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May 14, 2009

What does the EC do?

From time to time (perhaps especially during SIG elections) people ask what it is that the SIGCOMM Executive Committee actually does. Here is a quick summary of what the EC does:
  • The EC supports conferences. There are three kinds of conferences the SIG supports: Conferences that the SIG sponsors generally manage their own budgets and try to break even or make a small profit, but the SIG bears the financial risk and keeps a modest (and ACM-required) fund balance to handle this risk. Conferences that the SIG is in cooperation with do not get financial support from the SIG, but the SIG helps with publicity, etc. The EC decides which conferences and workshops the SIG will sponsor, and which it will be in cooperation with. The EC works to ensure appropriate conference and workshop content is in the ACM Digital Library. The EC coordinates with the steering committees of the conferences it supports, and it looks for opportunities to nurture new research areas and to expand participation geographically.
  • The EC acts as the Steering Committee for the annual conference. To that end:
    • The EC runs the selection process for the conference venue. It sets policy for geographic location, solicits venue proposals in an open call, and selects the conference venue. Conference venue selection also entails selecting the conference organizers (general chairs).
    • The EC oversees the conference budget, and has ultimate responsibility for the long-term interests of the conference.
    • The EC selects the Technical Program Chairs.
    • The EC sets standards and policies for technical aspects of the conference.
    • The EC responds to policy concerns as they arise, codifies best common practices, timelines, and tasks for organization of the conference.
  • The EC oversees budgets. Because the SIG is financially responsible for the conferences it sponsors, the EC makes sure budgets are sound.
  • The EC oversees grants for specific purposes, such as the GeoDiversity Travel Grants.
  • The EC sponsors awards and decides what awards the SIG will give. The Awards Chair oversees the selection process for two major awards, and also looks for opportunities to nominate SIGCOMM membership for other awards (eg, ACM awards, ACM Fellows, and IEEE awards).
  • The EC sponsors publications:
  • The EC works to establish dialog within the community, eg, at the annual meeting and via the mailinglist, blog and web site.
  • The EC maintains the SIG web site, which hosts pages and papers from conferences, documents SIG policies and organization, and provides news to the community.
  • The EC plays a role in SIG elections by selecting the chair of the nomination committee.
  • EC members represent the SIG in the SIG Governing Board, represent the SIG for its periodic Program Review, and participate in cross-SIG and overall ACM committees.
  • The EC is responsible for the governance of the SIG. In particular, the EC is responsible for:
    • Preparing the SIG Annual budget,
    • Preparing the SIG Annual report,
    • Maintaining and Revising SIG Bylaws,
    • Deciding on and providing member benefits,
    • Setting membership fees, and
    • Preserving SIG history.