Council restructuring

by Christian Heipke (comments: 14)

Members and ISPRS community at large are asked for comments

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Dear member of the ISPRS community,

In recent months Council has assessed the internal structure of the ISPRS governing body and has come to the conclusion that some changes are advantageous. Implementing these changes requires changing the statutes and bylaws and can therefore only be done during the next General Assembly to be held in Nice, France, in 2020.

We believe that such changes should be based on a brought discussion among the whole ISPRS community, and we want to start this discussion in good time in order for all memebrs of our community to be able to make up your mind, give feedback if they wish to do so and thus come to a stable solution for the future.

Attached is the document we have prepared with respect to the restructuring of the Council. Please feel free to share this document with your colleagues.

Can I ask you to please let us have your comments until June 10, 2019 at the latest, so that we can continue the discussions and prepare an update in time to bring the issue to the General Assembly in Nice.

 

Thank you very much in advance and all the best,
Yours sincerely,
Christian Heipke
ISPRS President 2016-2020

 

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Comment by John Trinder |

Overall the majority of my concerns have been overcome and the proposal does provide more flexibility for the election of Council members. I make the following comments:
1. While the skill sets for each of the positions are desirable and worth listing, I would suggest that in most cases the essential criteria would be scientific reputation and willingness to take on the task. There have rarely been situations in the past when the election of Council could have been on the basis of such skills.
2. It has often been considered that there is a de facto path within Council of Congress Director to SG to President. If Council wishes to introduce more flexible options for the election of President, which I support, then it should make a statement accordingly and plan well ahead of the GA for the nomination of appropriate candidate(s) for President.
3. The roles of the newly elected Vice President are very important and require her/him to be familiar with the scientific activities of ISPRS immediately after her/his election. This has in the past been done by the First Vice-President, (the proposed Past President) or President. Unless the elected Vice President has been made familiar with the plans for the scientific activities of the Society before election, there could be a learning period for the proposed Vice President when little progress is made. This is an important issue for the formation of the WGs which should be done immediately after the Congress.
4. If the President does not wish to take on the position of Past President and the position is filled by election at the GA, will that person also be a ‘Vice President’ as the term ‘Past President’ would be inappropriate? The roles of that person are not arduous. I would suggest some flexibility in the roles of the Past President and Vice President so that if necessary, they can assist each other.
5. If the Secretary General is not considered as an appropriate person to become the President, perhaps he/she could take on that role for more than one term, as is done in some organizations.
6. I agree with limiting the Council to a maximum of 3 terms, but this could be a problem for some situations. I therefore also agree with the ‘exceptional cases’ clause
7. Council should consider how gender equality can be addressed in the future appointment of Council members.

Comment by Armin Gruen |

I like the new version of the structure. I only see three problems:
(a) Past President. What if the President after his term does not want to serve anymore? Then a new person will be voted into office, I know. But it would not be a "Past President" anymore. But I don't know how to resolve this issue.
(b) Major meetings in non-traditional locations. We have the same problem in sports, e.g. in soccer. Where the driving issue is the money. We have little experience with the possible outcome. It is problematic, but maybe it turns out well. One test should be appropriate.
(c) Industry expertise of the Congress Director. This should not be a necessary skill. We had many Congress Directors before without industry experience and it did not harm. This is an unnecessary constraint which limits the number of candidates significantly.

Comment by Uwe Soergel |

Dear members of the ISPRS Council,

On behalf of the German Society for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation (DGPF) I would like to thank you very much for giving us, the members of ISPRS, the opportunity to comment on the suggestion for Council restructuring you have distributed in autumn last year. At the same time, I apologize for the slight delay in sending you our opinion and hope you will still find it useful.

DGPF has studied your proposal in detail and has also read the comments available on the ISPRS blog. We very much welcome the suggested changes. In this document we want to underline and comment on what we believe are the main points.

1. Opening up the society to locations, where ISPRS does not yet have a strong base and thus has a potential to grow, presents new possibilities for our science and technology. While such a move does mean that some ISPRS traditions might change, we believe it is the right move in this fast changing world. We are aware that going to new places can mean that local knowledge about our field might not be wide spread, and we support your suggestion to set up the scientific-technical programme of such meetings with shared responsibility between the Congress Director and somebody from ISPRS designated to this task.

