Policies & Procedures Manual and Operations Handbooks: Section 6
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Updated December 2021
SECTION 6 TECHNICAL AND CONFERENCE ACTIVITIES BOARD
The Technical & Conference Activities (T&C) Board shall be chaired by the vice president for technical and conference activities as provided in the bylaws, and shall consist of the following members: chairs of the Conference Activities Committee and Technical Meeting Review Committee, the secretary, the treasurer and a maximum of four at-large members representing a balance of both technical community (TC) and conference volunteer leadership experience, appointed by the vice president for technical and conference activities, and the Technical Activities Committee Chair, elected by the TC chairs. The president and executive director shall be ex-officio, non-voting members. The most recent past vice president for technical and conference activities and a member of the Society’s professional staff appointed by the executive director are non-voting members.
The T&C Board shall be responsible for setting policy for and the general oversight of the activities of the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Communities (TCs) and Task Forces, as well as for defining the Society’s role and policy for sponsored technical meetings in which the Society participates, whether defined as conferences, symposia, workshops or tutorials (excluding chapter technical meetings). Technical meetings are managed by the sponsoring TCs, conference steering committees, and conference organizers.
1. The T&C Board shall review and approve annual TC operating budgets as proposed by the TCs according to procedures established in the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook.
2. The T&C Board shall approve technical meetings with expense budgets between 1% and 2% of the Society’s annual budgeted expenses. The Technical Meeting Request Committee (TMRC) shall approve technical meetings with expense budgets under 1% of the Society’s annual budgeted expense according to procedures established in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
3. The T&C Board shall review and recommend to the Board of Governors approval of any technical meetings with expense budgets over 2% of the Society’s annual budgeted expenses.
4. The T&C Board shall review, and vote on approval or rejection of, all requests for a change in CS conference sponsorship from the prior conference instance. Financial co-sponsorship requests must demonstrate a sustained value to the conference community beyond what would be offered with technical co-sponsorship. All new conference co-sponsorship requests must also meet the following criteria to be considered.
Conference Co-sponsorship Criteria:
1. Co-sponsor must be a nonprofit organization with an active and diverse board.
2. Co-sponsor must be an established organization that has been in business for more than five years.
3. Co-sponsor must have existing reserves (at time co-sponsor agreement is approved), that are equal to or more than the co-sponsor’s percentage of gross conference expenses plus the full gross expenses of any other programs or products sponsored/owned by the organization, annually. Reserves are funds held aside at all times; and are not included in the organizations annual operating budget.
4. The co-sponsored conference will adhere to all IEEE and IEEE Computer Society Policies and Procedures, including, but not limited to IEEE CS’s administrative fee policy and financial closing and contracting requirements.
5. Co-sponsor must uphold the IEEE Computer Society Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
6. Co-sponsor must perform all administrative conference responsibilities, including contracting, on a rotating basis, proportionate to co-sponsorship percentage.
7. Co-sponsor must have conference liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 USD to be eligible to co-sponsor conferences with annual operating expenses of $250,000 or less; and at least $3,000,000 of conference liability insurance for conferences with annual operating expenses of more than $251,000.
8. Co-sponsor must also agree to share event cancellation insurance expenses with IEEE to cover losses of shared conference(s) with IEEE. Event cancellation insurance would be built into the conference budgets in all cases.
Special consideration will be given for one-time only conference co-sponsorship agreements with local organizations for conferences outside the US for the purpose of filing VAT.
5. The T&C Board shall establish an effective interface with other program boards and other activities of the IEEE Computer Society.
6. The T&C Board shall work with the TAC and TCs to identify and participate in promising technical meetings on emerging technologies.
7. The T&C Board shall encourage discussion of issues related to technical meetings among TC chairs, technical meeting organizers and conference steering committees.
8. At least once every four years, the T&C Board shall evaluate each TC’s scope of activity, technical vitality, and financial health, and recommend appropriate action (i.e., creating new TCs and/or terminating or merging existing TCs). Minimum activity criteria shall be set forth in the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook.
