The History of IEEE-USA 1973-2010.
The History of IEEE-USA 1973-2010
IEEE established a special organization to see to the professional needs of its members in the United States in 1973. It was known as the IEEE United States Activities Commitee (USAC) in 1973 and the IEEE United States Activites Board (USAB) from 1973-1997. Since 1998, following a restructuring that gave it more autonomy, including a president elected by all IEEE members in the United States, the organization has been known as IEEE-USA.
What folllows on this page is a history of the first ten years of IEEE's USAB.
The First Ten Years: 1973-1983
In its first full year of operation, the United States Activities Committee, predecessor organization of the United States Activities Board, had "achieved a measure of success not anticipated," according to its first chairman, Harold S. Goldberg, in a report on USAC development in November 1973.
Programs were underway to improve employment practices, with special emphasis on ethical matters, patent agreements, and the development of guidelines to professional employment. Improvements in manpower planning efforts were sought through detailed study, assessment and reporting. Accurate employment data were being gathered through surveys of members' education, experience, salaries, and fringe benefits. Cooperative efforts with industry and universities were made to enhance career development, including the improvement of professional opportunities for women engineers. Government relations were established through monitoring legislation of concern to the profession, providing technical expertise to policy-makers, and establishing Congressional Fellowships. Data were being gathered from IEEE Societies to improve technology forecasting and explore the social implications of technology. In short, an array of activities were in progress aimed at improving the professional standing of members, and at establishing an IEEE presence on the Washington scene.
In effect, the foundation was built for many professional efforts that continue to the present day, with successive levels of achievement built one on top of another.
Breaking New Ground
"Concern with increased effectiveness in meeting member needs has pervaded discussions among the officers and other members of the Board of Directors throughout the year," according to a 1971 report by James H. Mulligan, then serving as IEEE President. Although a proposed constitutional amendment failed that year to win the two-thirds majority required for passage, "the substantial interest on the part of members in the economic issues affecting the profession has been recognized by the Institute leadership for some time," Dr. Mulligan stated. Concern for the engineering employment outlook and the future growth of the electrical and electronics industries at the time triggered an action by the Board at its August 1971 meeting. It authorized the inclusion in the 1972 budget of a Regional Member Service Experiment Fund and the initiation of career development activities within the Educational Activities Board. The Board of Directors also requested proposals from the Regional Directors for pilot projects to be conducted on a regional basis that would be directed to improved satisfaction of member needs. The projects would be coordinated by an ad hoc professional activities committee. The Regional Directors responded, and a number of members assistance projects were carried out regionally.
Further, at its November 1971 meeting, the Board requested the Directors of Region 1 through 6 to act as a group in recommending to the Board actions that would meet member needs in "professionalism." The Board also approved in principle the assessment of Regional dues to finance programs and requested detailed proposals for implementation. Moreover, the Board authorized the establishment of an institute office in Washington, D.C.
The Washington Office was established to facilitate the exchange of information between IEEE members and the Congress and Executive agencies of government. "It should be possible," Dr. Mulligan stated in his report, "to provide a systematic process by which policy-makers are adequately informed of the technical resources of the Institute, and to assure that IEEE members are adequately informed of the myriad actions of the U.S. government that may affect the electrical engineering profession."
Initially, the Washington Office was headed by Ralph L. Clark, an IEEE Fellow whose career for the most part had been in government service in the Washington area.
Although the Board was greatly concerned and took those actions possible within the scope of the IEEE Constitution as written in 1971, it had recommended against passage of the specific constitutional amendment that had failed earlier that year. The 1971 petition had proposed that the primary purpose of the Institute become "to promote the economic well-being of the membership." It would have put the scientific and educational purpose secondary, and it would also have limited voting and leadership offices to members in the United States. These changes passed by only a narrow margin within the United States and failed by a wide margin outside of the United States.
Among its efforts to help members, the Board had asked William O. Fleckenstein to chair an ad hoc committee to assess economic conditions of the electrical, electronics, and related industries in the United States. The committee's study and report, released in 1971, produced "valuable information on the demand for engineers, government spending, and industry growth," according to Dr. Mulligan. It predicted that the greatest growth would be in high-technology industries.
