SIGGRAPH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

ADAMS MARK HOTEL
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
FEBRUARY 2-3, 1997

Attending:
Marc Barr
Alain Chesnais
Steve Cunningham
Chuck Hansen
John Hart
Scott Lang
Scott Owen
Theresa-Marie Rhyne
Nan Schaller
Dino Schweitzer
Steve Spencer
Mary Whitton

ACM:
Patrick McCarren
Judy Osteller

Guests:
Judy Brown
Jodi Giroux
Bob Judd
Bonnie Mitchell
Garry Paxinos

Steve Cunningham called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.

DECEMBER MINUTES

Motion: Move that the minutes of the December 7-8, 1996 EC meeting be approved subject to one more round of email discussion.
Schaller, Spencer 10,0,0

Mail Ballots

SIGGRAPH 97 FEE STRUCTURE

Motion to decrease student fees and increase Conference Select fee as per email discussion, as follows: Student Full Conference: Early $200; Late $250. Conference Select Fee: Early $150; Late $200.
Schweitzer, Hansen (10, 0, 0)

S98 PANELS CHAIR

Motion to approve Celia Pearce as the SIGGRAPH 98 Panels Chair
Schweitzer, Owen (9, 0, 1) (Abstain Chesnais)

REPORTS

Theresa-Marie Rhyne reported on the status of the SIGGRAPH Special Project entitled "The Carto Project". In June 1996, SIGGRAPH began a collaboration with the International Cartographic Association's (ICA) Commission on Visualization. The Carto Project explores how viewpoints and techniques from the computer graphics community can be effectively applied to cartographic and spatial data sets. During January 1997, the Carto Project Team sent out a targeted survey on current computer graphics usage and World Wide Web tools for cartographic and geographic visualization. The results of the survey will be reported on the SIGGRAPH Web site late March 1997.

SOCIETY REPORT

John Hart reported on a meeting called by the ACM SIG Board to discuss alternative approaches to SIGs. This meeting was prompted by ACM SIGCHI, which is interested in organizational approaches that were generally described in terms of becoming a Society. This concept could allow more autonomy, independent services from external vendors, and different membership structure and finances. The criteria to move from a SIG to Society status must be determined, but could include having a very diverse membership and a wide range of services. SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, SIGDA, and SIGPLAN are possible SIGs that could become Societies. Attendees at the meeting included several SIG Board members; Mike Atwood, Chair of SIGCHI; Donna Baglio, Director of SIG Services; John Hart, representative from SIGGRAPH; and Randy Dipner, past SIG Board Chair, who chaired the meeting. The meeting developed some recommendations, and the process of acting on them is expected to begin shortly.

Following a discussion on the possibilities of Society status, there were the following motions:
Motion that SIGGRAPH change its name to: SIGGRAPH, the ACM Society for Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.
Hart, Owen

The following motion to table was presented:
Whereas issues such as changes in the organization name should be made with due deliberation and thought, I move to table the motion to rename the organization until the Sunday, February 2nd meeting for due consideration of phrasing.
Whitton, Spencer 9,0,1 (Schaller)

MEMBERSHIP

John Hart reported that 3,000 members were lost when dues were increased, and we would like to get some of those members back. Hart would like to make memberships more valuable so that when people sign up for membership for the conference, wecan offer them something for the whole year. Three groups can be targeted: the graphics community, conference attendees, and organizational members. Our mission would be to serve all 3 groups. What value can we give these members?

The discussion of providing value to prospective members included publications, such as the newsletter's content and presentation format and the question of member discounts for the SVR; professional chapters, where we need to understand what value chapters members could find in joining SIGGRAPH; and education, which has always provided its information for the community without regard to membership. There was a question whether we could provide sufficient year-round value for people such as artists and designers.

Hart discussed specific points such as providing home pages for individual members or putting the Newsletter on-line. There was discussion on the value of having continuous opportunity for membership feedback, with up-to-date information on what is happening within the organization, and on-line places to comment on this work or to post questions where answers would be provided.

In terms of specific opportunities to solicit memberships, ACM HQ could insert a letter with membership renewals explaining the different membership options for SIGGRAPH, and we could work on membership promotion at SIGGRAPH-sponsored events as well as membership renewal on conference registration forms.

