Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors
of the
IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT)

at the

Queens College Student Union, Flushing, New York

June 11, 2006 1:00 PM


1.   President Perusich welcomed the attendees.

2.   The agenda of the meeting was approved.

3.   The minutes of the previous meeting (April 1, 2006) were corrected and approved.

4.   Conference Reports

ISTAS 2006, Queens College. (Roberta Brody) There were about 45 paying attendees. It looks like the conference might generate a small revenue surplus. The proceedings have been distributed on CD, although a final version of the CD will be produced and mailed shortly. IEEE Xplore has a wrong title for last year's conference.

ISTAS 2007, Las Vegas. (David Hassenzahl) (see attached) The conference is planned for June 1-2, 2007 on the campus of the University of Las Vegas. The theme is Risk, Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Technology and Society. A memorandum of understanding has been worked out and is in the process of being signed. Everyone at UNLV is on board. Continuing Education at UNLV will do some of the arrangements. Grad students and other groups at UNLV are involved. On-campus housing may be available. The conference hotel will be a nearby non-casino hotel. A block of rooms has been reserved. The conference will be held on campus. The SSIT Conference Committee needs to approve the budget and IEEE then needs to approve.

ISTAS 2008, Fredericton, Canada. (Susan O'Donnell) The conference is planned for June 26-28, 2008. The SSIT Board has approved this conference as has the NRC of Canada. The memorandum of understanding is being worked on. It needs to be between the government of Canada and the IEEE, so this is going slowly. The program committee will soon be put together. The theme is People, Communities, and Communications Technologies.

ISTAS 2009. (Discussion) This is still open, although two venues have been proposed: Sydney, Australia and the Colorado School of Mines. The Australian chapter of SSIT has been active and a conference in Australia could be valuable.

Wind-power Workshop, Washington, DC. (Clint Andrews). This was held April 20-21, and was a success. The attendance was good and there were high quality papers. SSIT was a technical co-sponsor of this.

International Conference on Renewable Energy for Developing Countries. This conference was held in Washington, DC, April 5-7, 2006. SSIT was a technical co-sponsor of this and will publish the proceedings. There was good attendance for this conference. SSIT may continue to co-sponsor this conference.

5.   Treasurer's Report (Karl Stephan) (see attachments)

We are holding steady at about 2000 members. The membership chart has dips. IEEE periodically trims members in arrears. We have a high turnover of members. The infrastructure charges drain our reserve but are beyond our immediate control.

2007 Budget. This is the first year that the new infrastructure charges hit. The budget shows a $182K administration charge, and puts the us $108K in the red. But all of this is projected. The All-societies Periodicals Package allocation formula has also changed and does not help us.

6.   Director's Report (Clint Andrews)

Distributing overhead costs is a difficult problem. There are various models that could be followed, but all of them have problems. IEEE as a whole is doing well, but some small societies are being driven into bankruptcy. Even the Computer Society is unhappy.

The Product Safety Society is protesting the new allocation formulas. The Professional Communication Society is also badly hit. A group of small societies placed at risk by these new formulas were going to get together at the June Board Series in a few weeks to discuss their problems. However, 30 or so society presidents feel their societies are at risk, so this may be a bigger agenda item than originally planned.

(Discussion) IEEE Asia is growing; IEEE USA is not. The Asian membership does not bring in that much added revenue. The Computer Society budget is $2 million in the red. Part of the problem is that big societies have their own staff, but get charged overhead for IEEE staff.

Some IEEE members were recently mailed a survey that included questions about interest in some small societies including SSIT. Results of this survey might be available at the next board meeting.

We face a flat rate for infrastructure charges, but, at odds with this, periodical revenue is distributed in proportion to usage. This hurts small societies from two directions.

Now new societies must write a business plan and start out on probation. IEEE Digital Library is not charging enough to send required revenue back to the societies that produce the content.

7.   Publications Report (Michael Loui) (see attachments)

(a) Technology and Society Magazine. T&S is doing fine. Several special issues are coming up. Submission is slightly down, but the backlog is healthy. The June 2006 issue has just come out.

(b) Editor and Editorial Board. As a result of a 5-year review by the TAB Periodicals Committee, we need to add an editorial board member from regions 8–10 and a second Associate Editor from regions 8–10. This has not yet been done. Please forward any suggestions to Michael Loui.

(c) Electronic Newsletter. The next electronic newsletter will go out in August. Send submissions to Karl Perusich (perusich at sbcglobal dot net).

(d) Sister Society Agreement. This will be with the ASME Technology and Society Division. This is still being negotiated with their executive committee. (Discussion) Be sure that IEEE gives us money from the new subscriptions.

