Email of 2015 IEEE president to the Signal Processing Society members (August 2016)

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Text of the email sent by 2015 IEEE president Howard E. Michel sent to Signal Processing Society members.

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From: IEEE eNotice <>
Date: Sat, Aug 13, 2016 at 5:41 PM
Subject: Please Vote FOR the IEEE Constitutional Amendment

Dear Members of the Signal Processing Society:

Many of you have received information from opponents of the IEEE Constitutional Amendment. Due to the one-sided and inaccurate nature of that message, I was authorized by the President of IEEE to respond in order to provide information for a balanced view. 

The 2015 IEEE Board of Directors initiated the Constitutional Amendment after long and deliberate discussions about what is in the best interests of IEEE, and the 2015 and 2016 Boards are recommending that members vote FOR this amendment. Groups that have vested interest in the status quo will naturally be opposed to change. The proposed changes would reduce guaranteed representation of some long-established groups and would increase competition and transparency. It should not be surprising that some of those with guaranteed representation and limited competition, and who have benefited from the status quo for decades, now oppose change.

The primary reason for the proposed changes was that the current Constitution contains provisions and passages that are outdated. These old provisions inhibit the growth of IEEE in the rapidly-changing technical and business climate that we experience.

Careful reading of the proposed changes would demonstrate that once they are approved, decision-making on IEEE's direction and policies will continue to be solidly in the hands of IEEE members. As it is done now, the decision makers in IEEE would be volunteers who are elected democratically by the members to time-limited leadership positions.

Moreover, the changes would allow IEEE to follow best practices of similar voluntary organizations. These best practices include: establishment of nimble and proactive governing bodies; ensuring that the IEEE governing bodies have the right skill sets; and maintaining sufficiently strong checks-and-balances as well as periodic turnover in the leadership.

The full text and rationale for the proposed changes are available at  Members are advised to ignore inflammatory remarks regarding the carefully devised amendments proposed by the Board, and base their voting on careful reading of the proposed changes and on the actual new text of the Constitution


Howard E. Michel, Ph.D.
IEEE 2015 President and CEO