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Summary of the SIGCHI Extended Executive Committee (EEC) Toulouse, France, July 27-28, 1996

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Meeting of the SIGCHI Extended Executive Committee (EEC) Toulouse, France, July 27-28, 1996 Conference Call Meeting of the SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) August 28, 1996

Meeting of the SIGCHI Extended Executive Committee (EEC) Toulouse, France, July 27-28, 1996

Participants

Elected Officers

Mike Atwood, Chair (non-voting)
Guy Boy, Co-Chair
Clare-Marie Karat, Vice Chair for Finances
Gene Lynch, Vice Chair for Conference Management
Barbee Teasley, Vice Chair for Communications (minutes)
Marian Williams, Vice Chair for Operations
Jim Miller, Past Chair
Gary Perlman, Vice Chair for Publications

Chairs' Appointees (1 vote for the Board as a whole)

Robin Jeffries, Member, Advisory Board
John Karat, Member, Advisory Board

Non-Voting

Steven Pemberton, Editor-in-Chief, SIGCHI Bulletin
Diane Darrow, ACM

(Minutes created 13 July, modified 3 Sep and approved by a vote of 7-0-0 on 13 Sep 96.)

CHI Video Distribution

Prior to the CHI 95 conference, conference videos were distributed through an arrangement with SIGGRAPH. Starting with CHI 95, SIGCHI has handled the publishing and distribution of conference videos. It is time to complete the transition of operations from SIGGRAPH to SIGCHI. The transition will involve sorting out the finances, dealing with references to the videos in SIGGRAPH's publications, obtaining the master copies, and editing the older videos to remove references to SIGGRAPH.

The budget for CHI 97 proposes that the registration fee be increased to cover the expense of distribution of the CHI 97 video to all attendees. The budget has not been approved yet.

It was proposed that a set of all existing CHI conference videos be given to any local SIGs requesting them, for use within the local SIG. Each SIG would be encouraged to set up their own process for lending or using the videos. Currently, local SIGs receive copies of all the CHI tutorial notes, if they request them. Perlman will follow up on this proposal.

Continuing Education

Williams reported on activities related to Tutorials on Tour. The British HCI group has agreed to serve as sponsor, in cooperation with SIGCHI and a corporate sponsor. About six to eight tutorial instructors that have been contacted have indicated they are willing to participate. The tutorials will be scheduled for this fall.

A proposal championed by Andrew Sears was presented. The proposal is to establish a clearinghouse of information and resources for people starting HCI courses and programs at academic institutions. Part of the initiative involves determining what resources exist in order to fill in gaps. The proposal requested funds for establishing a working group, communications, publishing and a workshop. The committee asked for Sears to revise the written proposal. The project will be chartered by SIGCHI and funded from the Chair's discretionary funded.

Membership Retention

Darrow is now receiving on a monthly basis a list of who has joined and who has resigned. This information will be useful in monitoring membership trends, contacting new members and establishing a membership retention program. Atwood agreed to contact the Adjunct Chair for Membership to assess progress on a proposed welcome letter and dropped-membership letter.

Email Base

For many years, Xerox PARC has provided email forwarding service to the HCI community, particularly SIGCHI. The service has included both distribution lists and forwarding aliases. Xerox wishes to be relieved of this responsibility, and, with the establishment of acm.org, it is feasible to move the service to ACM. The move is already underway. Unfortunately, a few of the conventions and services that users of the Xerox PARC-based system were used to will not be available on the new system.

Following discussion, the EC decided on these policies.

  • There will be no separate domain for SIGCHI at this time, although the issue may be reopened in the future, if necessary.
  • There will be mail-forwarding for members only.
  • Nonmembers can be included in mail lists. Thus, nonmembers will be able to send and receive mail via a list.
  • Discussion lists need to be monitored.
  • At this point, it is up to the owners of these lists to determine whether nonmembers may participate.
  • The first recommended naming schemes for an alias is: firstinitial dash lastname dash CHI@acm.org
  • The second scheme is: firstname dash lastname dash CHI@acm.org.
  • The standard separator is the dash character.

The Information Director is charged by the committee to undertake the following activities before the end of the calendar year.

