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2008: The Year of Revitalization

Rangachar Kasturi, IEEE Computer Society 2008 President

Pages: pp. 8-9

Abstract—Look for innovations in products and services that focus on career and professional development.

I extend a warm welcome and thanks to our members, volunteers, and staff worldwide. I thank you for your expression of confidence by electing me to lead the IEEE Computer Society as we move forward, building upon the progress made under the leadership of president Michael R. Williams and his executive committee during 2007.

Mike Williams led the Society through a year dominated by financial challenges and implemented many changes as part of an overall transformation. He initiated streamlining of the Society's governance structure and directed several new initiatives including the development of the Certified Software Development Associate credential to be launched in 2008 under the leadership of our Professional Practices Committee.

In 2007, we made substantial progress in recovering from our financial challenges. Although we continue to face a deficit, the ground has been laid for revenue growth in 2008.

Plans for 2008

Every challenge brings with it opportunities. We see an opportunity to enhance the value of the IEEE CS to its members, its customers, the profession, and the public. Our revitalization depends on our ability to innovate, especially in those areas that enhance career development, and to discontinue products or services that do not contribute to our growth. We will fund several new initiatives without increasing the financial burden on our members or customers. Your suggestions are, of course, always welcome.

My plan is to shape 2008 as "the year of revitalization," a year when each of our program boards innovates new products that will pave the way for our prosperity. We have made great progress toward managing our expenses, but our recovery truly depends on growing revenues. Our director of finance and accounting has provided clear targets for operating margins over the next two to three years, and I have asked each program board vice president to develop plans toward achieving those targets.

In 2008 look for the completion of the new, built on a state-of-the art open source platform that will enable genuine member engagement; the launch of an entry-level software developer certification; an expansion of our highly successful conference publishing program to all of IEEE; a new Software Engineering Seminar Series; and a new version of the Computer Society Digital Library—the IEEE Computing Library—which will be targeted at software companies. All of these initiatives are being driven by what our members and customers have asked for: information and services that enhance career advancement, are easy to access, and that maintain the IEEE CS's reputation for the highest quality.

To ensure that we can deliver what you need, we are making some changes to the staff support structure. Seven functional groups are being created: Finance and Accounting, Information Technology and Services, Sales and Marketing, Business and Product Development, Products and Services, Governance, and Membership. We expect that this new organization will greatly enhance our ability to create new products and services.

I also plan to further streamline our governance structure. We're reducing the number of face-to-face meetings, but we are making the meetings more accessible to everyone. Boards and committees will use web and video conference tools to enable them to participate from their home locations, and video reports of the meetings will be posted on our website. I will also work with volunteer leaders to examine our existing board and committee structure to determine what activities could be effectively combined or reorganized.

2008 Executive Committee and Board of Governors Members

It is with pleasure that I introduce the 2008 Executive Committee. The committee includes president-elect Susan (Kathy) Land, CSDP, principal systems and software engineer at the Mitre Corporation, and past president Michael R. Williams, professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Calgary.

George Cybenko, Dorothy and Walter Gramm Professor of Engineering and adjunct professor of computer science, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, is the first vice-president, Electronic Products and Services. Michel Israel, scientific counselor of the French Embassy, Washington, D.C., is the second vice-president and secretary. Joseph R. Bumblis, IT project manager at BAE Systems, is the vice-president, Technical and Conference Activities. Sorel Reisman, managing director of the MerLOt consortium and professor of information systems and decision science, California State University at Fullerton, is the vice-president, Publications.

Antonio Dória, project manager and business consultant at Enabler Wipro and chief software architect at Matakiterani; Stephen Seidman, dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Central Arkansas; and John Walz, senior consultant at the Sutton Group, continue as vice-presidents of Chapters Activities, Educational Activities, and Standards Activities, respectively. Donald F. Shafer, chief technology officer at the Athens Group, will be Treasurer.

The three members of the IEEE Board of Directors elected by Society members—Thomas W. Williams, chief scientist at Synopsys; Deborah M. Cooper, founder and president of an independent consulting firm; and Stephen Diamond, president and CEO of Picosoft—serve as non-voting members of the Executive Committee along with Computer editor in chief Carl K. Chang, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University, and the executive director, Angela Burgess.

I welcome Itaru Minura and Christina M. Schober, who return for their second terms as members of the Board of Governors, and our newly elected Board members, André Ivanov, Phillip A. Laplante, Jon G. Rokne, Ann E.K. Sobel, and Jeffrey M. Voas.

Expressions of Appreciation

I extend my gratitude to the following dedicated leaders for their many years of service to the Computer Society. The Society is indebted to them for their many valuable contributions. Those who completed their terms on the executive committee are Oscar N. Garcia, 2006–2007 IEEE Division V Director; Jon Rokne, vice-president, Publications; Stephanie M. White, vice-president, Technical Activities; and Christina M. Schober, secretary. Members who served on the Board of Governors whose terms expired in 2007 are Jean M. Bacon, George V. Cybenko, Antonio Dória, Richard A. Kemmerer, and Brian M. O'Connell. We look forward to working with them in future endeavors.

I also would like to take this opportunity to extend a special thank you to Oscar N. Garcia, who served ably as the IEEE Division V Director. Oscar was an effective ambassador for the Society in IEEE activities, and his support of the Society at the IEEE level was invaluable. His commitment to the Society set a standard by which all others will be measured.


I would like to close by thanking the IEEE Computer Society staff, particularly, for their dedication during a year of transition. They work tirelessly on behalf of members and volunteers, striving to further the Computer Society's mission. I especially acknowledge the contributions of the members of the Computer Society's executive staff, including Angela Burgess, executive director; Anne Marie Kelly, associate executive director; Violet S. Doan, director of administration; Neal Linson, acting director of information technology and services; John G. Miller, director of finance and accounting; and Richard J. Price, associate publisher.

About the Authors

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Rangachar Kasturi is the Douglas W. Hood Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, at the University of South Florida. Contact him at
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