Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG)
of the
IEEE Society on the social Implications of Technology (SSIT)
Held on April 5, 2003 in Urbana, Illinois
in the Coordinated Science Laboratory of the University of Illinois

(corrected Sept. 6, 2003)

1.   President Andrews welcomed the attendees. Attendees introduced themselves. (10:45 AM)

2.   The agenda of the meeting was approved.

3.   The minutes of the previous meeting (November 23, 2003) were corrected and approved.

4.   President Andrews gave the president's report.

(a) IEEE TAB Meeting. The professional staff and IEEE volunteer staff have been working together to reduce expenses through various means.

(i) Business simplification Effort. The IEEE has many semiautonomous organizations within it. Dealing with this complex structure increases transactions costs. TAB committees have been discussing ways to simplify the organization. Most of these simplifications do not affect SSIT. Single-owner publications will be offered on a two-tier price structure. Members of the owner society pay one price, members of other societies pay another price. (This will not affect our sister society effort).Other ideas for cost cutting only affect big societies. The set of interest codes for IEEE members on the annual renewal form have been changed.

(ii) Interim Allocation Algorithm. The algorithm for allocating costs and revenue of IEEE Xplore is complicated. Through 2004 an interim method will be used. A flat fee is assessed per publication. This is not the most advantageous for SSIT, but is not too bad. The method for allocating revenues is not yet determined. Revenue from IEEE print sources is declining; revenue from electronic publication is increasing.

(iii) IEEE Board of Directors Investment Strategy. Previously this was too equity oriented. The strategy has been changed so that the primary objective is the preservation of capital. The secondary objective is growth. The asset managers are directed to distinguish between reserve and non-reserve assets. Previously these were lumped together and when capital was being lost both were eroded. Now each class of asset has a separate investment policy.

(b) Sister Society Liaisons. The idea is that SSIT has a field of interest that is shared by many other groups. We will try to establish useful relationships with other groups. A letter as sent to several potential sister societies. Several responded and look promising.

Michelle Hollander from the Committee on Scientific Freedom, Responsibility, and Law of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) brought our proposal to their Board and they agreed to cooperate by sharing publicity efforts. Conferences will be announced by both societies. We might sponsor sessions in each other's conferences, or have joint conferences or joint regional meetings. There are regional AAAS meetings, perhaps we should investigate these.

Steve Jones of the Association of Internet Researchers expressed interest. He was one of the speakers at the SSIT Regional Meeting held the day before (April 4, 2003). This Association is a young and rapidly growing group and have many interests in common with SSIT. They are interested in joint conference activity. Perhaps papers could be channeled from their conference into T&S and from our conference into their annual research publication.

It might be good to somehow offer a discount on T&S to members of sister societies, perhaps as little as $30/year. This offer was not made in the letter sent to the other groups.

ASME also has a society similar to ours. ACM SigCAS has been contacted but has not responded. They have an electronic journal.

(c) IEEE USA wants volunteers for liaisons on various committees.

Jerry Engel volunteered for the R&D committee. Clint Andrews volunteered for the Energy Policy Committee. We have no volunteer for the Transportation and Aerospace Policy Committee.

(d) A survey is to be sent to a sample of our members. This will be done by TAG so there is no cost to SSIT. The survey has been designed by IEEE staff but can be customized with our own items. The BOG was asked for suggested questions for the survey. Some suggestions have been made. IEEE staff will collate the results. We will get that as well as the raw data.

5.   Past President Report.

There was no report, however Karl Perusich reminds us that three BOG positions are opening up. Three nominees are needed by July. Elections for president and vice president take place in September and candidates are needed for those positions.

Karl Perusich has been studying the feasibility of an electronics newsletter. The IEEE Web hosting service was discussed.

(Motion:) Approve the creation of an electronic newsletter. The newsletter is placed under the publication chair. (Approved)

The IEEE provides a Web hosting service at no cost. Some worries were expressed that there might be future costs or that some form of censorship might be imposed.

(Motion:) Approval of Karl Perusich as the founding editor of the newsletter and delegate approval of procedures to the publication board for immediate implementation. (Approved)

(Motion:) Create a committee chaired by the VP to investigate the policy implications of the previous motions. (Approved)

6.   Treasurer's Report (See attached)

(Clint Andrews:) At the end of 2001 IEEE has $79 million in reserve. At the end of 2002 the reserve is $61 million. Nine societies were on the watch list at the end of 2002. Societies on the watch list had to go before the TAB and explain what they were doing toward recovery. Many of the small societies were on this list (but not SSIT).