In addition, the Technical Activities Board was asked to recommend specific action programs on socio-technological issues. A TAB committee had prepared as a basis a report entitled, "Applications of Electrotechnology to Social Problems." Meanwhile, IEEE Vice President Harold Chestnut obtained Federal funding for an IEEE project to forecast technology. In a further report describing TAB's efforts on technology forecasting and assessment, Edward A. Wolff, then TAB vice chairman, wrote: "The IEEE, because of its diversity, has a tendency to drift along on the technological sea without always having a clear idea of where it has been, where it is going, what it will find on the distance shores, what course it should steer, and how best to use its limited resources. At the same time, a large portion of society is becoming disenchanted with science and technology. IEEE and its members cannot ignore this challenge."
While the Board recognized the need for further information from members, particularly on the priority to be given to non-technical programs, President Mulligan concluded his report by emphasizing the intense interest and desire on the part of the Board to institute those new activities and to make changes in the present operations of IEEE that respond appropriately to the challenge of our times."
Blueprint for Change
Throughout IEEE's history, voices had been raised to urge that the programs of the Institute be broadened to enhance the standing of its members over and above the acknowledged reputation conferred by its technical activities. However, "with the onset in the late 1960s of heavy unemployment among members, primarily those in the United States, attention was focused on the need for IEEE to assume an expanded role," according to a special report in the June 1972 issue of SPECTRUM by Donald G. Fink, then IEEE's Executive Director.
While the new "professional" activities were viewed as significant and useful, they were limited by the authorities then granted by IEEEs Constitution to an "insubstantial fraction of the Institute efforts and resources." The report, entitled "Blueprint for Change," pointed out that the Constitution must be amended, in order to proceed with "substantial steps."
During a special meeting, called in March 1972, the Board of Directors had proposed such an amendment, in order to include among the Institute's purposes one termed:
"professional, directed toward the advancement of the members of the professions it serves; means to this end include, but are not limited to, the conduct and publication of surveys and reports on matters of professional concern to the members of such professions, collaboration with public bodies and with other societies for the benefit of the engineering professions as a whole, and the establishment of standards of qualification and ethical conduct. The IEEE shall not engage in collective bargaining on such matters as salaries, wages, benefits, and working conditions, customarily dealt with by labor unions. The IEEE shall strive to enhance the quality of life for all people throughout the world through the construction application of technology in its fields of competence. It shall endeavor to promote understanding of the influence of such technology on the public welfare"
The proposed change was based in part on the result of a survey of all members in the United States, where members voted two to one in favor of becoming more active in political and economic matters of concern to the profession. The survey was an attempt by the Board to find a more definitive consensus by examining the issues in detail. A closer analysis of the voting on the earlier failed amendments which were different from those being proposed and recommended for passage by the Board in 1972 seemed to indicate member support for professional activities in the United States. The questionnaire had been limited geographically because action on the major issues at stake would be limited in other countries by their respective laws and customs.
An overwhelming 86.8 percent of voters favored the new amendments. In a special report in SPECTRUM, in December 1972, John M. Kinn told members that "new dimensions" would be added to an already important function of IEEE. Mr. Kinn, then Director of Educational Services, would later become Staff Director of Professional Services and relocated to the newly established Washington Office. "IEEE is now able to advocate certain kinds of legislation", he said, "and enter into more direct phases of employment action, including referral and placement services, if needed; develop a more effective public relations program; establish procedures with respect to equitable employment practices and remuneration; and seek means by which our members can make social and political contributions to the well-being of society. All of these endeavors can and will be done by the Institute without compromising its ability to maintain and enhance its reputation for technical excellence."
In his final report to the membership as 1972 President, Robert H. Tanner assured members that "the Institute will continue to give as much attention as ever to the program on which its world renown so securely rests the generation, collection, and dissemination of technical material. . .but the greater flexibility that our amended Constitution provides will enable IEEE to serve all its members better than ever before."
In a 1972 SPECTRUM editorial, Donald Christiansen commented on his observation of dual concerns within the "new professionalism," both for employment issues and for national policy. "One would be justified in concluding," he remarked, "that the altruistic and selfish motives of engineers are neither unrelated nor are they invariably at odds with one another. The intrinsic reward gained through contributing to the improvement of our environment aside, there's no reason to suspect that positive' applications of technology would lead to renewed respect for engineers, and to more jobs, higher pay, and better fringe benefits."
