At the ASPA annual meeting earlier this month SIAM’s membership adopted a new mission statement for the section. This outcome reflects the thoughtful and tireless work over the last year of the mission and rebranding committee David Miller (co-chair), Jered Carr (co-chair) Barbara McCabe, and Paul Posner. The adjustment of our mission, and the possibility of changing the section name engaged the membership and strong arguments were advance both for change and for the status quo. We had the best attended membership meeting that I recall in the last 25 years.
The proposal for changing the section name proved more controversial than the changes to the mission statement. Rather than force a vote on the proposed name change at the annual meeting, I supported a motion that was introduced for this issue be taken up by a new committee that would make recommendations for changes to the bylaws consistent with the mission of the section including a possible change to the section name. This motion passed without opposition.
I have asked Eric Zeemering, the incoming SIAM executive committee chair to chair this committee. The committee members that have generously agreed to serve on this committee are:
Eric Zeemering of Northern Illinois University (chair)
Ed Benton, University of South Florida
Benoy Jacob, University of Colorado Denver
Jack Meek, Laverne University and Complexity section liaison to SIAM
David Miller, University of Pittsburgh
Mike Pagano, University of Illinois at Chicago
Christine Kelleher Palus, Villanova University
Carl Stenberg, University of North Carolina
David Warm, Mid-America Regional Council
While this is quite a large committee, I believe that it is important that all of the various views expressed regarding the mission and direction of SIAM be heard and represented in this process. I am charging the committee to recommend changes to the section bylaws to refine and implement the new mission statement in a manner that will encourage the continued support and attachment of all existing members while making the section more visible and attractive to many potential new members. This is an important task that will shape the future of our section.
The committee will work closely with the ASPA leadership and National Committee to secure any necessary approvals. I am requesting that the committee report back recommendations by August 15 to allow at least sixty days for member response and input prior to the executive committee midyear meeting. The proposed changes will then be posted on the SIAM blog for member comments. If the proposed changes are approved by the executive committee, they will need to be voted on by the membership at the 2016 membership meeting at ASPA.