(Karl Stephan:) Membership is trending downward. We need to increase membership. There were 1414 members as of February 2003, but members in arrears are not counted in this figure. Some of them might renew. The percentage of members not renewing has stayed about the same over the past few years.

Percent of Members not Renewing
2000-2001 26%
2001-2002 26%
2002-2003 31%

The apparent increase in 2002-2003 may be due to a change in IEEE renewal policies. The reserves for SSIT at the end of 2002 were $211.1 thousand. All we can control are dues, fees, and the number of members. Probably a bad idea at this time to increase membership fees.

(Motion:) Keep the dues rate at $22/year. (Approved)

(Motion:) Increase the non-member rate to $240 (as recommended by TAB). (Approved)

The current non-member rate is $220. The non-member rate is a parameter in the determination of how much money we are allocated by IEEE for Xplore and the publication package.

(Motion:) Keep all other budget parameters (other than the page count for T&S) the same as they were in 2003. (Approved)

7.   Email Membership Solicitation

The only people that we can send unsolicited e-mail are those that checked the box "social issues" on the IEEE interest profile of their membership renewal. On March 5 these people were offered a free 1/2 year subscription. Their next dues notice will have them listed as a member of SSIT and their dues will include the cost of membership.

We can send unsolicited e-mail to members of a society if the president of that society approves. Karl has a list of nine societies that have many members that are also members of SSIT. Perhaps we should make the free 1/2 price offer next year to the members of those societies with the approval of the respective presidents.

8. Publications Report

T&S editor recommendation. (Discussion in executive session)

(Motion:) Approve the recommendation of the Publication Committee that Joe Herkert be appointed as the next editor for T&S. (Approved)

Aarne Vesilind's last issue will be the Winter 2003 issue. The deadline for that issue is September first. Joe's first issue will be the Spring 2004 issue. The appointment of Joe Herkert as editor will start September 1, 2003.

A discussion followed about the use of color in T&S and about increasing the page count. The formula for allocating money from IEEE Xplore and publication packages partly depends on page count.

(Motion:) That the number of pages per year for T&S be increased to 224 pages including covers (an increase of 16 pages). (Approved)

A sheet describing the responsibilities of the individuals responsible for T&S has been created by the Publications Committee and was distributed to the BOG (see attached). This will have to be updated to describe the new electronic newsletter.

(Motion:) Direct the President to give an IEEE Certificate of Appreciation to Aarne Vesilind for his work on T&S. Certificates will also be given to Janet Rochester for her work as Publications Chair, to Michael Loui for organizing the regional SSIT conference, and to Lila Rhoades (regional conference support staff). (Approved)

9. Ad Hoc Committee for Electronic Publishing Strategy

SSIT revenues depend on electronic versions of our publications so a policy is necessary. The committee is just getting started on this.

10.   Conference Reports

2003 Regional Conference at Urbana/Champaign: (April 4, 2003) The conference was a success appreciated by all. There were no student posters as had originally been proposed. There were 70 attendees total. Two professors required their students to attend. The cost is within the $600 that was budgeted. The Coordinated Science Lab donated staff time, which helped keep costs down.

(Motion:) Direct the President to give an IEEE Certificate of Appreciation to Michael Loui for organizing the regional SSIT conference, and to Lila Rhoades (regional conference support staff). (Approved)

2003 Conference (Amsterdam): After some delay, the conference is moving forward. Simon Byrn, our original contact, has been sick. Hin Oey is now the conference organizer. He has run into problems signing a memo of understanding because he is a government employee. A preliminary program is in preparation. The proposed conference concept is "Technology and Security". This will be done in cooperation with another organization, CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design). The Dutch Government has given a $60 thousand grant to the conference.

The conference is aimed more at practitioners that at academics. It will be held at the Amsterdam Olympic Arena and is budgeted for 125 paying participants. The conference fee is about $600 for attendees not presenting a paper, about $300 for paper presenters. The deadline is July 1 for papers and proposals.

The conference publication is not proceeding as usual. Hin Oey has no objection to IEEE publishing the proceedings. Clint Andrews contacted several publishers for bids. IEEE Conference Publications had the low bid. There will be about 50 papers of six pages each. Both 125 CD ROM copies and 200 paper copies will be published.

