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Minutes from May EC Conference Call

Summary of the EC Minutes from the May Conference Call

Meeting started at 8:30 am EST and concluded around noon.

A.J. Brush

Participants: Julie Jacko, Mary Czerwinski, Fred Sampson, A.J. Brush, Dan Olsen, Dennis Wixon, Scooter Morris, Philippe Palanque, Gerrit van der Veer, Paula Kotzé, Gary Olson, Mary Beth Rosson, Jimmy Ginn, Susan Dray, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, Manfred Tschilegi, Elizabeth Churchill, Brooke Hardy (ACM) . Fran Spinola on phone.


  • Interactions: Discussion of Interactions editor search. The goal is to have new editors chosen by end of May. Discussion of methods for handling topics that could potentially cause controversy.
  • Content of the bulletin will be transitioned into a news feed available on the new website.
  • CHI 2007 was wildly successful. Preliminary attendance figure is 2640 an increase of 12.7% over 2006. The EC thanks and congratulates Mary Beth, David and the rest of the CHI 2006 committee. The CMC was charged with putting in place a team to begin the process of evaluating the experiment of changing the conference and the innovations. This will be discussed at the summer EC meeting.
  • SIGCHI EC discussed the importance of a family friendly conference. The EC invites MatriariCHI to address the issue of childcare and make some proposals.
  • Data Archiving. The EC thanks Thea Turner for her work archiving and working with conference data. Going forward Philippe is building a team of people to systemize handling and analysis of SIGCHI related data.


Detailed Minutes

1) Interactions Chat (Jonathan Arnowitz by phone)

Discussion of editor search. Five people initially under consideration, currently 2 leading candidates. Search committee has charged them to come up with an organizational plan, going one level deeper. January 2008 would be the first issue with new editors. Deadline for that issue will be October. The plan is to have editors in place by the end of this month (May). Tending toward a model of principal editor with an assistant. Dan will be back in touch with them soon. Main issues for Elizabeth and Jonathan are whether or not that they need to prepare for January. Dan feels very confident that some solution will be in place at the end of this month.

Discussion about transition. Suggestion of a handoff meeting between old and new editors and the ACM folks in New York. Dan will make sure all the appropriate people are involved.

Action Item (Dan): Make sure appropriate hand-off meetings occur once new editors have been selected.

Discussion about controversial content and process related to that.: When there is an editorial that covers SIGCHI or CHI conference – it’s forwarded to communications chair and then the SIGCHI EC has a short period (a week) to respond to it in the same issue.

More general controversy discussion:

Dan: Reality is that the magazine serves the membership of SIGCHI. One of things that Dan thinks is important is that if there is topic that might cause a firestorm then it should be brought by the EC. Editors can decide what would cause a firestorm. What can the EC do?

Jonathan’s asks more about the process. Jonathan asks if this is about Human Sexuality and HCI. Susan describes how for the UPA the director of publications is responsible for working with editors and knowing what is coming in terms of content. Susan is not there as a heavy hand or a hammer. When there are issues coming up the UPA board is aware in advance so they can help with balancing. Elizabeth describes that editors should have awareness of the things that would cause controversy, EC as a sounding board. Jonathan would like to see a process in place, what’s the way to make a decision on this. Dan suggests that it resolves with the executive committee. It should come through EC pubs, but then the final decision should sit with the EC.

Julie – done in the spirit in collaboration, this is not a censorship body, work collaboratively with the editors

Jonathan – we’ve come up with good and appropriate content, why introduce possibility of censorship.
Who should be initial screen for is it a controversy? Editors to use good judgment – if it looks like it will cause a firestorm, it will be the editors to decide. In everyone’s interest to be generally sensitive, avoid damage the credibility of the organization

1) Meta conversation – if there is a general issue there that might cause controversy the editors should bring it to the EC for discussion. This also allows the EC members to know what is going on.

2) Specific Controversy - Presented with multiple competing proposals for the fall issue, only a couple of weeks left until May 18th when content is due to ACM. Need time to do the editing and get things in place. Received a proposal for issue on Human Sexuality and HCI. Reviewing for appropriateness. Editors would not go forward with things that will reflect badly on the credit of the magazine, People are uncomfortable with rushed timeline, What about doing a different issue? Why rush on controversial topic. We do not have a proposal yet.

