TC Best Practices

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Technical Committee Best Practices


In several TCs, members are elected to a 3-year term. According to IEEE rules, terms should start on January 1st and end on December 31st, so that election could take place in the Fall (some TCs elect the new members just before the ICASSP review so that such members participate in four ICASSP reviews, the first one before being an official TC member). Several TCs mirror the way the society’s leadership operates and elect a Chair-Elect, which later becomes Chair and then, past Chair. The Chair-Elect has overlap with the current chair and learns the tricks of the trade. The past chair trains the new Chair for a year. This is a good practice that increases continuity. Two year terms for the Chair are also fairly common, following SPS President terms. Some TCs specify that members can leave their position voluntarily or be asked by the TC chair to do so if not doing their job.

Bylaws and Procedures

Many TCs have bylaws and procedures that specify the operations of the TC. This can help new TC members come up to speed more quickly as well as spell out clearly how the TC operates. You can look at the various TCs websites to get an idea if your TC doesn’t have them. Some TCs have subcommittees that are in charge of updating the bylaws and procedures of the TC.

Election Subcommittee

Several TCs have a subcommittee whose main role is to conduct chair elections and new member elections. Such subcommittees follow rules specified in their policy and procedures that facilitate a transparent, democratic election. Some TCs allow chair and new member nominations only from TC members whereas others allow nominations to come from the community-at-large. Election subcommittees may desire to look for candidates as to get a balance in areas within a TC, achieve geographical diversity, balance between academia and industry, etc. SPS bylaws indicate a maximum of 25-30 members per TC with the exception of SLP and SPTM which can have up to 60 and 50 respectively due to their increased size.

Awards Subcommittee

Many TCs have awards subcommittees that focus on nominating awards to the Awards board. Such awards include Society Award, Technical Achievement Award, Best Paper Award, Young Author Best Paper Award, Signal Processing Magazine Column Award, Meritorious Service Award, Education Award, Fellow nominations, Distinguished lecturers as well as other field awards (such as the Flanagan Award). Coming up with strong nominations increases the odds of the candidate being chosen.

Paper Review

One of the tasks of TCs is to review papers for ICASSP. TCs with a small number of submissions can do this by themselves, whereas TCs with many submissions often have area chairs which are TC members and reviewers chosen from outside the TC.

Historical Data

It’d be useful to keep track of workshop/conference data as it happens as it’s much easier to collect that information at that point than two years later. This will help you in preparing your TC review reports, but should also help you identify trends in your TC.

Conference/Workshop Subcommittee

If your TC organizes a workshop, it’s mandatory to have a representative at the conference board, typically the chair of the subcommittee. Such subcommittee could be one person or preferably more for continuity.


Some TCs have a subcommittee tasked with having an up-to-date useful website.

Electronic Newsletter

Some TCs have an electronic newsletter they use to communicate with their members. There can be a subcommittee in charge of it.


Several TCs have liaisons to other organizations within SPS, or other societies within IEEE or outside.

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