Vice President Reports Highlights From November’s Technical Activities Board Meeting

Ad hoc committees are making headway in areas such as publications and member services

6 December 2018

Dear Colleagues,

At the November 2018 meeting of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, we heard reports from the thirteen volunteer-identified, member-driven ad hoc committees listed below. I extend my most sincere thanks to the ad hoc committee chairs for their hard work this year.

  • Entrepreneurship Local Network | Pittsburgh (MGA Affinity Group Pilot)
  • Speakers Bureau
  • Roadmap Strategy and Governance
  • Educational Activities
  • Initiatives Impact-Bounded Rationality
  • Best Practices
  • Society/Council Financial Guidance/Development
  • Financial Artifacts
  • Members Sign Up
  • Society/Council Membership Models
  • Global Society Interaction
  • Contracts Approval
  • Tech Ethics

While all thirteen ad hoc committees made much progress in their respective focus areas, I would like to bring to your attention the following highlights, which will have long-term impact for the IEEE:

  • The TAB Ad Hoc on Member Sign Up acknowledged that, prior to 2018, the IEEE website’s “Join” page had no provision for joining a Society or affiliate group. As a result of the committee’s work, “Add Society Membership” and “Add Other Groups” buttons have been added to the “Join” page, while several other improvements have been made to the “Join,” “Renew,” and “Catalog” web pages.
  • The TAB Ad Hoc on Financial Artifacts noted that financial information needed by Society and Council leaders has been difficult to find. The committee assembled an online directory that will make it easier for volunteers to locate financial info, answer questions that are likely to arise, and identify and correct missing or inadequately presented information. New information, such as a journals page change cost estimator, has also been made available.
  • The TAB Ad Hoc on Contracts Approval proposed a revision to the IEEE Finance Operations Manual to increase the threshold contract value for legal review of contracts from USD 5,000 to USD 25,000. This revision, which will both streamline and expedite the contract review process for not only TAB but all of IEEE, was approved by the IEEE Board of Directors at its November meeting.
  • In addition, the 2018 TAB Ad Hoc on Entrepreneurship/MGA Affinity Group Pilot introduced the Entrepreneurs Network concept, beginning with an IEEE N3XT event in Pittsburgh, with 330 attendees, and set up the template for an Entrepreneurs network website that can be used by those interested in creating a network. The group will host a total of 7 meetup events in 2018, and is currently using a model developed in the Section to push meetup events to the Subsection and University.

Furthering TAB’s commitment to improving its services and outreach to both new and underserved membership segments, in November, TAB approved the formation of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee, which will report to the TAB Strategic Planning Committee.

TAB has also continued to strategically partner with other IEEE OUs. In July, IEEE Publications Services and Products Board (PSPB) volunteers developed a PSPB Publications plan which focused on the following four key areas:  call to revamp publishing operations; unification of the publishing operation; long-term Open Access strategy; and, periodical evaluation framework. As publications are a core component of Technical Activities, the strategic plan was shared with Technical Activities Board members, and they were asked to review and comment on the plan. Comments and questions were received, and PSPB volunteers and staff provided a line-by-line response to each comment/question received. Via a webinar held in September to address questions, as well as a joint strategy session held following the November TAB meeting, TAB and PSPB members engaged in a dialogue about the future of publications business within the IEEE. In addition, TAB officially endorsed a continuing partnership between TAB and PSPB to refine and agree on an IEEE Publications Strategic Plan to be jointly developed, and which is to be presented in draft form at the June 2019 OU meeting series and to be finalized no later than the November 2019 OU Meeting Series.

As my term as your Technical Activities Vice President comes to a close, I would like to thank TAB leadership for their dedication and focused efforts in nurturing underserved and emerging segments, establishing OU partnering opportunities, continuing financial transparency and reporting, and simplifying and clarifying Technical Activities operations. TAB’s many accomplishments in 2018 will undoubtedly shape the future health and success of Technical Activities for years to come.

Kathy Land

2018 Technical Activities Vice President

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