(e) Special Issue Proposal. (See attached) A special issue has been proposed on Fourth Generation Wireless Communications.

Motion: Move that the proposal by Frattasi and Gimmler for a special issue be approved. Passed.

8.  Committee Reports

Nominations. Email Brian O'Connell with suggestions for the ballot.

Membership. (Bob Brook) (see attached) We were leading the IEEE societies in membership growth, but recently membership declined. Overall in the US, engineering employment has declined and salaries have gone down. There is high demand for specialized areas, and some long depressed areas are doing better. (Discussion) Region I has investigated membership and found that it costs more to get a new member than to save an old member. 60% of lapsed members will renew if contacted. We could undertake a telephone campaign to contact lapsed members.

Work on the P1583 voting machine standards has gone slowly. The work was attacked by both the political left and right. The standards work has been done by top engineers, but the attacks were uninformed and politically motivated. NIST has taken the current draft of the standard and will continue to work on it.

Faith and Anthony Harckham might be considered for the Barus Award, as described in the attachments.

Student Membership. (Emine Cagin) Little could be done in the past few months since it was the end of the school year. The IEEE student chapter at University of Michigan is interested in SSIT and how a knowledge of professional ethics can help in a job search. They are interested in our distinguished lecturers. The IEEE student chapters will be contacted at the start of the next school year.

Distinguished Lecturers. (Janet Rochester) (see attached). We have excellent speakers, willing to travel. Travel is usually piggybacked onto other travel, with the inviting organization paying what extra is needed. SSIT has some limited funds to support this. Brian O'Connell gave three presentations this past Spring.

Virtual Community. The current T&S mentions that discussion of topics in the issue can done in the virtual community.

Web Site. The Web site might be down for a week about the first week of July for experimentation.

GOLD. (Emily Anesta) 92 e-mails were sent out to GOLD affinity groups and to 10 GOLD regional coordinators. There were only a handful of responses, but some might be useful. Nigeria GOLD wanted copies of T&S. Should our GOLD representative be sending reports to GOLD? There might be a GOLD representative on the IEEE Board.

Chapters. (Emily Anesta) The paperwork has been done for a new chapter in Puerto Rico. Chapters are supposed to file reports with IEEE. Our Chapter representative might have access to them. This might be good material for the newsletter. The Boston chapter has been meeting monthly for the past year. The Australian chapters have all merged into one society and are rotating their meetings. The web site should have a chapter news section.

Awards. (Janet Rochester) (see attachments) for an SSIT Distinguished Service Award has been created. (Discussion) Cash part of the award seems unnecessary. The most important part of the award is the recognition. Perhaps the cash award should support the presentation of the award at ISTAS, decided case by case. Amendments to the criteria were made (see attachment).

Motion: Move that the award criteria be accepted, as amended. Passed.

The last Carl Barus award was given during a ceremony at the New Jersey State House.

9.  Old Business

No old business.

10.  New Business

No new business

11.  Fall Meeting

Could we do with three meetings per year rather than four? One of the Fall meetings could be eliminated. It would have to be coordinated with elections. The slate of candidates must be circulated before the meeting. Greater use of e-mail should be made. The Spring meeting is needed for the budget.

The next meeting will be September 23, 2006, at Rutgers.

14.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:45PM.

* = @
Clint Andrews Division VI c.j.andrews * ieee . org
Emily Anesta GOLD/Chapters/Boston Chapter eanesta * alum . wpi . edu
Jeff Bogumil Member rjbogumil * gmail . com
Terri Bookman T&S Managing Editor tbookman * ieee . org
Roberta Brody 2006 ISTAS Chair roberta.brody * qc.cuny.edu
Bob Brook Membership Chair rbrook3 * yahoo . com
Emine Cagin Student Rep. cagin * eecs . umich . edu
David Hassenzahl UNLV/ 2007 ISTAS Chair david.hassenzahl * unlv . edu
Gene Hoffnagle Org_Comm 2007 & 2008 GeneHoffnagle * gmail . com
Joe Herkert Editor of T&S joe_herkert * ncsu . edu
Bradley Kjell SSIT Secretary kjell * ieee . org
Michael Loui Publications Chair/BoG loui * uiuc . edu
Susan O'Donnell NRC, SSIT member susan.odonnell * nrc . ca
Karl Perusich President perusich * sbcgloba l . net
Janet Rochester SSIT VP j.rochester * ieee . org
Rae Schipke Member schipker * ccsu . edu
Karl Stephan SSIT Treasurer kdstephan * txstate . edu