2. We support the idea to more explicitly describe the expectations and required skill set for potential Council members. In this way, candidates will have a better idea of what they would have to do if elected. Nevertheless, we believe that since ISPRS is primarily a scientific society, it should be emphasized that besides the skill set required for the individual positions, a general affinity to science and development is needed for all positions.

3. We believe that the flexibility to pursue different paths within Council instead of the current rather inflexible single path from Congress Director to Secretary General, President and 1st Vice President with a total length of 16 years, as was the blue print for continuity in the past 40 or so years, will make serving on Council more attractive to potential candidates. It will appeal in particular to those who can serve on Council for a limited amount of time only. In the current structure, ISPRS loses out on a number of candidates who would do the society good; we hope that the changes will bring about more possibilities for Council members to serve for one or two Congress periods and still have an impact on the society.

4. Finally, we would like to point to what we see as the only weak aspect of the proposal: we believe that all positions on Council should be subject to election. The introduction of a President Elect who would be elected for a period of eight years (four years as President Elect, followed by an automatic appointment as President for another four years) does carry a certain unnecessary risk. We therefore advise not to introduce an automatic appointment to the position of president and to replace it by an election process. As a consequence, the term “President Elect” would need to be changed also.

We are looking forward to further information about this subject in preparation of the Nice Congress and discussions in the meeting of the General Assembly in June 2020. We believe that the suggested schedule for introducing these changes is ambitious but doable. As we are sure you are aware, it will need to be carefully managed both, prior to and also during the Nice Congress.

Thank you and all the best with working out the details of the restructuring process.

Uwe Soergel, Vice President DGPF

Professor and Head, Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart

Comment by SFDP Czech rep. Vach |

Council restructuring as it is proposed seems to bring a big change. The argument concerning the fact to attract more people is weakened by possibilities to have two terms for Secretary General and Treasurer (with a changed name to Vice President Finance). The continuity which is highlighted by this proposal can be solved (and we believe it has already been used) by a close cooperation between the past and newly elected Council Members and can be also confirmed in a deeper detail in Bylaws. Qualifications for individual Council members mentioned in the document will be uneasy to be judged by GA. We believe that the Council works as a unit of scientists helping each other if needed; we are concerned that this change can deteriorate the situation.
We recommend changing the financial support for Commission Presidents and Commission Vice Presidents. We recommend ISPRS to pay their travel expenses and fees for Joint Meetings, Symposia and Congress. It will allow to involve scientists with limited financial sources to become ISPRS scientific leaders.

Opinion of SFDP Czech Republic
Karel Vach

Comment by Orhan ALTAN |

Dear Council members,
I did not want to play a Ping-Pong game but as requested I am replying…
Unfortunately, the answer is only a repetition what was written on the structuring statement and it dis not convince me at all;
As said before there are several urgent items which needs an attention of the Management Team of ISPRS,
Let me shortly add some more to my views,
1. The publication policy of ISPRS Journals need an urgent attention as in the world scientific publication policy is changing;
“With Elsevier cutting off access to its licensed content products at dozens if not hundreds of German and Swedish universities as a result of contract lapses, “
Please read;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/bold-open-access-push-germany-could-change-future-academic-publishing
2. ISPRS has spent a lot of financial resources to the Scientific Projects for 6 years, I cannot see an evaluation based on published scientific papers and other ideas resulted from them
Just a very few and if you look for you may find even more,
With my regards
ORHAN ALTAN

Comment by John Trinder |

1. The current version of Council is defined in the Statute XI. Statute XX states (inter alia):

(b) Amendments may be formulated by the Council or a committee appointed by the Council. In such a case there shall be no necessity for supporting these amendments by an Ordinary Member.
(c) The Secretary General shall inform all Ordinary Members on the proposed amendments at least six months prior to the date fixed for the meeting of the General Assembly at which they are to be considered.

I believe the above section requires the amendment to descriptions of Council positions to be submitted to a meeting of the General Assembly. It is not possible to approved the suggested changes to the Statutes by electronic vote and they must be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration. In addition the reasons for the rush to have these changes introduced by 2020 has not been provided.

