This article is published in the August 2023 issue.

CRA Update: July Board Meeting

By CRA Executive Committee

CRA Executive Committee, July 2023

CRA’s Executive Committee at the Summer Board Meeting in Portland, OR. (July 2023). Left to right: Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Vice Chair; Claremont McKenna College). Nancy Amato (Chair; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Mary Hall (Appointed Member; University of Utah), Tracy Camp (Ex-officio Member, Executive Director and CEO), James Allan (Treasurer; University of Massachusetts, Amherst). Not pictured: Katie Siek (Secretary; University of Indiana Bloomington).

On July 13-14, 2023, CRA hosted its Summer Board of Directors Meeting in Portland, Oregon.

To keep you in the know, below is a summary of the many discussions that took place amongst the 28 CRA Board members and 12 CRA staff who attended in person, and the 6 CRA Board members and 5 CRA staff who engaged via Zoom on one or both days of the Board Meeting.

Many thanks to our new Board Secretary, Katie Siek, for capturing the notes that helped  provide this summary to the community.

The next CRA Board of Directors Meeting will be February 22-23, 2024, in Washington, D.C. Do you have suggestions for agenda topics? We want to hear them! Please share your thoughts via the Google form here.

Introductions and Updates

Day 1 began with the Chair, Nancy Amato, introducing CRA’s new Board members and the Executive Committee (term 2023-2025).

  • New CRA Board Members: Sandhya Dwarkadas (University of Virginia), Kinnis Gosha (Morehouse College), William Gropp (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign & IEEE-CS representative), Samir Khuller (Northwestern University), Ming Lin (University of Maryland), Lydia Tapia (University of New Mexico), and Jing Xiao (Worcester Polytechnic Institute).
  • CRA Executive Committee: Nancy Amato (Chair, re-elected for a new 2-year term), Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Vice Chair, previously secretary), James Allan (Treasurer, continues in the role), Katie Siek (Secretary), and Mary Hall (Appointed Member).

Tracy Camp, Executive Director and CEO, then introduced CRA’s newest staff members via a short video and provided business updates, including that we just received the largest award in CRA’s history: $40 million over the next seven years for the CSGrad4US Fellowship Program.

A few highlights from CRA’s work since our last board meeting in February were also shared:

  • CCC released a mid-cycle update to the National Robotics Roadmap
  • CERP led a Departmental BPC Plan Workshop in Atlanta
  • CRA-E has been working hard to launch UR2PhD
  • CRA-I hosted a workshop on computing research in industry at ACM’s FCRC
  • CRA-WP held two Grad Cohort Workshops
  • Government Affairs went through the complexities of the recent budget agreement and how it will likely impact the budgets of the Federal research agencies, including NSF
  • CRA Leadership Academy was held in Chicago in May
  • CRA is collaborating with IEEE-CS and ACM on LEVEL UP to build consensus around a united vision of inclusive undergraduate computing education and will be leading workshops around the country

The Board also unanimously approved the minutes from the February meeting, the new CRA-I bylaws, and an updated CRA Conflict of Interest Policy.

Government Affairs Briefing

Senior Policy Analyst Brian Mosley gave the Government Affairs update. Mosley reminded us that FY23 was a good budget year, particularly for NSF. However, Fiscal Year 2024, which begins on October 1st, is likely to be challenging for all the Federal research agencies that the computing research community cares about. This is because of the budget agreement, passed into law at the end of May, between President Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The agreement caps overall Federal spending for the next two years, among other provisions. However, because of the politics within the House Republican Caucus, and the fact that the Democratic Party controls the Senate, passing a final FY24 budget into law is looking difficult, and unlikely, at the moment.

The Government Affairs Committee is doing their best to track all of the computing initiatives on the Hill–especially AI. Given the expanding portfolio of Government Affairs issues, additional resources may be needed.

An item of concern to the Government Affairs Committee is NSF funded disinfo/misinfo research at the University of Washington, and other institutions, that has come under attack from the House Judiciary Committee. The GAC is monitoring the situation, consulting with the affected researchers, and reaching out to the field’s allies throughout the government to understand what is happening and how to respond.