6.3.1 Technical Activities Committee
The TAC shall consist of an elected chair and vice chair, all the chairs of the TCs, and a maximum of four at-large members appointed by the chair with the concurrence of the T&C vice president. The TAC chair and vice-chair shall be elected annually by the current TC chairs in accordance with the procedures defined in the T&C Handbook. The chairs of the Conference Activities Committee (CAC) and Technical Meeting Request Committee (TMRC) shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the TAC. Subcommittees may be formed at the discretion of the TAC chair
The TAC shall provide guidance for the technical activities of the Technical Communities (TCs) and shall report such activities to the T&C Board.
1. The TAC shall specify TC vitality criteria, assessment techniques, measurements, and related matters for inclusion in the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook.
2. The TAC shall encourage TCs with common technical interests and overlapping scopes to sponsor joint technical activities (e.g., workshops, symposia, conferences, newsletters, etc.) and to explore and collaborate in areas of common interest. The TAC shall encourage TCs to merge conferences in overlapping areas and develop new programs and activities in important disciplines where the Society does not already have such activities.
3. The TAC shall promote cooperation and joint technical activities between TCs and other IEEE Organizational Units, non-IEEE computer and technical professional bodies, and relevant professional societies.
4. The TAC shall assist TC chairs in recognizing outstanding technical leaders and achievers, and with submission of the necessary documentation for nominating candidates for the various IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, and Technical & Conference Activities (T&C) Board awards.
5. The TAC shall make recommendations for updating the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook, to be approved by the vice president for technical and conference activities.
6. The TAC shall provide an interface between the T&C Board and Society staff to explore administrative matters or procedures that could impact TC chairs (e.g., TC budgets, TC membership, TC communication etc).
6.3.2 Conference Activities Committee
The Conference Activities Committee (CAC) shall be chaired by an appointee of the vice president for technical and conference activities and shall consist of a maximum of eight at-large members appointed by the chair with the concurrence of the vice president. The committee shall be composed of individuals representing a balance of both TC and conference volunteer leadership experience.- The chairs of the Technical Activities Committee (TAC) and Technical Meeting Request Committee (TMRC) shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the CAC. Subcommittees may be formed at the discretion of the CAC chair.
The CAC shall provide guidance for technical meeting activities of the Society and shall report such activities to the T&C Board.
1. The CAC shall make recommendations for technical meeting vitality criteria, assessment techniques, measurements, and related matters for inclusion in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
2. The CAC shall assess the technical viability of the technical meeting portfolio and provide guidance to TC chairs.
3. The CAC shall make recommendations for updating the Technical Meeting Handbook, to be approved by the Technical Meeting Request Committee (TMRC) and vice president for technical and conference activities.
4. The CAC chair shall review and approve Technical Co-Sponsorship requests to the IEEE Computer Society, in consultation with the appropriate TC chair(s), provided there are significant benefits to the Society and its members.
5. The CAC chair shall review Co-Sponsorship requests that are made the first time to the Computer Society. In consultation with the appropriate TC chair(s) he/she will recommend approval or rejection, based on whether there are significant scientific benefits to the Society and its members.
6. The CAC shall review and approve content that has been flagged for review by the IEEE from proceedings produced by the Society that are from conferences not sponsored by the IEEE.
6.3.3 Technical Meeting Request Committee
The Technical Meeting Request Committee (TMRC) shall be chaired by an appointee of the vice president for technical and conference activities and shall consist of a maximum of six at-large members appointed by the chair with the concurrence of the vice president. The committee shall be composed of individuals representing a balance of both TC and conference volunteer leadership experience. The chairs of the Technical Activities Committee (TAC) and Conference Activities Committee (CAC) shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the TMRC. Subcommittees may be formed at the discretion of the TMRC chair.
The TMRC shall provide oversight of administrative tasks, guidance for technical meeting committees, and any necessary new methods, tools, and training programs (e.g. webinars) to assist meeting organizers.
