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Cooperating Society Policy

This policy defines the circumstances under which SIGCHI may establish a "cooperating society" relationship with another professional organization. Through such relationships, SIGCHI can work with other organizations to cooperatively promote the field of human-computer interaction, insure the presence of an HCI perspective in organizations that might not have an HCI focus of their own, and help other organizations interested in HCI grew and develop their own memberships. Cooperating society relationships can also help SIGCHI grow as a professional society, by increasing its presence throughout the world, increasing its membership and attendance at its conferences, and by understanding more about the ideas, perspectives, and methodologies of the societies with which it cooperates.

SIGCHI Cooperating Society Policy


  1. Goals and principles for cooperating societies
  2. Eligibility
  3. Proposal and adoption of a cooperating society relationship
  4. Review and evaluation
  5. Renewal of the agreement
  6. Termination of the agreement
  7. On the use of conference discounts in cooperating society relationships
  8. Replacement of the SIGCHI liaison
  9. Relationships between CHI conferences and other societies
  • Effective Date: May 21, 1999; financial implications: January 1, 2001
  • Approved Date: May 21, 1999
  • Responsible SIGCHI Officer: Vice-Chair for Operations

1. Goals and principles for cooperating societies.

This policy defines the circumstances under which SIGCHI may establish a "cooperating society" relationship with another professional organization. Through such relationships, SIGCHI can work with other organizations to cooperatively promote the field of human-computer interaction, insure the presence of an HCI perspective in organizations that might not have an HCI focus of their own, and help other organizations interested in HCI grew and develop their own memberships. Cooperating society relationships can also help SIGCHI grow as a professional society, by increasing its presence throughout the world, increasing its membership and attendance at its conferences, and by understanding more about the ideas, perspectives, and methodologies of the societies with which it cooperates.

Since the nature of these organizations differ, the nature of SIGCHI's relationships can be expected to differ as well, and will not be defined by this policy. However, this policy is being defined with the intent of supporting relationships involving such collaborations and benefits as:

 

  1. Conference publicity
  2. Trading membership mailing lists
  3. Trading advertisements and columns in newsletters
  4. Trading booth space at conferences
  5. Jointly organizing workshops, conferences, publications, and web sites
  6. Adding non-voting representatives to each others' executive committees
  7. Offering the members of the cooperating society SIGCHI-member rates on conferences, publications, and web sites

2. Eligibility

Cooperating society relationships may be created with such professional organizations as:
  1. Organizations that address scientific or technical disciplines related to the interests of SIGCHI
  2. Organizations focused on specific application domains of relevance to SIGCHI
  3. National computing organizations
  4. National human-computer interaction organizations
A candidate cooperating society must be a legally-incorporated non-profit organization in its country of origin (e.g., 501(c)3 organizations in the United States). Cooperating society relationships may not be established with commercial, for-profit organizations.

3. Proposal and adoption of a cooperating society relationship

A proposal to create a cooperating society relationship is submitted by a SIGCHI EC member. This proposal must specify:
  1. A general description of the organization, and an explanation of why a cooperating society relationship makes sense.
  2. The benefits being offered by SIGCHI to the organization. If these benefits have an immediate or potential financial impact on SIGCHI, that impact must be specified as part of the proposal.
  3. The benefits being offered to SIGCHI by the organization (with a summary of any financial benefits gained by SIGCHI or its members)
  4. The duration of the agreement. A limit on the agreement's duration is required; an upper bound on the duration is probably three years.
  5. The name of a SIGCHI member who is willing to serve as liaison to the organization.
  6. The name of a person in the leadership of the cooperating organization who is willing to serve as liaison to SIGCHI for the purposes of this relationship. This liaison must be identified as such by the chair of that organization.
The proposal is then considered and voted upon by the SIGCHI EC. If approved, the relationship goes into effect immediately.

