Xref: gmd.de comp.org.decus:1789 comp.os.vms:36493 comp.sys.dec:12259
From: te...@spcvxb.spc.edu (Terry Kennedy, Operations Mgr.)
Subject: US DECUS Chapter restructuring from the BOD
Keywords: DECUS Board restructuring Symposium LUGs Library DECUServe changes
Sender: ne...@spcuna.spc.edu (Network News)
Organization: St. Peter's College, US
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1993 20:54:16 GMT
Summary: Board announcement regarding restructuring US DECUS chapter
The following was just posted to the DECUS BOARD_PUBLIC notesfile. Since
these announcements don't get copied to Usenet until somebody outside of the
Board does it, I figured I'd show some initiative.
I will refrain from commenting on this note at this time, although I have
strong feelings about it.
DECUS members who have access to DCS or DECUServe can comment as replies to
this topic in BOARD_PUBLIC. I suggest others who wish to comment should send
mail to bo...@decus.org (I think that works), or to mcin...@decus.org (the
poster of the note in BOARD_PUBLIC).
<<< TOPAZ::$255$DUA108:[NOTES$LIBRARY]BOARD_PUBLIC.NOTE;1 >>>
-< Welcome to the Board_Public conference >-
Note 125.1 The Board Presentation 1 of 1
TOPAZ::MCINTYRET "Vice President" 508 lines 5-DEC-1993 14:25
-< The handout from the meeting >-
November 29, 1993
Dear Leader of the DECUS U.S. Chapter:
In this packet you will find the:
o Board Statement of Direction. This one pager describes the
Chapter in general terms for 1994-1995
o 1994 Action Plan. This plan identifies immediate
plans to implement the Statement of Direction and to correct
our pressing financial and business problems
o National Event Report. This plan details our
supported national events for 1994-1995
As you will see, the foundation of the Chapter continues to be the exchange
of information --through forums for actual sharing of information and the
building of relationships.
In 1994-1995 we will be dramatically increasing our emphasis in the
o informal dialog opportunities
o support services for the individual
o the concentration on the semi-annual National Event and DECUS
University as the sole nationally supported face-to-face meeting
o electronic communications, specifically the Internet, as a forum
that is as important as our face-to-face media
In past times, we in the Chapter would have had ample time, "DECUS time",
to debate and discuss not only the functions of the Chapter, but also the
form and structure. Unfortunately, this is no longer true; our latest
financial forecast shows us with an $800,000 margin deficit for our first
six months this fiscal year. Thus the Board has accelerated the
transformation process to also include the immediate reversal of this
financial (and business) problem.
For many of us in leadership, our Chapter "jobs" will be different or done
differently in January. Gone, for most of us, will be the bureaucracy, our
funded travel, our structured units, the waivers, the funded communication
costs, the worrying over budget, and trying to do critical-path logistical
tasks. The Board, within the Bylaws, is removing the joy and the burden
from most of the leadership to run the business side of the Chapter.
In flush and less hurried times, it was not only fun but personally
productive for so many of us to manage and do the business of the Chapter.
It has been an unstated but very real product of our Chapter for people to
obtain business and management training in a low risk environment. And we
have been able to use DEC's old model of decision making --the broad based
consensus of all interested parties prior to any major decision. But no
longer. While there will be some small, appointed, groups of volunteers
guiding the paid staff responsible for the business aspects, most of us
will be concentrating on the real and fun part of DECUS: leading and
participating in the information sharing and relationship building. After
all, the mission is information exchange and not business management!
But let me be very realistic here. This kind of change is a deep cultural
change for us. We are now, all together, facing the dismantling of many
years of work that we have put into our units. It is hard to accept, quite
frankly. We will, each in our own way, grieve for the way it used to be.
I've seen the grieving process characterized as stages: denial, anger,
depression, and finally acceptance. Let's try to be tolerant of each other
during this, but we also have to do everything possible to not let our
personal grief mar the national event week for our providers. They are our
heart. We must make sure this is a good week for our providers and paid
Your leadership and participation are needed more than ever. On behalf of
the Board, I want to thank you for all of your past contributions, for this
upcoming week in San Francisco, and for your future leadership in
nurturing and doing information sharing and relationship building. And for
the small cadre of you who will take your brief turn in the political
barrel of doing the Chapter's business, we all thank you.
The Board is committed to the path you see in this document. We are
available this week for discussion and will be working with many of you on
the details. We realize that this week is first and foremost for the
National Event and that is where your concentration will be. Please
remember to take the advice we all hand out to attendees -- make time for
yourself and time to enjoy the company of your peers.