1) Responsibility for producing timely issues of interactions is in the hand of the editors,
2) There are topics for which a sizable percentage of our membership would be upset, these types of topics need to come to the EC for discussion in a timely fashion. EC needs time to make a discussion. Editors review the topics and if a topic will cause concern bring it to the EC
3) Number of responses EC could make, which could range from writing a rebuttal to blocking publication of certain material.

Length of magazine. There had been a question about the length of the magazine. Dan has asked the ACM about this and is seems related to amount of money spent on design.

Bulletin and Communications (Brian on phone)

Brian asked some questions related to the bulletin and the new website.
1) How do I edit this content? Who do I contact? Are we ready to migrate and have many thousands of people hit the site. Can the membership access this site?
2) What should the bulletin be? Should it be its own entity. Should it just be a section about the news site, could it be an RSS site. Should it have volume/issue mentality? What about semi-structured content?

Dan – do we think about this less of issues of thing that comes out and more as ongoing news of the SIG. Brian thinks we should move to ongoing news element. This comes out as RSS feed, don’t always to go. When do you make the cut off to send the email out to the membership? Not sure how to make the appropriate threshold. Perhaps once a month. What we are most concerned about is keeping the membership informed.

Minutes – we plan to create an archival area so that people can find them, also post to the news.

Who do we direct these questions to? To Scooter

Discussion by Scooter of the RFP for the website. The bulletin currently is unstable right now. Brian feels like he’s in limbo between then new and old site. A lot of the SIGCHI content is already on new site. Discussion that we’re having right now about what is the bulletin will inform the discussion for WebRFP

Action item (Scooter, Brian): Resolve state of bulletin and new website. Turn bulletin into an ongoing ‘news’ feed.

Brian: Can we have a policy on responsibilities from officers to submit something to the news. People need to assume the responsibility on their own. Responsibility of the appointed officers, could also be responsibility to find other people doing exciting things. Frame as “news item” to make it more approachable.

Action Item (Julie): Put on each EC call as agenda item, propose things at the end of meeting. Just need a place to put it online at this point.

Wildly Successful CHI 2007 Conference Briefing

The EC thanks Mary Beth, David and the rest of the committee for a wonderful conference.

Attendance: Member: 1,036 (18% over 2006), Non-M: 762 (11.73%), Student: 703 (-0.4%), Sponsor: 82 (142%), Exhibitors: 42 (35%), Doctoral Consortium: 15 (0%)

2007 was 2nd most successful after Seattle one.

AC student sponsorship program was very well received. Both good for students and good for people in academia and industry.

Course attendance: was relatively high, 40 courses, a few had long wait time.

Gary: the repeat customers have gotten use to the new model,

Around 37% of courses were new, Mary Beth thinks some of it reflects on the “anniversary” of this conference

Mary Beth: tried to focus on management and engineering communities, some tailored outreach to OOPSLA attendees, Scooter and others reached out to the engineering community. Mary Beth wanted to make sure that all the communities were covered and make sure there was cross-talk, Management is really hard, probably the least familiar, Jeremy did a nice job. He seemed to very pleased with it. People going between tracks

Discussion about coping with the room overflow, try to schedule time at the end of each day between the logistics team and the management team. Problems persuading people to go back to the Civic.

2nd year in row had 90 applicants for 15 positions for the doctoral consortium

This may relate to student funding for conferences, perhaps explore other ways to fund students to get to CHI.

Also, discuss ways of expanding the doctoral consortium, perhaps track for more junior and more senior. OOPSLA has an apprentice model, invite equal number of junior graduate students, might be one thing to consider, some support.

Susan – Thank EC publicly for the support for the workshop. NSF grant plus money from EC was very wonderful. Workshop was for those participants like Gaitherburg was for CHI. Gain energy and accelerate. Fair amount of concern that ACM is not seen as international. Having development funds would enrich discussion and dialog. Having support for people from soft currency countries would be really helpful. Having the development consortium again would be helpful.

