FIE Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

November 10, 1999
San Juan, Puerto Rico

The following minutes are submitted by Secretary of the FIE Steering Committee, Dave Kerns.

The meeting began at 6:15 p.m. November 10th, 1999. Dan Budny welcomed the committee and introduced all attendees, describing their role on the FIE Steering Committee.

FIE Steering Committee Chairman, Jerry Engel, distributed the minutes of the Charlotte, NC meeting (June 20, 1999) and said that a vote for approval of these minutes will be held on Saturday. He also noted a change in time of the Saturday meeting from 3:30 p.m. P 5:00 p.m. to 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Agenda Item: Review of FIE Conferences

(1998 FIE; Tempe, AZ)

Don Evans reported on the Tempe conference. He said that in addition to the repayment of loans of $10,000 to both the IEEE/ES and ASEE ERM, each of the three sponsoring societies has received from the IEEE/CS $17, 987.58 as their share of the surplus. He also indicated that two corporate sponsors haven't paid their commitment, totaling $7,500. It was recommended that the $7,500 amount, when collected, be credited against the cost of the fellows program for FIE '99. Sherra Kerns made this in the form of a motion; it was seconded by Larry Shuman, and unanimously approved.

(1999 FIE ; San Juan, PR)

Dan Budny offered wide-ranging comments on the status of FIE '99. He indicated that he had eleven corporate affiliates providing conference revenue of approx $20,000. He recommended that the FIE establish a corporate fund raising committee to secure long term commitments from companies, and minimize the significant effort and risk associated with each general chair starting from the beginning on securing corporate sponsorship commitments. He further indicated that a lot of corporate sponsors are also exhibitors and this distinction needs further clarification.

Dan Budny described numerous problems associated with the pre-conference workshops. There were 19 scheduled workshops, and 4 were cancelled at the last minute. He concluded there were too many workshops and inadequate screening and commitment of workshop presenters. It was noted that the designation of a workshop coordinator and a more rigorous presenter screening process was important.

He indicated pre-conference registration at 480 attendees, and with walk-ons he estimated 550 paid registrants. Over 600 abstracts were received and the acceptance rate was estimated at 75%.

Dan Budny described several concerns regarding the Faculty Fellows Program. He indicated there were only 17 applications, and most of the applications were "lousy". He said he would have funded only one. Discussion followed indicating there was a general consensus that we should budget for ten fellows, but only fund quality proposals, even if the number is less than ten. This matter will be discussed further on Saturday.

He announced that the awards banquet was not going to be held in Old San Juan as scheduled, but has been moved to the Royal Room in the hotel. No paper proceedings are printed yet, and they will print only the number required and pull the papers of individuals who don't come to the conference.

Dan Budny indicated that the current procedures for "no shows" is not working well. The process for paper flow in the review and acceptance process could be improved. He further emphasized the high workload associated with the general chair's position and suggested that secretarial or administrative support by the conference may be useful. He also said that the wide range of AV requests including various types of computers, projectors, communications links and disk drives was a difficult problem.

Chair Engel summarized two items to be considered as FIE issues at the Saturday meeting: (1) the possibility of a "corporate affiliate committee", with rotating leadership and (2) the issue of standardizing and limiting the difficulty of audiovisual requests and controlling the cost.

(2000 FIE; Kansas City)

Jim Roberts reported that FIE 2000 will be held October 18 - 21, 2000. He is projecting 540 attendees, 20 guests, 20 exhibitors, and a corporate affiliate's budget of $30,000. Workshops were raised to $40 each to cover their costs. Larry Shuman recommended that we discuss the workshop issue further at the Saturday meeting. Jim Roberts indicated the university (dean of engineering) was contributing funds for covering blanket faculty registrations and he received an additional $5,000 in a grant from the university. After this is paid back, the three sponsoring societies will share the surplus in the normal fashion. He based his budget on the computer society charging $30 per person. Discussion followed which indicated that various members of the committee thought the negotiated rate with the Computer Society was $25 per person; it was noted that at the current conference (FIE 99) they are charging $35 per person. This issue is to be examined further. Jim Roberts further indicated a rate of $109.00 has been obtained at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center Hotel.

(2001 FIE; Reno, Nevada)

Ted Batchman was not in attendance, however Chair Engel indicated that he understood the conference planning was on schedule. Program Chairs from the Education Society and the Computer Society are needed. The conference will be held October 11 - 13, 2001 at John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel, as previously reported.

