URISA Looks to Its Future

The first 10 pages of the latest GIS Professional (the URISA publication, not the UK one) are reserved for an editorial (not a URISA policy position) by the president elect, Al Butler, titled Directing URISA into the Future: A Proposal for Discussion. I encourage you to sit down to read it and have a snack nearby since it's long. He basically is asking what URISA should look like moving into the future since it did pretty much fulfill its goals of its first 50 years.

He posits: 

The plan for redirecting URISA has five major components. First, URISA needs to decide that it wants to become the association of GIS professionals. Second, it must define that profession through the creation of professional practice standards. Next, it needs to create solid accreditation and certification programs based on the professional practice requirements. Fourth, it needs to alter the chapter model it uses from that of a franchising system to a strong corporate structure where the national association and the chapters are parts of a single association. Lastly, it needs to internally restructure itself in order to be in a better position to implement the plan.

He then goes on to discuss these five items in detail. The members of URISA need to think long and hard about if they want to take this on or some other future. One nugget of note, there are some indications URISA may end up the last GIS professional organization standing and hence lead the consolidation of small orgs toward whatever future is selected.

Note to URISA: Why is this publication delivered in PDF? Do you in fact print it and mail it to members? Or do members read it online? If so, perhaps it's time to look at something more readable on the Web (HTML?) with a "format for printing" button for those who wish to print it? Traversing the FOUR COLUMNS on each page to read this article was quite a challenge!

Published Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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