  • Establish lists on the ACM server.
  • Find list-owners to create charters for their lists and maintain supervision of the lists on an ongoing basis. These lists need to be re-subscribed, not just converted from their current location.
  • Manage the process of creating member aliases.
  • Be aware of and manage resource issues, including staff, finances, system loads, etc.

SIGCHI Web Presence

In January of this year, Perlman sent a letter to ACM enumerating a number of problems with the ACM Online Publications Catalog web page, including inaccurate information and lack of functionality. He suggested possible solutions. He has not yet received a response to his letter. The committee wishes to have this matter addressed right away. To this end, Lynch made the following motion (Jeffries seconded):

The EC has serious concerns about the infrastructure provided by ACM to support the ACM Online Publications Catalog. Details concerning a number of problem areas and possible solutions have been communicated to ACM by the SIGCHI Vice Chair for Publications, but there has been a lack of response. The problems with the site are impacting our ability to serve our members and advance the field, and are impacting our revenues. Although responsibility for the Catalog lies with ACM, these responsibilities are not being met. Therefore, the Chair of SIGCHI has been instructed to contact Joe DeBlasi, of ACM, to communicate our concerns and request a response, by the August 28 SIGCHI EEC conference call, detailing when and how the problems will be solved.

The motion passed unanimously, 8-0-0.

A volunteer has begun working with Perlman and Teasley to set up an online version of the EEC contact list and the To-Do list.

ACM Award Reminders

The Committee were reminded that there is an August 1 deadline for submitting nominations for ACM awards. If a member of SIGCHI were to win an award, it would be good publicity for SIGCHI. Nominations must be made as individuals.

Bulletin Editor's Report

Pemberton reminded the EEC that the January issue of the Bulletin will focus on the future of SIGCHI and HCI.

The new position of Associate Editor is working out well.

A printed report on usage of the online version of the Bulletin since December, 1995, was distributed. The current issue of the Bulletin is available only to members. Past issues are freely available. As of July, 122 SIGCHI members had requested accounts, and made over 2500 hits on the private site. The public area received nearly 20,000 hits. While there is a feedback mechanism on the site, it has not been used. In the future, feedback, if any, will go to the Vice Chair for Publications, as well as to the Editor. Pemberton has automated some of the conversion from paper to web, including the automatic creation of links. This has made the web publication effort much more efficient.

CHI 96 Conference

The final report of the CHI 96 conference was delivered in July. The time needed to finalize the report was much less than for prior conferences. The process was facilitated by working one-on-one with the organizers at the conference itself. This was the first year that the CHI 96 wrap-up meetings and the CHI 96/CHI 97 handoff meetings were held during the conference, as opposed to meeting after the conference. While there needs to be more preparation time, the new process seems to be working well. A formal review of the new process will take place at the conference management committee (CMC) meeting at the end of August.

The vendor who handled registration for CHI 96 has turned in a report. Total regular registration was 2,455. Only 15 nonmembers who registered turned down the ACM/SIGCHI registration. All new members were sent a welcome letter. A goal of the conference was to reduce onsite registrations, which introduce uncertainty into conference planning activities. For CHI 96, onsite registrations totaled 3%, better than the previous 7% rates. The vendor stated that, due to operational requirements, it is necessary to have a downtime between off-site and onsite registration. Having the registration for workshops be a secondary registration is also a problem for the vendor. There is a continued need to educate authors that they must pay their own registration fees. The feasibility of a one-day registration package is being explored.

CHI 97 Conference

Pemberton reported that the CHI 97 administration is trying to utilize vendors as much as possible, thus reducing demands on volunteer time. For example, online registration will be handled by a vendor. No publications chair has been found. The possibility of using a vendor for this work is currently being investigated. The budget is not yet confirmed.

The deadline for submission of tutorial proposals has passed. For the first time, there will be blind reviewing for items which go into the proceedings, except for design briefings. There will no longer be a companion volume to the proceedings. The publications will still include two volumes. One volume will be the proceedings, as before. The second will be late breaking and informal submissions. The second volume will not be copyright to ACM, and will not have an ISBN number, as it will only be distributed at the conference. It will be created by copying, not printing. Planning is underway for a web site for the proceedings.