2. The principles used for the selection of members to Council in the past have been primarily their expertise and reputation in the sciences of ISPRS. I not think that the proposal for the new structure of Council will not satisfy these fundamental principles. The requirements for: ‘Management and communication’ by the Secretary General; ‘Financial expertise and Legal expertise’ on the part of the Vice President Finance; and ‘Management and Communication Industry’ expertise on the part of the Congress Director; suggest that these 3 roles can be filled by managers or ‘bean counters’ who have no knowledge of our fields. This has never been the intention of the Statutes and Bylaws and would potentially lead to a serious loss of scientific expertise in the ISPRS Council. The consequences could also be that the Society could lose control of its administrative and communication activities which would be run by the appointed managers. As well, only 3 people would be managing and advising on the Society’s scientific activities which would lead to a significant deterioration in international representation in the Society in Council that has existed for 108 years. The advantage of the current structure of Council is that there are 6 people to advise on scientific issues from a wide range of regions. In the past, assistants have been employed to provide management, communications and financial management support for the Council but the Council positions are filled by high profile scientists. This process should be continued.

3. Council has always been selected by the General Assembly from candidates presented by the Ordinary Members. These candidates are prepared to give freely of their time because they are prepared to work for the Society and also see the benefits of working with other professionals with like interests. Of course there is no remuneration for these positions. However, if candidates are selected purely based for ‘Management and communication’ to represent the function of the Secretary General; ‘Financial expertise and Legal expertise’ on the part of the Vice President Finance; and ‘Management and Communication Industry’ on behalf of the Congress Director, it is not clear who would be prepared to do these tasks without receiving remuneration, since there would be no professional benefit and they would also have to support the activities from their own resources, since I believe there are intended to be no funding for these positions. Therefore, I believe this proposal is unworkable and undesirable from a scientific perspective. If the GA agrees with this proposal and subsequently seeks applicants for the three unattractive positions, the GA could well be saddled with some or all of three positions without nominations, that could only be filled by employing part-time staff to undertake these roles which would be a significant cost to the Society.

4. I agree that a role termed ‘President Elect’ could be appropriate if it were not fulfilled by the Secretary General. However, I believe the arrangements in ISPRS in which the Secretary General and President Elect are the same has proved to be very successful in the past. The SG position exposes the incumbent to the major operations of ISPRS for a 4 year period, so that he/she is familiar with the scientific and international relations of ISPRS in preparation for becoming President. A President Elect would not be exposed to these same depth of knowledge that are gained by the SG under the current arrangements. Therefore the I do not believe the suggested changes are necessary.
5. Generally I agree with limiting a Council member to 3 terms but there may be occasions when longer terms could be allowed. I don’t think this should be rigidly set.
John Trinder
Honorary Member

Comment by Abdalla Alobeid |

The suggested structure is very good, the changes are very important stimulus. Congratulations. I wish ISPRS more success

