ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee Meeting

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Institute of Creative Technology



Attendance:  Jeff Jortner, Tony Baylis, Paul Debevec, Jessica Hodgins, Dinesh Manocha, Jacki Morie, Turner Whitted, Brian Wyvill, Jackie White, Mk Haley, Dave Shreiner, Elona Van Gent, Ashley Cozzi, Debra Venedam

Guests: Frank Foster for an update on Pioneer interview and history video

Jeff Jortner called the meeting to order at 9:15 am welcoming EC and CAG members to the meeting.

Wyvill gave a short update on small conferences. The process for small conference co-location at SIGGRAPH is in place but needs to include review and approval by the CAG and/or current conference chair. Wyvill discussed taking the best papers from small conferences and making it at session at the main SIGGRAPH conference. This is a strategic related question and can be discussed for future years.  Discussed use of SIS by small conferences.

Action: Debevec to contact Cozzi about the idea of sponsoring small events that aren’t necessarily a conference.

Jortner provided an update that the mailing lists are moving to ACM and off mailman. This should help to alleviate some of the current spam issues.

Debevec gave an updated on awards mentioned that Terrence Masson was approved as the new Service Awards Chair and is working with Joe Marks on the handoff.

Debevec asked if we have written policies or standards for who should be nominated/elected for these awards? The criteria for these awards are not advertised clearly. White and Whitted agree that there should be some flexibility but it’s important to have general guidelines.

Action- Debevec to ask awards chairs to create more detailed list of criteria

Motion- Debevec made motion to approve Michael Cohen as Technical Award Chair


(Jortner will forward motion but passed unanimously by voting members who are present)

White questioned the process of selecting awards chairs. Should be moving more towards nominations or multiple suggestions before someone is chosen. Should this be part of strategic discussions moving forward?

Action: Debevec will talk to Spike about how we select awards chairs.

Group discussed whether EC should be paying membership fees for Award winners so they can be nominated for fellows. No decision was made but there was a general feeling that if the award winners found value in being named and ACM Fellow, they would be ACM members. SIGGRAPH should consider more openly encouraging award recipients to join ACM as they would like to nominate them in the future.

Frank Foster joined the meeting to provide an update on the Pioneer interviews that took place last year. Indicated some great interviews were conducted and encouraged others to participate. The permission issues for the current history video are still outstanding. Where could these things be stored once they are captured and the appropriate permissions are provided? We should be thinking about our 50th Anniversary now. Discussed adding a history section to the website.

Action- Cozzi to inquire about the storage of historical information from the SIGS- what is the history committee doing? Is there a resource for the SIGs or something we can think about moving forward? (Computer History Museum)

Action: Debevec to make introduction between Coons sculptor and Cozzi to initiate invoice and future contract

Discussion about cooperative agreement with SPARK Computer Graphics Society (SPARK CG) from Vancouver. All agreed that agreement made sense but needed some clarification of details.

Action: Jortner to clarify agreement details and submit agreement to EC for approval.

Discussion about moving away from printed proceedings. It is currently a Member Benefit and will continue for this year but the SIG, CAG, and Conference leadership need to work together to make sure an appropriate transition plan and marketing plan is in place. This will also require a change to the SIGGRAPH Member Benefits beginning next year. Merits of DVD vs memory stick for proceeding distribution. Memory sticks cost significantly more (approx. $7-8/stick over DVD)

Jortner provided updates on Google Apps including an introduction to the EC area in the morning. There are still kinks to work through but the expectation is that this will be a repository for minutes, documentation and meetings as well as an additional forum for discussions. The new website is under way and going well.

Jortner is evaluating the benefit of our continued relationship with SOMA. Should we be recording and storing this content ourselves through the DL and move away from the relationship with SOMA?  Has received comparison costs from AVW for similar services as SOMA provides. We must make sure that we have permissions for all recordings prior to distribution.

Haley, Shreiner, and Van Gent gave updates on current conference planning. Haley discussed the SIGGRAPH University, speaker options, new exhibitor interaction and the revision of registration categories. Shreiner had kickoff meeting the week prior to this EC meeting and indicated that things went well.

Jortner provided brief update on moving forward with Leonardo. He worked with ACM to clarify issues and concerns and believes we are now ready to execute the 2013 agreement. Jortner is working with Cozzi to discuss the collection of SIGGRAPH only membership demographics.

Requests for SIGGRAPH support for IFIP representation was denied.

Baylis presented the FY’14 ACM SIGGRAPH Budget including new visuals for tracking revenue and expenses over the years. He worked with Darren Ramdin at ACM to put this together and hopes that it presents a clearer view of the organization and what trends we have seen in the last 10 years. Rather than having committee chairs submit a budget to him for review, the SIGGRAPH Finance committee will review the current FY’14 budget and send sub-committees a starting point asking for feedback.

Group discussion on the Opal (SIS) contract following the FY’14 budget presentation. There is confusion over how the $160k is allocated between the EC and SIGGRAPH NA and SIGGRAPH Asia.  Is this an hourly rate, set amount, combination with no oversight on the hours we are being billed for? How can we measure the work performed for each conference to appropriately allocate the expenses? As per 2012 Conferences, SIGGRAPH Asia was reallocated $20k, SIGGRAPH NA budgeted around 79k-80k, and SIGGRAPH EC is showing $80k.  There has been a significant amount of overhaul/cleanup done in the last two years, is it necessary to have so many contractual hours automatically billed for the year or should be in good enough shape to maintain the current system with some to little programming on a year to year basis?  

Each year there is leadership that requests changes to the system which may be significant. Who decides what is a priority or a necessity?  Jortner suggested that the existing SIS committee have additional members added to represent organizational input on changes that affect multiple years and incur costs.

Action: Cozzi/Venedam to discuss with Darren the allocation of the SIS contract expenses between the organization and the two conferences. How is this currently shown in the organization/conference budgets? Venedam will review the final report from Opal to see where the majority of work hours are allocated.

Action: Jortner to further look into the agreed upon breakdown for these costs.

Based on the information above the EC needs to decide how much are they willing to allocate. Cozzi suggested that moving forward that these should be presented as a motion so that they are recorded and that it would quickly resolve issues like these. We should discuss services moving forward and whether a committee needs to be put in place to review/approve requested changes.

Action: Venedam to check on whether small conferences and other SIGs can be charged to use SIS. Fees would be paid to Opal, not SIGGRAPH. How are their payment terms structured (hourly or overall fee) ?

Action: Baylis to set up a call with Finance team to review budget and send details to committee chairs. Budget will then be sent to the EC for review and approval via email.

Baylis brought up the current S13 Conference Budget and confusion on the inclusion of the 3.5% transfer to the EC. This transfer is used to offset the costs of the overall organization. Upon review of the organization budget, this includes subsidizing conference expenses (SIS, SOMA, SVR, SCOOP, Leonardo). There has been discussion about moving these expenses back into the conference budget but no decision has been made. Any change to the current 3.5% transfer in the conference budget would require approval by the EC.

Since the EC has transitioned to become a strategic body, it was decided that the need for an external strategic advisor to the EC was no longer necessary.