Minutes - EC Meeting November, 2004
ACM SIGGRAPH EC Meeting
November 19-21, 2004 San Francisco
Alain Chesnais, Barb Helfer, Scott Owen, Dino Schweitzer, Rob Cook, Erica Johnson, Colleen Case, Judy Brown, Fran McAffee, Mk Haley,Tony Baylis, Stephen Spencer, Bob Niehaus
Masa Inakage was absent and designated his proxy vote to Alain Chesnais.
Soma Media: Dave Berguin and Romy Randev
Stephen Keith joined to present his digitization proposal.
The meeting was called to order @ 8:30AM.
Welcome and Introductions
Review of Agenda
Thanks to Rob Cook for organizing a tour of Pixar Animation Studios for EC members yesterday.
S2004 Presentations DVD by Soma Media
Soma Media presented the S2004 DVD. This year’s set contains 6 discs up from 2 discs last year. They also reviewed the on-line streaming application or (OSA).There was a request from the EC to make sure the availability of this content is promoted on the siggraph.org home page. The idea was raised to include this product as part of the Full Conference registration package. The CAG was asked to take this under consideration. The EC thanked Soma for their work and for presenting.
ACTION ITEM: Mk Haley to work with the systems managers team to provide a Soma OSA link from siggraph.org home page.
ACTION ITEM: Soma Media to contact Chapters as part of their sales and marketing plan.
ACTION ITEM: Mk Haley to work with Soma Media to develop the marketing campaign for e-mailing to members and including an announcement in the CG Quarterly.
S2006 Budget Update
S2006 will be in Boston. A. This is the first time the conference will be in Boston since 1989. S2004 actuals were used in the development of the S2006 preliminary budget. This budget reflects a very general scale and scope of the conference. We’re planning on roughly 6.5 million dollars in income, based on S2004 and are using expense figures as we know them at this time. Program activity is the same as S2004 with the exception of the Web Program which will not be held. There was a discussion on Outreach Activities for S2006. The plan is to include Local Chapters, Educators and academics and industry contacts in these activities to promote conference attendance as much as possible. The career fair received high remarks for S2004 and S2005 is planning on continuing this venue. S2006 is investigating how this activity might fit into their program.
MOTION: (Owen, Haley) To approve the S2006 Preliminary conference budget.
Motion Passes Unanimously (10, 0, 0)
Bob Niehaus Joined the meeting.
ACTION ITEM: S2006 to present the final budget in December/January of 2005/2006 for EC approval.
S2006 Technical Program Chairs
The S2006 Technical Program Chairs were presented to the EC for their consideration.
MOTION: (Owen, Cook) Approve Julie Dorsey as the S2006 Papers Chair.
Motion Passes Unanimously (10, 0, 0)
MOTION: (Owen, Haley) Approve David (Grue) DeBry as the S2006 Panels Chair.
Motion Passes Unanimously (10, 0, 0)
MOTION: (Owen, Baylis) Approve Dave Schreiner as the S2006 Courses Chair.
Motion Passes Unanimously (10, 0, 0)
Conference Administration Contract-Transition Costs
There are transition costs associated with moving to a new contractor (staff and volunteer travel, documentation of the papers process which includes the papers sort and jury processes). Janet McAndless will handle the 2005 Papers Administration and will be asked to document the process for an additional cost of approximately $12,000. It was felt that this effort would go a long way in increasing the volunteer Papers chair’s comfort level during the contractor transition. The question was raised as to where we stand with documentation for all other programs. It was expressed that there is a fundamental difference between the papers program and all other programs and it needed special attention. Going forward, processes for all program need to be documented on a regular basis. This should be a living document for each program that evolves annually based on feedback from each program chair’s final report.
A suggestion was made that perhaps process documentation could be added to the program review process.
ACTION ITEM: CAG to ensure each program areas has an appropriate level of documentation of their processes.
ACTION ITEM: Allocate $12,000 of CRF transition funds to cover documentation of the Papers Process by the current Papers Admin. John Finnegan to work with the CAG on this project. The papers Chairs for S2006 & S2007 will be responsible for providing a “quality check” to ensure the documentation meets their requirements.
The conference is projecting a return of at least $310,000 to the reserve fund after allocations and transfers. This will be split 80% to CRF and 20 % to the EC RF.
The conference is planning on funding some of the contingency out of the reserve fund. The proposal is for 3% of the total 5% contingency traditionally budgeted to come out of the reserve fund. The remaining 2% will be budgeted as a conference expense. Some concerns were expressed for moving the contingency out of the conference budget. It was expressed that the purpose of the CRF was to cover the loss from conferences. The effect of budgeting 3% out of the CRF gives S2005 an additional $180,000 to allocate towards programs and attendee experience (mid day busing, coffee breaks, etc). Comparisons were made to past year’s conference budgets and today’s dollars. The comment was made that submissions have increased substantially and are we hurting the conference with these budget cuts. Another opinion was expressed that reserve fund spending should be for a specific line item request. For example, if the CAG made a specific content related request that increased conference content then the EC might consider that proposal.