4. Review and evaluation.

Each cooperating society relationship must be evaluated on an annual basis by the the liaison to that organizations, via a written report to the SIGCHI EC. This report should reflect the extent to which the cooperating society relationship has succeeded in addressing the goals and principles for cooperating societies described in Section 1.

5. Renewal of the agreement

Cooperating society relationships have a fixed duration so that both SIGCHI and the cooperating organization are required to occasionally review their relationship and mutually confirm that it is in the interests of both. Upon expiration, the organization may re-apply for cooperating society status, under the same or different terms as before.

6. Termination of the agreement.

A cooperating society agreement can be canceled prior to its normal expiration by a 2/3 vote of the SIGCHI Executive Committee. The agreement can also be canceled by the cooperating society, under terms determined by that organization.

7. On the use of conference discounts in cooperating society relationships.

Historically, one of the most sought-after reasons for organizations to seek cooperating society status with SIGCHI has been to obtain SIGCHI member rates at the CHI conference for their members. Granting these rates can be a good way to broaden the field and increase SIGCHI's visibility in other organizations. However, extending these rates to other organizations has a direct and significant impact on SIGCHI's finances. Therefore, offering member rates to cooperating societies should be done sparingly, and only when doing so is consistent with SIGCHI's goals for cooperating society relationships. Good reasons for extending member rates would include (but not be limited to):
  1. Helping to get a new HCI organization established in some part of the world, and to build a close relationship with that organization,
  2. Evangelizing the field of HCI to an organization that does not have HCI as its primary focus, in the hopes of attracting people from that organization who would not otherwise attend CHI, or
  3. Quid pro quo relationships, in which SIGCHI members receive discounted conference rates at a cooperating society's conference in exchange for a similar grant from SIGCHI, and in which the total benefit to SIGCHI members is comparable to the benefit received by the cooperating society's members.
If SIGCHI member rates are offered to or exchanged with a cooperating society, the annual review of the cooperating society relationship must include a financial report on the number of society members attending a SIGCHI conference under the terms of the agreement, and the overall financial impact of their having done so.

These controls on the offering of SIGCHI rates to non-SIGCHI members are meant to insure that member rates are used as a tool to grow the field and SIGCHI, not to simply subsidize the attendance of a society's members at SIGCHI conferences. If a society discovers that they or some of their members share interests and goals with SIGCHI, then their members ought to become SIGCHI members, and obtain member rates (and other SIGCHI membership benefits) directly. In the absence of a quid pro quo agreement, the offering of member rates is meant to be of the nature of a temporary "trial offer" -- something to let the members of an organization try out SIGCHI conferences in the hopes that they will join the society -- and not a permanent state of affairs. Thus, the lifetime of such a benefit should be limited, and only in the rarest of circumstances renewed if and when a cooperating society relationship expires and is renewed.

8. Replacement of the SIGCHI liaison

If the SIGCHI liaison to a cooperating society is unable to complete his/her duties, the Chair, in consultation with the cooperating society, will appoint a new liaison to the cooperating society.

9. Relationships between CHI conferences and other societies

In the past, CHI conferences have generally set up lightweight, ad hoc cooperating society relationships with various technical societies. These have typically involved the conference listing the society as a cooperating society in conference publications and, in exchange, receiving that society's mailing list or other means for publicizing the conference to the members of the society. This policy is not meant to rule out such relationships, since they clearly work to the benefit of both SIGCHI and the partner societies. However, conferences wishing to create these kinds of relationships should note that:
  1. The term "cooperating society" is reserved for the kinds of relationships officially established between SIGCHI and other societies, and as defined in sections 1-8 above. Some other term should be used to describe those societies working with SIGCHI under this kind of agreement, perhaps "CHI Conference Partners". Chairs should also expect that Cooperating Societies will need to be listed as such in their conference's publications; they should consult with the SIGCHI Vice-Chair for Communications to obtain the appropriate list of official Cooperating Societies.
  2. As noted in Section 7 above, SIGCHI-member rates on SIGCHI-sponsored conferences can only be offered to members of other societies by a vote of the Executive Committee.

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