Even while 1973, USAC's first full year, saw a number of key programs firmly established, some operational difficulties were noted in Mr. Goldberg's report. By 1974, USAC "concentrated its efforts in two salient areas: organizational structure of the USAC, and professional programs of benefit to the membership," according to a report by Dr. Leo Young, then serving as its chairman. How best to deliver the new services within the Institute framework, and how best to organize and implement programs within USAC toward achievement of professional goals, were underlying questions. Organizational initiatives begun in 1973 continued into 1974, with resultant changes effected in 1976.
During this period, professional programs were organized within divisions, similar to the Council divisions that exist today. In addition, administrative committees were set up. A finance committee developed cost evaluation procedures for all USAC-funded activities. The program planning committee developed proposal evaluation procedures to optimize short-and long-range objectives. A bylaws committee recommended changes to the Board of Directors to facilitate professional operations.
Professional projects proceeded apace. Under manpower planning, a series of publications on career outlooks, career profiles, and long-range forecasting of supply and demand began to be released. In employment practices, a revised IEEE Code of Ethics was approved and widely promoted. An analysis and recommendations were made concerning an ethics case involving the dismissal of three engineers who had adhered to the IEEE Code by warning their employer of design faults that could prove hazardous to public safety.
IEEE's Salary Survey was updated and sold to nearly 300 industrial companies as an aid in engineering personnel administration. Two Congressional Fellowships were awarded in 1974 and one in 1975. A reception for Members of Congress was sponsored by IEEE, and publications about Congress and legislation of interest to the profession were made available to IEEE members. Intersociety cooperation on pension issues and cooperation of industry leaders were vigorously pursued, as was work with Congress toward passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which authorized the establishment of Individual Retirement Accounts for workers not covered by employer-sponsored pension plans. Local self-help projects were under way to help the unemployed.
An IEEE professional newsletter was published. Press conferences were sponsored in cooperation with the IEEE Public Relations Department, and greater media coverage of IEEE conferences was sought. Experimental programs were in effect to help state government with environmental problems and city government to utilize new technologies in resolving the operational problems associated with large urban centers. Efforts at technology forecasting continued.
Responding to the energy crises, an energy committee was formed of representatives of each IEEE Society that continues today to develop position papers and testify on energy issues. The participation of the United States in international standards development was supported by USAC in cooperation with the standard committee. Professional activities committees were being formed in the Sections and Regions. Meetings were being held on professional topics, and a handbook for coordination of these activities was published.
"These programs have attracted the attention of many observers in other engineering disciplines and in industry," noted Donald G. Fink in a 1974 report describing the underlying historical and policy considerations of IEEE's professional programs. The report entitled "IEEE's Professional Programs in the United States," also noted that these programs were carried forward by USAC, composed of nine members of the IEEE Board of Directors, a secretary and a treasurer, and thirty subsidiary committees and legal counsel. "The emergence of the energy crisis with rising demand for reliable and authoritative technical testimony to guide legislative actions at national and state levels, is evidence that IEEE's decision to involve itself in matters of socio-technical concern was indeed timely," he observed.
"The IEEE Washington Office has become recognized, with other similar offices of the major scientific and engineering societies in the Capital, as a major private-sector resource of the Federal government." Mr. Fink reported activities at that time included not only liaison with the Congress, but work with the National Science Foundation, Atomic Energy Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Power Commission, and the Office of Technology Assessment.
"It is apparent that IEEE," he wrote, "in the professional area, has a double obligation to maintain close contact with government and legislatures: to gain acceptance of the valid claims of the engineering professions to the economic and societal support of the government on the one hand, and on the other to supply needed expertise and sound judgement on matters of public policy and decision-making in areas dependent on technology for their resolution."
In conclusion, Mr. Fink commented that a comparison of the projects described in his report with the plans projected in 1972 showed that "a majority of the programs then envisaged have in fact taken root, and a substantial record of accomplishment is being posed. . . it thus appears that the belief expressed by the Board of Directors in 1972 that IEEE has the resources and talent required to proceed confidently along the new road' has been amply confirmed."