VRML CONSORTIUM

SIGGRAPH was contacted in late 1996 about joining the new VRML Consortium. Theresa-Marie Rhyne reported that there were three issues for consideration in joining the VRML Consortium.

Legal Barriers or Conflicts

ACM researched this issue, and it was found that ACM SIGGRAPH can join as a non-voting member. A non-voting member means that ACM SIGGRAPH cannot name an individual to sit on the Board of the VRML Consortium.

Service to the Computer Graphics Community

A phone survey was conducted to find out the thoughts about joining. Opinions varied greatly. Some individuals felt that SIGGRAPH should proceed with joining the VRML Consortium while others felt that SIGGRAPH should be careful to recognize and determine competing Web technologies. If SIGGRAPH joined the VRML Consortium, would the organization need to consider joining additional Computer Graphics and/or Web technology consortia?

Competing Technologies

The phone survey indicated that new Web technologies will be introduced over the next four months that could potentially be competing technologies.

Members from the VRML community responded that there will always be competing technologies. In a letter to Theresa-Marie, Brian Blau stated that "there are no facts in the statement below that supports the claim that Java 3D (or ANY) technology will unseat VRML".

Theresa-Marie Rhyne's recommendation is that SIGGRAPH not join the VRML Consortium at this time, but to send a representative to their meetings.

Motion: Move that we accept the recommendation of Theresa-Marie Rhyne that we have an observer from SIGGRAPH at the first two VRML Consortium meetings. Our observer will give a written report to SIGGRAPH that would be publicly posted on siggraph.org. SIGGRAPH will pay the observer's travel expenses for these meetings.
Owen, Whitton (7,0,3; abstain: Chesnais, Hansen, Schaller)

Motion: Whereas SIGGRAPH supports developments which improve the practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques, and whereas SIGGRAPH will continue to support energy standards such as VRML emerging through conferences workshops and other educational activities, and whereas it is inappropriate for SIGGRAPH to join an industrial consortium because it implies endorsement of a particular standard, I move that SIGGRAPH not join the VRML Consortium as a nonvoting member.
Whitton, Hansen (3,4,3; for: Hansen, Hart, Whitton; against: Barr, Owen, Rhyne, Spencer; abstain Chesnais, Lang, Schaller)

Steve Cunningham called for suggestions of names of persons whom the EC would like to name as an observer, and Theresa-Marie Rhyne was chosen.

EC thanked Theresa-Marie Rhyne for all her hard work and very good development of this information.

BYLAWS ISSUES FOR SOCIETY STATUS:

Motion: that the ACM SIGGRAPH bylaws be amended as follows:
Preamble and first sentence be changed to: "BYLAWS of SIGGRAPH, the International ACM Society for Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques of the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc." and "this organization will be called SIGGRAPH, the International ACM Society for Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques,"
Schaller, Owen (10,0,0)

Motion: that SIGGRAPH bylaws be amended to change all references from Chair to President; Vice-Chair to Vice President and Past-Chair to Past-President.
Whitton, Owen (10,0,0)

While the ACM bylaws place no restrictions on the title of a SIG, it was decided to postpone the implementation of these bylaw changes until such a time as SIG Board and ACM have had the opportunity to complete their deliberations involving the concept of ACM societies.

TREASURER:

There was a discussion about dividing interest income between organizations and conference.

Motion: Move to amend the FY98 budget such that the interest income from the cash portion of the SIGGRAPH reserve fund that is invested for SIGGRAPH by ACM will be divided according to the ratios of the balances of the EC, SVR and conference cash portions, minus conference advances, of the reserve fund at the time of each quarterly accrual and that, furthermore, this interest split will be continued in future fiscal years.
Schaller, Owen (6,4,0 - against: Whitton, Lang, Hart, Hansen)

Whitton expressed the following dissenting opinion:

The accounting change being made in the FY98 to reflect conference transfers to the executive committee budget in the fiscal year budget two years after the calendar year of the conference, the first year the monies are actually in the bank and available, is a very desirable and responsible decision. It is my opinion that the funds required in FY98 budget for this accounting change should be provided by the income producing units of SIGGRAPH, rather than being entirely borne by Executive Committee reserve. Delaying the implementation of the interest split between income producing units would have appropriately shared this one time burden between Executive Committee, Conferences and SIGGRAPH Video Review funds.