Comment by LAWRENCE W FRITZ |

Dear Colleagues,
As past President of ISPRS, I am always interested in enhancing the governance activities of our Society. The ISPRS Council is the Society’s Executive and its six officers are entrusted with fulfilling all tasks necessary to keep the Society vibrant in all aspects – Scientific, Technologic, International Relations – and especially “…the management of Society affairs…” In fulfilling its tasks, Council must be attentive to changes that affect the Society’s role and its activities. In doing so the Council should be forever attentive to maintaining the structure and viability of the Society.
Admittedly, S&T change is much more rapid these days and requires dynamic ISPRS leadership to manage its affairs. However, the management of International Relations and social affairs relies on the wisdom of leaders and their management skills through the use of time-proven structures established and inscribed in constitutional precepts, i.e. Statutes and Bylaws. ISPRS has always been fortunate in applying the stability of its executive structure while appropriately adapting its S&T structure to the profound changes in S&T activities and by forming its Committee structure for expanding International Relations. In doing so, ISPRS should be careful to ensure that structural changes are based on proven needs and not on perceived convenience. Therefore with due respect, but quite frankly, I feel the proposal on the table now is not appropriate and will not serve the best interests of the Society.
I agree that the tasks of individual Council members will often change to adapt to needs of the present time. But I see no value in expanding the number of Council members or trying to specialize their discipline or skill set. Past Councils have adjusted quite well to the strengths (and weaknesses) of its members. Council membership is an honor based on a positive competitive democratic election by the General Assembly. We must remember that Council members are volunteers who are serving ISPRS in addition to their full time vocations. Council is designed for its members to perform as a team! We should not try to pigeon-hole them into certain skill sets. They have been nominated by their Ordinary Member because of their proven scientific/technologic leadership in their professional career plus their willingness to share their management skills for the betterment of ISPRS (altruism and humility).
In recent decades the ISPRS Council has convened formal Strategic Planning Meetings. All of the aspects posed in the Council Restructuring proposal at hand have been considered and debated. Sure some of the issues raised are valid and difficult to address by current Council. However, restructuring the ISPRS Executive is not the solution. A restructuring as drastically proposed requires major changes in the Statutes & Bylaws. Past Councils have labored long and hard to make ISPRS an internationally recognized legal entity. Statutes define the fabric of an entity and to change them requires filing them with regulatory authorities and the attendant costs thereof. Whereas Bylaws define the operations of an entity and thus changes as such do not need regulatory filing. Therefore change the tasks but not the structure.
Furthermore, the Council Treasurer and Secretary General positions should not be denigrated by trying to cubby-hole their tasks into clerical positions. In recent years it became commonplace to sub-contract out the fiscal aspects of Treasurer’s duties even though the Society had no significant change in dues structure or expenditures from many previous decades. This is fine if the Treasurer’s host Ordinary Member wishes to pay the added expense. But clearly this practice had been proven in past years to be unnecessary. We could say likewise for sub-contracting the clerical duties of the Secretary General and/or Congress Director. But again the tasks have not changed significantly. (In fact, much of the Congress has been subcontracted. But the cost to do so has been borne by the hosting Ordinary Member.) If the tasks are too onerous or denigrating then ISPRS should first consider purchasing a Headquarters and hiring a staff for secretarial services, editorial and fiscal duties, meetings management, etc. To do so would easily treble or quadruple the ISPRS Member fees and the Headquarters could perform as a bureaucratic institute which in my mind seldom serves its constituents. I do not see this as viable yet.
The proposal for selection of Council members based on Tasks and Skill Sets and the accompanying rationale gives one the sense that recent Council may not be performing as a team. I hope this is not the issue. Without further belaboring the readers of this commentary, I will address some of the specifics outlined in the proposal.
Proposed rules for selection of Council members:
Six Council members are quite sufficient to manage ISPRS. Additional positions just add more expense for ISPRS. Current terms limits are de facto implicit and those that could serve more than one term are few. Almost all Council members have previously demonstrated their skills through their active service in ISPRS Commissions & Working Groups. ISPRS has benefitted from all those that have served more than three terms.
It is unwise to allow an election of someone for eight years (President Elect through President) without prior Council experience or prior demonstration of their worthiness.
Geospatial Week:
Modern times have bought professional meeting organizers to produce venue and meeting arrangements. ISPRS can readily establish ground rules for adherence by these organizers and for those Ordinary members wishing to host GW. ISPRS should not have to educate either of them if proper guidelines are issued.

President Elect:
As stated above there is no compelling need for this position, but creating it can certainly have negative consequences – such as making an 8 year mistake. The GA and Statutes already limit terms of Council. There is no shortage of ‘fresh ideas’ in ISPRS. That is, the proposal is misstating a need that should be articulated clearly and then addressed by Council, IPAC, ISAC and Editors, and in discussion with ‘Sister Societies’.

3 Term Limitation:
Ditto on fresh ideas and term limits! Please clarify, as there must be an underlying current unstated Council issue to prompt this proposal. Council is an Executive body to manage and coordinate. The Commissions & WGs are the adapters to address new developments and S&T change.

Secretary General/President skills:
Let us not try to cubby-hole skill sets of individual Council members. Council is designed to operate as a single body that shares and cooperates willingly with a common mission. When one tries to put individuals in boxes the common unity is lost to the detriment of our Society.