Beginning in 1975, USAC was established as a separate board of the Institute and renamed the Institute and renamed the United States Activities Board, with Harold S. Goldberg as its first Chairman and Vice President of Professional Activities. The Directors of Region 1 through 6, those in the United States, and three Division Directors were delegated to serve on USAB. The change put USAB on the same footing as the other major boards having responsibility for Technical Activities, Publications, Educational Activities, and Regional Activities. Other changes in structure, in the organization of programs, in more efficient delivery of services, and improved communications were made almost as changing times, differing emphases, and new accomplishments brought about changes in goals. A major USAB-initiated position on the seven professional needs of members was approved by the Board of Directors in 1975 and became the basis for the development of a wide ranging USAB program aimed at achieving professional goals.
The new Board's first "Program Plan," outlining USAB's program organization by basic goals, was submitted to the Board of Directors for approval as an outline of USAB activities during 1976. The plan listed specific tasks to be accomplished under five goals: financial and economic benefits for members, career conditions and opportunities, professional status, government relations and interfaces, and the communication of USAB aims, activities, and accomplishments. Each task was described, along with its objectives, strategies for attaining objectives, and results expected in the current year.
The Program was prepared by James H. Mulligan, the 1971 IEEE President, who had been elected to serve as Chairman of USAB and Vice President of Professional Activities in 1976.
Just as USAC activities had been funded by an additional dues assessment of members residing in the United States, USAB activities were also to be supported through assessment of members in Regions 1 through 6. Beginning in January 1976, in connection with a general dues increase, the Board of Directors increased the regional assessment supporting USAB from an initial $5 to $10 per year. In imposing this increase, the Board of Directors determined that a substantial expansion of USAB programs would be undertaken. The Program Plan was USAB's response to the Board.
USAB also published its first annual report in a SPECTRUM article entitled "How USAB Helped Members in 1976." Achievements that year included a number within IEEE, "in the extent to which USAB was able to transform itself into a mature operating body with a program plan, a staff, and a budget in place, . . . focused upon an ongoing program to carry out its constitutional charge . . ." according to the report.
The first national workshop on professional activities was sponsored by USAB in 1976. Local chairmen were invited to exchange information on current projects, recommended priorities for next year, hear updates on USAB projects and explore the local leaders' role in them, including local implementation, and expand the knowledge of others to act as resources for local, regional, and national projects.
At the time, employment assistance was still among the important priorities, having started as an intersociety effort in 1970-71. USAB information packets containing guidelines for job-hunting and resume-writing were mailed to hundreds of members. Regional surveys were conducted and provided supporting data for funding requests. Support was provided on a local basis to conduct job-hunter workshops and referral services.
New USAB-initiated policies were approved by the Board of Directors to authorize IEEE action in ethics cases, age discrimination matters, and patent issues. IEEE did, in fact, act that year in a New York State age discrimination case involving an IEEE member, in which a legal principle was established.
Toward improving career development, meetings were sponsored with industry managers to exchange ideas and seek ways of matching corporate and individual goals. A career assessment study was conducted to generate illustrative statistical profiles. A manpower report on the factors influencing career paths was released.
Through its Washington Office, IEEE's participation in national affairs grew. It was a year of convincing public policy-makers of the nature and true extent of problems, clarifying major issues, and devising ways to tackle them directly. USAB's successful support of the science and technology policy legislation, under which the Office of Science and Technology Policy was established in 1976, became an example of how IEEE could achieve meaningful results. Engineers and scientists became recognized as a national resource. As an election year, 1976 also provided the opportunity for testimony before both the Democratic and Republican National Platform Committees to urge greater utilization of engineers and scientists in the formulation of national policy. Two Congressional Fellows were selected to serve in Congress that year.
A series of legislative proposals was developed and aimed at building on the pension reforms embodied in the 1974 legislation that IEEE supported toward passage. Extension of Individual Retirement Accounts to professionals covered by employer pension plans was a principal thrust. Only one improvement in investment limits resulted that year, but a precedent was set.
Decreasing salaries and benefit losses of members working under government service contracts, which had resulted from periodic rebidding of contracts, was attacked on several fronts. Legislation was introduced to amend the Service Contract Act, and testimony was given before Congressional committees. Changes in government procurement regulations were sought, along with Department of Labor protection of pension and other benefits. Delays were won in the bidding process, giving more time to organize legislative efforts. However, despite extensive efforts continuing through 1977, a solution, in the form of a new legislation, was not to come about until 1978, during the USAB chairmanship of Bruno O. Weinschel.