CHI 98 and Future CHI Conferences

The CMC is recommending Los Angeles as the site of CHI 98. Staffing of the CHI 98 conference chairs is lagging behind previous years, primarily because of the efforts to rearrange the loads assigned to chairs versus professionals. There is a desire to reduce confusion and overlap, yet provide flexibility in job descriptions. On the other hand, the budget for the conference is already being put together.

Potential chairs for the next three years' conferences are already being recruited. Site proposals are also being solicited. CHI 00 will be held in Europe.

The CMC is considering bundling a subscription to the ACM publication, interactions, with CHI conference fees. This could be on an elective basis.

CHI Plus

The CHI Plus package provides members with copies of selected, relevant conference proceedings as an add-on to their membership fees. Perlman will recommend a set of proceedings to be part of the package for 1996 during the August EC conference call.

Finance

C. M. Karat reviewed a printed finance report and noted that there is about $250K (US) over the recommended fund balance. While the CHI conference contributed to the balance, programs which were budgeted for, but have not been launched, also contributed. The final version of the financial report will be published in the January, 1997, edition of the Bulletin.

ACM has implemented a new accounting system which provides more flexible reporting capabilities than the old system. Currently, the systems are running in parallel, while the transition from old to new is made.

Nominations Committee

The nominations committee for the upcoming election of EC members was appointed by Atwood. It consists of Jim Miller, Michel Beaudouin Lafon, John Karat, Susan Wolfe, and Suzanne Bødker. The committee will have a slate of candidates by November 1, for publication in the Bulletin.

Each member of the EEC has been asked to provide to Teasley and Darrow a job description of their positions by August 15. These will be used by the nominations committee to help in recruiting and selecting candidates.

Information Director

Concern was expressed that the duties and responsibilities of the Vice Chair for Publications have been and are continuing to expand very rapidly. In addition, the role of Information Director is taking on more and more importance. To make the Information Director a member of the executive committee would require changing the bylaws. For now, the Chair will invite the Information Director to attend EC meetings as needed.

Support for Local SIGs

As an outgrowth of a discussion concerning local SIGCHI chapters, C. M. Karat offered the following motion (Teasley seconded):

Based on the current EEC's expressed goal of increasing the value and usability of SIGCHI to its members, SIGCHI will seek to enhance support of chartered local SIGCHI chapters.

The motion passed unanimously, 8-0-0.

Dr. Betty Edwards Workshops

Clare-Marie Karat proposed that SIGCHI sponsor and conduct three five-day workshops taught by Betty Edwards. Dr. Edwards gave the closing plenary address at CHI 96. The objectives of the proposal are: to influence HCI professionals by reaching outside the central HCI community for resources and new perspectives; to involve local SIGs; to provide follow-through and in-depth exploration of a conference theme; and to serve as a basis for similar proposals. After discussion, the EC suggested changes to the original proposal, and the following motion was made by C. M. Karat (Teasley seconded):

ACM SIGCHI will sponsor up to three "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" workshops, taught by Dr. Betty Edwards, in up to three different locations, by the end of 1997. This will allow enrollment of approximately 75 SIGCHI members on a first come-first serve basis. SIGCHI will provide a subsidy for this activity, and will pay expenses, in amounts not to exceed $50K (US). An evaluation of the program will be written by Karat and published in the Bulletin.

The motion passed unanimously, 8-0-0.

Database Policies

Jeffries presented a draft of a policy for handling database information collected and maintained by SIGCHI, particularly conference-related information. Databases currently used include potential reviewers, submissions, and reviews of submissions. Issues concern creation of the databases, security, use and access within and across conferences, and lifetime of the information. A close-to-final version will be ready by the December meeting of the EC.

Complimentary Memberships for Trade Writers

It is in SIGCHI's interest to have writers for various commercial publications familiar with SIGCHI's goals and activities. One way to accomplish this is to provide these writers with complimentary memberships in SIGCHI. The memberships would provide subscriptions to the Bulletin and interactions, the CHI Plus publications package, and member rates on conference attendance and other publications. Memberships will be offered to trade writers and other relevant media authors, who will be asked to sign up only if they are interested. They will be asked to renew each year, to indicate continued interest.

Miller moved (Lynch seconded) that the Adjunct Chair for Publicity be given a $2,000 (US) budget to provide complimentary memberships in SIGCHI to up to 25 media and trade publication writers. The vote was unanimous in favor, 8-0-0.