CFR Interest Allocation
There was a review of the history of the CRF and EC RF interest allocation including the EC motion from 1997 saying that interest would be split between the two bodies. This has never been tracked. CAG & EC are in agreement on $1,000,000 to be transferred from the EC RF to the CRF to account for past interest and moving forward, using this as the starting point for calculating the interest distribution, with exact details to be worked out by the EC Treasurer in consultation with the CAG and the number to be provided by Tony Baylis after the December CAG Meeting.
It was pointed out that ACM only recognizes one fund balance for the ACM SIGGRAPH organization.
MOTION: (Baylis, Owen) Transfer $1,000,000 internally from the EC Reserve Fund to the CRF to account for past interest income not previously credited.
Motion Passes (8, 0, 3 Brown, Helfer, Case against)
Action Item: Tony Baylis to work with the CAG on how the funds will be reflected in the internal ACM SIGGRAPH and Conference Financial records.
There was also a brief discussion on the new position of CAG treasurer. Val Miller has been appointed to this position by Scott Owen. There was some concern this may be a replication of duties and waste of resources. This is a temporary position with the Term TBD at the discretion of the CAG Chair.
Conference Site Selection Rotation Policy (East Coast/West Coast)
Due to income restrictions, exhibitor concerns, etc, the CAG is requesting this policy be abolished and the CAG have the flexibility to conduct the conference site selection process based on individual city feasibility and attendee/exhibitor feedback rather than being tied to a specific rotation pattern.
MOTION (Owen, Cook) The ACM EC removes the West coast/non West Coast rotation requirement for the annual conference.
Motion Passes Unanimously (10, 0, 0).
Moving International Resources Center (IRC) from Conference to EC activity
The CAG recommended changing the IRC from a Conference Program to an EC Program. This move would affect the S2007 conference and forward. There was support for this idea from the EC in that it could aide in visa requests, expand the English review program. The EC endorsed pursuing this project and welcomes a formal proposal.
EC + CAG Mission Alignment Task Force Report: Structure and Cooperation (Jackie White, Tony Baylis, Scott Owen, and Alan Chalmers)
The goal of this task force was to make sure the missions of both branches of the organization are in alignment with one another. In summary it was felt the current CAG structure is fine as it relates to size and structure. There were differences of opinion as to the composition of members. There was a recommendation to add a position titled Director of Information Services. The recommendation was also made to consider changing the Director for Communications to the Director for Membership Services and to also consider moving the Director for Publications position off of the EC. There was a discussion of Joint EC + CAG meetings. Philosophically it was felt this was a good idea however it might not be practical. Because of the overlap in the two groups, the meetings could not take place simultaneously. There was consensus that the two groups should try to meet jointly (co-located) at least twice a year (recommendation would be to host a joint strategy meeting and a spring meeting together). Might also be useful to have co-located meetings with Conference Committee where meetings are separate but all participants would have the opportunity to spend dinners and social time together. It was felt this could help build closer relationships between all parties.
CAG BUDGET: There was a discussion as to the most appropriate place for the CAG Budget to reside. It’s presently in the conference budget. Sentiments from the EC were split on this subject. Some EC Members felt the CAG Budget should be moved to the EC area and be part of the EC Budget approval process since the CAG is a committee of the organization. Right now, the CAG budget is the only “director’s” budget that is not reviewed by the EC during their normal budget review process. No formal recommendation was made at this time.
ACTION ITEM: Work will continue on this task force. Feedback is welcomed. A final report from this task force was requested to be presented at the March 2005 EC Meeting.
Change to Start of EC Terms of Office (Judy Brown and Thierry Frey)
EC terms of office currently run from July 1 to June 30 of the given year. This is standard ACM practice and is in alignment with the ACM Fiscal Year. There was a proposal to move the start date to Sept 1 to better allow incoming officers to transition most effectively. The group felt this issue should be discussed by the EC + CAG structure task force.
ACTION ITEM: Thierry Frey to forward the product of the work on this proposal to the EC + CAG Mission Alignment Task Force for their review and consideration.
Logo Usage Policy
It was discussed that we want to allow some flexibility for sub units of the organization to express the creativity that is extremely valuable to our constituents. External use would of course be more restrictive with specific guidelines and a mechanism for addressing requests for variations. There were more editorial comments that various people made and these will be incorporated in a revised draft to be distributed by Stephen Spencer.
MOTION: ( Spencer, Brown) (10,0,0) The EC adopt the logo use policy with the minor word smithing discussed today.