Treasurer:
The Financial Commission should be tasked to investigate and support the Treasurer with advice to Council on the best way to smoothly transition ISPRS banking issues between terms of office. The title Treasurer conveys the meaning of a trusted caretaker of the Society's funds. This title allows for an S&T individual to have a positive reason to their everyday employer for their voluntary service to ISPRS. VP Finance conveys the meaning of a bean-counter and is more appropriate for a company.

Multi-terms:
All Council members already have the opportunity to serve more than one term as President or Secretary General.

Enough said! Thank you for the open opportunity to comment.

Best regards,
Lawrence Fritz
Honorary Member & 1996-2000 President

Comment by Christian Heipke |

Dear Orhan,

thank you very much for the answer to the proposal on “Restructuring of Council” you sent in the middle of December. It goes without saying that such answers are very valuable as they give us feedback of what the ISPRS Community thinks about Council activities. And obviously, a reply from a Honorary Member and former ISPRS President is even more valuable, as you – having spent a long time of your professional career working for the society - are one of the persons who knows ISPRS the best on a worldwide scale.

In this message, we would like to comment your points in the name of Council in some detail and to try to make more clear a few points, which were perhaps not explained in much detail in the restructuring suggestion document. In this way we hope to overcome potential misunderstandings and to convince you that while the process we have started is certainly a difficult one, it also has a lot going for it.
1. I want to start with your comment about the 2010 Strategic Plan. Compiling this plan was a great achievement, and you are of course right, that the Plan does not mention anything about restructuring the Council. However, the plan was prepared some 10 years ago, and much has changed in the last 10 years – from globalisation and digitisation to an increased awareness of environmental issues, and, more recently, a somewhat different political climate. Thus, we believe that while the Strategic Plan was very valuable, timely and adequate in 2010, it should not be seen as a document which should rule out any non-mentioned activity 10 years later. Let us also recall that the 2010 Strategic Plan came 10 years after a similar document prepared by Larry Fritz in 2000.
2. You also mention that changes such as the one suggested should be widely discussed in the whole society before being adopted. We share this opinion, and this is what we strive to do. This is why we have started the discussion at this point in time. In October 2018 we have addressed all institutional ISPRS Members (Ordinary, Associate, Regional, Sustaining), all Honorary Members, Fellows, TIF Trustees, ISAC, IPAC and IIAC Chairs, the Regional Representatives, the TCPs and Vice-TCPS and the Editors-in-Chief of our journals, asking for feedback by Jan. 31, 2019. Also, we have opened the blog (as we did four years ago when discussing the new commission structure). In the meantime, we have received numerous answers, most of them in favour of the suggestion, but some asking additional questions or suggesting alternative possibilities. We also received answers from ISAC and in the meantime have received permission to publish these answers; this will happen shortly. We will continue our liaison with the ISPRS community to give everybody the possibility to share his/her view in good time prior to the next General Assembly, so that when a decision about the restructuring suggestion is taken, it will be an informed decision.
3. Another point you raise is the compliance to the ISPRS Statutes. You write that “... the proposed changes must be presented as changes to the Statues according to Statute XX”. We fully agree and this is exactly what we plan to do. Please note that in the attached letter Council does say that the General Assembly in Nice will have to decide about the suggestion. After receiving this letter, one of the ISPRS Fellows commented that things might become easier using a postal vote. It is of course true, that a postal vote prior to the Nice Congress would simplify things, but Council was not sure whether such a postal vote complies to the statutes. That is why we had then asked this very question to the last three ISPRS presidents, who are not part of Council anymore: Ian Dowman, John Trinder and yourself. The answer of the three of you has confirmed Council’s view that a decision about restructuring should be taken at the General Assembly in Nice, and not in a postal vote prior to the General Assembly – this is what we plan to do.
You also say that, according to the ISPRS statutes, a change of the statutes agreed upon in 2020 can only become effective as of 2024. We are of the opinion that once a change of statutes has been accepted by the General Assembly, it becomes effective immediately. Thus, we believe that a procedure where we first vote on the restructuring (e.g. in the first General Assembly in Nice) and only afterwards decide about the nominations for Council (e.g. in the second General Assembly) is a valid procedure in terms of our statutes. Therefore, we argue that the changes could indeed become effective “for the next Congress term” (as you have written), i.e. the term 2020-2024. As mentioned in the attached letter, in this case nominations for Council positions would need to be made for both options, of course (the old and the new council structure), but this can be done.
4. Then, you suggest to thoroughly evaluate the effects of the changes made in Prague, namely the new commission structure. We fully agree with you that such an evaluation is necessary. What we can see at the moment is that the five symposia held during 2018 seem to have been rather successful, both scientifically and as far as the number of participants is concerned (the Com. I Symposium was the smallest one and had about 170 participants, the other four symposia all had numbers of 300 and above). However, we believe that:
a. We need a full inter-congress period for an evaluation of the new commission structure, thus it should be undertaken by the 2020-2024 Council.
b. The changes of the commissions and in Council are rather independent of each other. Therefore, we don’t have to wait with restructuring Council until a report about the commission restructuring is available.
5. You also address the issue of management structure in more general terms. There are of course different models, and in the past different societies have chosen different strategies in this respect. As you know ISPRS basically has two different kinds of Ordinary Members: scientific societies and mapping agencies. What we have in mind is to become more flexible with respect to these two groups and offer both of them possibilities to serve on Council. As you have observed, the suggestion amounts to a certain separation of tasks within Council. We see this as an advantage, as in this way, individuals with different skills and interests can work together, and the resulting team may be even stronger.