Chapters workshop - how do we get more flow from the chapters, one person from the chapters might come to represent what is happening on the ground at the chapter,

Simple win – support reporting back from the chapters. This needs to be carefully crafted. UPA is dealing with the similar things with chapters,

Action Item (Scooter and Elizabeth): Work to figure out what we can offer the chapters

Discussion about full day courses (60 people)

Could some of the courses be a slightly hybrid model? Could they go Sunday before and be one-day and be more workshop like, this
would allow long day courses without losing the ability to see the conferences

Trying to convey that courses are like other stuff. Still trying to define the new model. It’s now a question for Mary whether it’s the right time to do this. Dennis, discourage people from jumping courses and that seemed to work. Some of the courses where over at the Hilton.

Scooter 1) look at our model, 3 year experiment 2) Should we move some of the all day courses to the Sunday before?

Discuss longer in other venues – should we move some of the all day courses to the Sunday before?

Move social events off Sunday night?

Action item (CMC): Put in place a team that will begin the process of evaluating the experiment of changing the conference and the innovations. Have it for summer CMC meeting. Should the conference model be retained. This may include a recommendation on receptions, make discussion about competing receptions, an effort to make it more balanced? Manage from scheduling perspective.

Discussion over financial model of the conference. Tutorial/Courses are the only part of the model that is compensated.

Action Item (Susan, A.J.): For CHI Madness, send back to Gonzo that some people had trouble parsing the presentations. Accessibility issues

Gary made reception onsite in CHI 2006, exhibitors like it a lot,

Posters – love the location, challenge knowing that it changed every day.

Innovations around 2007
    1) Award talks were new this year (may not be able to keep that), conference could help SIGCHI if one of the two plenaries was award winner
    2) Alt.chi ..
    3) others

Action Item (Mary Beth/David): Discussion about the innovation did they work or not.

Discussion about Children & Conference: EC previous policy was statement – Family friendly, children are welcome, disruptive children might be asked to leave. ACM is struggling with this. Discussion is been bounced around at every level. Family friendly is important.

Susan discusses about MatriarCHI, lots of energy from that group to work on that solution. Register issues, 1) appropriateness of content 2) children in exhibits

Action Item (Susan): EC invites MatriariCHI (Terry Roberts) address the issue of childcare and make some proposals, considering insurance issue, Involve diversity of people in that discussion including people without children, men, and those that have opposing views.

Data archive

Philippe is building a team of people to systemize the data analysis. Work on the raw data to remove data that is not needed and might have have personal information implications. Question about Why are we getting any data with PII. ACM/Darren are working on us not getting it.

Action Item (Data committee): Make recommendation to committee about what should be in the data.

We also need a privacy policy that says what SIGCHI should have and what we will use it for. Look at the ACM and any vender privacy policy. At least two vendors are involved.

Action Item (Philippe & Julie ): Propose a privacy policy and bring it to the EC for consideration.

Huge thanks to Thea about the work that she has done with data.

Three steps for Philippe right now: 1) Centralize data 2) Preparing/clean the data 3) Provide/Produce abstract data

Proposal – put everything on the plone. Limit access, perhaps control permissions.

Action Item(EC): Formalize role of data archiving, perhaps as far of bylaws changes.
Work toward a culture of openness and transparency in the process want to know enough of what’s in there

Action Item (EC) Go and try out the plone.

ACM SIGCHI policy for conferences

Make sure requests and issues are discussed at each conference call. Discussion of list of things that we provide to conference that are in-cooperation, Most of what we provide is “our name.” What about sponsored and co-sponsored conference?

Want to do a superb group with sponsored and co-sponsored conference.

    1) What do conferences do for us?

    2) What can we do for the conferences? (guide pre-trmf activity, help people get through the review process

Additional hands-on guidance could be provided. Could we help with a wiki that might have information around site selection and other things that are easy to share among conferences?

Co-sponsored and Sponsored conference information. ACM has data – follow the same process as registration process.

Some issues on where conferences are published electronically. ACM pubs board will talk about organizing access across ACM Digital Library and Springer



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