steering Committee has been put into place. Snodgrass originally suggested that the SIGs be fully responsible for identifying and entering the data however, it now seems that financial support to handle this might be a better route. SIG leaders would still be responsible for identifying the data (References and citations) but it would be scanned professionally requiring financial support. The portal would be a joint effort between the SIGs and ACM with the money coming from the SIGs.

David Notkin gave a showcase on SIGSOFT which dovetailed nicely with the discussion on software engineer licensing. Ellis reported all the motions passed by Council on this issue:

  1. ACM strongly supports the position taken at the May 8, 1999 joint meeting of the Canadian Deans of Science and the Canadian Deans of Engineering and Applied Science, namely to strongly affirm that the Software Engineering discipline is a field where both science and engineering have important contributions to make. Moreover, the ACM Council supports the call of the joint group of deans on all parties to collaborate in resolving issues involved in the offering of academic programs related to SWE through cooperation and dialogue.
  2. ACM is opposed to the licensing of software engineers at this time because ACM believes that it is premature and would not be effective at addressing the problems of software quality and reliability.
  3. ACM is, however, committed to solving the software quality problem by promoting R&D, by developing a core body of knowledge for software engineering, and by identifying standards of practice.
  4. When requested ACM may advise boards and other agencies interested in the licensing of software engineers on the state of the body of knowledge and best practices for software engineering. Such interaction will not imply ACM's endorsement of licensing or involve preparation of associated materials such as tests.
  5. Council will form an ACM SWECC Oversight Committee. This Oversight Committee will oversee the development of the software engineering body of knowledge and ACM's participation in SWECC.
  6. ACM Council expresses its gratitude and thanks to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Software Engineering and to the co-chairs, Frances Allen and Paula Hawthorn, for their guidance and recommendations.

Ellis reported that during Council there was discussion about ACM1, another glitzy conference like ACM'97. She was annoyed that the date and location were announced during the awards dinner with great fanfare. The organizers didn't decide to bring it to council until the next day. Whitton asked if Council had objected to that. Ellis indicated that they hadn't, likely because there was so much upfront apologizing which made objections awkward. She reported the motion passed during Council:

Council approved moving forward with the ACM1 Conference scheduled for the March 2001 timeframe. It is understood that a budget for this event will be brought to Council for approval at a future date.

The SGB EC was concerned that the rules for ACM conferences appeared completely distinct from the rules for SIG conferences. Ellis indicated that the ACM1 organizers reported that they were following up on the great success of '97. Ellis wondered if this meant the same standards of loss. She assumes that this will again come to the EC for approval where she will try hard to keep it credible.

2) October Meeting Update

HQ liaison Baglio reported that the Hilton in NY (rate of $269) and the Marriott Eastside (rate of $259) both had availability for the October meeting. Recognizing that this was costly, Notkin asked her to explore placing the meeting outside NYC in either New Jersey or the Westchester area. This would allow a large number of ACM staff to participate at a reasonable cost.

Action: Baglio to research meeting options outside of the NYC area in NJ or Westchester for the October SIG meeting. She will report to Notkin.

3) SIGAPL Newsletter

Baglio reported that the SIGAPL leadership submitted the APL'97 proceedings to be issued as their next newsletter. By submitting this on May 18th they've kept to their committed schedule.

Action: Cohoon will issue a note to the SIGAPL leadership encouraging and thanking them for keeping on schedule.

4) SIGCHI's Proposal for Society Status

All SGB EC members were copied on the mail sent from Ellis to Atwood. SIGCHI will not move ahead with bylaw changes in this election cycle. Instead, Atwood will work with Soffa and her committee in order to move ahead with society status.

5) Dissolution of SIGNUM

Small SIG Advisor Cassel reported that there is consensus among the SIG leadership to dissolve SIGNUM. They are supportive of utilizing a portion of the fund balance to support a scholarship program. She has informed them that a proposal and budget would need to be furnished for approval in order to move ahead with this. She also suggested they utilize some of it to scan copy for the portal. She supports dissolving the group based on the leaderships request. She suggested distributing a letter to the membership with a postcard allowing them to check off an alternate service in order to provide the membership benefits they've paid for.