1. The TMRC shall review and either approves or rejects certain technical meeting budgets according to procedures established in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
2. The TMRC shall maintain the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Meeting Handbook, with the assistance of the appropriate Society staff. The handbook shall include detailed procedures for the conduct of the technical meetings program.
3. The TMRC shall provide an interface between the T&C Board and Society staff to explore administrative matters or procedures that could impact technical meetings and their chairs (e.g., meeting budgets, timely processing conference sponsorship applications, planning support, etc).
4. The TMRC shall facilitate post-meeting analysis with technical meeting chairs wh6.en a conference produced a deficit.
6.4 TECHNICAL MEETINGS
6.4.1 TECHNICAL MEETING SPONSORSHIP PROCESS
The IEEE Computer Society offers three types of meeting sponsorship: sponsorship, co-sponsorship, and technical co-sponsorship. The Society prefers sponsorship or co-sponsorship, but there are situations in which technical co-sponsorship is appropriate.
To seek the sponsorship of the IEEE Computer Society for a meeting, the general chair of the meeting, or designee, and the finance chair, shall complete the electronic IEEE Conference Application at least twelve months prior to the meeting [or six months prior to the call for papers]. Financial sponsorship applications are submitted using the process approved by the T&C Board and detailed in the Technical Meeting Handbook. The year lead time is necessary to obtain required endorsements and approvals, negotiation and approval of all contracts, and to allow time to advertise the meeting effectively. All forms of sponsorship require endorsement of at least one technical community.
The IEEE Computer Society is the sole sponsor of the meeting, accepting all financial and legal liability. All assets, tangible and intangible, shall be the property of the Society.
The IEEE Computer Society shares in the financial and legal liabilities according to the percentage of sponsorship as outlined in the co-sponsorship memorandum of understanding (MOU). All assets, tangible and intangible, shall be the property of the sponsors in proportion to their respective share of meeting sponsorship. The Society share shall be at least 50% for new meetings. The financial commitment must be stated in the budget, since advance loans and any surplus or loss must be shared in proportion to the commitment.
126.96.36.199 Technical Co-sponsorship
The IEEE Computer Society accepts no financial or legal liability for a technically co-sponsored meeting, but its members participate in the meeting’s technical program committee.
188.8.131.52 Sponsoring and Cooperating Entities
The IEEE Computer Society participates in meetings sponsored by incorporated not-for-profit organizations, as opposed to those sponsored by individuals. The Society may request evidence of incorporation and sufficient liability coverage by the sponsor(s).
6.4.2 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
A memorandum of understanding (MOU), sets forth the relationship and obligations of the involved parties. The IEEE MOU is required for all meetings in which two or more entities are co-sponsors. As a minimum, an MOU shall describe the following areas:
· Financial sponsorship of each entity including both liability and surplus or loss distribution.
· Ownership of the intellectual property associated with the conference, including use of the conference name, slogan, copyright for publications, and logo ownership.
· Assignment of conference management and other administrative responsibilities to the appropriate entities.
· Provisions for dissolving the relationship.
6.4.3 Registration Rates
For all three cases, that is sponsorship, co-sponsorship or technical co-sponsorship, all IEEE Computer Society members, and all IEEE members, must be entitled to register at the lowest registration rates established for the meeting (except for student rates and other special discounted rates).
Non-member registration fees shall be a minimum of 20% higher than fees for members of the sponsoring or cooperating organizations.
All complimentary registrations must be specifically described in the meeting budget.
6.4.4 Approval of Technical Meetings
Each technical meeting to be sponsored or co-sponsored by, or in technical co-sponsorship with the IEEE Computer Society, must be endorsed by at least one technical community chair. All new meetings require the approval of the CAC chair.
Technical meetings with expense budgets exceeding 2% of IEEE Computer Society’s annual budgeted expenses require the Board of Governors’ approval, and those with expense budgets between 1% and 2% of the Society’s annual budgeted expenses require T&C Board approval.