(2002 FIE, Worcester, MA)

John Orr of WPI reported that FIE 2002 will be held November 7 - 9, 2002 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers in Boston. This is a classic city hotel owned by the Starwood Group, and in walking distance to many downtown Boston attractions. The rate has been set at a maximum of $122/single and $145/double. He said that Mary K. Rada did a good job in negotiating the hotel contract, which has been signed.

(2003 FIE; Boulder, CO)

Jim Avery indicated that Melinda Piket-May is the lead person in the General Chair's role and he is assisting her. They are checking on additional hotels in the area. The Omni is still under consideration as reported at Charlotte, however two new, large hotels are currently under construction and will be considered.

Agenda Item: International Projects

Trond Clausen reported on the status of ICEE 2001 to be held in Oslo, Norway, August 6 - 10 2001. He is serving as the General Chair. The venue will be the Raddison Hotel operated on behalf of SAS (a very nice hotel). There are other hotels in the immediate area at more reasonable prices ($80 per night range). The conference will be scheduled for three days, followed by a post conference program including a train ride across Norway including additional technical programs at Bergen. There will be a separate registration for the post-conference program. This conference is being hosted by the Norwegian National Council for Engineering Education.

Agenda Item: Competing Conferences

Chair Engel distributed a description of the ICEECEE Conference (Interdisciplinary Conference on Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering Education in the Third Millennium), to be held in Davos, Switzerland, September 10 - 15, 2000. After discussion, the committee decided to consider this an informational item only.

Agenda Item: Organizational Matters

The subject of administrative service contracts was discussed. Frank Huband of ASEE indicated that they would like to be considered as potential bidders for handling the administrative functions of the FIE. He stated they would be willing to take on a range of activities from handling everything including fund raising, exhibit coordination, facility selection, AV, hotel contract negotiations, etc., or take on a lesser role as desired by the FIE Steering Committee. He indicated that he felt they were capable of doing an excellent job. Chair Engel indicated he would talk further with Frank Huband about the process, which likely would involve a request for proposals from all interested parties. This subject will be addressed by a committee composed of Chair Engel, Sherra Kerns, and Karl Smith.

The subject of award brochures was discussed. A motion was made by Bob Hofinger and seconded by Sherra Kerns that the awards brochure should be published as a single document and the cost of publication budgeted as a conference expense. The coordination and planning of the awards program will continue to be the responsibility of the IEEE education society as in the past.

There was discussion confirming the current understanding that it is the responsibility for the award recipient or the organization giving the award to pay the registration fee and awards banquet fee for those individuals attending. It was requested that the IEEE Education Society adopt a more pro-active policy in communicating this to award sponsors and recipients to avoid confusion or embarrassment at the awards banquet.

It was noted by Chair Engel that the meeting will be continued on Saturday, November 13, 1999 at noon. The next meeting of the FIE steering committee (after Saturday) will be Sunday, June 18, 2000 from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., prior to the ASEE meeting in St.Louis, MO.

Chair Engle adjourned the meeting at 9 p.m.

Continuation of FIE Steering Committee Meeting Saturday, November 13, 1999

Chair Engel called the meeting to order at 12 o'clock, noon.

Jim Roberts was asked to address two FIE issues of concern:

  1. The Corporate Memory of the Conference: Jim indicated the IEEE Computer Society has not provided a "corporate memory" of how things were done at previous conferences. This has been primarily provided by discussions with Bob Hofinger and other recent FIE general chairs.
  2. Primary Objective of the Conference: This was described as a philosophical issue centered on whether the conference objective was making money or providing a service to the members. Jim indicated that Ann-Marie stressed the notion that profitability was important. Chair Engel summarized that the staff should stay focused on insuring the conference is financially healthy; however the position of the sponsoring societies is that we wish to focus on the "right things" and provide the maximum benefit to our members while still insuring that the conference breaks even.

A discussion followed about the value of the IEEE Computer Society in continuing their conference service activities. Larry Shuman indicated the primary strengths were in management of the meals and audiovisual equipment. It was noted that Jim Roberts has not yet signed a contract with the Computer Society for FIE 2000. Chair Engel suggested that Jim Roberts make a recommendation regarding how he wishes FIE 2000 to be administered, and the decision will be made with the review and approval of Chair Engel and Ted Batchman. Chair Engel further elaborated that he will get out an RFP out for a contract renewal and will prescreen prospective bidders.