Annual reports of succeeding years reveal determined efforts to become visible on the Washington scene, to expand relationships with both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, and to put IEEE in a position to influence public policy.
John J. Guarrera, the 1974 IEEE President who had been elected to serve as USAB Chairman and Vice President of Professional Activities in 1977, organized the first IEEE conference on technology policy, sponsored jointly by USAB and TAB. Evidence of IEEE's growing concerns in Washington, the conference drew 150 leaders to a two-day discussion of how the Institute could have more influence on the development of technology policy, and it attracted a number of Cabinet and Congressional leaders to address IEEE.
Armed with largely positive responses to such questions on the U.S. Member Opinion Survey taken in 1977, USAB and TAB representatives also explored how IEEE positions could best be developed and promulgated, and how best to call up IEEE experts quickly to respond to Congressional requests for information.
On developing IEEE activities to influence public policy, Dr. Guarrera remarked, "Pronouncement of a position doesn't alter anything." At the Technology Policy Conference, IEEE participants were told that they "must come to Washington and see the Congressmen, to be influential."
Providing technical advice to state governments through an intersociety legislative committee was already an operating program in a number of states. During the previous year, several western states developed such committees, and USAB began sponsoring expansion of the program to all state governments.
The Opinion Survey also gave USAB leaders a positive response to the question of establishing a Political Action Fund. The first proposal to establish a PAC was made to the Board of Directors in 1977.
Aggressive lobbying to amend the Service Contract Act continued through the year toward passage of an IEEE-drafted bill. Meetings with the Department of Labor and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy continued on this issue. USAB also used its influence with the appropriate government agencies to urge quick settlement of a dispute involving contract services at the Eastern Test Range, which resulted in saving hundreds of engineering jobs.
Despite extensive involvement with the service contract issue, USAB was not prevented from monitoring or promoting a number of other legislative proposals. An IEEE-drafted patent bill, which would protect the rights of individual, employed inventors, was also developed for introduction in the next session. A written statement of IEEE's concerns for R&D funding was provided to the Congressional committees considering extension of the Renegotiation Act, relating to Federal contracting. Progress was also made toward developing data files needed to monitor bills and committees more effectively, and to match IEEE membership by Congressional Districts and technical interests. The Congressional Fellows program continued with the selection of one fellow to serve in Congress during the year.
Another major thrust in 1977 was in resolving the issues concerning a recently modified IEEE policy on registration. Its specific meaning relative to implementation had created some confusion, both within and outside the Institute. A number of meetings were held, including one with industry leaders, and several publications describing the implications of universal registration, licensure, certification, and the industry exemption, were released. A USAB task force and an ad hoc committee of the Board of Directors were set up to review title and practice laws and to consider means of assuring effective standards and examination for licensing, as well as evaluating the impact of licensing.
Work on procedures to implement the IEEE Code of Ethics continued. In addition, a USAB committee reviewing existing member benefit programs and examining new ones was made a committee of the Board of Directors.
A national conference on "Discrimination or Utilization The Engineer at Mid-Career", was co-sponsored by the USAB Task Force on Age Discrimination and the National Science Foundation. Public attention was focused on the "myths and realities" of aging, shortcomings of existing legislation, policies of other countries, and means of overcoming and preventing age discrimination.
A second edition of the Guidelines to Professional Employment for Engineers and Scientists was approved by IEEE and 31 additional professional engineering societies participating on an intersociety committee. The recommendation for review and updating of the first edition, approved in 1973, was made by IEEE in 1976.
Two national and four regional professional activities workshops for local leaders and USAB members were held in 1977. More than 150 Sections had by then appointed chairmen to organize and implement professional programs. An updated professional activities guide was published. More than 60 speaking engagements at IEEE meetings were kept by USAB leaders. "Washington Focus," as a means of carrying additional professional news in The INSTITUTE, was initiated, as the first issue of USAB's own newsletter for leaders in professional activities, IMPACT, rolled off the press. USAB, in fact, initiated the actions taken to establish The INSTITUTE as a separate tabloid publication, no longer bound within the pages of SPECTRUM, and provided funding over a period of years to support the newspaper.
USAB also initiated the re-establishment of a fully funded Public Relations Department within IEEE and provided funds toward its development.
