FIE Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

June 28, 1998
Seattle, Washington

Present: Cindy Atman, Ted Batchman, Dan Budny, Gerald Engel, Robert J. Herrick, Dave Kerns, Bill Lebold, Dan Moore, Lueny Morell, Michael Pavelich, Larry G. Richards, Jim Roberts, Lance Schachterle, Victor Schutz, Stephen Seidman, Larry Shuman, Tim Skvarenina, Karl Smith, Karan Watson, Jorge Ivan Velez-Arocho, Jose L. Zayas-Castro


The meeting was called to order by Bob Herrick at 10:30 AM. Bob introduced Jerry Engel as the new steering committee chair (effective July 1).

Victor Schutz introduced the dean of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, who spoke about an engineering education conference that will be held in Rio in August. The theme of the conference is the internationalization of engineering education. NSF will support 20 American educators who will be presenting papers at this conference. The Rio conference's steering committee was planning to meet in Seattle on June 30 at 5:30 PM.

All attendees then introduced themselves. The minutes of the meeting of November 5, 1997 were presented for approval. Corrections were requested, to be sent to Steve Seidman.


Cindy Atman and Larry Shuman presented a report on FIE'97, which had 670 registrants and made a profit of approximately $30K (15%). The conference budget was distributed and discussed. Several concerns were raised, including the way in which proceedings publication was handled by the Computer Society Press, and whether the conference budget should plan for a balanced budget or a profit margin. Both topics were moved to general discussion. Several people pointed out that the 15% profit resulting from FIE'97 was hardly excessive.

Larry and Cindy said that the Computer Society conference administration staff had been extremely helpful, resolving all hotel questions immediately, and that Anne Marie Kelly of the CS represents "corporate memory" for FIE. They also spoke favorably of the "new faculty fellow" program that was sponsored by the Sloan Foundation in 1997. Sloan will not support this program again, and Larry and Cindy recommended that FIE institutionalize this program for future conferences. Don Evans said that he has requested NSF support for a similar program this year.

Larry and Cindy announced that a special issue (to appear in Fall 1998) of the Journal of Engineering Education will contain 14 of the best papers from FIE'97, including a paper by Herbert Simon. They also said=

that they had had some success in recovering registration fees from noshows, but that the tracking of noshows could be improved. They emphasized that the success of FIE'97 was due to the efforts of the entire team.

Bob Herrick asked Jerry Engel to form a committee to look into the financial arrangements associated with proceedings publication. Bob also said that FIE would be requesting funds from the sponsoring societies to help support the new faculty fellows program. In the short term, this might be donations from the societies, but in the long term, it could be taken from the societies=92 share of conference profits. Jerry said that a long-term proposal would be ready for the November steering committee meeting.


Don Evans gave a report on FIE'98, which will take place November 4-7 in Tempe, AZ. He was also very appreciative of the organizational support provided by the Computer Society, and he thanked the program cochairs for their efforts.

Don reported on some problems with the FIE'98 hotel arrangements. The number of rooms at the conference hotel is limited, and he has arranged to use other hotels if needed for overflow. He said that more than 450 abstracts were submitted, and that full papers are now flowing in nicely. FIE'98 will also have a special issue of JEE. Sponsorship is growing slowly, but the organizers have already obtained support for data projectors. NSF has been asked to support a project showcase, the new faculty fellows program, interactive technology, a coalitions session, and a mechanical dissection session.

Dan Budny said that the Computer Society Press will buy hardcopy conference proceedings at $85-90 for 300 copies. He then described the financial arrangements: Approximately $24K will come from thte CS Press in November, and $12K will be billed to the Education and Computer Societies. The books are kept on sale for 3 years, and income is sent to the societies on a quarterly basis. Some discussion of these arrangements followed. It was also mentioned that the Computer Society will now accept CD-ROM proceedings, but Larry Shuman pointed out that the lack of page numbers on CD-ROM created problems for libraries.

