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UPA Board Meeting Reports

UPA committees have been busy.

New UPA Chapters
The internationalization of UPA continues. At the April meeting, chapters were approved for Toronto and the UK. Two new U.S. chapters were also approved: Boston and DC Metro. For more information about local chapters, contact Åsa Granlund.

UPA Web Site
Efforts are underway to find firms to handle the re-design and maintenance of the UPA web site. The redesign will include a members-only section and an online directory. An RFP for these projects is available on the UPA web site. Contact Larry Wood for more details.

Whitney Quesenbery is revamping the outreach section of the UPA web site in an effort to provide practical tools.

The U.S. election ballot usability issue may have given rise to a chance for the UPA to collaborate with other organizations, such as The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), and The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). Discussions with these organizations are ongoing.

Professional Development
To address inquiries about usability-related, academic degree programs, the board is considering adding a link from the UPA site to the CHI site where such information is available.

The UPA Newsletter -- The Voice -- continues to solicit articles for its regular issues. Direct inquiries to George Donahue.

The magazine, User Experience, is also soliciting articles. Direct any inquiries or submissions to Russ Branaghan. Russ is drafting author's guidelines for the magazine.

UPA's book, Design by People for People, was completed and a complimentary copy was sent to each Professional member.

Conference 2001
Preparations for the 2001 conference continue. Laurie Kantner has been busy leading reviews of conference presentations. Conference registration fee information is available on the UPA web site. Work on the conference Advance Program is underway.

2001 sponsorship is going well, but there is still time to participate! If you want your company to be a sponsor of UPA, contact Mary Beth Rettger.

The board decided to award honorary Bronze sponsor status to Fitch, Inc. for 2001 in recognition of their contributions to the UPA book. Honorary sponsor status will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Effective February 1, 2001, annual professional dues for both U.S. and non-U.S. members are US $85. There is also a US $25 processing fee for new members. Student memberships, with reduced benefits, are US $20 with no processing fee.

Other UPA activities
Several UPA board members met with CHI in February to discuss a variety of topics including:
- Each group's mission
- Organizational overlap
- Local chapters and publications
- UPA booth at the CHI conference

A UPA "virtual office" in Europe has also been proposed. Åsa Granlund and Elizabeth Rosenzweig will be leading this effort.

The 2001 UPA Membership directory has been sent to all members.

A financial audit of UPA for the year 2000 has been completed. Thyra Rauch is currently reviewing the audit and checking it against reported budgets.

If you would like more information about any of these activities or want to participate, we'd love to have you join us. Each of the committees will have working groups that will continue activities and start new ones throughout the year. Feel free to contact any of the people named above.

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