By 1978, USAB's communications on particular pieces of legislation had become well established through "Legislative Alerts" urging constituent action. On the pension issue alone, even though Alerts were limited to constituents of key Congressional committee members, nearly 100,000 were mailed over the more recent years of effort from 1978 on toward passage of the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, which extended IRAs to all employees.
There is no doubt that constituent pressure sought by USAB at crucial points in the legislative process, played a key role. An IEEE-drafted bill to allow mobile professionals to set up a form of individual retirement account was introduced in the House in 1978 Congressional co-sponsors were steadily gained, as well as support from a number of business and employee groups, in addition to the technical societies represented on the Engineers and Scientists Joint Committee on Pensions. The pension issue gained attention in the media, and USAB's Task Force debated Senate leaders on a nationally televised program aimed at creating greater public awareness of pension plans.
USAB efforts on another issue were also making headway. A major breakthrough in resolving problems of service contract engineers came on March 29, 1978, when the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued its Policy Letter No. 78.2, entitled, "Preventing Wage Busting' for Professionals: Procedures for Evaluating Contractor Proposals for Service Contracts." The Letter declared the policy of the Federal government that "all service employees, including professional employees...be fairly and properly compensated." The letter also warned that "instances of lowered compensation may be considered a lack of sound management judgement," in addition to indicating a "lack of understanding" of requirements.
When obstacles were mounting toward stiff passage of legislation to remedy the problem, and Congressional actions changed IEEE's original intent, an administrative solution provided immediate, though less perfect relief than legislation, for engineers caught up in this issue. In an open letter to members published in The INSTITUTE in September 1978 , USAB Chairman Bruno O. Weinschel stated that "IEEE intends to watch closely the agencies' enforcement" of the new policy. He urged members to help in this effort "by passing along information concerning solicitations and awards calling for professional services.
1978 was also a year of broadening USAB's involvement in technology-oriented public policy issues. Additional testimony, Congressional visits, and legislative monitoring were undertaken on bills affecting the long-term technological vitality of the United States, in addition to broadened activity with regulatory agencies on such issues. Joint sponsorship with TAB of existing and new committees was begun, stepping up IEEE involvement in energy, telecommunications, and research and development policy. A second conference on U.S. technology policy was jointly sponsored by USAB and TAB, on "Directions of U.S. R&D Policy." In addition to a wide range of distinguished speakers from both Congress and industry, the conference featured a series of workshops on energy, radiation, telecommunications, patents, and health care. Two Congressional Fellows were also selected to serve in 1978.
Workshops for local leaders in professional activities were sponsored by USAB throughout the year, and for the first time in USAB's history, they included representatives from the technical Societies and Divisions, comparable to the leadership structure in the Sections and Regions.
Another major USAB thrust culminated in the passage of procedures for enforcement of the IEEE Code of Ethics by the IEEE Board of Directors. At its February 1978 meeting, the Board approved a policy statement and bylaws establishing procedures not only for discipline of a member for unprofessional conduct, but also for support of a member placed in jeopardy with an employer for complying with principles of ethical conduct. This action by the Board placed IEEE in the forefront of organizations endorsing and encouraging adherence to professional standards of ethical conduct.
Since that time, IEEE has been regarded as a resource by many organizations developing and implementing ethics codes and procedures. IEEE later took a leading role in the development of a uniform code of ethics for member societies of the American Association of Engineering Societies.
Work continued on a number of other professional projects, including career development through a joint EAB-USAB committee. With funding secured from the National Science Foundation in 1977, a survey of engineering college deans and EE department heads was carried out by IEEE in 1978 to determine the school's interest in professional topics as part of the engineering curriculum. Strong interest in ethics, professional identification, and political and economic factors was revealed, along with an interest in cooperating with IEEE to develop course materials.
A guide for members on age discrimination, including laws and regulations, major cases, and recommended actions, was published. New ground was also covered in patent rights, as the issue of Federal policy on inventors' rights under government-funded research projects came into focus. USAB supported efforts to return rights to contractors for development, and the task of seeking sponsorship of its bill on individual inventors' rights continued.
Windows on Washington
1979 became the most active year USAB had experienced up until that time in the legislative arena, with more than 30 oral or written statements presented to House and Senate committees. IEEE's voice was clearly heard on pension issues, energy policy, research and development, and technological innovation, as well as a proposal to establish a National Engineering Foundation. A third conference on U.S. Technology Policy was held in Washington, attracting more than 160 IEEE leaders. A dozen representatives of Congress and the Executive branch discussed how technological innovation could best be stimulated by public policy in general and by IEEE actions in particular.