CRA is holding its Congressional Visit Day (CVD) on September 19th and 20th in Washington DC, the first in-person CVD since 2019. For volunteers, CRA will schedule meetings with Congressional staff, provide materials and training on having an effective meeting, and host a reception the night before the meetings. Participants will be responsible for their travel costs. Please contact Brian Mosley ( if you would like to participate.

Board Committees and Working Groups

On day 2, the CRA Board Working Groups provided updates on various initiatives:

  • The Leadership Academy held a successful event in Chicago, focusing on leadership skills. Virtual cohorts are planned for the near future.
  • The Misconduct Issues Working Group will continue this year and work on creating community commitments, organizing resources based on stakeholder type, and iterating on a survey to assess how safe people feel in their respective computing research community discipline.
  • The Socially Responsible Computing Working Group reported on their efforts to assess ethics curricula for MS programs, conference policies related to human subjects and ethics, and how academia should recognize the multidisciplinary work that goes into computing, sustainability, and climate research.
  • The Career Engagement Working Group summarized a written report that offers several suggestions on how CRA could increase engagement of community members throughout their career, e.g., via tailored support.
  • The Research Integrity Working Group identified problems with conference peer review and made recommendations to improve publication processes.
  • The Governance Working Group presented potential changes to the board’s structure and responsibilities to better represent the computing research community. The Governance Committee is looking into hiring a consulting firm that works with nonprofits to consult on an ideal governance structure.

Breakout Discussions

The group then separated into breakout sessions to discuss the 2024 CRA Conference at Snowbird and possible new or updated CRA best practices documents, including Research Collaborations with Minoritized Groups, Evaluating Computing Researchers, Teaching and Teaching Track Faculty, and Multidisciplinary Research.

Other Discussions

  • CRA and the CRA Mission – The board discussed CRA, the CRA mission, membership diversity, industry representation, and engaging with different stakeholders.
  • Treasurer’s Update – CRA has had a larger than desired delay in processing reimbursements and other financial documents, mainly due to being short staffed. CRA has recently hired new staff to rectify this undesired situation.

Farewells and Engagement

At the close of our meeting, we thanked two members who have recently retired from the CRA Board:

  • Dez Song (Texas A&M University)
  • Leila De Floriani (University of Maryland and IEEE-CS Representative)

We then finished the meeting discussing whether CRA Board members should reach out to members to get feedback; graduate student training and the impact of unionization; the CV database project; a CRA membership drive; and the status of CRA’s next flagship conference, which is being planned for the week of July 22, 2024 in Snowbird, Utah. Save the date!

We Want Your Input!

Do you have suggestions for agenda topics for our next Board Meeting? We want to hear them! Please share your thoughts via the Google form here.

CRA Board of Directors, July 2023

The CRA Board of Directors with Executive Director and CEO Tracy Camp at the Summer
Board Meeting in Portland, OR. (July 2023). Back row, left to right: William D. Gropp, James Allan, Alex Aiken, Daniel Lopresti, Jaime Teevan, Kinnis Gosha, Chris Ramming. Second from back row, left to right: Ran Libeskind-Hadas, Ben Zorn, Alexander Wolf, Mary Hall, Rachel Pottinger, Jing Xiao, Kate Larson. Middle Row, left to right: Gillian Hayes, Lori Pollock, Amanda Stent, Eugene Spafford, Eve Schooler, Raquel Hill, Kim Hazelwood, Lorrie Cranor, Sandhya Dwarkadas. Front row, left to right: Samir Khuller, Tracy Camp, Nancy Amato, Maria Gini, Ming Lin, Lydia Tapia. Not pictured: Alan Edelman, Stephanie Forrest, Diana Franklin, Yolanda Gil, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Eunice Santos, Katie Siek, Forrest Shull, Divesh Srivastava. Not pictured: Alan Edelman, Stephanie Forrest, Diana Franklin, Yolanda Gil, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Eunice Santos, Katie Siek, Forrest Shull, and Divesh Srivastava.