SIG Charter

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) Charter

SIGs is an acronym for Special Interest Groups. These groups are comprised of individuals from UNC CAUSE member institutions that share a common interest around a topic or technology that is prevalent across institutions.

Purpose of SIGs

Requirements for SIGs

Guidelines for the Creation of a SIG

SIG Benefits and Resources

Website

Google Apps

MailChimp

Dedicated Meeting Time at Annual Conference

Support for a SIG Event

SIG Processes

SIG Registration Process

SIG Renewal Process

More Information and Contact

Purpose of SIGs

SIGs represent an increased effort to encourage relationships among IT staff at UNC system campuses on a particular technology or domain of interest. These groups should foster interaction during the annual conference and throughout the year (as needed) to provide a place for support, troubleshooting, networking, and professional development. 

SIGs can help us:

  • foster cross-institutional relationships
  • provide communication avenues for common topics or technology
  • provide continuity and opportunities for collaboration during the year
  • provide more timely opportunities for working groups
  • provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and best practices

Requirements for SIGs

In order for a SIG to be successful, SIG chairs should hold meaningful sessions or on-going communications for their members (in-person or virtual) throughout the year.

There are no hard and fast requirements or expectations out of every SIG that is formed as a SIG is what the members make of it. The desire, however, is for the SIG to serve as a common source of information for members. A place to communicate, grow professionally, and a place to ask other similarly-interested people questions you may have.

We encourage the following for maintaining involvement:

  • Give a presentation or update at the annual UNC CAUSE conference
  • Host virtual meet-ups on a regular basis
  • Utilize Google Groups and/or the UNC CAUSE Conference Slack Workspace for on-going communication throughout the year

For more information on hosting a SIG event, see the SIG Event Guide.

Guidelines for the Creation of a SIG

Where possible, SIGs should represent multiple, related services/products within a discipline. For example, a SIG for “Learning Management Systems” rather than one specific to “Moodle” or “Canvas.” In general, building SIGs of interest to a larger community is more valuable, with the understanding that some delineation between groups may still be required.

Each SIG requires two (2) sponsors/facilitators to serve as the chairs; chairs should be from separate institutions. These individuals will be responsible for aiding in the organization and operation of the SIG for a two year period. 

Complete a form on the UNC CAUSE site for review by the UNC CAUSE Executive Committee. You should expect to hear back within two weeks.

Registration requires:

  • SIG Name
  • Proposed acronym (short name)
  • Chair(s) name(s), affiliation(s) and email(s). Must have at least 2 chairs from 2 separate institutions
  • Purpose and goals for the proposed SIG
  • How the proposed SIG relates to the mission of UNC CAUSE

 

SIG Benefits and Resources

UNC CAUSE wants to ensure the success of our SIGs and as such has put together a series of resources that will be available to official SIGs. 

These resources are available by request, and include:

  • UNC CAUSE Google Apps resources – Groups, email address, document collaboration
  • Event hosting assistance including: 
    • Funding (requires budget approval by the UNC CAUSE Executive Team)
    • Advertising assistance
    • Event schedule, including tools for reviewing event content proposals and building a digital schedule
    • Mailings to members
    • UNC CAUSE-owned resources for event usage (easels, projectors, lanyards, and other conference-related paraphernalia)

An officially approved SIG may have access to the following:

Website

NC State provides a multi-site WordPress environment for UNC CAUSE. This environment provides hosting for various conference resources (including the annual conference website) as well as SIGs and associated events. SIGs may request their own sub-site, or a page within the main unccause.org site.

If you have questions or need additional access, please contact executive-team@unccause.org

Google Apps

UNC CAUSE has its own Google Apps instance to aid in the communication and collaboration of the UNC CAUSE Executive Team, Advisory Board, associated entities, and approved events.

A Google Group will be created for each SIG to serve as a message board and listserv for SIG participants. The Google Group will be named [shortname]-sig@unccause.org.
In addition, official SIG’s may request a Google drive/folder for sharing resources, and SIG chairs may request accounts in the Google Apps environment.