ACTION ITEMS: Stephen Spencer to distribute revised Logo Usage Policy to the EC.
EC members to push this information out to the various sub committees, etc so they are aware of guidelines and restrictions.
Policy & Procedures Task Force Report (Steve Cunningham, Judy Brown Stephen Spencer, and Alain Chesnais)
This group undertook the project of reviewing past meeting minutes and extracting all policies and procedures embed within them. All committees should review these policies and procedures to make sure they are current and reflective of their current operations. Alain has posted the document to the Plone site for everyone’s review. Much thanks to the committee for their work on this project.
ACTION ITEMS: All EC members to review Policies and Procedures document posted on the Plone site and forward comment to the EC.
Alain to re-work the document into an HTML doc and post to SIGGRAPH.org
Moving Forward, any new or amended policies should be added to this repository.
SVR Archive Project
This is an EC reserve fund project to digitize all of the existing non-digital SVRs. This version of the proposal presented by Stephan Keith includes updates on the hardware and software requirements. The total budget request is $30,462. Stephen Spencer and Barb Helfer will be the EC members responsible for project oversight. Stephan Keith expressed a concern over reimbursement for increased electrical usage for the equipment and project. Tony Baylis agreed to review this request and work with Stephan and ACM HQ to see if Stephan could be reimbursed for increased electrical usage as a result of this project.
MOTION: (Helfer, Spencer) (10,0,0) Approve the SVR2DVD Project proposal which will be funded by the EC Reserve Fund. Note Stephan Keith to revise proposal to include figures for electrical usage. Stephen Spencer and Barb Helfer to oversee the project on behalf of the EC.
Proposed ACM SIGGRAPH Video Publications Policy-Stephan Keith
"It is not in the best interests of ACM SIGGRAPH, the Community it serves, it members, nor its contributors, to distribute content placed in its care to any other person, agency, museum, or archive."
guideline 1: "Content placed in ACM SIGGRAPH's care shall only be distributed by recognized venues, such as the SIGGRAPH Video Review (SVR), Electronic Theater, or the ACM Digital Library."
guideline 2: "ACM SIGGRAPH shall redistribute content placed in its care. Should any person, agency, museum or archive require such content, they must acquire such content directly from the contributor, and not indirectly through SIGGRAPH ."
Reasons for such policy.
- US Title 17, United States Copyright Law
- ACM SIGGRAPH Contributor Agreement
applies specifically between the years 1976 and 2000
- ACM Ethics Guidelines
Internet Archive and ACM SIGGRAPH entered into an agreement for 2001 as a pilot project. This resurfaced for 2003 . There was a general disconnect and conflict between the goals of the two organizations. Scott Owen indicated that he would like to run this by the Promo group for their review before it’s adopted. Main concern being the CAF trailer exchange. The comment was made that this may be an issue more of perception than reality, however, still needs to be addressed. Thanks to Stephan Keith for putting this proposal together.
ACTION ITEMS: Erica Johnson to send this proposal to Mark Mandelbaum for his review and comment.
Scott Owen to forward to Promo for their review.
IntroNetworks Proposal Update
Proposal (from Alain Chesnais):
Dena Slothower was approached by representatives from IntroNetworks
about a social networking solution targeted for conferences that they
have developed. She referred them to me and it turns out that I know
the owner of the company, Mark Sylvester, very well. Mark was one of
the Wavefront founders and I've worked with him over a long period of
time until I left Alias in 2000. He showed me a demo of what their
package does. The idea is that the system sets up accounts for each
attendee of your conference. They can then opt in to set up their particulars and actively participate in the system. The system asks a series of questions covering everything from skills to job descriptions to develop a metric that helps you find like minded people attending the conference.
The whole thing is done with a Flash interface and is accessible via any network connected computer. I was very impressed with the solution in light of the fact that I believe that one key reason that people come to our annual conference is to network. I'd asked Mark how hard it would be to customize the interface for SIGGRAPH and he came back with a customized demo for us within days. He used the S2005 images with my permission for this demo to get the point across.
You can find a write up of the software at the following URL:
You can try the demo out yourselves by going to the following URL:
To login as a fictitious user, use a number from 1 to 50 as the
account e-mail and the same number as the password.
Mk Haley gave an update on this proposal. Some background was provided on the company and the Philosophy behind the product. It’s a Flash based networking software that could allow us to offer interesting networking opportunities to our membership. We would need to work with the conference registration vendor to upload files and demographic information which would pre-populate the profiles so this feature could be ready for attendees to “OPT IN”. This could be a great way to increase the networking opportunities at the conference and strengthen the feelings of community. The largest conference deployment for this product was 11,000 users. The list price for this software is $2.50/user. For 1 years subscription. There were concerns that this was expensive for a 40,000 person conference. Many felt it was an interesting concept.
