Category: Societies

Updated Society Position Matrix

As of Aug. 1st 25 Societies have opposed the amendment, one supports it and  a few have taken positions to remain neutral (but inform members of the controversy)

The updated matrix is here: updated SC votes

 

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TAB Amendment Presentation

Apparently, the IEEE (major) Technical Activities Board (TAB) is not being given the right to post the presentation from their 2030 Ad Hoc committee that resulted in a vote by TAB to ask the Board of Directors to withdraw the 2016 Constitutional Amendment.  This is directly contrary to the policy being used to protect advocacy statements from being placed on the IEEE web sites and in the Institute “the Board has an obligation to share it’s decision with the membership”… apparently the TAB board is being blocked from meeting that obligation by the IEEE Board or Staff (observations of status by Jim Isaak)   Here’s the emails that support this conclusion, and a pointer to the “Secret” TAB Presentation (secret only because IEEE refuses to share it with the members.)

From: Emily Sopensky [mailto:emily@iriscompany.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2016 12:34 PM
To: Marc Apter; Martin Schulman
Subject: FW: TAB report

Marc and Marty

The VP TAB is being blocked from putting up these slides on an ieee website.

Emily

From: tab-tab16@ieee.org [mailto:tab-tab16@ieee.org] On Behalf Of Jose M F Moura
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:43 AM
To: tab-tab16@IEEE.ORG
Subject: Fwd: TAB report

Dear TAB Members
I have not been able yet to get the attached posted on a website as promised in my email of 20 Jun 2016.

Find attached the slides presented at the June 17 TAB session on the Amendment and IEEEin2030 as per Motion 5 approved by TAB.

Best regards,
Jose’ M F Moura
IEEE Vice President Technical Activities

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: TAB report
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:43:31 -0400
From: Jose M F Moura <moura@ANDREW.CMU.EDU>
To: tab-tab16@IEEE.ORG

Dear TAB Members
I attach the report requested by motion 5. The slides of the presentation by TABin2030 Chair will be posted shortly.

Best regards,
Jose’ M F Moura
IEEE Vice President Technical Activities

the TAB report is here: v5.open_release_TABin2030_for_TAB-meeting-Jun-2016.

IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB)

(TAB is one of the Major IEEE Boards, with all of the Society and Council Presidents as well as the ten Division Directors)

The motions passed are as follows:
Motion 1:
Whereas the Constitutional Amendment is incomplete without the accompanying IEEEin2030 structural Bylaw changes,
TAB respectfully requests the BoD withdraw the Constitutional Amendment until it can be coupled with the structural Bylaw changes from IEEEin2030.
TAB respectfully requests that any Bylaw change to implement a new governance structure be given to OUs for impact and risk assessment at least 60 days prior to a BoD vote on the respective Bylaws.
Motion 2:
Whereas the process has been tainted by bias (real or perceived) and by censorship of opposition, and
Whereas Policy 13.7.1.B can place individuals in a position of conflict of interest, and
Whereas these circumstances clearly violate IEEE Policy 13.3.A.2,
TAB respectfully requests BoD withdraw the Constitutional Amendment on the basis of process.
Motion 3:
Whereas member information on the ballot will be limited if ballot statements are censored, and
Whereas presentations of the Constitutional Amendment also include IEEEin2030 material,
In case the Constitutional Amendment is not withdrawn, TAB respectfully requests BoD  overrule the censorship of opposition statements on the ballot and invite opposition speakers at meetings discussing the Constitutional Amendment and Bylaws.
Motion 4:
Whereas election policies and procedures can constrain open discussion, and
Whereas current policy can be interpreted to allow participants to serve in conflicted roles in election and policy oversight,
TAB respectfully requests BoD improve the election policy to better conform to the IEEE Code of Ethics and the open democratic spirit of the IEEE as embodied in Policy 13.3.A.2.
====  The Board of Directors Response to these was:

“Find below a statement prepared essentially by corporate staff and legal (slightly edited by me as indicated) to be forwarded to TAB.

[The VP TAB] submitted four motions for consideration by the BoD that were similar in spirit to the first four resolutions approved by TAB on Friday. After reviewing the timeline for submitting the ballot to the members, the Board discussed the legal, governance and IEEE policy considerations necessary for responsible deliberations. The Board also received presentations on the role of the IEEE Major Boards as Committees of the Corporation implementing programs of IEEE, and received an explanation of the workings of the IEEE Election Oversight Committee, a committee that has been operating for several years. It was decided that the two TAB resolutions relating to the withdrawal of the Constitutional Amendment would be treated as one resolution.

After deliberations, the BoD did not approve the motion to rescind the Constitutional Amendment, nor did they approve the motion to allow the opposition statements to go forward as originally written. The Board did, however, resolve to contact the two submitters who had originally rejected the edits to their opposition statements to see if they would like to reconsider submitting. The BoD also resolved that IEEE election policies be reviewed and revised to allow them to be more consistent with a) the IEEE Code of Ethics and b) the open democratic spirit of the IEEE as embodied in Policy 13.3.A.2. [The Board was] informed by the Chair [of] the Election Oversight Committee that they had already decided to do so for the next election cycle. [The VP TAB] withdrew [his] motion regarding access to meetings based on the Board discussion on the problems of implementation and monitoring.”

Jose’ M F Moura
IEEE Vice President Technical Activities

Communications Society (ComSoc)

During its 26 May 2016 meeting, the IEEE Communications Society’s Board of Governors carefully reviewed and considered the proposed  IEEE Constitutional Amendment change that will be on the IEEE members’ ballots with the start of the IEEE Election on August 15th. As a result, the Communications Board of Governors unanimously passed this motion:

“The BoG of the IEEE Communications Society opposes the proposed constitutional amendment and modified board structure.”

