Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG)
of the
IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) (SIT-30)
at Winston Hall, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina

March 17, 2007

1. Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:30 AM. 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 approved.

4. President's Report

Nothing to report.

5. Past President's Report

No report.

6. Director's Report

a. At the last TAB meeting there was a discussion of how to get greater involvement of societies in GOLD. Many societies have a GOLD representative. There was a presentation about increasing the representation of women in engineering and in the IEEE.

b. TAB approved two new journals: The Computer Society and the Communication Society have a new journal on network management. The IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society and the IEEE Earth Observations Committee are jointly sponsoring the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics on Earth Observation and Remote Sensing. There is a great deal of interest in global warming and other global environmental issues.

c. There was a discussion of US H1B visa problems. There are many social and political issues, but TAB took the position of not taking a position. IEEE TAB is global and should not take a US-centric position. This would be an issue more appropriate for IEEE USA.

d. Many countries are now charging a VAT for conferences, often between 15 and 20 percent. IEEE will establish an entity to cosponsor European conferences which will be responsible for paying taxes. The money will come out of the conferences earnings, but the entity will be a stable location for paperwork and contacts. A similar entity will be established for Russia.

e. A new corporation will be established by the IEEE for operations in China. The corporation will be wholly owned by IEEE and is needed so IEEE can open an office in China. This was worked out by lawyers for IEEE and China. A similar corporation will operate for Hong Kong, which has its own set of rules. There are increasing numbers of members in China. This will not be a significant increase in IEEE staff since the work that the corporation carries out is already being performed but under a different structure. The IEEE BoG has a committee to look at the growth of infrastructure.

f. IEEE is upgrading its business management system. This is very complex software due to the many societies each with their own rules and will cost several million dollars The upgrade is going on schedule.

g. There has been a redesign of how to pay for infrastructure. There are problems associated with allocating the Indirect Infrastructure costs. Some costs are proportional to the number of members in a society, others are divided between societies regardless of members. The new formula for 2008 looks like it will remove some of the burden for indirect infrastructure that has been a problem for us. In the 2007 formula, 1/4 of the charge is equally divided between all 40 societies. The remaining charge is distributed using a complex algorithm based on various factors. In the 2008 formula the 1/4 part of the charge is removed. TAB will how pay its bill from the IEEE directly from publication sales. Whatever charge remains will be distributed to the societies. Up to 17% of the sales can be used by TAB for this purpose. The net result is we will not see the indirect infrastructure charge on our budget, but we will loose about 17% of publication income. This will benefit us, since the infrastructure charge has exceeded the expected loss.

7. Treasurer's Report (See Attached)

Membership numbers dropped in January, as usual, due to IEEE culling nonrenewing members. We have about $300,000 in reserves, but will run a deficit this year due to indirect infrastructure charges. The changes to the charging algorithm will help us. The 2008 projected budget numbers put us $43,600 in the red. In the past, actual infrastructure charges have ended up being 20-30% lower than expected.

Motion: To keep regular member dues at the current level. Passed.

Discussion: we need a future discussion about a long-term strategy for dues. We have a high turnover rate in membership, as does all of IEEE. We make a profit for each new member added, which is not the case for all IEEE societies. The student rate is pegged to the regular membership rate. It might be nice to have two subscription rates for non-members: an institutional rate and an individual rate. But we can't do that.

Motion: Set the non-member subscription rate at what IEEE recommends. Passed.

Motion: Keep the page budget for T&S the same as last year. Passed.

Note: The page count (for this year and next) is 224 interior pages plus 16 covers.

Discussion: it is likely that in 2008 the largest two societies and seven or so of the smaller societies will submit negative budgets. So we are not alone. But IEEE and TAB are making money every year. The Computer Society has cut staff and cut programs every year, but continues to go millions of dollars negative.

8. Publication Report (See Attached)

A search committee was appointed to find a new editor of Technology and Society magazine. The committee received nine applications and selected three finalists. One finalist withdrew. After telephone interviews and discussion, and with the approval of the Board, Keith Miller was offered the position, which he accepted.

Motion: The Board thanks members of the Selection Committee for their work on the selection of the new editor. Passed.

Papers are being submitted at about the usual rate. There is a healthy backlog of papers. Five special issues are planned up to March 2009.

T & S meets the IEEE goals for timeliness. At least half of the papers receive the first decision within 90 days of submission. Eighty percent of papers have a mean submission to publication time of less than one year. T & S won two Awards in the 2006 Society for Technical Communications (New York Metro Chapter) Publications Competition. One was an Award of Merit for the overall Magazine. The second was an Award of Excellence to authors Fiona Clark and Deborah Illman for the article "Portrayals of Engineers in Science Times".

Motion: Allocate a total of $500 for partial travel subsidy for the authors to travel to ISTAS. The authors may divide the money as they choose. The Board will pay conference registration for both authors. Passed.

9. Conference Report

ISTAS 2006, Queens. The books on this are nearly closed. Not all of the paperwork has been turned in.

ISTAS 2007, Las Vegas. Everything is on track. UNLV is giving tremendous support for the conference. The hotel has been settled on: Orleans Hotel and Casino. It will provide a shuttle to the conference site. There are 65 papers accepted for a day-and-a-half conference. There will likely be parallel tracks. About 80 to 90 attendees are expected.