(Motion:) Authorize Clint Andrews to contract with IEEE Conference Publications to produce the proceedings volume and CD ROM volume, contingent on a memo of understanding with the conference organizer to cover the costs of production. (Approved)

2004 Conference: This is proposed for Worcester, MA. A signed memo of understanding is now in hand. Campus dorm rooms will be available for attendees.

11. SSIT Fellows Motion

(Motion:) Resolved that the SSIT establish a Fellows Committee, with the following policies and procedures, as an ad hoc committee, and direct the SSIT President to prepare appropriate motions to include the Fellows Committee as a Standing Committee of the Society, with such motions to be presented at the BOG meeting following passage of this motion. (Approved)


The Fellows Committee shall assist the IEEE Fellows Committee in recognizing IEEE Senior Members who, in its opinion, meets the qualifications for the grade of Fellow because of contributions to the areas of interest to the Society. The Fellows Committee shall consist of at least three Society members chosen among those of Fellow grade within the IEEE.

The chair of the Fellows Committee shall be appointed by the Society President in August for the forthcoming year.

Neither the chair, nor any member of the Committee shall serve for more than three consecutive years in either capacity.

Due to the speed required for evaluations, it is assumed that the committee chair and members have access to electronic mail.

The chair of the Committee shall submit an article for publication in the 4th quarter issue of Technology and Society Magazine regarding the IEEE Fellows program and soliciting nominations.

The Committee chair shall select and appoint the members of the committee no later than January of each year.

Fellow nomination forms are due to the Committee chair by March 15 of each year. The chair will distribute nominations for evaluation and transmit forms and materials to committee members by April 20 of each year.

The Committee chair will send initial ranking of all candidates to the committee by June 1 of each year. The Committee members shall respond to the chair regarding the initial ranks of candidates by June 4 of each year.

The Committee chair shall decide if numerical rankings should be changed or if he/she should obtain additional evaluations for individual candidates and provide final rankings and evaluations to the IEEE Fellows Committee chair by mid-June.

The Committee shall send a report to the Society president by June 30 of each year.

Committee members must determine whether the work of each candidate is recognized and considered outstanding in the fields of activity of SSIT. The Committee members must provide a succinct statement of the candidates outstanding contributions which qualifies him/her for Fellow grade. The evaluation must rate the candidate¹s contributions relative to the contributions of current IEEE Fellows.

The Committee chair is responsible for merging the evaluator¹s input into a coherent whole, for reaching consensus with the Committee on ranking the candidates, and making the final decision.

Due to the potential perception of conflict of interest, the Fellows Committee chair and Committee members shall not serve as nominators, IEEE Fellow Grade references, or endorsers of Fellow nominations while serving on the Committee.

12.   Sustainable Engineering Proposal.

There is a two year project funded at $400,000 some of which will go to IEEE. There might be a role for SSIT in this.

(Motion:) Endorse Jerry Engel into looking further into SSIT participating in this proposal. (Approved)

13.   Committee Reports


(Motion:) Ask the awards committee to develop a plan to regularize service awards. (Approved)

Ethics. Steve Unger discussed a situation of unethical conduct of one IEEE member toward another at the Naval Research Laboratory.

14.   Old Business

No old business.

15.   New Business

We need a new conference chair.

16.   Next Meeting Data and Place

The next Board of Governor's meeting will be at Columbia University, Saturday, Sept 6, 2003. The meeting after that will possibly be December 6, 2003 perhaps in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

17.   Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM.

Attendees at the April 5, 2003 Meeting
Bradley Kjell Secretary kjell#ieee.org
Brian O'Connell Vice President oconnellb#ccsu.edu
Byron Newberry Baylor University (visitor) Byron_Newberry#Baylor.edu
Clint Andrews President c.j.andrews#ieee.org
David Monts Visitor -----
Gerald Engel Board of Gov. g.engel#ieee.org
Janet Rochester Board of Gov. j.rochester#ieee.org
Joe Herkert Board of Gov. joe_herkert#ncsu.edu
Karl Stephan Treasurer kdstephan#swt.edu
Michael Loui Board of Gov. m-loui#uiuc.edu
Steve Unger Board of Gov. unger#cs.columbia.edu
Terri Bookman T&S Managing Editor    t.bookman#ieee.org