The first-year of technical meeting approval implies that ownership of the conference name resides with the IEEE Computer Society and any co-sponsors, or as designated in the conference steering committee charter, or in the conference MOU.
6.4.5 Use of IEEE Name and Logo
After receiving written approval of the meeting sponsorship, organizers of sponsored and co-sponsored meetings shall use the name and logo of the IEEE Computer Society and the logo of the IEEE on all meeting material including announcements, calls for papers, stationery, advance programs, final programs, and publications in accordance with IEEE policies.
6.4.6 Steering Committees and Charters
Periodic meetings (meetings held no more than two years apart) shall have a steering committee and a steering committee charter. The steering committee is responsible for the general oversight of and setting policy for the meeting. The steering committee membership and charter policies are specified in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
6.4.7 Meeting Finances
184.108.40.206 Administrative Fee
IEEE Computer Society conference administrative fees include services and benefits (e.g. financial or legal liability) to conferences, TCs, the T&C Board and other technical activities. Each sponsored technical meeting budget is therefore required to include an expense item for its associated administrative fee. The administrative fee policies are specified in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
220.127.116.11 Financial Accounts and Other Accounts
In all cases, the Society Executive Director or his/her designee must have access to any financial account. This may be waived if an authorized executive of an equal or majority co-sponsor has such access.
18.104.22.168 Final Report
The general chair is responsible for submitting a complete final report within six months following the meeting. The final report includes a detailed final financial report, proof of the closing of the checking and other accounts, distribution of surplus or loss funds, repayment of advance loans, performance of an audit, if requested, and reporting of capital equipment purchases. The report must be sent to the appropriate Society staff member with a copy to co-sponsors, if any. Conference closing policies are specified in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
22.214.171.124 Financial Audits
IEEE Computer Society meetings shall follow IEEE policies for conference audits. Technical meetings where IEEE has greater than a 50% financial responsibility and where the actual or budgeted income or expense is $250,000 or more shall be audited by a professional independent auditor or the IEEE Internal Audit Department-and will be required to budget for such audits. Other technical meetings may be required to submit to an audit at the request of the T&C Board.
The finance chair must retain all records for a period of at least five years for return receipt; this includes all canceled checks, account statements, registration forms, bills, receipts, account books, and so forth.
6.4.8 Meeting Contracts
126.96.36.199 Hotel or Facility Contract
Conferences should engage the conference staff before choosing a hotel/facility to collaborate on generating and distributing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to support the hotel/facility selection process. The staff will collect proposals, combine them and deliver a proposal with a recommendation to the organizing committee, allowing the committee to make a decision. The staff will finalize negotiations and contracting for the selected venue. Process variations based on co-sponsorship are outlined in the Technical Meeting Handbook.
188.8.131.52 Other Contracts
For meetings sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE contract policies will be followed. Any contract over $5,000 or any contract where the potential liability to the Society exceeds $5,000 (for example a bus or transportation contract) must be reviewed by the IEEE Legal and Compliance Department and all contracts with a liability of $25,000 or more must be signed by the IEEE or the Society may refuse to accept liability. In the case of a meeting co-sponsored by another society, the Society may accept the authorized signature of an executive of a co-sponsor.
6.5 TECHNICAL COMMUNITIES
The IEEE Computer Society shall support technical communities (TCs) by size, scope, and maturity, who are composed of individuals with shared interest in a subset or application of computer, computing, software, hardware, and information technologies. The creation or dissolution of TCs must be approved by the Society Board of Governors, upon recommendation of the T&C Board.
6.5.1 Purpose of Technical Communities
The purpose of technical communities (TCs) is to provide leadership and technical oversight in organizing technical activities in technical domains or specialty areas. Activities include sponsoring and conducting technical meetings, developing awards within the technical discipline, publishing a newsletter, and providing forums for discussion of technical topics. Each TC chair shall be elected by Computer Society members who have joined that TC; only IEEE Computer Society members are eligible to vote and become TC chairs. Election procedures established by the T&C Board are spelled out in the TC’s Charter and the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook. TC chairs shall report to the TAC Chair. The TAC chair can in special circumstances appoint new TC chairs with the approval of the vice president for technical and conference activities. Such circumstances may involve an inactive TC that needs to be revitalized.