DECUS U.S. Chapter Statement of Direction and Objectives
The DECUS U.S. Chapter is an association of Information Technology
professionals interested in Digital and related products, services, and
technologies. The association's purpose is to promote the unimpeded
exchange of information, thus helping its members and their organizations
to be successful. The Chapter provides each member with professional
development, forums for technical training, mechanisms for obtaining
up-to-date information, member advocacy, and opportunities for informal
discourse and interaction with professional colleagues of like interests.
To meet the needs of its membership, the DECUS U.S. Chapter develops and
maintains relationships and alliances with vendors, consortia, and other
professional groups. Chief among these is the chapter's relationship with
Digital, characterized by ready access for the members to information from
Digital and to Digital engineering personnel, as well as by an open channel
of communication for Digital to hear member issues.
Among the objectives of the DECUS U.S. Chapter are:
o To serve as a powerful advocate for the needs of its members through
relationships with Digital, other vendors, industry consortia, and
the trade press
o To facilitate interaction among its members through electronic
media, including member forums, Internet connectivity, and on-line
repositories of member contributions
o To provide venues for face-to-face interaction, including training
sessions, member presentations, informal discussion groups, and
o To provide a range of support services for individual members
To achieve these objectives, the Chapter maintains a full-time professional
staff, supplemented by a variety of contractors as needed. The activities
of these professionals are carried out under the guidance of a board of
directors elected by the membership. The Board is assisted in this role by
several committees of interested members, which report to the board on
various activities; the structure of these committees changes with the
dynamic needs of the membership.
The U.S. Chapter Board of Directors has established that the following
actions be taken in support of the objectives set forth in the
Statement of Direction. The descriptions contained herein are of
necessity brief, however, each item has been given a great deal of
thought and deliberation. The Board will elaborate on these, as well
as present the current status of each, at presentations to be made to
leadership, and at the open Board meeting, on Saturday and Sunday
during the Fall, 1993 National Event.
The Chapter will focus on, and enhance, the semi-annual National Event
and DECUS University as the only vehicles for face-to-face exchange of
information. We will eliminate nationally administered support and
funding for all other face-to-face events including local seminars,
regional conferences, and Chapter supported local meetings.
The Chapter will fund and support formal programs to advocate member
requirements before Digital, other vendors, standards bodies, and
Electronic services will be as important as are face-to-face meetings.
The Chapter will negotiate reasonably priced Internet access for all
members, and provide services via the Internet such as program
libraries, information archives, DECUS communications, and member
forums. These distributed Internet services will replace DCS,
DECUServe and the library. All chapter-funded computer communications
access will be eliminated effective immediately.
The Chapter will institute a program which recognizes individuals,
based on levels of technical and professional competence. The program
will operate by peer selection.
The Chapter will provide its members with means for contacting one
another, such as directories of members and sites, and opportunities to
post job openings, expertise needs and resumes. Members will have the
option of excluding any or all of their personal or site information
from these activities.
The Chapter will actively seek and develop mutually beneficial
relationships with vendors, professional organizations, and user
The Board of Directors will comprise experienced DECUS and
industry leaders, selected by a search committee and presented to
the membership for election, with provision for override by
petition. Among the Board's responsibilities will be the annual
appointment of a volunteer management team and committees to
guide chapter operations. Committees are selected from volunteers
and operate at minimal Chapter expense. Current funding for
volunteer participation in management and logistics will be
drastically reduced; paid professionals will be utilized for
production duties wherever possible. The Board may authorize
special interest forums whose activities are approved on an
Production of services and products, with the
exception of technical content, will be accomplished by paid
professionals. The Digital-provided staff will be augmented by outside
contractors as needed. The Chapter will renegotiate the Digital staff
relationship to provide for more direct accountability to the Board of
Directors, the Board and Staff and will conduct a comprehensive review
of the Digital support program.
LUGs will become independent organizations (not part of the DECUS
U.S. Chapter) empowered to control their own operations. Local groups
with independent tax status will be permitted to use the DECUS name and
logo under a license arrangement if they meet license criteria (to be
set). Financial support of LUGs or LUG activities by the Chapter will
be limited to activities of a mutually beneficial nature and determined
on a case by case basis.
The Chapter will institute membership dues to differentiate
between "customers" and those committed to the Chapter and to whom the
Board is accountable. Voting rights will be vested in dues paying
members. Dues will entitle members to designated services and
discounts, but will be a token amount.
To facilitate these actions, the Chapter will review, update, and revise
rules on provider compensation, commercialism, advertising and job
placement. The By-Laws of the Chapter will be amended as necessary to
accomplish the action plan.
DECUS Event Management Function
The DECUS Event Management Function met in Westboro, MA, November
4 thru 5. The team was composed of Jon Blunt (visiting), Carol
Fleming, Ted Grenham, Marc Lippmann, Robert McQueen, Paula Morin,
Judy Mulvey, Joe Pollizzi, Diane Spirio, and Greg Talley.