ACTION ITEM: Alain Chesnais to approach the company to see if there is an opportunity for a free demo or trail period.
MK Haley to work on compiling a focus group to roll out a test case and provide feedback, perhaps with the student volunteers.
Nothing is Free Task Force Update (Jamie Mohler, John Finnegan, Rob Cook, Thierry Frey, Scott Owen, Dino Schweitzer, and Bob Niehaus)
An update was given on this groups work. There was a feeling that we should continue to explore submission fees perhaps for everyone or just non members. Investigate tying contributor access privileges to the conference to membership. The group did not present any proposal for consideration at this time. They committed to continuing to work on the topic and report back to the group at the March meeting with some recommendations.
ACTION ITEM: For the Task Force: Present proposals or recommendations on charging submission fees for and/or other membership privileges at the March EC meeting.
Hub & Wheel Concept Task Force Update (Alyn Rockwood, Rob Cook, Barb Helfer)
The group reported that they are looking for additional participants. And that their work is ongoing.
Membership Task Force Update
This group has been focusing on better alignment of the Chapters and ACM SIGGRAPH members. Thierry Frey reported that Lillian Israel, ACM’s Director of membership was supportive of the concept and this idea is also being discussed at the ACM MSB level. There was a sense from the group that they wanted to move quickly on implementing changes. Erica Johnson pointed out that the deadline for membership offerings information has already passed on November 15th. Alain Chesnais gave a brief history of the reason for the change from Feb 1 to November 15th. This deadline is mandated by the SGB. If Chapter and ACM SIGGRAPH membership were to be fully integrated, there would be a significant number of logistical issues that would need to be addressed.
ACTION Item: This group to make a recommendation to the EC and Finance committee or dues and membership structure for the next conference call.
Erica Johnson to advise appropriate ACM HQ staff of ACM SIGGRAPH’s intent and request an extension of November 15th deadline.
ACM SIGGRAPH Village
S2005 mock up drawings of the area were presented for everyone to review. Feedback is needed from all EC stakeholders on the location, layout, etc. There was a general discussion about the village and perhaps moving it to West Hall Lobby to be closer to technical session attendees.
ACTION ITEM: Everyone to provide comments and feedback on the ACM SIGGRAPH Village location and layout to MK Haley ASAP.
EC Reserve Fund Request for Paid Web Master
MK Haley made a request to the EC for funds from the EC reserve fund to hire a paid web master. SIGGRAPH.org is in desperate need of updating and it’s just not possible to accomplish all the work that needs to be done with volunteer resources. A job description will be drafted and posted publicly. The total amount being requested is $10-$15,000. This was calculated as a half year position (if approved, funds for full year position will be included in future FY budgets) 14 hours / week at $30/hour.
MOTION: (Haley, Case) (9,0,1 Owen) The EC Allocate a maximum of $13,000 out of reserve funds to pay a web master to support Design and content development for www/siggraph.org.
ACTION ITEM: Mk Haley to draft and post job description for this position.
FY 06 Budget Discussion
Tony Baylis gave an update on the process and current status of the FY 06 Budget. The process started in September and went through individual budgets via conference call and using the shepherding process for the finance committee. Updates and changes continue to be made. There was some discussion on the dependency of the organization on the EC transfer from the annual conference. The treasurer presented several scenarios for everyone to review. This included different break even analysis for the MPO portions of the budget and different distributions of income and expenses. The EC needs to determine its budget philosophy as to what expenses are allocated to the cost of servicing a member. The EC felt that all organizational operating expenses (meetings, overhead, etc) should be included in the membership break even analysis. The consensus was that the organization budget should not be dependent upon the conference transfer and that the organization should move towards fiscal independence from the conference over the next three years, with a possible goal of eliminating the EC transfer by FY 08. The recommendation was also made that if the EC were to eliminate the transfer from the conference then any conference surplus would need to be split, at minimum 50/50 between the reserve funds vs. the current 80/20 split. No specific changes were made at this time to the current budgeting procedures.
Some EC members raised concern that the S2005 and 2006 conferences are still required to budget the 4.5 % of income and that no relief is being provided to the conferences budgets.
SOMA Presentations DVD Project Update
The status of the 2004 project and potential 2005 project were discussed. The EC discussed whether to continue this project as a one year commitment or a multi year commitment. The EC members felt they needed a formal proposal with costs to evaluate before making a decision
ACTION ITEM: Mk Haley to work with Soma Media on a proposal for the EC’s review.
Next Meetings and Conference Calls
EC Conference call on Tuesday November 23rd at 6:00PM Eastern Time to set dues pricing
Next EC Meeting is Joint with CAG. Location TBD. March 12-13, 2005