Larry Shuman said that there was still some money left in the FIE'97 NSF grant, and that he and Cindy would request permission to use those funds to support the new faculty fellows program for FIE'98. If this turns out to be possible, this would provide approximately $8K. An additional $2K would be needed, which could be provided from the FIE'97 profits with the permission of the sponsoring societies. A motion covering all of this was made, seconded, and passed. If this approach does not work, Jerry Engel will solicit contributions from the sponsoring societies to cover the entire cost of this year=92s new faculty fellows program.


Dan Budny reported on the plans for FIE'99. He said that the planning committee includes members from all institutions in Puerto Rico. He then described the conference, which will be held at the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, with a room rate of $135. The conference schedule will be somewhat unusual. On Thursday, there will be morning sessions; the afternoon will be free, with several tours arranged. The most notable tour will be of the Arecibo radar observatory; papers on use of wireless technology in the classroom will be presented during this tour. In the evening, there will be more paper sessions, followed by a dance. Friday will be more traditional, but there will be a college fair in the evening, which will attract seniors from all over the island. Saturday will have a traditional schedule, with a final banquet. The entire hotel will be booked for the conference. Jerry Engel proposed bringing domestic minority students to the conference. Suggestions were made that institutions involved in AMP programs should be encouraged to send students, and programs at HBCUs were also mentioned as sources of students. Don Evans asked whether a debriefing meeting was planned for San Juan in January 1999, and whether the sponsoring societies should be asked for support. Jerry Engel requested that a report on the effectiveness of the last two debriefing meetings be presented in November, and that if they are found to be effective, that the ES and CS be asked to increase their FIE support by $1K.

FIE 2000:

Jim Roberts will present a budget for steering committee approval at its November meeting.

FIE 2002:

Lance Schachterle, assistant provost at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, made a presentation requesting that this meeting be held in Worcester. He discussed access (Worcester is about an hour from the Boston, Hartford, and Providence airports) and accomodation. The largest hotel is the Crowne Plaza with about 250 rooms, so that it would be necessary to use multiple hotels. Room rates are cheap. After some discussion, a motion to approve Worcester as the site of FIE 2002 was made, seconded, and approved. Jerry Engel then asked Lance to investigate Providence as a possible location for the conference.


Jerry Engel circulated the report of the international subcommittee. He discussed the distinction between sponsorship of a conference (shared financial risk) and cooperation with a conference (no financial risk). The report requests the societies to provide some support for international activities from their share of FIE profits. The approval of the report was moved, seconded, and approved.

Vic Schutz discussed an engineering education conference planned for Oslo in 2001. He and Bob Herrick had gone to Oslo to investigate the locale and planned arrangements, and he asked the international committee to look into this conference.


Karan Watson said that she wanted the names of this year's awardees by the end of August. There was some discussion of the responsibility for the various FIE awards, and also of whether awardees should be asked to register for the conference or to pay for the banquet. The consensus was that the societies should decide which awardees pay what. The only pure FIE award is thte Schmitz award; the Plante award is given by ERM, and the Dasher award by the Education Society. It was suggested that the Dasher awardee be selected from the papers appearing in the special JEE issue.

Bob Herrick asked whether (and how) awards could be retired. It was stated that FIE doesn't have a review process, and that it is important to communicate with the sponsoring societies. They need to tell FIE of the awardees, and we need to discuss whether awards should be terminated or new awards created.


Dan Budny said that the process is working well. It was proposed that in the future, papers could be sorted at the website by program chair. There was some discussion of the page limit policy. The current 6-page limit will be reevaluated based on this year's experience. Larry Shuman said that the Web-based review process is working well this year.


No representative present; apparently going well.


No representative present; the FIE'98 sponsor chair has promised $50K.

Next meeting:

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 4 from 6 to 10 PM in Tempe. A buffet dinner will be served. An overhead projector will be needed. Attendees planning to bring guests should let Don Evans know.

The meeting adjourned at 1 PM.

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