Jon Blunt introduced himself and his view of the Tech Focus
Function. Jon's presentation and Jon, himself, was warmly
received by the team. <Joe's note: if I had any doubts about Jon
previous to our face-to-face meeting, I have absolutely none
The staff then presented the current, rather gloomy predictions
of San Francisco. Even so, the team avoided discussing budgetary
issues that could have easily derailed the meeting.
The major thrust of the meeting was to make critical decisions
about future DECUS events: How many and of what type. Where and
when, and the shape of the event.
The results of these key decisions are summarized as:
o Direction is being set for the next two years.
o DECUS will only support:
+ Two 5 day conference (symposium/seminar/tradeshow)
events (Sunday - Thursday).
* An optional 1 day of pre-event seminars and/or
a coincident Management Forum may be included
+ One DECUS University event
+ No other events will be supported
* this explicitly eliminates local seminars,
regional conferences, and other sponsored LUG
* At the same time, the team noted the need to more fully
engage LUG participation in the national events. The team
did not develop any specific recommendations in this
regard. However several examples of contacting LUGs local
to a conference site for support were discussed.
o The Conference event will have the following
+ No evening sessions will be scheduled through the
+ There will be a maximum of 22 simultaneous sessions
through-out the symposium.
* 22 was not considered the ideal number. The
actual number would be site specific and
* This number includes the Technology Focus sessions.
+ Optional pre-event Seminars on Saturday:
- restricted to what can be accommodated within a
hotel facility and without any special setup
- The emphasis and marketing will be on the event
being a 5 day activity. The optional day of
seminars on the preceding Saturday will be
distinguished as "special" and separate from
the conference itself.
+ An optional Management Forum may take place in a separate
facility, distinct from rest of conference. It will run
coincident with and under the banner of the Trade Show.
+ Seminars may be offered on the other days of the Symposium at
the discretion of the Tech Focus Function.
- Rationale for these kind of seminars would be in support
of Tech Focus activities.
+ The Technology Center, the DECUS campgrounds, and the Trade
show will all share common operating hours and duration.
- This goal might have to be modified to deal with the
realities of the Tradeshow exhibitors (i.e. which might
only be willing to support a 3 day as opposed to a 4 day
- In this eventuality, the secondary goal would be to synch
either a combined opening or closing. <Joe's note:
I'd prefer a common opening myself - it ties in better
with the overall opening of the conference.>
o The look of the conference:
- Seminars - as we do today
- Day begins with a common opening session that
includes some/all of the following:
* Welcome address by Society President
* Welcome address / presentation from ranking Digital
* Keynote presentation
- A Digital presentation on product announcements
- Other sessions may then begin.
- All sessions will break for the first hour of the opening
of the Tradeshow, Campgrounds, and the Technology Center.
- Tech Focus sessions begin any time Monday after 12:00 PM.
+ Tuesday & Wednesday:
- Tech focus and other sessions continue
- Technology Center, Campgrounds and Tradeshow
are opened for the duration of the day
- Breaks may be introduced to allow for visiting
the tradeshow, the campgrounds, or other
* The number and duration of the breaks may be situation
dependent and are within the 22 total room limit (i.e. a
break in one stream doesn't allow an additional room to
be used just to maintain 22 ongoing sessions).
* will be based on an analysis of near-empty
rooms in San Francisco (discussed further below).
- Tech Focus sessions continue, but will end by noon
- Other sessions continue through next to last hour of the
* The conference's end time was not specified by the
team. It was generally considered to be after 3:00 PM
but no later than 6:00 PM.
- Technology Center, Campgrounds, and Tradeshow will be open
until 2:00 PM.
- The last hour of the conference will be a common closing
* includes thank you's and acknowledgments, typically
from the Society President or next ranking DECUS
* optional message from ranking Digital representative;
* introduction to themes for next conference.
+ The rational for a common opening and closing sessions is to
promote the "sense" of DECUS being a Society and the attendees
as members of that Society.
o DECUS University:
+ Will appear as the current offering.
+ Will be targeted to Midwest cities (i.e. Chicago, St. Louis,
o Target attendance numbers for the conferences:
+ The team anticipates the potential for more attendance erosion
before recovery, but sets as its target to achieve a 3500 paid
attendance conference within 4 symposia.
+ general size for discussion with the sites is 3000 +/- 500
o Locations for National Conference Event
+ The staff was asked to investigate relocating the conference
to the following time periods (in order of preference, and for
East / West):
+ Recommended locations (in no order of preference):
* for the West: Anaheim, San Francisco, Los Angles, Denver,
Las Vegas, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, San Diego.
* for the East: Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston,
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland.
- Specific intent of the East Cities is to draw from the
+ The staff was given wide latitude to investigate both the
times and the cities, with the above lists as targets.