Finally, you mention other activities (financial matters, student consortium) which – if we understand correctly – Council should pay more attention to. Let us just briefly mention that as far as financial matters are concerned, we have reached a somewhat more stable solution (although not an ideal one), and we have spent considerable efforts to bring back members in arrears. We can report some success, as we have found solutions members as different as Canada, Spain, Argentina, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, CRTEAN, to mention just two rather prominent ones. As for the Student Consortium, we are currently working on new statutes together with the SC which takes into account the suggestion you have made. You may also be pleased to know the SC has significantly expanded its activities and has started summer school series also in South America and in Africa.

In summary, while ISPRS certainly has a very good management structure, it can still be improved and adapted to new challenges. This is what we have in mind, and we believe that the suggested new Council structure will reach this goal. We actually feel these changes are very important and urgent, the rationale is given in the attached letter. Let us still recall that the main motivation to change the Council structure are:
- to enable Ordinary Members without a stable ISPRS community to be able to organise major ISPRS events and to thus grow ISPRS in these areas.
- to make Council positions more attractive to both, scientists and administrators from our Ordinary Members by offering more and different opportunities for them to serve the society.
We believe the current suggestion can achieve these goals without compromising the already excellent management structure of ISPRS. On the contrary, if the changes are adopted this management structure will become even stronger.

Best greetings from all of Council and looking forward to your response,
Yours, Christian (for ISPRS Council)

Comment by Jimoh Sheriff Oluwagbenga |

This is a very welcome development and I'm very happy the changes is coming at this time which is obviously the right time.
The introduction of a President Elect is wonderful and I’m in total support of this development.
Well, I'm of the opinion that instead of having an individual to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms, it should be limited to two terms in order to encourage other members with excellent capabilities that are willing to serve.

Comment by Orhan ALTAN |

Part I In General
Dear Colleagues and ISPRS Friends:
I need to say that, having served many years in the Council in different positions for 16 years and representing the Society in many international meetings and groups (eg UN, UNOOSA and UNCOPUOS, ICSU GeoUnions, JBGIS and many others) and worked as Executive Board Member in International Council of Science (ICSU) for 7 years, I was very much surprised to see this important proposal for changes to the ISPRS Statutes and Bylaws displayed on the ISPRS web site.
Reasons are;
1 There was no mention of this “Restructuring of the Council” in the Strategic Plan which was adopted at the General Assembly in 2010 and prepared by a “Bottom Up Strategy”. That Plan was achieved following a survey amongst people active in ISPRS and a few from other cognate organizations, and after performing a SWOT analysis of the results. This process was facilitated by Kass Green, former president of ASPRS, who had carried out similar exercises with ASPRS and other organizations. http://www.isprs.org/documents/centenary/ISPRS_Strategic_Plan_Fnl.pdf
2. Such a serious change with urgent necessity should be discussed on many platforms. It needs proper preparation time with a consensus of different stakeholders. The proposed way forward carries no suitably discussed platforms, only a blog and some email requests.
3. Another very important matter is when proposed changes are discussed in one General Assembly, these changes will be effective for the next Council term, which means they should be prepared for nominations for the Council positions in 4 years’ time, hence in 2024. The proposed approach should be investigated with respect to the conditions prescribed in the current Statutes. My personnel view is that it contradicts the Statutes, and hence the proposed changes must be presented as changes to the Statutes according to Statute XX.
4. My very personnel view on this matter is:
a. This “Top Down” approach could harm the Society for the long term,
b. As I have mentioned above, I have cooperated with many international organizations, including several unions, and ISPRS has always been recognized for its management structure.
5. We have made a significant change in the Technical Commissions Structure and the evaluation of the effects of this change should be undertaken in the first instance.

