On Global Involvement - Yours!
Friday, May 9, 2014
The AIS Mission Statement ends with the declaration
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.
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.)
Distribution of Universities**
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.
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:
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.
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 http://aisnet.org/?CommitteesTaskForces.
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 http://aisnet.org/?AISChapters. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 www.4icu.org 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. 4icu.org includes 11,307 Colleges and Universities,
ranked by web popularity, in 200 countries.