For assistance with the UNC CAUSE Google Apps domain please email: executive-team@unccause.org

Slack

UNC CAUSE has a Slack “workspace” where anyone interested can join and follow communications and feeds shared in a variety of “channels.” Most of the interactions in this workspace take place around the annual conference, however we welcome the use of this environment for SIGs as well. 

All SIGs are encouraged to create, and invite their members to join, an open channel on their subject of interest. SIG channels use the naming convention “sig-[SIG name or acronym].” Please be sure to make this a “public” channel so others can see and join it in the future.

If there are questions about the use of Slack or for assistance setting up a channel, please email executive-team@unccause.org

MailChimp

UNC CAUSE manages a MailChimp account for sending broadcast emails to a larger group of users/participants. In most cases, the Google Group mentioned above will be sufficient for any and all communication with SIG participants. However, should a broader list or more customized mailing need to be completed, you may request assistance with a MailChimp mailing. Email executive-team@unccause.org for more information.

Event Scheduling Tools

UNC CAUSE traditionally has tools to facilitate the building of a conference schedule. In the past this has included a tool to collect and review conference sessions, as well as a tool for importing and displaying a schedule of sessions. These tools are reviewed every year or two to confirm their continued cost/benefit and the UNC CAUSE organization may change these tools from time to time.

Regardless of what tool is in place in a given year, these tools are available for use by SIGs for their events. Please be aware that this offer is contingent on any licensing agreement that exists at the time, and the SIG may be responsible for additional costs, if they choose to use a tool which involves additional fees for additional events.

Dedicated Meeting Time at Annual Conference

UNC CAUSE dedicates time to Special Interest Groups during the annual conference. Ahead of each conference SIG Chairs will be contacted to assess the need for a timeslot during the upcoming event. Any SIG that indicates a desire to have a session will be granted one.

SIGs who would like more time than a typical session will allow may work with conference organizers to meet before or after the conference. SIGs are also welcome to sponsor their own, dedicated event at some other time during the year, either in-person or virtually.

Support for a SIG Event

Official UNC CAUSE SIGs are encouraged to host their own dedicated events. UNC CAUSE is able to assist with some aspects of these events, including: 

  • Funding (if approved by the UNC CAUSE Executive Team)
  • Website for the event
  • Mailings to all UNC CAUSE members
  • Access to the Sched.org event organization tool
  • UNC CAUSE-owned resources for event usage (easels, projectors, lanyards, and other conference-related paraphernalia)
  • Conference planning services from the Conference and Camp Services group at Appalachian State University

More information on SIG Events is available here.

SIG Processes

SIG Registration Process

Complete a form on the UNC CAUSE site for review by the UNC CAUSE Executive Committee. You should expect to hear back within two weeks.

Registration requirements:

  • SIG Name
  • Proposed acronym (short name)
  • Chair(s) name(s), affiliation(s) and email(s). Must have at least 2 chairs from 2 separate institutions
  • Purpose and goals for the proposed SIG
  • How the proposed SIG relates to the mission of UNC CAUSE

SIG Renewal Process

SIGs must be “renewed” annually by attending or corresponding with UNC CAUSE leadership.

  • The renewal process will be a web form that includes any changes to the SIG Charter, reminds leaders of the resources available, and will prompt for a response – either to RENEW or to RETIRE the SIG. 

If a SIG fails to be renewed by its assigned leadership through the form (a deadline will be established on an annual basis by UNC CAUSE leadership in the 2-3 months leading up to the annual UNC CAUSE Conference), the SIG will be flagged for archival (see archive/expiration process) for at least 60 days, and the SIG google group will be notified. 

SIG Expiration/Archive Process

SIG becomes pending after 30 days of non-response

SIG becomes archived after 60 days of non-response

  • Removed from website (and/or added to “former SIGs” section)
  • Access to resources is restricted until renewal

Google Groups

  • Revoke group management permissions (except for UNC CAUSE leadership)
  • Membership is preserved, but new members cannot join

Google Drive

  • Documentation will exist and be accessible by the Google Group until retirement.
  • Retention is two years from the date of non-renewal

More Information and Contact

Additional information about SIG processes and operation can be found in the documents below:

If you have additional questions or comments, feel free to email executive-team@unccause.org.  

Back to top