Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG)
of the
IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) (SIT-30)
held at Stan Fulton Building, University of Nevada,
Las Vegas, Nevada during ISTAS 2007

June 2, 2007


1. Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 1:45 PM. President Perusich welcomed the attendees. Attendees introduced themselves.

2. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes were corrected and approved.

4. President's Report

Bob Brook, a frequent member of the Board of Governors and long time member and of SSIT passed away earlier this year. The Board observed a moment of silence in his memory. There will be a memorial in a future issue of T&S.

Dave Hassenzahl was thanked for organizing ISTAS 2007.

SSIT should be represented at the strategic planning retreat TAB is conducting in July. Karl Perusich cannot attend, so Janet Rochester has volunteered.

Motion: Provide Janet Rochester with full funding to attend the TAB retreat. Passed.

5. Past President's Report

Peter Ingerman and Ron Arkin were welcomed.

6. Director's Report

No report.

7. Treasurer's Report

(See Attached) TAB Finance Committee has put us on the watch list, along with many other societies. We have raised our dues several times in the past several years and been working on increasing membership. We make money on each new member added, unlike some societies. We have done what we can to address the problem, given the few parameters that we can adjust. There are presently 713 members in arrears. During the TAB meeting we need to show a new business model to get off the watch list. But IEEE keeps changing the formula for the infrastructure charges, so it is hard to form a business model. It looks like that for 2008 we will have a small surplus or a small debt. Our best plan seems to be to change nothing for now.

Discussion: We should send a letter to those members in arrears. Suggestion: We should give conference registrants the option of joining SSIT when they register. But this only is open for members of IEEE. Some societies are thinking of changing into a council. SSIT might consider this (again).

The all-society publication package allocation has been changed and we will see the effects of this. The formula for conference publications may also be brought into a similar allocation formula.

The cash cow of the Robotics Society is their conference. Our conference (ISTAS) is mostly a break-even affair, although the conference publication makes money for us. We have problems with no-shows, conference registrations, and proceedings publication. The Robotics Society conference registration is $650, so ISTAS is a bargain in comparison. But many conferences in the humanities have lower conference fees than ISTAS. We could look for corporate sponsors of ISTAS.

We should look at other conference models, such as joining our conference with some others, possibly the conference of a large society. Jointing our conference with another small society does not seem to work.

We should look for ways to enable non-members to subscribe to T&S. IEEE members can easily subscribe, but the price is very steep for complete non-members. There is no ala carte subscription to IEEE electronic journals. Perhaps we should try to get into one of the other electronic subscription packages.

8. Publication Report

(See Attached) The current backlog of papers is healthy. Three special issues of T&S are coming up, plus the conference special issues. Keith Miller has assumed responsibility for reviews of papers submitted in 2007. Some of the frames for the best paper awards were broken in shipping.

Motion: Reimburse recipients $25 each for replacement of the broken frames. Passed.

9. Conference Report

Conferences need much more publicity. We should try to find additional audiences for ISTAS 2008 by enticing non-engineers. We should share mailing lists with our sister societies. Perhaps there should be a Division 6 conference? This was proposed before, but nothing was done. 40 to 60 attendees is what we should look for in a conference. The 2002 conference, organized by Joe Herkert, did well because of the co-sponsorship of the ACM SigCAS. It also got some attendees from CPSR. The IEEE section also co-sponsored it. We should try to get the local IEEE section to do work on our conferences. However, regions get a portion of their income from conference proceedings; we should be careful about co-sponsorship.

ISTAS 2006, Queens. The books are closed on the conference. The conference made $2455. The master CD of the proceedings has been produced and is in Xplore. Conference participants should have received a CD by now. But many say that they have not. The original CD distributed at the conference had several problems.

ISTAS 2007, Las Vegas. The conference broke even, at least, but final results are not in. There were about 60 attendees. The keynote talk was reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal, and is also available on the web.

ISTAS 2008, Fredericton, NB. This will be June 26-28. The call for papers has been produced and was distributed at ISTAS 2007. The format will be different from past conferences. The first day will be at the NRC campus and will feature two workshops, one on broadband video and the other on information technology in aboriginal communities. There will be a keynote speaker on the first day and a hosted reception. Technical sessions will be held on the second day. One session might be delivered by video conferencing. The call for papers will be widely distributed using the list serves of various societies of the IEEE, ACM, and others. A preliminary web site, featuring a YouTube video, is already in place.

