Constitutional Opposition

A core group of IEEE leaders are trying to change the IEEE Constitution in 2016.  The proposed changes are not as radical or ill-considered at those proposed in 2015 (and wisely withdrawn by the Board of Directors when they finally realized what was proposed). However, there remain serious concerns about the need and wisdom of making changes to a system that has worked for many years — one based on leadership of the volunteer professionals who are the major asset of IEEE.  Without freely contributed volunteer leadership, papers and peer review, conference organization & content IEEE would die a rapid death. The value of our volunteer contributions is taken for granted in the publishing/revenue generating side of IEEE, and deprecated in the leadership and management side by the proposed constitutional changes.  IEEE does need to look forward to adapt and succeed into the future, but not at the expense of the volunteer engine that has been so effective in making it the largest technical professional society in the world.

The need for the proposed changes is unclear.  A series of questions about this and the context for the change can be found at the “Questions” tab.

Here are the primary problems with the proposed 2016 Constitutional Changes:

  1. It is not clear that any Constitutional changes are needed at this time … what is broken, and how can this fix it?
  2. The proposed changes allow for radical transformation of IEEE governance using the non-transparent “bylaw” change mechanism, with no prior notice to members or even senior volunteers (only the Board and Assembly might know)
  3. The changes allow for a small Board of Directors with few IEEE experienced/knowledgeable members — perhaps just the IEEE President(s). This could mean no technical or international diversity — key strengths of IEEE that are reflected in the current IEEE Board.

To stay on top of the discussions of these and other changes, please join the community by sending email to this group formed by current and past IEEE leaders has established this community to provide constructive criticism and where needed resistance to IEEE’s current managed re-engineering effort.