During the conference, IEEE participants paid 97 visits to Congressional offices to express IEEE concerns. Remarking on the conference, Bruno O. Weinschel, re-elected to serve a second term as USAB Chairman, asserted IEEE's long-term, continuous obligation to involve itself in public policy. "We must see that technology improves the quality of our national life," he said. "What is good for the nation is going to be good for the U.S. members of IEEE . . . unless members get involved, the politicians are going to determine our future."
One of the issues contributing to the surge of activity in 1979 was energy, with an active committee developing positions, presenting testimony, sponsoring expert seminars, participation in technical seminars on resource development, and responding to Congressional inquiries in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. USAB developed plans for a conference to take place in January 1980 with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to examine "lessons learned" and recommend applications of advanced electrotechnology to nuclear power safety.
A milestone was reached in pension activity with the introduction in the Senate of a companion bill to IEEE's bill that was reintroduced in the House in 1979. Campaign efforts toward passage were stepped up through meetings with many Congressional leaders, as well as Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service officials, to overcome opposition.
The search for an investment firm to provide IEEE members with a group IRA, which had started several years before in anticipation of passage of the legislation, continued. In the course of the search, more than 50 companies had been approached.
Publicity was also given to the first ethics case to be brought before the IEEE Member Conduct Committee, created the year before with the approval of the implementation procedures resulting from the work of USAB's ethics task force. The Member Conduct Committee concluded that the IEEE member bringing the case had acted responsibly in adhering to the Code of Ethics and had been dismissed from employment for refusing to jeopardize the public safety.
Efforts to communicate with industry on ethical matters, service contract problems, and other issues were also made through a number of meetings and publications in 1979. A newsletter for industry executives was begun and continued through the following year. The first of a series of professional conferences took place to establish a dialogue on IEEE activities and how they may affect industry, and where IEEE and industry may find common ground on particular issues. The first conference dealt with the work climate, its importance to engineers and their industries, and how it can be assessed and improved.
Another professional "first" for IEEE came in the form of a request from the National Council of Engineering Examiners for assistance in the preparation of questions for the professional practice portion of the examination for the professional engineer license. IEEE's Board of Directors delegated the assignment to USAB, which in turn named a committee of representatives of USAB, EAB and TAB to plan how the project might be undertaken.
USAB also collaborated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other technical societies in analyzing the Federal R&D budget and the key legislative issues likely to arise. This effort has today become an annual exercise that provided the cooperating societies with directions on the Congressional committees and Executive agencies to monitor closely. The Congressional Fellows program continued with the selection of two fellows to serve on the Hill during the year.
USAB's awards program for professional achievements made its formal debut in 1979. In the belief that professional activities had become of equal importance to the Institute as its technical activities, a means of providing peer recognition for such achievements was initiated. In addition, as a means of honoring those outside the engineering profession, for example, Members of Congress, an award for advocacy of IEEE professional purposes in the public arena became a part of the awards program.
A workshop for local leaders in professional activities examined local and regional projects. Communication with the network of professional activities leaders increased as IMPACT began to appear as a regular bi-monthly and expanded its format and circulation. USAB's Legislative Report was initiated to keep the leadership advised of current bills and their progress, as well as issues on the horizon.
The fourth salary and fringe benefit survey publication since 1972 was released, and USAB began to realize ever increasing returns on its investments in this project, which continue to the present.
As 1979 drew to a close, USAB prepared to move its offices again. From small beginnings on Eye Street, USAB had earlier established its base of operations on K Street, in a building owned by NSPE, which had also housed the Washington offices of ASME and EIC. With the growth in support of USAB programs and the development of IEEE's Washington presence, a new building on L Street was chosen for the new IEEE Washington Office. A mural depicting twelve leaders in the development of electrical and electronics engineering, commemorating discovery, invention and technical excellence in the development of the field, was painted in the reception area of the new offices.
It had become the responsibility of Leo C. Fanning, who succeeded to the position of Staff Director of Professional Activities at this time, to direct not only the move but the reorganization of staff in its new quarters to handle the expansion of programs and elaboration of efforts associated with USAB's growth. Mr. Fanning had joined the USAB staff in 1976 and had previously worked toward the successful development of the pension program and ethics procedures, among other issues.