CONFERENCES

SIGGRAPH 97

Conference Chair, Scott Owen, gave the Executive Committee an update on conference activities. 263 papers were submitted, up from 247 in 1996; of these, 30 to 40 papers were electronic submissions. He thanked Stephen Spencer for his work on this. There are 34 panel submissions, up froms 30 last year; the Educators Program received 25 submissions, up from 19 last year; and there were 61 course proposals. He announced that Janet McAndless, from SONY Imageworks, is the new on-line chair.

Schweitzer noted the major change from the approved SIGGRAPH 97 budget: the change in conference fees in the mail ballot. The Conference Select increase was prompted by the inclusion of both the Visual Proceedings and Visual Proceedings CD ROM. The change decreased the projected surplus from $383,000 to $290,000.

Scott Owen reported that exhibits on Thursday will stay open until 5:00 p.m. instead of the usual 3:00 p.m. and that the lunch hour will also be extended to one hour and 15 minutes, with the day starting at 8:15 a.m. and ending at 5:45 p.m.

Lynn Pocock requested funds to support a New York exhibition of the SIGGRAPH 97 Art Gallery. This would be a joint effort between the conference and the Traveling Art Show. The objective of the NY showing is to significantly elevate the prestige of computer art in the art mainstream. The proposed museum, The Alternative Museum, is nonprofit, run by artists, and does not charge admission. The museum needs a commitment quickly to reserve dates for the show. Estimated cost for a one-month show would be approximately $55K. The Executive Committee was asked to approve up to this amount contingent on a detailed business plan. In order for the museum to actually hold dates, Lynn would have to tell them she has (potentially) the ability to support a one-month show.

Motion: that EC approve the allocation of up to $55K out of the conference reserve fund to support this proposal subject to 3 conditions:
1. Successful negotiations with New York gallery as approved by CAG
2. A complete budget and project plan approved by CAG
3. No other supporting funds (such as donations) are obtained
Schweitzer, Spencer (10,0,0)

SIGGRAPH 98

A strategy meeting in Orlando was held a few weeks ago and Technical Chairs were approved. Dino Schweitzer reported that all program Chairs are now on board.

DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIPS

Dino discussed the importance of determining policies on donations and sponsorships. There is now a strict conference policy on donations and recognition. However, this issue has now appeared that at the organization level for things such as the movie project and on-line initiatives. CAG asked for the organization's position towards sponsorship, as there is no written policy to address this issue.

Steve Cunningham named Nan Schaller to identify issues and positions. Nan and Scott Lang will work with Pat McCarren and a representative from CAG and report back to EC with recommendations at the May EC meeting.

SIGGRAPH VALUES STATEMENT

Steve Cunningham would like to take this statement through a final editorial round with the intent to present it at the May EC meeting. This will not go into the bylaws, but will be a public statement of SIGGRAPH's values for our members and for the computer graphics community.

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD

This award is proposed to be given in even years when we only have one other award. If it were to begin in 1998, it should be announced at SIGGRAPH 97 so that we can have nominations for whatever process is set up. A motion on the award had been tabled at the Executive Committee meeting in December, 1995.

Motion: Move to reopen discussion on the Outstanding Service Award.
Hart, Chesnais (9,0,1 abstain: Spencer)

Motion: That SIGGRAPH create the SIGGRAPH Outstanding Service Award, to be given in even-numbered years to recognize outstanding service to SIGGRAPH by a volunteer. This award shall be administered by a designated Service Awards Chair who will create an appropriate committee, and shall be based upon nominations to the Service Awards Chair. The award shall consist of a plaque and full travel expenses and registration to the SIGGRAPH annual conference at which the award shall be given. The award will be given on even numbered years, and it is not required to be given.
Schaller, Chesnais (8,0,2 abstain: Lang, Owen)

Motion: To adjourn
Spencer, Lang (10,0,0)
Meeting was adjourned at 12:00, Sunday, February 3