Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG)
of the
IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) (SIT-30)

at ISTAS 2008
University of New Brunswick
Fredericton, NB, Canada

June 28, 2008

(Draft. Contact kjell@ieee.org with corrections)

1. Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 PM. President Rochester welcomed the attendees. Attendees introduced themselves.

2. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes of the past meeting were corrected and approved.

4. President's Report

Denver TAB meeting: A committee has changed the conference publication revenue formula. We will be getting much less income from conference publications as a result. It is mostly Div. VI societies that are affected. The new policy will be phased in gradually over three years. Last year SSIT gained $51000 from conference publications; under the new formula our income is estimated to be $3500. The old formula was based on print copies. Now the distribution is more like that of the revenue from electronic publications: there is a small initial amount with additional revenue gained from each access.

TAB passed a resolution recognizing the work of Brian O'Connell.

We are on the TAB society watch list. In November, SSIT will go before the TAB Finance Committee to update them with our financial plans. About 25 societies and councils have budget problems. TAB needs to look at why there are so many budget problems. SSIT can't cut any more out of its budget. TAB needs to develop a new business model. IEEE has $250M in reserves. Appropriate use of these reserves was discussed.

5. Past President's Report (K. Perusich)

(See Treasurer's report).

6. Director's Report

(No report).

7. Treasurer's Report (K. Perusich)

See attachment, page 1: All dues are bundled under line 00790 of the income section of the budget summary (page 1). The figures shown as negative in line 00100 of the expence section are interest income. We have $405K in reserves. We get about $29K income from reserves based on a portfolio of investments. Line 01800 is our portion of the TAB bill. Line 01900 includes various travel expenses and awards. This was about $12K in 2007.

Income from the All Society Periodicals Package is based on a 10% fixed percentage, 35% content, and 55% usage. We get about $0.50 per each hit. Ours is one of the few societies where there is an incremental gain with each new member. The incremental cost is $15.96, but we gain $19.38 for each new member.

Under the "Initial results of new model" (page 4) our income drops from $56.3K to $3.5K. The figures for past years are just hypothetical; we are not going to be asked to return money.) Pages 5 and 6 shows spreadsheets that show what happens under various assumptions. Page 5 assumes loss of conference publication income and shows a $90.2K deficit in 2008; page 6 eliminates all society-related expenses and still shows $20K deficit.

Discussion: There is little we can do financially. The problem is with the allocation algorithm. It keeps changing, but there are always problems. It is once size fits all, regardless of the size of the society. This will not work. We could produce a journal, and hope for income from it. But this would take years. Another possibility is increasing the size of T&S.

8. Publication Report (B. Whelchel)

The new editor (K. Miller) of T&S has asked for 8 more pages. There is a backlog of papers to be published. One of the goals of IEEE is the reduce publication lead time. The extra pages will increase out hit count; members will be pleased with extra material. The extra cost would be about $4500.

Motion: Increase T&S page count for 2008 by eight pages. Passed.

Discussion: We need to publicize the magazine more. Perhaps mention on SlashDot would help. We need to increase the hit count, but we only get revenue if the hits come thru an institutional portal. Perhaps a little block of text could be published with each article that tells teachers how to use the article and how students can access it through Xplore. The next e-newsletter is expected at the end of July.

9. Conference Reports (G. Hoffnagle)

ISTAS 2008, Fredericton, NB. (See attachments.) There were 83 participants registered. Expenses were about $15500 with income of $25500 or so. There were participants and papers from seventeen different countries. Out of 88 submissions, 48 papers and abstracts were accepted. The CD of conference proceedings has 42 papers. There were 12 paper sessions. Two people who had only abstracts did not show up. This conference required full papers for papers to be published in the proceedings, rather than just the abstracts we have done in the past. This seemed to work well. We might try this again for ISTAS 2009, but will have to coordinate this with the other society that shares the conference. The problem with full papers is that it requires an early deadline. The conference covered three days. We might try that in 2009, also. The low-cost dorm option worked out well. It is nice to have a range of options. The cheap housing helped attract students. About 48 people stayed in the dorms, 75% of the out-of-town participants.

Motion: Congratulations to Susan O'Donnell and Bill McIver for a successful conference. Passed.

ISTAS 2009, Phoenix, AZ. Joe Herkert and Brad Allenby at Arizona State are arranging a joint conference with the TCEE (Technical Council on Electronics and the Environment) in AZ. Their conference is bigger than ours with 150 - 200 attendees; our side is 80 -100 attendees.The conference will be May 18-20, 2009. The two conferences will run side by side with some shared activities. There will be one fee for both. Food functions and keynote speakers are combined. The MOU has not yet been signed, but it has been worked out. The hotel is the Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, AZ. Their daily rate is about $175 with a $10.95 hospitality fee. It is close to Arizona State University and close to other town facilities. The registration fee will be about the same as 2008. The call for papers should published soon; it needs to get into T&S.

Discussion: revenue will be split according to how people register. Non-members may be a problem. Perhaps their fees should be split 50-50.

Motion: The conference organizing committee created the last meeting has achieved its purpose and is to be dissolved. Passed.

ISTAS 2010. The Conference Committee met and recommends that ISTAS 2010 be held in Australia. The chapters there are active. They have many magazine submissions. The expected pattern is two ISTAS in North America, then one away.