Market Survey

The committee reviewed the results of the SIGCHI focus groups study, and the CHI 96 Conference On-site research. A number of important trends and insights were noted. Ideas for ways to address concerns and to build on our strengths were discussed. Each member was asked to submit their `top three' findings from the research, and a number of suggested activities based on their top three results to Teasley by August 15. In addition, members were asked to send comments on the draft of a mail survey to Darrow.

Future Meetings

The next EC conference call will be August 28, 11:30 EST, 15:30 UTC. Future meetings will also be on the fourth Wednesday of each month, at the same time, until further notice. Members were encouraged to take care and commitment in entering items into meeting agendas, so that all members can come to meetings prepared to act on the items. Darrow was commended by the committee for creating and distributing a notebook of materials prior to the meeting, which greatly facilitated decision making.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the traditional post-CHI EEC meeting will take place April 11-13, instead of directly following the CHI conference.


Conference Call Meeting of the SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) August 28, 1996

Participants

Elected Officers

Mike Atwood, Chair (non-voting)
Guy Boy, Co-Chair
Clare-Marie Karat, Vice Chair for Finances
Jim Miller, Past Chair
Gary Perlman, Vice Chair for Publications
Barbee Teasley, Vice Chair for Communications (minutes)
Marian Williams, Vice Chair for Operations

Chairs' Appointees (1 vote for the Board as a whole)

Robin Jeffries, Member, Advisory Board
John Karat, Member, Advisory Board

Non-Voting

Steven Pemberton, Editor-in-Chief, SIGCHI Bulletin

(These minutes were created on 3 Sep 96, modified on 10 Sep 96 and approved by a vote of 7-0-0 on 13 Sep 96.)

ACM Online Publications Web Site

Atwood reported that he had communicated to Joe DiBlasi, Executive Director of ACM, the motion passed by the EC at its July, 1996, meeting. The motion expressed concerns with the SIGCHI-related contents of the site, and the failure of ACM to respond to earlier communications re the site. Perlman expects to be included in a conference call on the topic within the near future.

Membership Welcome/Retention Letters

Drafts of a new member welcome letter and a lapsed-member contact letter have been reviewed by Atwood and Teasley. Atwood will contact Rhona Charron and give a progress report at the next EC meeting.

Member Plus Package

The SIGCHI Member Plus package allows SIGCHI members to receive copies of the CHI Conference Proceedings, the UIST Conference Proceedings, and a bonus conference proceedings for a special price. The EC discussed candidates for the bonus proceedings and agreed unanimously that ASSETS '96 would be the offering this year. ASSETS is the main conference of SIGCAPH (Computers and the Physically Handicapped).

Tutorials on Tour

The corporation which was considering co-sponsoring a Tutorials on Tour offering in Britain in the fourth quarter of this year has withdrawn its support. Tutorials on Tour is the presentation of selected CHI 96 tutorials at non-conference locations.

Email Changeover

Perlman has communicated the EC's directives concerning the changeover of SIGCHI's email server from xerox.com to acm.org to the Information Director (Scott Robertson). A report and plan will be ready for the December EC meeting. Robertson will be invited to attend.

HCI Course Materials Repository

Andrew Sears submitted a revised version of his HCI repository proposal based on comments from the July, 1996, EC meeting. Atwood and Williams reviewed the new version. The project will be funded from the Chair's discretionary fund.

European Local SIGs

Pemberton and Boy reported that an issue concerning ACM policy and the naming of local SIGs has been cleared up. Newly-forming local SIGCHI groups in France and the Netherlands had wished to name their groups based on country. Contacts at ACM had said that policy allowed only city or area names. When informed of the problem, Dahl Gerberick, Chair of ACM Membership Activities Board, issued a memo directing ACM to allow whatever name the groups choose.

Database Policies Update

CHI conferences maintain a database of information on reviewers. For CHI 97, reviewer information has been entered and accessed via the web. Each area chair has a unique password to allow them to edit the information. In addition, each paper chair has a password which allows them access to the database, and allows them to make queries on the database. The processes being used now can be used in assessing and formulating the formal database policy that Jeffries is drafting.

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