FW: [2004_sig_program_chairs-announce] SIG news

From: Judy Diamondstone (jdiamondstone@clarku.edu)
Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 14:25:09 PST

Please see below, which may serve as a quasi-explanation, if you have not
yet heard from Allacademic about the acceptance of your proposal to the
CH-SIG. Notification was supposedly sent automatically. A couple of people
have reported to me that they still haven't heard anything. I followed up by
speaking to AERA staff, who checked the system for the particular proposals,
both of which showed up in the system as accepted. If you need formal
notification, I suggest that you contact James Mears, while Robert Smith is
away this week, or wait until Robert gets back to contact him.

(see #1 Program Software below)


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-2004_sig_program_chairs-announce@listserv.aera.net
Behalf Of Bruce Thompson
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 1:12 PM
To: '06 B. O'Connor; '06 Rosalyn Templeton; '05 Sky Huck; '05 Arline
Stomfay-Stitz; '05 Bruce Thompson; '04 Diana Michael;
Subject: [2004_sig_program_chairs-announce] SIG news


Dear SIG Leader:
     As you know, AERA Council historically meets three times a year (at
AERA for half a day, in mid-Summer, and in January). As SIG Executive
Committee Chair/Representative to AERA Council, it has been my habit from
time to time to seek input from you prior to the meeting, and then to
report back relevant aspects of the meeting so that you can plan
     [For example, roughly 7,500 of the 22,000 AERA members belong to one
or more SIGs. Some of these people belong to more than one SIG. The number
of SIG memberships was 10,534 in June, 2002, 13,555 in June, 2003, and
14,191 in November, 2003. This was an increase in a little over a year OF
AN AMAZING 35% !!!!! Clearly, (a) SIGs remain of considerable interest to
AERA members, and (b) AERA record keeping of SIG memberships is finally
getting accurate, yielding correct/larger numbers.]

     It appears that there was widespread disappointment and frustration
with the ALL ACADEMIC software in all its aspects (e.g., submission,
notification) to date. (Not all proposers/Program Chairs are
frustrated/angry, but the preponderant view seems to be negative.) This
comes on the heals of several years of being Tiger-ed, which may exacerbate
sensitivities. I think members want to feel they are professionals
belonging to a professional organization using program software that
operates professionally.
     I believe that AERA staff during the meeting may have heard the
expectation that improvements are expected. I hope that more specifics of
changes and REASONS (as against mere hopes) to believe that ALL ACADEMIC
will operate differently next year will be forthcoming at the April and/or
mid-Summer Council meeting, or be announced on the AERA Website.
     This year more than 10,000 program proposals were submitted. The
submission/review process to date has generated 38,000 e-mails messages to
AERA/ALL ACADEMIC staff! That's (a) roughly 4 e-mails per proposal or (b)
roughly 2 e-mails per AERA member. In my view, the number of e-mails the
software generates is an inverse index of software quality. Functional
software would generate only 500 e-mails, all of which said "Thanks for
having such good software."

     The new AERA management software, NOAH, was demo-ed. NOAH updates
membership and other info "on the fly" at the instant that there are any
changes. As discussed previously, this will allow AERA members themselves
at any time to update personal contact information, or to verify or change
things like SIG memberships. This will also allow SIG Chairs themselves to
generate rosters, or e-mail lists, WITHOUT HAVING TO CONTACT ANY AERA STAFF
activities, just as working program software will require less staff time
once staff are not addressing 38K+ e-mails each program season.
     You will have a chance to see NOAH during the annual meeting in April.
This is the Good news. Now for the...

     For several decades SIGs paid AERA annual fees of $100 to help defray
AERA staff expenses. About 3 years ago this was changed to $150/year.
Because there are 149 SIGs currently, this generates annual revenue for
AERA of about $22,350.
     AERA staff have argued that they spend at least $175,000/year
supporting SIG activities. [This estimate I believe was before NOAH or a
workable program software, both of which impact demands on staff time.]
Therefore, an expectation was created that SIGs generate more revenues.
     The SIG Executive Committee responded with a package of 3 requests:
  a. Each SIG membership would be assessed $5/yr to be credited to AERA
budgets rather than to the SIGs;
  b. The SIG annual fees of $150 be reduced back to $100; and
  c. The current annual $10 credit (from the $110 that AERA members pay for
annual dues) that can be applied to create one free Division membership be
changed such that AERA members could apply this credit EITHER toward a
divisional membership OR a SIG membership.

a. $5 Assessment
     The motion to create the annual assessment passed. The effect is to
raise the *minimum* current $5 SIG dues to be at least $10 (at least $5 of
which is dues payable to SIG budgets, and exactly $5/yr of which is payable
to AERA budgets). The NOAH software can handle this without administrative
difficulty. At current membership numbers, this would generate $70,955/yr
for AERA.
thinking about your current SIG dues, and what revisions you wish to make.
SIG dues can be more than the minimum, as some currently are.

b. Annual SIG Fee
     The reduction from $150 to $100 passed. This will now generate
$14,900/yr for AERA. REMEMBER that SIGs who do not pay their annual fee
during each summer (a) get no meeting program space and (b) may be
discontinued by the SIG Executive Committee.

c. $10 Credit Toward Either Division or SIG Membership
     This motion went down to resounding defeat. During the last several
years roughly 30% of AERA members elected to NOT join a Division. (And
coincidentally about 30% of AERA members belong to SIGs.)
     I made the argument that AERA members should be allowed to relate to
the organization in the manner they deem most rewarding, whether this
involves (a) joining no Divisions or SIGs, (b) joining only Divisions, (c)
only SIGs, or (d) both. SIGs provide an important way for AERA members to
relate to a huge, non-intimate organization.
     It is also noteworthy that under new allocations Divisions are
budgeted to SPEND roughly $330,000/yr in the Divisional budgets that each
Division controls. To give a quick rough perspective, note that this is
roughly 1.5 times the $10/member credit toward Division membership that
would be generated if all 22,000 AERA members were full members. Unlike
Divisions, SIGs qua SIGs receive ZERO direct revenues out of their $110/yr
baseline annual dues. [My plane returning home had to make several
emergency cabernet-refueling stops, due to my emergency needs.]
     My interpretation is that some Council members, most of whom are
directly elected by Divisions, have mixed feelings about SIGs, but remain
open to reasoned argument, over the long run.
     Of course, the views of AERA staff may be different than those of both
Division and SIG leaders. The views of AERA staff also will impact future
actions by Council, depending on the origins of leadership within our
     Which brings me to...

     As the saying goes, the AERA ballot is "in the mail." Two members of
the SIG Executive Committee will be elected, including my replacement as
SIG Exec Committee Chair/Rep to Council. Vote. Vote. Vote.
     You may also wish to vote on the President-Elect and any at-large
ballots, or Divisional offices if you belong to Divisions.
     Elections have consequences for AERA, for Divisions, and for SIGs.

In the immortal words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!"

I appreciate the opportunity to have served on SIG Executive Committee.

Bruce Thompson
Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow,
   Texas A&M University, and
Adjunct Professor of Family and Community Medicine,
   Baylor College of Medicine (Houston)
Home Page: http://www.coe.tamu.edu/~bthompson/

and SERA Executive Director
SERA URL: http://www.sera-edresearch.org

LibQUAL+(TM) bibliography:
Bibliography on Effect Size choices and computations:
"Reliability Generalization" (RG) bibliography:

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