After taking the time to relax, rejuvenate, and catch up in work and chores at home during summer, I hope everyone has started the fall season with energy and vigor to pursue the desired goals and objectives. I also hope that the progress in the semester activities are as desired. In this spirit, the DSI Board of Directors, Home Office and various committees have been working hard to pursue the agenda items reported in the May and July 2017 President’s Letters. This letter is an invitation and an update of various activities to realize the promising future by following the framework of alignment, agility, accuracy, accessibility, and adaptability that I suggested in the May 2017 President’s letter.
An Invitation to participate in the DSI Annual Conference in Washington DC
Our annual DSI conference in Washington, DC set for November 18-20, 2017 is fast approaching. I am sure each one of us is eager to participate in this conference, see our DSI colleagues and friends, and network and interact with the many new participants to expand our circle of colleagues and friends.
The 2017 Conference Team, under the leadership of its Program Chair Kathy Stecke, has worked extremely hard to create an exceptional program that not only beats many previous records but also promises to be the best one in recent DSI history. A record number of submissions were received for this conference. The three keynotes by Sridyar Tayur, (MI6: Math, Money, Merriment, Matching, Mortality and Moonshots), Bill Stainton (The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles Ever Made . . . And Why You Should Make Them Too), and Ralph Keeney (Value-Focused Decision-Making) promise to be enjoyable, interesting, funny and truly useful in our personal as well as professional lives.
In addition to the excellent keynotes, invited and contributed sessions, workshops and consortia, and the social programs, this year’s annual business meeting is especially important as we will discuss the proposed draft of the revised DSI constitution as well as the upcoming DSI strategic plan.
An update on various activities
DSI constitution revisions: To be aligned, accurate and adaptable requires an up-to-date and timely constitution. As a result of the hard work of the three DSI Boards, we now have a DSI Board approved draft of the revised constitution (that includes the necessary bylaws) that (1) reduces the possibility of conflicting information in various documents by merging the Constitution and the Bylaws; (2) creates flexibility and agility in making and implementing decisions; (3) implements the decisions made by the recent three DSI Board of Directors; and (4) streamlines several processes to remove redundancy and enhance membership value. This proposed draft will be discussed at the Annual Business Meeting during the Annual Conference in November 2017 in Washington, DC.
DSI strategic goals and objectives: To be aligned, agile and accurate, we have created a draft five year plan that outlines strategic goals with their priorities, identifies energy and resources required, improves efficiencies and effectiveness of operations, and sets milestones for their achievement. This plan includes both short and long term goals and creates a clearly defined roadmap with key performance indicators for incoming and future DSI leadership over a five-year period.
Enhancing accounting processes and program: In order to be financially responsible and more easily comply with the legal requirements of our non-profit 501(c)(3) status, the Home Office has completed its move to QuickBooks as its new accounting system. This move has provided DSI with a more cost-effective system that allows for process streamlining and an increased flexibility in reporting.
Expanded role of regions: Thee regions play an essential and significant role in reaching out to those members who, in addition to sharing their research results, are primarily interested in instructional innovations and teaching pedagogy. Expanded regional activities will make DSI more accessible and adaptive in service to its members and the decision sciences profession. We will work hard on further expanding capabilities to implement this enhanced role of the regions in the upcoming year.
An invitation to participate in DSI Activities
Finally, I take this opportunity to extend my earlier invitation to everyone to participate in our Institute’s activities and programs. As I have stated earlier, DSI is our Institute, created by us, for us and as such nurtured by us. Each one of us is the owner of this Institute and has a 100% stake in its success. DSI will prosper and move forward only if we all contribute to its success in significant ways. Therefore, I invite everyone to get involved in various DSI activities by presenting papers at the conferences, publishing in our journals, serving on various committees and on editorial boards, holding board positions, persuading and nominating our members for various volunteer positions, voting in DSI elections (especially the upcoming elections in January 2018), and participating in various networking opportunities including being mentored or mentoring students and junior faculty members. This will also ensure that DSI is aligned, agile, accurate, accessible, and adaptable for every one of us.
Above all, as I shared in my earlier letters, the water is warm and the swim is enjoyable. It is accessible to everyone and is quite adaptive, agile, aligned, and accurate. Thus, I renew our earlier invitation to everyone to jump in and have a good time.
Jatinder (Jeet) N. D. Gupta
College of Business
University of Alabama in Huntsville