All Presidents and most politicians, as they approach the end of their term of office, take the opportunity to look back with pride and forward with relief. As this will be my last President’s Message, I would certainly not want to break this longstanding tradition of a year-end review.
This has been a year of introspection and change and both of these are luxuries a society can only afford occasionally but cannot afford to do without, from time to time.
Some of the major successes of the year are:
The Reorganization of the National Board
The assignment of individual responsibilities to Board Members has, by and large, worked well and was one factor in enabling us to move forward on several fronts at one time.
The final draft of the revised constitution is elsewhere in this issue. If this is approved in September, it should help the administration of the organization, e.g. with mail ballots now being possible on important matters, etc., as well as giving a more balanced National Board through regional representation. I hope you will study this and vote for its approval.
In my opening address in Vancouver I said that I wanted to see the accreditation process moved forward from the committee stage to a full proposal or else we should stop talking about it.
Through the continued efforts of Bill Kerrigan and the gratifying co-operation of other societies, we are now able to present such a firm proposal elsewhere in this issue. This proposal will be brought before the National Board Meeting on May 27 in Toronto. Again, this is ‘must’ reading as it is a major step and one that will affect all those in the computer field in Canada.
INFOR has been launched as a co-operative venture with CORS. We have arranged for the first three issues to be sent to all CIPS members and it is my personal hope that this policy of making this part of the CIPS membership will meet with the approval of the Society.
As we have now undertaken a joint project with CORS in the form of the INFOR Journal, it seems to make sense that we should, at this time, try to reduce the administrative costs for CIPS, CORS and INFOR by establishing a joint administration of the mailing lists and other secretarial functions. Negotiations for this are nearly complete and the new arrangements will be announced at the Annual Meeting.
Computer Science Association
During the year we were pleased to welcome the CSA as the University Computer Science Special Interest Group of CIPS.
Canadian Computer Show
In September we launched the first Canadian Computer Show which was a great success and now look forward to the combined Canadian Computer Conference and the Canadian Computer Show in Toronto in September.
Salary and Manpower Survey
By now you will have received the first Salary and Manpower Survey which will now become an annual publication complementing our already highly regarded Computer Census.
This magazine which was started last year has been expanded in scope and we hope that by that Annual Meeting the expanded Editorial Board can be announced. This step should further increase the usefulness and readability of the magazine.
Relationship With Other Societies
As pointed out in earlier editorials, I believe that active co-operation with other societies is essential and clearly the joint Journal, secretariat, proposal for accreditation and numerous other contacts indicate that this is completely feasible. We are now in the process of trying to expand these contacts in the hope of gaining more reciprocal benefits. Some of the above steps should give CIPS more to offer during these contacts.
Where have we fallen short of the objectives set forth last year?
Despite a major effort at the Local and National level, we have not been able to increase the membership substantially over last year. Also, contacts were made with groups in several major cities and, while discussions are continuing, we were not able to establish any new sections this year. I hope that the new executive will make this a major project.
This magazine has been an expensive project and it has only been through the combined efforts of the publisher and the volunteers that we were finally able to make a profit on the April issue and should have the magazine in a breakeven condition from now on. Administration of the society has also been an expense and it is hoped that the new joint secretariat will substantially reduce these costs for the next several years. I hope that by reducing these two major cost items, plus the anticipated success of the Canadian Computer Conference, we will have put the Society on sound financial footing. A full report will be presented at the Annual Meeting.
We missed on this. I believe we were somewhat naive about the professionalism of the proposals that are necessary to land this major Congress. I will recommend to the Board that it is not too early to start a well thought through campaign to get IFIP Congress’77 in Canada and will have some suggestions along this line.
Some year-end thanks are overdue to many people. A particular note of appreciation is due John Gillies, our Executive Secretary and the University of Waterloo. John will be leaving his post on May 31 and I know all those in the Society appreciate the contribution he has made and wish him all the best. The University of Waterloo has been the host for our offices for many years in a largely unsung effort. Their contribution cannot be underestimated.
I have already acknowledged, on many occasions, the outstanding contributions of the Members of the Board in their various areas. Many others have also made an outstanding contribution to the Society and at the risk of omitting many who should be mentioned, I would like to thank, in particular, Bill Kerrigan for his work on accreditation, Dick Mason as our Editor for INFOR, Cam Pickell for his work on the magazine, Colin Campbell for his handling of the Canadian Computer Show and Tony Black for his efforts on the upcoming Canadian Computer Conference.
Enough reminiscing! It has been a very interesting and exciting year and I now wish the best of luck to your incoming President, Jim Kennedy and his new Board.