News: SIGCSE Viability Report

SIGCSE Viability Report - by Barbara Boucher Owens
This news item is taken from the June 2010 SIGCSE Bulletin.

SIGCSE recently underwent its Viability Review, an exercise that each ACM Special Interest Group must go through every four years. The SIG Chair presents a status report at the ACMSIG Governing Board meeting. Cutting to the chase – SIGCSE is viable for the next four years!

The downturn in the economy did affect SIGCSE, but listening to the reports of other SIGs and reflecting on all that SIGCSE does, we are a very healthy SIG and we have much to be proud of.

FINANCES: SIGCSE has a $470,000 fund balance that is comfortably better than the minimum required by ACM. However, it was down almost $50,000 from the year before.

Some of the specific reasons for our shortfall were due to quirks in accounting, a one-time cost for moving to the new high quality ACM magazine, Inroads, and increasing expense of volunteer travel.

MEMBER BENEFITS: Our 2600 members receive the quarterly ACM magazine Inroads, the quarterly newsletter, and proceedings of our three conference on CD. SIGCSE members are eligible to apply for small research grants in learning and teaching. And our able volunteers oversee our very active member listservs.

GOALS: SIGCSE’s mission is to provide a “forum for educators to discuss issues related to the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy."

SIGCSE continues to be perceived as the premier organization for computing education. It serves post-secondary Computer Science teaching and education research faculty with many activities focused in making CS1 and CS2 effective. It also serves pre-college faculty through our relationship with the CSTA and with other post-secondary teaching faculty in related computing disciplines.

SIGCSE is active in extending the reach and influence of Computing Education. SIGCSE leadership serves on various ACM Education committees. SIGCSE collaborates with CSTA on an NSF grant. And SIGCSE has a growing international presence through its ITiCSE conference and ICER workshop. SIGCSE also has in cooperation status for numerous conferences, including the CCSC conferences, Koli Calling, and AAAI.

SIGCSE continues to be a major player in the NSF funded Computing Education Summit. SIGCSE conferences include a Broadening Participation in Computing thread, with the goal to increase interest in computing. Some of those activities include a Kids Camp at Symposium, and a Doctoral Symposium. Our members have leadership roles in NCWIT, NSF BPC projects, and CPATH.

SIGCSE provides continuing education for members through a growing number of Symposia workshops (39 at SIGCS 2010). SIGCSE also sponsors workshops for both new faculty and for department chairs.

Bottom line – SIGCSE is not only viable, it is vibrant. My hope for the new Board is that the next viability study will show exciting new endeavors for a community of Computing Educators and their students in a field that has achieved the widespread recognition that it decidedly deserves. Rock on SIGCSE! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your chair and thank you to all the volunteers that makes this position so rewarding.