News & Press: InSider

On Global Involvement - Yours!

Friday, May 09, 2014  

Jane Fedorowicz
AIS President
Bentley University

The AIS Mission Statement ends with the declaration that…
“AIS is the premier professional association for individuals and organizations who lead the research, teaching, practice, and study of information systems worldwide.” After serving 22 months as AIS President Elect and President, I am convinced that we are very much a global society, but we also need to continue working to maintain, or improve, our personal outreach and contributions around the world.

AIS needs your help.

Just how global are we? By design, the association is divided into three regions. Region 1 (the Americas) historically comprises the largest number of our members, followed by Region 2 (Europe/Africa/Middle East) and then Region 3 (Asia/Pacific). There appears to be much opportunity for growth in Regions 2 and 3, as seen in the table below. (Note the data in the bottom row reflects a non-scientific enumeration of accredited universities around the world. The data do not approximate which universities actually have Information Systems faculty who may be potential AIS members.)


Region 1

Region 2

Region 3





Elected Council Officers




Approximate Distribution of Universities**




Those serving on Council also represent all three regions. The second line in the table reflects the distribution of elected officers based on the recent election for terms beginning July 1, 2014. Although somewhat skewed to Region 1, this does show that Council elections are pretty effective in representing the membership across regions. The presidency of the Association rotates among the three regions, so there is always one person from each region among the three presidents (Immediate Past, current, and Elect) on Council.

What is a bit disconcerting is that most of the appointed (non-elected) members of Council come from Region 1. Reflecting back on the past round of appointment decisions for which candidates needed to self nominate, the reason for the regional concentration is the lack of nominations of members from Regions 2 and 3. This is therefore my first recommendation for improving our globalization efforts: The next time you read about an opening on Council, please encourage your Region 2 and 3 colleagues to apply, or even better, submit your own name and qualifications to the appointment committee.

Another area where members from each region are actively participating is the many committees and task forces AIS appoints. Every committee is required to have representation from each region. If you are interested in getting involved by contributing time to a targeted purpose, please consider volunteering for appointment to a committee or task force. Committee and task force members are listed at

Our chapters give many members a wonderful, local opportunity to gain from and contribute to the association. We currently host 36 chapters, with new ones coming online each year. Of these, four are in Region 1, 19 are in Region 2, and 13 are in Region 3. Many host local conferences or participate in our growing list of affiliated regional conferences. You can find out more about the chapter in your home country by consulting with the contact person listed at Network and become active in your local chapter, or start a new one if there is none where you live. Contact Julie Kendall, Vice President of SIGs and Chapters at for help in getting started or adding new activities to an existing chapter’s offerings.

Finally, one of my own biggest membership concerns is that our membership numbers have remained flat in recent years. From a global perspective, we are showing slow growth in Regions 2 and 3. But our total number of members has not increased appreciably in a while. My final plea to you, then, takes little time but provides great benefit to AIS: Please encourage your non-member colleagues and doctoral students to learn about the valuable products and services we offer, not to mention the outstanding networking and publication opportunities at our conferences and journals. Help us to grow our numbers so we can expand the benefits we offer and provide wider outreach and recognition to the worldwide field of Information Systems.

*As of December 31, 2013.

 ** This is a non-scientific comparison to approximate the relative size of the membership pool. Data on universities is from as of May 5, 2014. 4 International Colleges & Universities is an international higher education search engine and directory reviewing accredited Universities and Colleges in the world. includes 11,307 Colleges and Universities, ranked by web popularity, in 200 countries.

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