The reasons behind the position include the following:

The problem statement that the proposed amendment is attempting to solve is not well-defined and the proposed solution adds complexity
The existing IEEE Constitution offers alternative, less complex ways of accomplishing the intended improvements;
The risk associated with a major constitutional change is not clearly outweighed by its possible benefits.
There are serious risks that the Bylaws changes induced by the Constitutional Amendments will reduce the visibility and control of IEEE societies and geographical regions on key strategic decisions made by the IEEE Board of Directors for the future of the IEEE.
There is a risk that the proposed changes, like the Constitutional Amendment, will shift too much power from IEEE members to IEEE Corporate Staff.

The IEEE Communications Society BoG wants Society members to be fully informed voters, so this motion was also unanimously passed:
“It was moved for the Society to create and communicate a balanced view of the pros and cons of the constitutional amendment to the membership of the Society and to inform members of the Society on the BoG position about the Constitutional Amendment.”

We urge you to read about the proposed changes, make up your own mind about them, and dutifully exercise your right to vote to influence IEEE’s future.

For background, the IEEE governing documents, including the Constitution and Bylaws, can be found here:
http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/index.html

The proposed changes to the Constitution can be found here:
https://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/election/2016_constitutional_amendment.html

Similarly, you can learn more about the IEEEin2030 effort to evolve the IEEE organizational structure here:
https://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/ieeein2030_archive_m.html

And those opposing this amendment have set up a web site with information as to why they are opposed and which can be found here:
Opposing the 2016 IEEE Constitutional Amendment

However you decide to vote, please vote.   Recent IEEE votes have only had around 17% of the voting members participating.  Your vote, whether yes or no, does count.

Computer Society (CS)

In response to the TAB request to provide comments on the IEEE proposed Constitutional Amendment, the Computer Society Board of Governors (BOG) passed the following motion:

“MOVED, that the Board of Governors of the Computer Society votes against the proposed constitutional amendment.

Our comments are as follows:

The proposed constitution changes remove membership control of the IEEE structure;

The still-to-be-written bylaws under the proposed constitution have considerable unknowns but more importantly the bylaws will document the Board structure which the Board solely can approve without membership approval;

The structure of IEEE, which the TAB assembly strongly disagreed with in the February 2016 meeting, is still being developed and the benefits of that structure are not well-defined;

The significant risks associated with a major constitutional change without knowledge of the associated bylaw changes do not justify approving the proposed constitutional change.

There is no succinct rationale for the proposed constitutional change.”

Power Electronics Society (PELS)

The leadership of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) has carefully reviewed the proposed IEEE Constitutional Amendments. While appreciating the intention to “better define the roles of the IEEE Assembly and its delegates,” we have found that the proposed changes may threaten the very existence of IEEE as a volunteer-driven technical professional society.

The main reasoning for our position includes the following:

The current Constitution provides for guaranteed geographical diversity by requiring that volunteers from each geographic Region are represented by one Director on the BoD;
The current Constitution provides for guaranteed technical diversity by requiring that volunteers from each technical Division are represented by one Director on the BoD;
The proposed change replaces the above requirements with the statement that “The number of Directors … shall be specified in the Bylaws taking into consideration various diversity factors including, but not limited to, geographic and technical diversity.”
The proposed changes transfer responsibilities to Bylaws but the intended Bylaws changes are not known at this time, so the full impact of the Amendments is unknown.

Therefore, the PELS leadership will not advise IEEE members to vote for the Constitutional Change Amendment.

Braham Ferreira (IEEE PELS President)

Signal Processing Society (SPS)

During its 25 March 2016 meeting, the Signal Processing Society’s
Board of Governors carefully reviewed and considered the proposed
IEEE Constitutional Amendment change that will be put forward to
IEEE member ballot with the stated objective to “create a nimble,
flexible, forward-looking organization.”

As a result, the SPS Board of Governors unanimously passed this motion:
The BoG of the SPS is not in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment and optimized board structure.

Their reasoning included the following:

The problem statement that the proposed amendment is attempting to solve is not well-defined;
The existing IEEE Constitution offers alternative, less complex ways of accomplishing the intended improvements;
There are considerable unknowns associated with still-to-be-written bylaws under the proposed constitution; and
The risk associated with a major constitutional change is not clearly outweighed by its possible benefits.

Sensors Council

“The IEEE Sensors Council AdCom opposes the proposed constitutional amendment and modified board structure.  To reflect this opposition, a statement of opposition will be posted on the Council website, on Council social media outlets, and e-mailed to Council contacts.”

The reasons behind the motion include the following:

a)  The problem statement that the proposed amendment is attempting to solve is not well-defined and the proposed solution adds complexity,

b)  The existing IEEE Constitution offers alternative, less complex ways of accomplishing the intended improvements,

c) The risk associated with a major constitutional change is not clearly outweighed by its possible benefits,

d) The modified Board of Directors (BoD) structure being considered removes TAB, MGA and regional representation from the BoD and, thereby, makes the IEEE BoD considerably less diverse than it is currently.

e)  There are serious risks that the Bylaws changes induced by the Constitutional Amendments will reduce the visibility and control of IEEE societies and geographical regions on key strategic decisions made by the BoD for the future of the IEEE,

f) There is a risk that the proposed changes, such as the Constitutional Amendment, will shift too much power from IEEE members to IEEE staff.