News & Press: InSider

President's Message: Celebrating 20 Years of AIS

Friday, January 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Syen

Jane Fedorowicz, AIS President
Bentley University

Happy New Year! Having recently returned from ICIS in Milan, I want to extend my personal thanks to Ferdinando Pennarola, Jorg Becker, and the entire conference committee for putting on such a successful conference on the beautiful Bocconi University campus!  

AIS is about to begin its 20th year as an association. 2014 is the year where AIS and Council will both celebrate our successes and reflect on the best road to follow to ensure our future relevance. In 20 years, we have grown from a small, ICIS-focused group of enthusiastic IS faculty, to a well-established, mature society offering a broad range of services and activities. Going forward, we need to remain nimble and explore ways to keep connected to all our members while reaching out to others who might or should find value in what we have to offer.  

A deceptively simple goal for our association is for us to identify and focus on our key member constituencies. I view AIS as the preeminent academic society uniting information systems scholars through our support of research and teaching. Key member groups, then, are academic researchers and teacher/scholars at every stage of an academic career, hailing from a broad range of academic institutions across the globe. Not all of our members will need or be interested in all of our products and services. Some members find SIGs and Chapters to be our strongest means of affiliation. Others especially value our conferences, or our journals, our curriculum efforts, or our student chapters. Each member is unique, and values a different set of our offerings. It is in the association’s best interest to carefully monitor and respond to our members’ collective needs and feedback, which we try to do with our frequent surveys and detailed analysis of participation and product usage patterns.  

Here are some examples of some of our recent successful activities that illustrate the range of benefits to which your membership entitles you. First and foremost to many, the wide range of conferences and workshops we host or are affiliated with provide networking opportunities for all of our members. AIS encourages interaction at many specialized conference events aimed at specific groups of members, such as the new member reception at AMCIS and ICIS, the ICIS midcareer workshop, the many pre-conference workshops or local conferences sponsored by SIGs and national chapters, and the Women’s networking events held at AMCIS, ICIS and ECIS. New doctoral student events and recognitions are planned for AMCIS 2014. And the Webinar series provides opportunities for learning about research, teaching and professional development topics in an anytime/any-place format.  

The association is also focused on supporting members’ curriculum, teaching and student retention needs. Temple University worked with AIS to produce the first AIS-Temple University Job Index. They found some very positive trends among the placement data from 48 leading IS programs, and will be continuing the survey in the future. AIS is partnering with sister organizations such as ACM and SIM to co-produce model curricula (including the upcoming successor to MSIS 2010) and to provide localized mentoring support for AIS student chapters. To help attract and retain students to our programs, we will have a table at the upcoming STEM Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. As a result of our branding initiative, AIS has released an early version of our consumer website. The web site aims to help students, parents and other decision makers learn more about IS as a career. This year also saw the growth of AIS’ presence on LinkedIn and Twitter to augment AISWorld and AIS InSider for communication with or among members.  

Our success as an association depends on attracting and retaining members, which we can best accomplish by understanding and anticipating the professional needs of our members and their universities. AIS needs your ideas, feedback and advice on how to move us forward as an association. Our success also depends on the willingness of members to step forward and help make things happen. At conferences and meetings, I keep one ear tuned to gathering ideas and feedback, and one eye looking out for new faces who are a request away from helping AIS in some capacity. If you have something to share, whether it’s an idea or your time, please, please contact me directly at president@aisnet.org. Help shape AIS for its next 20 years!  


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