Agenda Item: Approval of Minutes:

Sherra Kerns moved to approve the minutes of the meeting in Charlotte, NC, in June, 1999. These minutes were approved by unanimous consent.

Agenda Item: Corporate Affiliates and Exhibitors:

Chair Engel summarized that there are three alternatives regarding corporate affiliates and exhibitors:

  1. No change from the current procedure, which is to allow each general chair to appoint a corporate and exhibitor chair and handle the situation individually.
  2. Contract for an exhibits manager with and external service provider.
  3. Define a new position within the steering committee as "Vice-Chair of Corporate Affiliates and Exhibitors" with the responsibility for managing the process and assuring continuity from one year to the next.

A discussion followed, concluding with Chair Engel indicating that, for now, we will leave this situation as it is, and he will draft a proposal for "Vice Chair of the Steering Committee for Exhibits and Corporate Sponsorships" to be reviewed at the next meeting.

Agenda Item: Registration Fees for Life Members.

Steve Seidman raised the issue that current IEEE policy requires that IEEE life members be provided a 25% reduction in conference registration fees. Chair Engel indicated that this policy may be changing this week at the IEEE board meeting, and consequently this item was tabled until the next meeting.

Agenda Item: Audiovisual (AV) Equipment.

A discussion followed on methods for providing AV equipment at FIE conferences. It was concluded that it is the responsibility of the general chair to notify presenters of what will be available in the room, and that no special requests are assured to be honored. Jim Roberts indicated that for FIE 2000 they will not provide computers, and will provide specifications of projectors and other equipment that will be available in the presentation rooms.

Agenda Item: Role of Workshops.

A discussion followed on the role of workshops within FIE. A motion was made by Larry Shuman and adopted by a unanimous consent that workshops should be an important part of the FIE conference, and that the General Chair should appoint a Workshop Chair with responsibility for carefully screening potential workshops and to assure reasonable quality of presentation. Larry Shuman suggested a subset of the FIE steering committee be established to address the evaluation of workshop and conference presentation. Chair Engel indicated that we consider in the future the possibility of a steering committee subcommittee (possibly chaired by Larry Shuman) to insure quality and consistency over time.

Agenda Item: Best Paper Award.

A discussion followed on the need to clarify the procedures by which the Dasher Award and the papers are selected for publication in the Journal of Engineering Education. It was noted that the papers for the Journal of Engineering Education should meet the existing requirements for that journal. A motion was made by Sherra Kerns (and unanimously adopted) that a committee be established consisting of Sherra Kerns (Chair), Karl Smith and possibly Tim Skvarenina to develop a set of criteria for the Dasher Award and the JEE papers; this will be reviewed at the next meeting of the steering committee.

Dan Budny re-joined the meeting to provide a conference update. He indicated there were 484 attendees pre-registered, 91 on site, 49 pre-registered guests, 5 guests registered on-site, 20 exhibitors booths, 93 student registrations (24 of these students gave student poster sessions) and a number of students for the college fair. This totals between 685 and 695 attendees.

Dan Budny and Larry Shuman intend to write a post conference report for review by the FIE Steering Committee.

Agenda Item: Faculty Fellows Program.

Discussion of the Faculty Fellows Program resulted in the apparent need for clarification of certain items within the program. It was noted that this program should apply to full- time, new (less than 5 years in teaching) faculty, and that a letter from their dean or other evidence of support from their administration should be included as part of the application. The Steering Committee authorized up to ten fellows; however, this is a maximum number and only the number of fully qualified applicants should be supported. The announcement of the Faculty Fellow Program for next year should go on the web immediately.

Agenda Item: Other Business

Chair Engel called for other business.

Jim Roberts reported that Ed Jones asked if the FIE Steering Committee had interest in a complete set of the paper proceedings of FIE back to the very first year, potentially for digitizing on CD-ROM. The FIE Steering Committee concluded that digitizing was not necessary, however preserving this collection intact is a high priority. The committee would like to work with Ed Jones to insure that they are preserved in a way that the collection can continue to grow and can be accessed in the future for reference as needed.

Chair Engel adjourned the meeting at 1:55 p.m.

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