On July 18-19, the Computing Research Association (CRA) held its July board meeting immediately before the 2022 CRA Conference at Snowbird. The meeting was led by CRA Board Chair Nancy Amato, with assistance from Executive Director Tracy Camp (who began her new role on July 1). The Board discussed many new initiatives and board members were encouraged to consider volunteering for one of more of the committees/working groups that CRA will have this year (see list below).
The Board also discussed updating and creating new CRA documents (e.g., Best Practices) on several topics, including:
- Evolving academia-industry relations in computing research
- Update to the quality and impact memo on hiring, tenure, and promotion
- Update to the postdoc best-practices document
- Multidisciplinary work
- Supporting graduate students
- Facilitating inclusive research environments
- Balancing teaching track and tenured/tenure-track faculty in departments
CRA Board Secretary Ran Libeskind-Hadas provided a brief report on the state of the new Socially Responsible Computing Board working group. The committee met with Margaret Martonosi (National Science Foundation) as well as Barbara Grosz (Harvard University) who co-chaired the National Academies report on Socially Responsible Computing to get their thoughts on how CRA might best engage with this topic. It was noted that CRA has a special opportunity to engage with industry and that we may be most effective in advancing a few issues rather than trying to take on too many.
CRA Board Member Katie Siek presented on and facilitated discussion on the value of tenure. The Board discussed (1) whether it is a computing specific issue or about the academy more generally, (2) the industry “fellow” model, and (3) the value of post-tenure review.
CRA’s Senior Director of Government Affairs Peter Harsha gave the CRA Board a preview of topics that were discussed during the “Making a Federal Case for Computing” Snowbird session, including a summary of President’s Budget Request for FY 23 as it relates to science funding and expectation that Congress will have a Continuing Resolution through the midterm elections.
Additional presentations at the July 2022 Board meeting included, (1) a FY 2023 budget discussion by CRA Treasurer James Allan, which included details on the management of long-term reserves and an increase in advertising rates (which haven’t been modified in 15 years), (2) a Computing Community Consortium (CCC) discussion on developing ideas for the next CCC NSF grant by CCC Chair Dan Lopresti, and (3) a discussion with CRA Board member Timothy Pinkston, who is Chair of the 2023 ACM Federated Computing Research Conference (FCRC), concerning the FCRC program at the upcoming conference and what else could be added to engage the computing research community.
2022-23 CRA Committees / Working Groups:
- Finance Committee: Oversees CRA budget and audits, chaired by the CRA Treasurer (elected officer).
- Government Affairs Committee: Establishes priorities and positions, provides advice to policy staff, helps to execute CRA’s policy role.
- Elections Committee: Develops a slate of candidates for the CRA Board for voting by our members; in odd years, develops a Board officer slate (officers serve 2 year terms).
- Surveys Committee: Oversees the content and operation of the annual Taulbee Survey.
- Awards – Nomination Committee: This committee works independently from the Awards Selection Committee, to encourage nominations to the CRA A. Nico Habermann Award and the CRA Distinguished Service Award.
- Awards – Selection Committee: This committee works independently from the Awards Nominations Committee. It reviews the nominees for the Habermann and Distinguished Service Award and makes recommendations to the Board, which votes on the awardees at the February Board meeting.
- Leadership Training Committee (Feb 2023): This ad hoc committee will organize a leadership training workshop for mid-career computing researchers, to be held February 2023. Material from CRA-WP, which has hosted a mid-career mentoring workshop for years, can be leveraged.
- CRA Governance Working Group: Arising from strategic planning activity, this working group will review the CRA governance processes and propose modifications to enable CRA to better fulfill its mission. This group will also review bylaws and suggest revisions as needed to bring bylaws up to date with current practices.
- Socially Responsible Computing Working Group: Arising from strategic planning activity, this working group will define the scope and develop a strategy to establish the CRA as a leader in promoting socially responsible computing research.
- Research Integrity Working Group: This working group will include members from affiliated professional societies and publishers. Over the coming year, the objective of this committee is to understand the scope of the problem and develop best practices and solutions.
- Misconduct Issues Working Group: This working group will involve universities, affiliated professional societies, and funding agencies. Over the coming year, the objective of this committee is to discuss the issues related to misconduct such as sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power imbalances, and develop best practices and propose potential solutions, e.g., 3rd party investigations and coordinating disclosure events so survivors do not have to repeat their experiences to various organizations.
- CRA Career Engagement Working Group: This working group will consider how CRA can (and should) be engaged in the different points of a computing researcher’s career, from undergraduate research through graduate school and beyond.
- Communications Working Group: The main goal of the Communications Working Group this year is to develop a communications plan for CRA, which will detail how CRA will communicate important information to key stakeholders.