On August 15 2016 the IEEE elections process will start. In addition to the election of our top officer, the ballot will ask members to vote on a proposed amendment to the IEEE Constitution. The amendment is proposed by the IEEE Board of Directors but has been strongly opposed by a number of past IEEE Presidents and by a large number of IEEE Societies as well as other organisational units. On August 2nd the IEEE Victorian Section Executive Committee, after due deliberation, took the view that the proposed changed were not in the best interest of our members and voted to oppose them. We encourage members to inform themselves on the vote and urge our members to vote against the constitutional amendment. (See: http://www.ieeevic.org/constitutional-changes-information/ )
Resolution of the Victorian Section Executive Committee
At the August meeting of the IEEE Victorian Section Executive Committee we discussed the proposed changes to the IEEE Constitution. All IEEE members globally will be asked to vote on these changes over the next few months. At the meeting the committee passed the following resolution:
“That the Victorian Section Committee, after due deliberation, has voted its opposition to the proposed constitutional changes for the following reasons:
(1) Currently the IEEE is a bottom-up organisation run for the members and the societies as well as the broader IEEE corporate agenda. The proposed amendments to the constitution alter the balance within the IEEE between the Board and other groups.
(2) Technical and geographic representatives will find it harder to have their voice heard at the Board level. Division Directors will be removed from the Board under these proposed changes. It is no surprise then that apparently the majority of societies have voiced opposition to the proposed changes. Regional Directors are the connection with volunteers and resources and they too will be removed from the Board.
(3) How the Board of IEEE will be set up to have a wide possible representation of IEEE interests is not explained by the proposed changes – we know it will be people nominated by the Board itself but it is quite uncertain what the criteria are for the Board to nominate people and who can aim to serve on the Board.
This motion is to be distributed by e-mail to all IEEE members in Victoria before the start of the vote. We encourage members to inform themselves on the vote. Based on our consideration of the issue, the Victorian Section Executive Committee urges members to vote against the constitutional amendment.”
The New Hampshire IEEE Section respectfully requests that the Board of Directors withdraw the proposed 2016 amendment to the IEEE Constitution from consideration.
The New Hampshire IEEE Section also respectfully requests that a vision of future IEEE governance be shared with the membership, along with specific suggestions the Board of Directors consider to be necessary. If some of these suggestions require Constitutional changes, we are asking that the Board of Directors present this focused set of suggestions while preserving Constitutional membership control over the future of IEEE’s governance.
The Executive Committee of the Washington, DC Section of IEEE votes AGAINST the proposed constitutional amendment.
Our comments are as follows:
The proposed constitutional changes will eliminate control of IEEE Geographic Entities (Regions), IEEE Technical Societies (Divisions) and the IEEE Assembly over the Board of Directors’ composition. Thus making the Board not accountable to IEEE Organizational Units;
It will also give the Board an opportunity to propose existing Board Members to be nominated for election as future Board Members, creating an apparent conflict of interest;
The required direct election (by more than 300,000 IEEE Members) for all IEEE Board of Directors positions just creates appearance of democracy. Currently the Board has 28 Directors. Every IEEE Member will be expected to educate themselves on the merits of 28 (or more) candidates. This is unrealistic and most likely will result in mechanical approval of the list of candidates compiled by the existing Board;
The still-to-be-written bylaws under the proposed constitution have considerable unknowns but more importantly the bylaws will document the IEEE structure which the Board solely can approve without membership approval;
Due to the above considerations, we strongly encourage IEEE Members to vote AGAINST the proposed Amendment of the IEEE Constitution.”