Who is Opposed to the Constitutional Amendment?

Please add your name to those opposed by posting a reply/comment here including your name and any relevant IEEE volunteer roles. Also check the bottom of the main page where others have expressed their concerns. — Thanks


12 thoughts on “Who is Opposed to the Constitutional Amendment?

  1. Censorship has given way to outright advocacy by IEEE leaders in ways inconsistent with IEEE’s ByLaws and Policies. …The Institute finally pretended to print a balanced article on this Amendment (setting aside the opposition submission provided months ago that they refused to print) — and then included an Editorial by IEEE President Barry Shoop that was a violation of IEEE electioneering (use of resources for said purpose), and misleading (accusing the opposition of asserting the ED was to be a voting member of the Board of Directors, something we have not said … of course our question about why the ED with compensation in 2014 of $965,000 needs to be on the Board was censored out of the ballot and other opposition statements.) Our past president, member of the N&A committee which is prohibited from electioneering by our bylaws and policies posted messages using IEEE official mailing lists electioneering for the amendment …
    Apparently professional integrity is less important than passing this amendment.


  2. It seems strange that no candidate on the ballot for IEEE President-Elect (or IEE-USA President-Elect) has expressed his/her opinion on the amendment. Neither in the candidate’s statements nor in the Q&A document.
    As usual, these are mostly indistinguishable corporate-speak which requires a lot of parsing to distinguish.

    For an issue of this import, not taking a position seems inexcusable.

    Note that both candidates for IEEE President-Elect were both nominated by the board and served on it during the development of this and the 2015 proposals. I guess we’re left to assume that they support it.

    The “loyal opposition” should nominate qualified candidates if it wants to prevail.

    Personally, I am not convinced that approval is in the best interests of IEEE.


  3. To small group to take control of IEEE and transferring of power from over 300,000 members to a small group of insiders is not a good idea. This ammendment will not go long way and people will not be satisfied.


  4. I’m concerned that IEEE is unable to create its own future. It appears that IEEE is content to let others define its future and the rules it operates by instead of creating its own future.

    Significant governance changes are almost always are done to solve a problem. Unfortunately, IEEE leadership has not articulated the problem that is being solved, i.e. what we can’t do with the current governance structure as defined by our constitution and bylaws. The only problem I’m aware of is turf battles within TAB, i.e. who gets what revenues and lack of MGA leadership and providing value to membes. In general, IEEE is risk adverse. It is comfortable with the status quo and doesn’t adapt to change and external threats. It has an approximate 20% yearly membership turnover which it has be unable to change. Essentially, we are not meeting members needs or expectations. A constitutional amendment is not required to implement changes needed to meet member needs and expectations.

    A lot of comments focus on the need for strategic planning. Strategic plans are worthwhile when the value provided by a company or organization is understood and defined. An individual joins IEEE to accomplish something. It could be networking, career development, to create and disseminate knowledge, to keep abreast of new and evolving technology, to understand new applications of technology and the application of technology to specific domains.

    Individuals involved with IEEE technical societies often are working towards achieving tenure or obtaining grants. Publishing, presenting papers, editing transactions and journals, and organizing conferences contribute to advancing a researcher’s career. As new electro-technology knowledge domains are created, too often TAB’s technical societies focus on who will lay claim to the new technology and the income stream that accompanies it.

    MGA has not done an adequate job of defining how it helps members achieve personal goals that advance their career. It is has not evolved as the world around it has evolved. Meetups, user groups, SIGS, etc. are slowly displacing IEEE as the goto source of technical information and technical community networking. It doesn’t have a clear vision of how it can help members advance their career and be a valuable resource to industry.

    A constitutional amendment is not needed to solve IEEE’s problems. IEEE needs a clear vision of how it supports members’ careers, leadership to achieve its vision, metrics and data to guide decision making, and the ability to learn. IEEE is slowly becoming irrelevant to electro technology professionals. It doesn’t take a constitutional amendment to address these problems.

    If I were to change one thing it would be that Directors are told to put IEEE before the needs of their constituents. This prevent s them from addressing the needs of those who elected them. If they can’t establish policies that enable IEEE to meet the needs of members, they are creating a dysfunctional organization that is unable to provide value to its customers. This does not require a constitutional amendment. It requires leadership, the ability to learn and willingness to take risks.

    I’ve been a chapter chair, PACE chair, student activities chair, MGA committee chair, conference program chair, and Conference chair. I would rather be effective than politically correct.


  5. 1. Petition actions like addition to position election ballots or recall of a Director/Delegate will require significantly more signatures from voting members, up to 10% of the Institute’s voting membership (e.g., > 30,000 signatures for the removal of a Director elected by the entire Institute voting membership).
    2. Requiring “diversity” without a comprehensive and closed definition of the term opens the institute to actions by external activist groups pushing diversity dimensions outside the core objectives of a Technical Society like religion, political philosophy, gender (including LGBTQ), age, race, physical stature, etc. My opinion is that Board of Director and Assembly Delegate diversity requirements should be confined to Technical Specialty (Division – TAB orientation), Geographic location (Region – MGA orientation), and Employment sector (Industry vs Academia).