Action: Goetz will work with appropriate HQ staff and SIGNUM leadership to develop a letter and postcard to issue to their membership outlining that they are seeking for Council to decharter along with the options.


Baglio reported that preliminary data indicates a financial and technical success for FCRC. The financial structure developed for the '99 conference, placing all but the unique conference revenue and expense in the umbrella's budget worked well. There will be a surplus for the conference and none of the secured SIG monies to subsidize the student program will need to be used. David Johnson reported that the constituent conference leadership and attendees were quite happy with the event from both a technical and logistical standpoint.

Ellis indicated that Johnson reported on FCRC during Council. She spoke to him about the event and he indicated a lack of continuity at the umbrella level. He suggested that the SGB EC address this. With most of the conferences being SIG conferences it's appropriate for the SGB to take more of a lead on future conferences than has been done in the past. Johnson suggested to Council that any surplus be earmarked in ACM's fund balance to seed future conferences.

Action: Ellis will invite David Johnson to next SGB meeting to discuss the future of FCRC and the role the SIGs need to play for its continued success.

7) Publications Update

Publication Advisor Cohoon reported that the Publications Board met on May 14th and 15th in NYC. He provided the SGB EC with a written summary prior to the call and reviewed portions of it during the call.

According to Cohoon, Executive Director John White presented his thoughts on the Association now that he's completed his 3rd month of service to the organization. His focus will be on ACM as an electronic community making acm.org the organizations highest priority. He wants to ensure high availability and high-performance of ACM web site to world-wide IT professionals.

Following White's presentation, Wayne Graves presented Digital Library statistics as of May 1999 which indicated that a majority of the people using the DL are looking at CACM followed by proceedings of SIGCHI, SIGDA, SIGGRAPH and SIGMOD. Consortia are getting bigger and bigger. Cohoon reminded the Publications Board that they awere to look at the revenue of the digital library and present a plan to the SIGs with regard to revenue sharing. At first there were reports of $1,000,000 in revenue however when revenue sharing was discussed Cohoon was told of the expenses related to that revenue. In addition, all revenue is being plowed back into the program. A preliminary analysis was done indicating that hard copies were not affected by the DL. He requested that the publications board report on expenses/revenue and a plan for revenue sharing (if appropriate) during the next SGB meeting. There may not be revenue to share but the SIGs need to be made aware of that.

During the publications activities staff report, Mandelbaum mentioned that the Transactions on Graphics (TOG) is next transaction to go the new publishing process. TOCS had a single issue journal. The next is being held until there are at least 2 papers. Publications Board discussed a bill of Rights for readers and the SIGs will be asked to participate. A proposal was received for a Transaction on Course Education without SIGCSE's endorsement. Cohoon will be contacting SIGCSE and SIGMM to discuss this further.

Action: Cohoon will pursue revenue sharing issues with regard to the DL with the publications board.

Action: Cohoon will contact the SIGCSE and SIGMM leadership to discuss the proposal submitted for a Transaction on course Education.

Action: Cohoon will discuss the Bill of Rights for readers with the SGB for their input.

Rick Snodgrass presented his proposal for Computing Portal that was previously to the SIG Chairs at the SGB meeting. He received the enthusiastic support by Publications Board.

Computing Reviews is likely to be outsourced to Information Express as a result of staffing demands in other areas of publications.

8) SGB EC Member Reports

Cassell requested that all EC members review the program plan submitted by SIGBIO and forward comments to her. The EC should then be prepared to discuss via e-mail.

VC Furuta reported that a number of SIG awards were approved by the Awards Committee but SIGBIO awards were turned back. They are awaiting the decision of the SGB EC on the future of SIGBIO before moving ahead.

Action: Furuta will revisit the awards route between the SIG, Mark Scott Johnson and himself and come up with an improved plan of action.

Baer reported that he's received responses from 50% of the SIG leaders with regard to the election survey he distributed. Most of the respondents indicate no dissatisfaction with the way the slates are made up. There appears to be a strong consensus toward term limits. He will report again once the majority of the surveys are returned.

9) Review status of Current Action Items - A list of action items will be distributed.

There was no time to review the action items. Baglio indicated that she'd review them and remove those that had been completed. Members of the SGB EC that had completed items were asked to forward her that information.



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