Management Structure of Proposed Council,
In this proposal, the management of the Council will be partly in the hands of persons with scientific background and persons with management and financial background, about half and half. ISPRS was and still is a scientific Society management 108 years by scientists successfully. This hybrid type of management has been practiced by some Science Academies in the world but the merger into a single body had the reason that Science needed support to transform scientific results to decisions and therefore it has been a practice to have policy makers and private industry representatives in their management bodies. The latest merger of ICSU and ISSC into a single body ISC (International Science Council) solved this problem by having only Scientists on his Governing Board but it also established an advisory committee called Forum of Patrons which will consist of a number of outstanding individuals from different sectors, who will be appointed by the Governing Board and will help the Council with advice, name recognition and credibility within and beyond the scientific world. We have had this type management for many decades (as ISAC and IPAC) which has worked very well.
I will leave the conclusion after all to the wisdom of the General Assembly which I hope will discuss all of the details and not have the results of a Postal Vote impose on it.
There are many other urgent matters which should be addressed in the near future rather than have the stability a well-functioning organization affected by a rushed vote to change the Council’s structure.

Part 2 Technical Commissions
The rational for changes in the Technical Commissions Structure were
1. ISPRS has too many meetings
2. Overlap between the commission activities etc…
Criticisms for these changes were
1. We will have less presence from different parts of the world in comparison with 8 Technical Commissions (even with Vice President and Geospatial Week we cannot achieve a good presence) …
2. Too many Working Groups in a big Technical commission will be unmanageable.

The results of the Restructuring need to be evaluated quantitively and qualitatively. Thus, we need to start to discuss the ToRs of the Technical Commissions in view of;
1. the evaluation results mentioned above,
2. the changes in the international political and scientific area of Science Management as the vision of a scientific Union or Council is “to advance science as a global public good.”
3. The Unions seek “Scientific Support for Governments and Stakeholders to enable the SDGs to be achieved”

Part 3 Financial Matters

During recent years the finances and management of transactions of ISPRS from a bank based in Switzerland have become a burden. As a Member and later Chair of the Finance Commission of ICSU for 7 years I could observe how the assets of a scientific body and transactions with more than 120 National and 30 international Unions worldwide could effectively be handled. My urgent advice is that a permanent solution to this problem should be found by considering different examples before it becomes an acute problem.

Part 4 Student Consortium

In the beginning of the 2000 ISPRS was the first Society among many Unions who implemented the Student Consortium in order to have a better interaction with young generations. Many Unions have implemented the same model which have been named Student Consortium, Student Chapters etc. However, in recent years there is a tendency to divide this group in 2 parts namely; Students and Early Career Scientists. ISPRS should adopt its policy accordingly

Comment by Norbert Pfeifer |

Thank you for taking up this topic. I agree to the "Rationale for Change". The suggested structure is good, but I allow myself to add one thought.

Is it necessary to have the "Vice President"?

The set of Vice President tasks is: Statutes and bylaws, Awards, Publication policy, Student Consortium contact. I know Awards are a notable amount of work, especially before the congress, but apart from that this set of tasks does not seem very big. Would it be an option to distribute those tasks to the President (strategic elements) and the General Secretary (e.g. Awards)?

Comment by Dierk Hobbie |

Congratulation, just perfect !

Comment by Orhan ALTAN |

This is a very important and serious development…We should be very careful when we are doing such a big change…I will send my thoughts on this before the deadline…