Discussion: try to get funding from IEEE for the video conferencing session. It is perfect for New Initiative money. The session should have a built-in evaluation component. IP-video conferencing can be tough to do. The NRC has experienced technical people who will help.

ISTAS 2009. No news. Two venues are being considered.

ISTAS 2010. Torino, Italy and Sydney, Australia have been proposed. Katina Michael first proposed Sydney as a site. Australian chapter members travel between cities to go to meetings. Robot ethics is strong in Italy, and talks on that subject have been well attended. The conference committee chair is charged to explore both possible sites.

ISTAS 2011. No news.

Tabled at the previous meeting: The Engineering Institute of Canada has asked us to cosponsor their Climate Change Technology Conference.

Motion: That SSIT not co-sponsor CCTC 2009. Passed.

10. Committee Reports

Nominations. Some societies pay Board of Governors members travel expenses, but we don't. We should be careful to make this clear to prospective nominees. The newsletter will come out in the middle of July and will have a call for nominations.

Distinguished Lectures (see attached). There have been no presentations reported since the last meeting. Ken Foster is planning to lecture Argentina. He will meet with several IEEE groups including a student group. He has been working with the Argentine Physical Society, who will support his internal travel, but he would like additional support from SSIT.

Motion: Support Ken Foster's travel expenses to Argentina up to $500. Passed.

Virtual Community. It is still active, but activity has diminished. Community members do not need to be SSIT or IEEE members. Typically, only 10% of any virtual community are active, and even fewer are heavy users. We should put links to our virtual community on the front page of the web site and in T&S. People should be recruited from the conference to discuss their paper with correspondents. The e-newsletter should have links. Also, the newsletter should appear regularly, even it there is little news so that people become accustomed to receive it.

Chapters. Tokyo and Boston have been having regular meetings. We should put more about chapters on our web site. There should be more than just off-site links. Chapters have been contacted and e-mail addresses have been updated.

Awards. (see attached) The Distinguished Service Award was given to Joe Herkert at ISTAS 2007.

Motion: Pay Joe Herkert's conference registration of $350 for accepting the award. Passed.

Michael DeKort is being considered for the Barus award. See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd3VV8Za04g The Coast Guard and Lockheed Martin have been contacted, but they have not responded. There is a video available on the "60 Minutes" web page. There will be a report in the October meeting. It is not too early to start thinking of someone to nominate for next year's Distinguished Service Award. We don't have to give one every year.

11. Old Business

No old business.

12. New Business

We need a special subscription rate for non-members.

Motion: Ask the British Computer Society USA section if they are interested in becoming one of our sister societies. Passed.

BCS USA is an independent organization. We need to prepare an agreement about what is involved if they become a sister society Mary Hallan has templates for such agreements, and there is already an agreement between the BCS and the Computer Society.

13. Next Meeting

October 6, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

Adjourn: 4:30PM.

* = @
Clint Andrews Division VI c.j.andrews * ieee . org
Emily Anesta GOLD/Chapters/Boston Chapter eanesta * alum . wpi . edu
Ronald Arkin IEEE RAS Liaison arkin * cc . gatech . edu
Terri Bookman T&S Managing Editor    t.bookman * ieee . org
Gerald L. Engel Nominations Committee g . engel * computer . org
Anna Gawkowska ISTAS attendee gawkowska_ann * ccsu . edu
David Hassenzahl UNLV/ 2007 ISTAS Chair david.hassenzahl * unlv . edu
Joe Herkert Editor of T&S joe_herkert*ncsu . edu
Gene F. Hoffnagle Div. V Rep./Conf.
Committee Chair
G.F.Hoffnagle * ieee dot org
Peter Ingerman BoG pzi * ingerman . org
Bradley Kjell Secretary kjell*ieee . org
Keith Miller Assoc. Ed. T&S miller.keith * uis . edu
Brian O'Connell Past President oconnellb * ccsu . edu
Susan O'Donnell NRC, 2008 ISTAS Chair susan.odonnell * nrc . ca
Karl Perusich President perusich * sbcglobal . net
Sarah Pfatteicher   spfatt * engr . wisc . edu
Janet Rochester VP j.rochester * ieee . org