* The staff will prepare a proposal and distribute it to the
Events Team. The team will then have a brief opportunity
to comment. If required, the final decision will be made
by the event function managers (Joe Pollizzi and Carol
* The proposal should specifically cover the period 1995 -
1996 and may extend beyond.
o Recommendations concerning Campgrounds - Technology Center -
+ There must be a clear distinction for the attendees of the
engineering/technical areas versus the sales/marketing areas
of the conference.
+ Likewise, the DECUS run/controlled areas must be distinct from
Digital controlled areas.
+ Campgrounds will be clustered together in one area and in
proximity to the food hall (where possible).
+ Not every SIG needs to have a Campground (i.e. with regard to
having sufficient space to keep the campgrounds together).
+ The existence and use of the Campgrounds and the Technology
Center must be better explained and presented to the attendees
o DECUS Booth
+ There will be a DECUS Booth in the Tradeshow.
+ It will provide information on all DECUS activities:
* LUG Maps
* SIG Information
* Applications, CFP's, ...
* Perhaps the Library Booth
* Calendar information
+ The Booth will be staffed throughout the Tradeshow
* At least one DECUS Staff
* At least one DECUS Volunteer (no additional waived
positions are provided for this activity).
+ The booth will be introduced in New Orleans.
+ Rationale for the Booth: The team recognized that information
about the Society is scattered about the Symposia, if present
at all. The GIB, as we know it, is primarily a Conference
information center (i.e. where is room xyz, problems with A/V,
where's my speaker, the food's too sweet...) But what's needed
is one location where an attendee can get any Society
information (What LUGs are where, What are SIGs, how do I
participate, who do I contact about x, ...). This resource
should be available to all attendees, but especially to the
Tradeshow Only attendees. It also serves to better anchor the
Tradeshow as a DECUS activity by our presence there.
o Recommendation on Sessions:
+ Symposium requires a better a mix of sessions for the
- Panels, Roundtables (i.e. sessions other than lecture type
+ Exhibitor Sessions should be accommodated within the
- Space should be reserved at the conference site for
exhibitor product announcements, sales and/or marketing
- It must be clear to the attendee that these sessions are
not symposium sessions.
- These sessions will not be scheduled by DECUS.
- Rooms associated with these sessions might be kept
separate from the main stream rooms.
- These sessions are not a substitute for the technical
presentations. Exhibitors will be strongly encouraged to
submit such sessions through normal symposium channels.
o Management Forum:
+ The Trade Show may develop a Management Forum as a DECUS
event, but separate from the Conference.
+ The forum would be an activity strictly outside of the
Conference event, but will run coincident with the Conference
+ Management Forum attendees will have access to the Tradeshow.
(As tradeshow-only registrants)
+ The forum will be marketed as a DECUS activity, but to a
highly targeted/focused audience (typically at management
levels above Conference attendees).
- Marketing will be handled by Talley, outside of the NEMT.
- The cost center is strictly within the tradeshow.
+ The only interaction will be with the DECUS Staff is to
releases rooms to the Tradeshow for this event.
o Transition in New Orleans:
+ The following are already preconditions for New Orleans:
* Tradeshow defined for Tuesday thru Thursday.
* Seminars will be held Saturday & Sunday.
* Bob Palmer will present Monday morning.
+ The following changes will be introduced to New Orleans:
* Common opening and closing sessions
* All Friday sessions will be eliminated.
* A common Digital Product Announcement Session.
* Breaks throughout the symposium may be tried.
* All night sessions will be eliminated.
* Technology Center and campgrounds close at time of
* DECUS Booth in Tradeshow introduced.
+ Will be a Saturday thru Thursday Event
+ Saturday Seminars allowed within the new restrictions (i.e.
only what can be accommodated without special setups or needs)
+ Tradeshow, Tech Center, and Campgrounds open Noon Monday,
Close 2:00 PM Thursday.
o New CFP will be introduced for New Orleans by San Francisco
+ Will include only the short (paragraph) commercialism
+ Will include statements of Themes to be addressed in New
+ Will utilize all possible distribution mechanisms (including
trade pubs) and internet.
+ Marc, Joe, Robert, and possibly others, provide inputs to Don and
Jon Blunt for words to go into the CFP
o Room usage measure in San Francisco
+ The event team will survey the usage of rooms in San
Francisco. The purpose of the survey is to determine just how
many hours (i.e. rooms) are used by the attendees of the
+ No judgment will be made on topic areas - strictly room-hour
+ This information will be used to base a lower limit on the
number of session hours to be provided at future conferences.
+ Since the framework of the conference is already set (i.e. no
more than 22 sessions, no Friday or evening sessions, ...) the
actual variable will be the number and duration of breaks that
should be established in the schedule.