6.5.2 Membership Requirements
Membership in a TC is open to everyone, subject to such additional requirements as may be established by individual technical communties and Section 6.5.1 above. All such supplemental requirements must be approved by the relevant TC chair and the vice president for technical and conference activities and may be based on such criteria as participation, payment of a reasonable fee, or expressed or demonstrated interest in the technical field. There is no limit on the number of TCs a person can join.
6.5.3 Membership Fees
If a TC decides to implement fees for membership, those fees must be approved by a review panel established for that purpose by the vice president for technical and conference activities. The responsibility of this review panel is to ensure that the TC will be viable with income necessary to support a reasonable package of services to each of its members for the fees being charged. The review usually occurs in conjunction with the review and approval of the next year’s budget.
a. The TC may choose to charge lower fees for IEEE student members.
b. All TC fees will be collected and accounted for through the IEEE Computer Society’s staff operations.
c. The panel will review all proposed fees in relation to services provided annually.
6.5.4 Technical Community Charters
All Technical Communties are encouraged to create a charter to define the operational procedures unique to each TC. IEEE and Computer Society policies and procedures take precedence to those outlined in TC charters.
The T&C Board shall create and be responsible for maintaining a Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook, in which detailed procedures for the conduct of the technical and conference activities program will be set forth.
The T&C Board is responsible for an annual review and updates to the handbook. This handbook will be the primary means of ensuring appropriate quality and continuity in the operation of the technical communities. The T&C Board may modify its procedures without the Society Board of Governors approval, provided that its procedures are consistent with the policies and procedures contained in this manual and with applicable policies and procedures of the IEEE. However, the vice president for technical and conference activities is responsible for seeing that a copy of the current Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook is posted online.
6.7 CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS, TUTORIALS, WEBSITES AND NEWSLETTERS
TCs are encouraged to establish, sponsor, and operate major IEEE Computer Society conferences which provide a technical service to their members and the profession, while generating enough surpluses to justify operating funds for other TC activities and support the Society’s non-revenue programs and services. Moreover, TCs are encouraged to hold workshops or other special meetings to complement the technical program at appropriate Society conferences. To the extent practicable to do so, the names and logos of all such meetings will be service marked by the Society in the name of the IEEE. TCs are strongly encouraged to maintain their own website and publish a newsletter for their members.
6.8 PORTFOLIO REVIEW
The T&C Board shall be responsible for maintaining a high degree of technical excellence and organizational vitality among the TCs and the Society’s conference portfolio. The T&C Board will review portfolio recommendations from the Planning Committee as defined in Section 18.3.9 below.
6.8.1 TC Vitality Criteria
Specific TC vitality criteria, assessment techniques, and related matters are addressed in the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook prepared by the T&C Board.
The T&C Board should establish recommended and minimum levels of activity criteria for each TC. The leaders of a TC should hold at least one business and planning meeting per year.
6.9 TC BUDGETS
6.9.1 Operating Budget Allocation
Each TC shall be allocated an operating budget primarily based on its fiscal performance and contribution to the Society. TC budgets must be approved by the T&C Board. Each TC may spend funds as long as the expenditures do not exceed the total approved TC budget. The guiding principle is to invest in activities that grow the technical domain of the TC and benefit the broadest TC membership. Any TC expense may be subject to T&C Treasurer review.
Each TC shall request an operating budget drawn from a portion of the net surplus from all conferences, tutorials, workshops, and similar activities in its portfolio. The policies for TC sponsored conference reserves shall be specified in the Technical & Conference Activities Board Handbook. TCs which consistently fail to generate revenues sufficient to fund their costs of operation will be reviewed for vitality as provided herein.