ISTAS 2008, Fredericton, NB. This is going along nicely and getting support from the CNRC. The MOU has been signed. This involved negotiations between IEEE and the Canadian government. Attendees will need a passport to get to Canada. Contributors will be asked to submit a full paper rather than an abstract. Past conferences have required only an abstract.

ISTAS 2009. There are two possible venues: University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University at Phoenix. Karl Stephan is looking for possible funding from the IEEE Foundation.

The Computer Society has a Committee on Electronics and the Environment, which might collaborate with us an a conference. Their conference draws 200 to 250 attendees. The Computer Society has a huge conference organizing structure, which we might take advantage of.

ISTAS 2010. Some possibilities for this are Torino, Italy and Sydney, Australia. There is a strong SSIT chapter in Sydney.

ISTAS 2011. Jean Camp has proposed Indianapolis, Indiana for this.

Climate Change Technology Conference. This is sponsored by the Engineering Institute of Canada. They are asking us to be cosponsors. Papers from the conference would then be included in IEEE Xplore. Several other societies might jointly sponsor this conference. The details about how funds from Xplore would be distributed need to be worked out.

Motion: That SSIT not co-sponsor CCTC 2009

Motion: Table the previous motion. Motion tabled.

Best Practices. IEEE is preparing a best practices guide for conducting conferences. We have talked about doing this in the past. We can modify the IEEE guide to suite our own needs. The modifications should be clear, so that we can easily revise any future IEEE guides.

In the past, there has been an effort to hold a BoG meeting at the site of the up-coming ISTAS conference. Now, with three meetings a year, this is not feasible.

Motion: That the society fund travel of the the chair of the conference committee to each future ISTAS venue. The chair will provide a report on the visit. Passed.

10. Committee Reports

Nominations. No report.

Membership. Gene Hoffnagle is chair of the IEEE admission and Advancement committee. He would like to see more SSIT members being promoted to senior membership. The BoG should look for members that could be promoted to senior. Something will be placed in the newsletter for this. There is the possibility of a new membership grade above Senior but below Fellow. Fellow might be made an award, not a membership level.

SSIT has tremendous roll-over of members. Region I had people personally call lapsed members. This resulted in a 60% renewal of lapsed members. Bob Brook has previously sent a letter to our non-renewing members.

Fellows must be nominated, so be sure that anyone qualified gets nominated. Fellows need not be academics. Maybe this calls for another search of the database.

Student Membership. (See Attached) A committee has been set up to think about how to involve more students. It has generated some ideas. In the past we have given half-year membership to ISTAS attendees. Perhaps a free one-year membership could be given to students. But IEEE takes about half a year to process a new membership. We have received complaints about this in the past. Perhaps any new student IEEE member could also be given a free membership in SSIT. But this entails too much financial risk. The experience of other IEEE societies has been that free membership does not work to generate new members. Part of the problem is that universities provide much of the benefits of IEEE for free, so students are not motivated to join. Perhaps we could produce a video of students talking about how joining SSIT is important. Suggestion: talk to the Professional Communications Society about this. They have good student membership. Some cold contacts with student groups has proven fruitful.

Distinguished Lecturers. (See attached) Several lecturers have been active in the past several months. Three people have expressed an interest in becoming SSIT Distinguished Lecturers. They have been encouraged to attend ISTAS 2007 so that we can become acquainted with them.

Motion: Include Gerry Coates and Kevin Passino as SSIT Distinguished Lecturers. Passed.

Ray Larsen has asked to be removed from the program. We now have seven Distinguished Lecturers (including the two new ones). IEEE is implementing a web based system for Distinguished Lecturers.

Chapters. (See attached) A few new chapters have been formed: Ottawa, Western Puerto Rico, Australia, Pittsburgh, and Switzerland. Tokyo has a meeting nearly every month, as does Boston.

Awards. Two people have expressed interest in submitting nominations for the Distinguished Service Award, but have not yet done so. The nominations are due March 31, with a decision due April 30.

11. Old Business

CCIP, part of IEEE USA has been discussing issues about RFID and intellectual property policy. There is a RFID conference on the horizon.

12. New Business

No new business.

13. Next Meeting

4PM-6PM June 2, at ISTAS.

Adjourn: 2:30PM.

* = @
Jean Camp BoG Ljeann * Ljean dot com
Emine Cogin Student Rep. cagin * eecs dot umich dot edu
Joe Herkert Editor of T&S joe_herkert*ncsu dot edu
Irving Engelson Div. VI Director i.engelson * ieee dot org
Gene F. Hoffnagle Div. V Rep./Conf.
Committee Chair
G.F.Hoffnagle * ieee dot org
Bradley Kjell Secretary kjell*ieee dot org
Michael Loui Publications Chair loui*uiuc dot edu
Keith Miller Assoc. Ed. T&S miller.keith * uis dot edu
Karl Perusich President perusich*sbcglobal dot net
Janet Rochester VP j.rochester*ieee dot org
Karl Stephan Treasurer kdstephan * txstate dot edu