10. Committee Reports

Nominations (K. Perusich). Nominations to the BoG for a three-year term: Emily Anesta, Bob Schaefer, James Isaccson, Rahu Tongia (Sr. Research Engineer at Carnegie Mellon)

Motion: Approve slate. Passed.

Membership (Peter Ingerman). (See attached) The membership numbers from SAM-e don't quite agree with the Treasurer's numbers.

Student Membership. We need a student representative. Does this person have to be a student?

Distinguished Lectures. Joe Herkert gave a talk, "Engineering Ethics and the Challenge of Sustainable Development" to the IEEE Student Branch of Arizona State University--Polytechnic Campus, in April 2008.

Virtual Community. We are getting hundreds of hits a month, but the number varies widely. People need to sign up, but need not be a IEEE member to join. There are about 30 unique individuals that visit the site each month. There have been 375 total unique individuals; 131 in the past year.

Chapters (E. Anesta, via e-mail). The Education Society has expressed interest in joint chapter meetings. Discussion: this should be fine. The Philadelphia chapter has been doing this with MT.

GOLD. GOLD was discussed at TAB. We mentioned that we had a GOLD representative.

Awards. The Distinguished Service Award for 2007 was given to Norm Balabanian. The citation reads: In recognition of his inspiring leadership as a founder of CSIT, predecessor of SSIT, and editor of the CSIT newsletter and later of the SSIT magazine.

Discussion: an ad hoc committee should be formed to name the award after Brian O'Connell. Perhaps it should be an IEEE Field award (Deferred to the Awards Committee.)

11. Old Business

No old business.

12. New Business


WHEREAS, it is with deep regret that SSIT received the news that our former President, Brian M. O'Connell, Esq., passed away on 21 may 2008, and

WHEREAS, Brian M. O'Connell was an active member of SSIT, who brought enthusiasm, a new perspective, and an appreciation of the human implications to everything he was involved in, and

WHEREAS, Brian M. O'Connell served the IEEE Social Implications of Society as Vice President in 2002-2003, President in 2004-2005, and Past-President in 2006-2007 and

WHEREAS, Brian M. O'Connell, an IEEE Senior Member, enhanced SSIT's activities in many ways, including Program Chair of ISTAS 2001, speeches, written works, presentations and visits, and

WHEREAS, Brian M. O'Connell, was an enthusiastic spokesman for SSIT and its goals and values,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the SSIT Board of Governors expresses its profound sorrow at the loss of its respected colleague and valued friend, Brian M. O'Connell.


By-Laws Discussion. (See attached.) Article VII section 3 needs modification. IEEE wants Article VII section 5 modified. Need to clarify "affiliate", "member" and "associates." Need to clarity "meetings committee" and "conference committee." Article XIV section two "chairs" needs clarification. Deferred to future discussion.

NAE Symposium. We will continue discussion with NAE about our participation in the Brain Implant Symposium.

IEEE Public Visibility Project. IEEE is looking for experts that are available to the press, especially on such topics as the environment, sustainability, and energy issues. SSIT members should volunteer for this. Clint Andrews and Brad Allenby have been asked by the IEEE President about this.

IEEE is creating a series of one-hour self-directed tutorials on various topics. It costs $20000 to sponsor one. There is a charge for their use, so society sponsors may make a profit. Perhaps we should negotiate with IEEE for a lower rate or talk to ABET about sponsoring one.

Technology Road Map. This is a database of technology terms. We have been asked to populate the database with terms appropriate for us.

Humanitarian Technology Challenge. IEEE is looking for ways to meet the technical challenges of third world counties. Bob Walp has thought about this and has created a white paper (see attached). Bob Whelchel has a white paper that outlines ideas for SSIT (see attached). He asked if he could talk to IEEE about these ideas and specifically mention that SSIT was interested. The feeling of the group was to allow this.

13. Next Meeting

The next BoG meeting will be in Phoenix AZ, October 18, 2008. (Note: this date is not quite certain.)

Adjourn: 4:00PM.

* = @
Clint Andrews Div VI representative c.j.andrews * ieee dot org
Ronald Arkin IEEE RAS Liaison arkin * cc dot gatech dot edu
Terri Bookman Manag. Ed. T&S t.bookman * ieee dot org
tbookman * comcast dot net
J. C. DeMartin politecnico de Torino, Italy demartin * polito dot edu
Gerald Engel U. Connecticut, Stamford g.engel * computer dot org
Kamal Hassin Carlton University khassin*connect dot carleton.ca
Joe Herkert Arizona State U. joseph.herkert * asu dot edu
Gene F. Hoffnagle Div. V/ CC Chair G.F.Hoffnagle * ieee dot org
Peter Zilahy Ingerman Membership Dev. rzi * ingerman dot org
Bradley Kjell Secretary kjell * ieee dot org
Keith Miller Editor. T&S miller.keith * uis dot edu
William McIver, Jr. NRC - IIT Bill.McIver * nrc dot ca
Steven Muegge Carlton University smuegge*sce dot carleton dot ca
Susan O'Donnell NRC Canada susan.odonnell * nrc dot ca
Karl Perusich Perdue Univ. perusich * sbcglobal dot net
Janet Rochester President j.rochester * ieee dot org
Robert Walp GCI - retired r.walp * ieee dot org
Robert Whelchel retired whelchelr * tristate dot edu
Robert Wolk Bridgewater State College rwolk * bridgew dot edu