News & Press: InSider

Moving on Down the Road...

Monday, July 14, 2014  

Jane Fedorowicz
Immediate Past President
Bentley University

The Road to Relevance, that is. You may recall that I adopted this phrase to guide my work with Council this past year. I think that we have made some great strides down this road, and there is still a long distance to traverse. I take the opportunity of my farewell message to let you know about some things that AIS has accomplished this year that have not made Insider headlines. For more on the major initiatives of the year, please check the year’s columns in the Insider.

The number and span of benefits AIS offers to its membership is growing. We formed two new special interest groups on Creative eMedia (SIG-eMedia) and Games (SIG Games). We welcomed two new chapters this year in Indonesia and Romania. A review of chapter web sites was initiated to ensure that they are being used as an effective communication mechanism with chapter members. And both SIGs and chapters will benefit from the new SIG/Chapter Recognition Program that will be announced at AMCIS in Savannah.

Several new programs have been added to increase the value of conference attendance for members. The AMCIS conference (in Savannah in August – see you there!) will feature two cohorts in the Doctoral Consortium – a traditional one for those embarking on their dissertation, and a second for students in earlier stages of their program. AMCIS will also host a Doctoral Student Corner to facilitate networking. AIS also presented very successful journal workshops at both PACIS and ECIS this year. Council also approved affiliations with several additional conferences, including the International Conference on Information Systems Development (ISD) and CENTERIS, ProjMan and HCist conferences.

AIS members will be able to access several new journals in the eLibrary very soon. Our newest journal, AIS Transactions on Replication Research, will be edited by Alan Dennis, Indiana University, and Joe Valacich, University of Arizona. We also approved an affiliation with a non-AIS journals, Foundations and Trends in Information Systems (FnTIS) to be offered through the eLibrary.

Many of our members belong to multiple associations, and so we continue to explore ways to work together with SIM, ACM, AOM, AAA, ASIST, IFIP and other sister societies. This year, we collaborated with ACM on a survey of non-doctoral degree granting university programs in Information Systems. Eija Karsten of Åbo Akademi University has been appointed to represent AIS on the joint ACM/AIS MSIS Curriculum review team. We are also exploring the creation of a liaison role between AIS and IFIP.

In addition to SIGs and chapters, there are many other subgroups or constituencies that will benefit from decisions made this past year. There is room here for only a few examples. Details on a new Doctoral Student Service Award will be shared in the near future. The Women in IS Task Force conducted an initial survey of members on diversity issues, and have proposed several initiatives to help decrease our field’s gender imbalance. Council approved a new member dues alignment policy to assist members whose countries experience a dues increase based on a change in the UN HDI classification of their country. A new AIS subdivision “college” has been added to the bylaws to permit the creation of subgroups that do not fit well with SIG or chapter designations.  Three one-year provisional college charters were approved for the College of Academic Leadership, the College of Senior Scholars, and the IS Women's Network. The Temple-AIS Job Index Report has had 3500 unique online accesses already this spring, along with inquiries about how to extend it to other countries. The IS history website  already contains an astounding amount of information on the past of the association and the field, thanks to the efforts of Ping Zhang, of Syracuse University, the official AIS Historian.

In a prior column, I described how we have started to take baby steps on improving our external outreach this year, beginning with the appointment of the Task Force on Association Outreach. The task force has begun interviewing members and gathering information and ideas on where we should be focusing our outreach efforts. The recent email you received on Net Neutrality is another first step in moving us into the public discourse.

Finally and unfortunately, I want to draw your attention to the considerable effort put forth this year by our Research Conduct Committee. This committee, led by Robert Davison of the City University of Hong Kong, spent many long hours researching and resolving several cases of research misconduct. Over the course of the year, this committee wrote or revised guidelines and policies for conducting research and resolving accusations of misconduct. I urge you to read (and reread often) these important documents found here on the AIS website. I also point to the article authored by the committee in the Insider that summarizes these documents. In fact, these documents should be required reading in every doctoral seminar, to create good documentation and writing habits for our newest researchers at the beginning of their careers.

AIS and Council accomplished much more this year than I can fit in this short column. For more on what we have been doing, you can find the agenda and minutes of Council meetings at this location. If any of this has tickled your interest in finding out more about a topic, I would be delighted to hear from you. You can reach me at jfedorowicz@bentley.edu.

In closing, I would like to thank Pete Tinsley, Executive Director, and all the staff for their invaluable assistance, gentle reminders and fabulous suggestions throughout the year. I could not have done it without them! I also want to thank Doug Vogel, outgoing Immediate Past President, for his excellent role modeling as I step into that position, and Helmut Krcmar, who has wonderful plans for continuing down our long and winding road to relevance.


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