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Annual SIGCHI Business Meeting

Summary of SIGCHI Business Meeting Held at CHI 98, Wednesday, April 22, 1998 Westin Bonaventure Hotel -- Sacramento Room Los Angeles, CA U.S.A.

Held at CHI 98, Wednesday, April 22, 1998 Westin Bonaventure Hotel -- Sacramento Room Los Angeles, CA U.S.A.

(These minutes were created on April 30, 1998, and approved by a vote of 7-0-0 on 20 June 1998.)

Mike Atwood, SIGCHI Chair, welcomed the SIGCHI community and introduced all of the SIGCHI officers.


The first order of business was to give out two SIGCHI Distinguished Service Awards. The first went to Steven Pemberton for his hard work on the SIGCHI Bulletin and his dedication to the CHI community overall. The second award went to Keith Instone for his work on the SIGCHI Web site and the various conference Web sites through the years.

Society Issue

Next, Mike Atwood gave an overview of the Society issue that has been discussed and worked on over the past couple of years. He encouraged the membership to vote on this issue in the way that they felt was appropriate for themselves, but to vote nonetheless.


Jean Scholtz, Vice-chair Finance, gave the latest budget report for SIGCHI (the totals through February). She also reviewed the key budget items for FY 99.



Dan Olsen, Vice-chair Publications, gave a brief overview of some of the ideas that have been discussed recently about splitting up the CHI+ package. (More details about these ideas can be found in the March and April minutes of the SIGCHI EC meetings.) The discussion with the audience was fruitful, yielding both support and the expression of some important questions.

Some of the questions that were raised included:

  • How to best include small conference proceedings in future proceedings sets?
  • How will the archival needs of publications be handled?
  • How will innovations be best captured if they are technical notes?
  • Will there be backward archivability?
  • TOCHI requires that there be at least 50% new material for a given publication -- how will this impact TOCHI or other related publications?
  • What will be the policy for rotating in new conferences and rotating older ones out?
  • Will there be an artificial capping of quality material? How will this be handled?
  • How will the need for consistency of reviews across publications (e.g., CHI, CSCW, UIST) be handled?

Additional benefits cited included:

  • Having the materials indexed.
  • The betterment of these publications for fields such as Psychology.
  • The archival value of CHI papers.

Dan concluded the discussion by thanking the community for its feedback.

interactions and the Bulletin

Next, Steven Pemberton, SIGCHI Bulletin Editor in Chief and the new Editor of interactions, discussed the projects that he has been working on recently.

He noted that the next edition of the SIGCHI Bulletin will be a special issue and that it will be out soon. Also, he discussed the notion of making interactions the flagship publication of SIGCHI, particularly if SIGCHI achieves Society status in the future. interactions would need to be augmented with items such as a SIGCHI Chair's column to make it more of a membership vehicle in addition to its stature as an ACM publication.

If this publication change were to happen then it has also been suggested that the SIGCHI Bulletin become a Web-based publication only. Some reluctance was expressed by members in the audience about having materials only accessible via the Web since not everyone, particularly in other countries, has access to the Web. Steven also noted that there may be slightly increased fees since interactions is currently only a fee-based publication and not part of the basic membership package.

Conference Management

The Conference Management Committee

Gerrit van der Veer, Vice-chair Conferences, gave a brief overview of the Conference Management Committee. He first listed the various members of their committee and their areas of responsibility:

  • Jim Miller -- conference sites, cooperating societies
  • Michael Tauber -- cooperating societies, CHI 2000
  • Kevin Schofield -- CHI 1999
  • Austin Henderson -- small conferences and workshops
  • David Riederman -- ACM
  • Gerrit van der Veer -- SIGCHI Vice-chair for Conferences

Next, Gerrit reviewed the mission of the group. For the SIGCHI community the mission is to ensure conference consistency, to have well-focussed conferences, to improve the possibility of participation, to survey the constituency and get regular feedback, and to maintain and develop conferences and workshops. The mission of this committee as it pertains to the conference organization is to develop and maintain the corporate history, to develop policies so that we are not reinventing work, to provide professional support, and to provide training and assist with budget management as needed.

There are various policies being developed: a video policy, a standard "core CHI conference" policy, and a cooperating societies policy. There is also work underway to formalize the CMC's Charter.

Future CHIs

The locations of the next three CHI conferences have been selected, as have the co-chairs for the next two conferences. These choices follow:

  • CHI 1999 -- Pittsburgh, Co-chairs Marian Williams and Mark Altom
  • CHI 2000 -- The Hague, Co-chairs Thea Turner, Gerd Szwillus
  • CHI 2001 -- Seattle, Co-chairs yet to be named

Austin Henderson, member of the Conference Management Committee, also spent a few minutes reviewing some of the smaller conferences that will be coming up. A partial list of those conferences follows.

Sponsored and Co-sponsored Conferences

During 1998

  • Agents
  • UIST
  • VRST
  • CSCW
  • IUI

During 1999

  • WACC
  • ESP
  • C&C
  • UIST
  • DIS

In Cooperation Conferences

During 1998

  • ACM Policy
  • AUI
  • HCI-Aero
  • IUI-MH
  • WECC
  • PDC

During 1999: INTERACT

Austin also mentioned some of the ideas that are under consideration by the group to better support small conference needs. These ideas include: putting materials on a Web site, having smaller conference organizers come together and meet at CHI to develop their budgets with the help of experienced CHI people, TRMF training, establishing a central office contact (e.g., the CHI office), assisting with corporate sponsorship and online registration needs.

Other concerns that have been identified and that the committee is looking into include: the hiring and use of contractors vs. the role of volunteers, the rising costs of conferences is making it marginal whether people can afford to attend, learnings from previous conferences are not always available by the time the necessary planning and work needs to be done for the next conference, and changing the model of the conferences (e.g., more days) to better accommodate growth opportunities for new and seasoned attendees.

Electronic Infrastructure

Bob Mack, Vice-chair Operations, gave a brief overview of the infrastructure work that is in progress. He reviewed the status of the RFPs, the need to support both volunteer and professional services, and the role of a Volunteer Information Director as a liaison between the two. More details about the work that Bob is undertaking can be found in the March and April minutes of the SIGCHI EC.

Advisory Board Initiatives

The SIGCHI Advisory Board consists of Allison Druin, John Karat, and Richard Anderson. Guy Boy, SIGCHI Vice- chair, stood in for John Karat during this segment of the presentation.

In brief Allison indicated that she is working on two programs. One is to help educate our members more about HCI and the other is her focus on Domain Task Forces.

Guy noted that the International Advisory Task Force completed its work during this past year and created a report with key recommendations for best supporting the international CHI community. A copy of this report can be picked up at the SIGCHI booth.

Richard Anderson highlighted his work on Local SIGs and mentioned the multitude of Local SIGs ribbons at CHI 98 in addition to the Local SIGs Workshop held on Monday for Local SIGs leaders.

Mike then officially closed the meeting.

Secretary's note: although not all programs and efforts being undertaken by the SIGCHI EC were discussed during the Business Meeting, those covered provided a good overview of the key activities underway. Other activities underway include the New Member Mentoring Program and the Membership Outreach Task Force. The SIGCHI community is encouraged to read the minutes of the SIGCHI EC meetings as currently published in the SIGCHI Bulletin.

Minutes by Cathleen Wharton, Vice-chair Communications.


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