  6. I am a three time IEEE-SA Working Group Chair and a 2013 Standards Medallion Recipient, 20+ year veteran.

    I strongly oppose adding the paid Executive Director to the volunteer Board of Directors. BOD will lose autonomy in setting the ED Salary since the BOD determines the salary of the ED. No BOD member is going to speak up on issues of salary or performance (lack of) as they later will need to meet with the ED on other matters.
    ED’s salary is already four times as much as what would be prudent for an ED of a well run non-profit and IEEE and IEEE-SA are anything but well run.


  7. Ed Nelson
    IEEE NH Section Chair 2016

    I am uncertain as to why a constitutional amendment is needed, and I see that the proposed amendment has flaws that do not help IEEE.

    I am suspicious as to why the IEEE membership was only given 13 days to respond to amendment that the BoD has been working on since November of 2015. Something is wrong with this.


  8. It would seem that the proposed changes go too far – I have a few years experience on the Board of Directors and it seems that this is simply a power grab to take any meaningful control away from the membership.


  9. Why We Don’t Need an IEEE Constitutional Amendment
    The proposed Amendment to the IEEE Constitution on the election ballot isn’t needed, as the IEEE Board of Directors (BOD) could have already made any Bylaw and Policy changes needed to address the issues supposedly justifying the amendment.
    The Amendment includes the following changes, followed by why it isn’t needed:
    Separates the position of Delegates to the IEEE Assembly from Directors on the IEEE BOD, except for the President-Elect, President, & Past-President. There has never been an detailed explanation as to why the current Constitution isn’t flexible enough to deal with any problems in the future.
    The Assembly members, elected by the members, will no longer elect as BOD members the IEEE Treasurer, Secretary, Vice-President Education, Vice-President Member and Geographic Activities, and Vice-President Publication Services and Products, and no explanation how those positions will be elected to the BOD.
    It also provides guidance that the BOD says is important , “…eligibility requirements shall be specified in the Bylaws taking into consideration various diversity factors including, but not limited to, geographic and technical diversity.” This could have been included already in the Bylaws and/or Policies of the IEEE and any subordinate units months ago, vice having a Constitutional Amendment.
    It adds, “IEEE Executive Director shall be an ex officio non-voting member of the Board of Directors.” This change gives the staff Executive Director the right to participate in all volunteer meetings, but no volunteer has the right to participate in staff meetings. The need for this is explained by saying the Staff Executive Director needs to participate in strategic planning efforts. But the Staff Executive Director has been participating in strategic planning for more than 10 years, and provides the staff that organizes it, so why this change?
    We do not need an IEEE Constitutional Amendment; since we can’t easily go back, if we aren’t happy!
    Marc T. Apter
    2013 IEEE-USA President
    2004-2005 IEEE Vice-President Regional Activities
    2001-2002 Region 2 Director/Delegate


  10. The recent TAB webinar on the governance changes indicated that:
    a) an alternative Board structure has not been finalized, so by-laws are being drafted to implement the same structure we have now … of course, with the 2016 change this can be altered with minimal notice (20 days, only the Assembly needs to be notified).

    Jim Isaak take: Do not approve this in 2016, once the Board has a proposed structure, they can seek Constitutional changes if needed, and at the same time retain, or provide the protections of member rights that assure that radical change does not occur without member approval.

    b) The primary rationale for including the ED on the Board is to assure accountability since he would be expected to attend all Board meetings. The ED already attends all Board meetings unless he is asked to leave. This happens when the Board is discussing his salary, performance or other issues affecting the ED’s role — adding the ED to the Board will make this discussion more difficult (since he is present) and thereby reduce ED accountability (J.Isaak perspective)

    c) The primary reasons for the Board change seem to be three fold:
    – the Director role requires too much time — although a variety of ways to divide the current jobs (Director/Assembly delegate) using the by-laws could be pursued.
    – There is a potential conflict of interest between the Director role (serve all of IEEE) and the Delegate role (represent a specific community). It is not clear that Directors (all of whom would be IEEE members, and have specific experiences in IEEE) would be less ‘aligned’ with their experiences if they were not also Delegates.
    – Expanding Regional representation would make the Board larger, or, after some discussion, it was admitted, that the current Directors might not be willing to re-district the 10 Regions currently defined. (but it’s not clear why they would in the next iteration of design either.)

    So: Jim’s take on this: it is premature to change the constitution when we have no clear plan by the Board of what will replace the current structure, or when. This is truly a case of getting the cart before the horse.


  11. Jim Isaak – 2004/5 IEEE Board of Directors, 2010 Computer Society President, 2015 Society on Social Implications of Technology VP, and many other roles.
    I strongly oppose the elimination of the constitutional protection for Board of Director members to be IEEE Members reflecting the technical and international diversity of IEEE. Adding the Executive Director to the Board is a bad idea, the Board must be able to operate without the ED presence in some situations — we had just such situations when I was on the Board of Directors.


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