The Executive Committee (EC) will be proposing a few notable changes to the SIGGRAPH Bylaws. These proposed changes have been approved by ACM and will be presented to the SIGGRAPH members for a vote in the summer election.
There will be in-depth communication and materials to come on this matter, but for now, I’d like to outline the three key changes we are proposing.
The biggest change is that all elected positions will become director positions rather than electing the President, Vice-President, and Treasurer in elections that are just for those roles as we do now. Once these changes take effect, the EC will select new officers from within the EC to serve one-year terms. The officers will be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Treasurer, and Treasurer-Elect. The Chair-Elect will become the Chair and the Treasurer-Elect will become the Treasurer the following year.
As some of you know, choosing to volunteer, particularly for these key leadership roles, is a huge time commitment. Many of us are at junctures in our careers where we may not be able to volunteer for one of these larger roles due to time constraints; this new structure within the EC would share the work more broadly across the directors of the EC and lessen the burden on the President. Our hope also is that adopting this new structure will open us up to a larger, more diverse pool of candidates who would consider taking on a leadership position within the EC.
We consulted with an expert in governance in nonprofits who advised us to assume this modernized structure. Internal elections are becoming standard practice for nonprofit, volunteer-run boards, as are one-year terms for the elected officers.
The second important change that the EC is proposing has to do with creating a structure that accurately reflects our diverse community and that will enable us to be more representative of our membership. Instead of being presented with a total of N+1 candidates for N positions as is specified in the current version of the Bylaws, voters will be presented with at least two candidates for each specific position.
For example, if three director positions are open in a given election, the nominating committee might select two (or more) candidates from industry to run for one of the open director positions, two from academia to run for the second position, and two from the education community to run for the third. This “bucketing” of the candidates into positions will allow the nominations committee to ensure that all three open director roles aren’t filled, for instance, with members who are from academia or that the EC doesn’t have only representation from North America. With this modification to the Bylaws, the nominating committee will be able to achieve increased diversity in skillset, area of expertise, and geography on the EC.
Lastly, the third major change to the Bylaws is that the EC would be allowed to appoint three voting members to its rank. Currently, the Chair of the Conference Advisory Group, for instance, serves in an ex officio, non-voting capacity. As we are all aware, the SIGGRAPH conference is our group’s marquis outward-facing program, and we feel it is important to have this individual in a voting position. This change will also allow the EC to increase representation and expertise from core constituencies as needed to complement the make-up of the elected EC.
The EC has been working on these modifications for the past two years, and what we hope to achieve is a more modern, efficient, flexible, and diverse volunteer-run operation. These Bylaw changes will allow us to be more representative of the ACM SIGGRAPH membership, and in turn, help us create a strategic direction and programs that will better benefit the entire community.
We will be providing additional information on this as we near the June 15 elections, and we urge all of you to read and review our modifications and to please cast your vote. We feel now is the time for a change to our organizational structure and believe that this change will enable the Executive Committee to better serve the forward-thinking organization that is ACM SIGGRAPH.
Please see a copy of the proposed ACM SIGGRAPH Bylaws here.