Summary of Board of Directors' Meeting
ellie at usenix.ORG
Fri Nov 16 10:29:45 AEST 1990
Summary of Board of Director's Meeting
Berkeley, CA, September 24 - 25, 1990
The regular quarterly meeting of the USENIX Board of
Directors was convened in Berkeley, CA on September 24, 1990.
Attendance: Rick Adams, Ed Gould, Rob Kolstad, Kirk McKusick,
Sharon Murrel, Evi Nemeth, Michael O'Dell, Barry Shein, Alan G. Nemeth,
Deborah K. Scherrer, Ellie Young, Judy DesHarnais, Cynthia Deno,
McKusick said that the Board shapes policy of where the organization
is going, while still having oversight responsibility to ensure
that actions are going on at the executive level. He stressed
that the Board is collectively 'the boss' of the organization,
and should work in concert with the staff and not on an individual
DesHarnais reported that revenue was down (a 10% drop in
attendance compared to Baltimore).
There was a long discussion on such issues as the
need to focus on our changing community, and that perhaps USENIX has
remained static. Alan Nemeth said that the needs of the skilled
application developers and systems developers are met with our
tutorials, but not with the technical sessions, and that more tutorials
that address their needs are needed as well. Kolstad felt that the
workshops drain conferences, since most companies only allow one
meeting per year. Young was requested to pull a sample from our
database to see who returns to the conferences.
Dallas '91 Winter Conference.
Scherrer reported on behalf of Grob that 84 papers were submitted and
31 had been accepted. There were a lot of papers on security, file
systems, and threads. The committee had a great desire to see
application papers but none were accepted. Gould said that we need
to expand the program.
Nashville '91 Summer Conference.
Scherrer said that the program would have a multimedia focus with a
theme of "Interfaces of the Future" She, as program chair, would be
working on getting the committee working pro-actively on sessions.
We should emphasize to the media people that they need to reach the
people designing these platforms and environments.
DesHarnais said we had space for 22 tutorials. McKusick asked if we
should consider reducing the number of tutorials offered? Alan Nemeth
cautioned that we should not lose our role as providing tutorials that
a commercial organization would not offer. After more discussion, the
general consensus was that the maximum number of quality tutorials
offered is subject to the physical limits of the site, and we should
not work to fill the rooms.
Young reported that 260 people attended, and the event was
no longer a 'workshop.' She would be working with Bishop and a group
of people who are interested in putting together a conference.
Long-Term Conference Planning.
DesHarnais said that we need to decide something now regarding a
potential move to the mid-March dates with UniForum in 1995. If we
move, prices would be higher. There was a discussion about changing
the number of conferences. Alan Nemeth said we need to have a
long-term worldview of who our audience is: a broad conference once a
year model argues that our audience is the same as always, and that a
two conferences per year model asks: do we intend to really broaden
our audience, and what are we going to be in five years? We need to
attract the application programmers coming from different systems.
Shein suggested that we look at subsets of our audience, and pick
2-3 application areas and promote them, e.g., transaction processing,
small business applications. The multimedia theme in Nashville will
attempt to do this, and if it's successful we need to do follow-up in
the same general vein. Everyone indicated a desire to stay with the
January and June format for 1995, and none favored going to single
meeting per year.
Executive Director's Report.
Young went over her report on staffing disruptions over the past few
months, the hiring of the Cynthia Deno as exhibit manager, Dan Klein
as tutorial coordinator, Alain Henon as managing editor of
monographs/series program, and her intent to hiring a full-time deputy
executive director. It also included a report on the selection of the
MIT Press as the publisher for the USENIX monograph series.
O'Dell reported that issue 3:3 was just out which put the journal
back on schedule, and 3:4 was in limbo pending arrangements for a new
typesetter. Gould said that the response to the special music issue
has been loud and positive, and O'Dell was congratulated.
Young went over the current budget that reflected activity through July,
as well as projections for the year-end. While income from Security
and LISA conferences would be more than projected, revenue from C++
conference, both technical conferences, and the PDS program was less
than projected, while expenses at the conferences were higher. A
discussion ensued regarding the projected deficit at year-end.
Young presented the preliminary draft budget which reflected that
income would be flat, and that the Board would need to decide ways
in which to reduce the projected deficit, so that a final budget could
be prepared for the coming year. Alan Nemeth suggested that the Board
target a budget figure for fiscal year 1991 that gives -0- excess
revenue over expenses (balanced).
McKusick suggested that we go through revenues and expenses line by
Young's analysis presented various scenarios for raising dues
and comparisons with other organizations. Nemeth pointed out that the
journal had been a large extra expense in the past three years, while
dues had remained constant. After much discussion, it was decided to
change dues to: (Individual: $50; Student $15; Supporting: $1,000;
Educational $150; Corporate: $300).
It was agreed that we should target a small increase in prices for the
proceedings to members and a larger one to non-members. Young said
she would work on reducing expenses for the executive office and
Face Saver Project.
It was decided that the FaceSaver project would most likely be funded
for the Nashville conference, with final approval being made at the
January board meeting.
Press Relations Proposal.
It was decided not to fund a press room in Dallas, that Young should
work with Frey on new ways to expend the monies in her proposal for
press releases, and funding activity for Nashville would be decided at
the next meeting.
Young congratulated the Board on their efforts thus far, since it
looked as though the projected deficit had been cut by at least half.
She felt that in the short run small raises regularly of member dues,
tutorial, workshop and conference fees, along with cutting costs for
conferences might produce a balanced budget.
Workshop and conference fees.
After much discussion concerning workshop, tutorial, and tech session
fees, it was decided that conference technical fees be raised to $225
for members and $275 for non-members; beginning with the Winter '91
technical conference and include the mini-conferences.
McKusick stated that the ISO monitor project was the cornerstone of our
cooperative efforts with the EUUG, and we should approve the project
if matching funds come from the EUUG. It was agreed to do this.
McKusick presented Quarterman's proposal. Alan Nemeth affirmed the
value of the snitch reports. After much discussion, it was generally
felt that the proposal in its present form was not acceptable, and
that if he and others want to submit other proposals for next year
we would entertain them. Funding for the snitch reports was approved.
It will be held Sunday, January 20, at the Grand Kempinski Hotel in
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