In its new location at the start of a new decade, "effectiveness, balance, and influence" became USAB's bywords when Richard J. Gowen was elected Vice President for Professional Activities and Chairman of USAB. Effectiveness in managing programs, balance between projects concerned with professional standing and those related to technology policy, and greater influence in government affairs became additional goals well served in 1980 and beyond, as a number of structural additions to assure their implementation continue to the present.
A finance committee was established to plan budgets and to project funding and programs required long-range to achieve USAB goals. A government affairs committee, meeting via a weekly telephone conference call, was set up as a means of providing immediate response when fast action is required on the Washington scene. The committee reviews USAB's government affairs activities, determines priorities, and decides whether proposed actions are in line with established IEEE policy on the issues at hand. This weekly review enabled quick action to be taken on such issues as support of R&D tax incentives in 1980, and the nomination and eventual confirmation of an IEEE Fellow as Director of the National Science Foundation.
New materials and services were developed for local professional activities leaders, and successful efforts were made to strengthen existing local committees or create an active committee in every Section and Society. A Source Book on developing such committees, including activities and projects to be undertaken and background information on professional issues, was published. Major publications included a number on pensions, age discrimination, patents, service contracts, and ethics.
One of the largest and most productive workshops for local leaders was held in 1980, focused on a threefold program of service, awareness and action. Goals for local leaders became providing service to members needing assistance in professional matters, increasing the awareness of members and the public on issues confronting the profession and the nation, and taking action at the local, state and national levels to help solve problems.
Aided by funding from USAB, a variety of local projects was carried out, including one to relocate engineers from Detroit who were affected by mass lay-offs in the automotive industry. In addition, two Congressional Fellows served in Congress during the year.
The January 1980 IEEE Conference with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was a major accomplishment. More than 350 engineers and managers from industrial companies, utilities, and government agencies met to examine how electronics technology could improve nuclear power plant safety. A number of recommendations were subsequently adopted, and IEEE was encouraged to maintain its involvement with the nuclear industry and NRC as a credible third-party able to bring in outside expertise. As a result, IEEE joined with NRC and the American Nuclear Society the following year in organizing a project to develop a methodology for probabilistic risk assessment of nuclear power plants.
As a Presidential election year, 1980 again presented the opportunity for IEEE testimony before both the Democratic and Republican National Committees. Members testified on energy, innovation and productivity and pensions. The platform committees of both national parties later adopted as planks many of the recommendations contained in IEEE's testimony.
When U.S. IEEE members responded to USAB's 1980 Opinion Survey, they gave top priority to helping solve U.S. energy problems and promoting U.S. leadership in electronics technology. An active Energy Committee continued to testify before Congress and hammer out position papers on controversial issues for approval by the Board of Directors. In addition, research was conducted and plans were made for a public presentation on energy issues in the following year. Pensions remained the leading non-technical concern and a number of activities were in progress toward achieving IEEE goals. A USAB-initiated position calling for "immediate vesting as a long-range goal, and mandatory vesting at five years as an intermediate step," was approved by the Board of Directors.
A fourth conference on U.S. technology policy was jointly sponsored by USAB and TAB and featured a number of industry and government leaders. As another of USAB's more visible public affairs activities, the conference had become of acknowledged value in facilitating dialogue between IEEE and the Federal government. One of its indirect results was the creation of a formal Institute procedure for developing position papers. USAB projects had thus begun to evolve in ways that benefit the Institute as a whole. This phenomenon had also been illustrated by events in the development of ethical conduct matters, IEEE-industry conferences, member benefits and services, publications, and public relations.
1980 was also a year of transition for the technology policy conference. It was to become a biennial event, rather than annual, and it was to focus on identifying actions that IEEE would like the Federal government , academic institutions, and industry to take to promote technological growth and better utilization of human resources. In addition, a series of smaller meetings would be held on natural and human resources, economic incentive, technological opportunitities, regulatory constraints, and the interaction between government and the private sector. One outcome would be to develop an IEEE position on U.S. technology policy.
In his testimony before the Democratic National Platform Committee, Dr. Gowen had advised of IEEE's statement urging adoption of a national technology policy. He called for "special attention to the revitalization of our productive capacity and to the professional community that translates the work of scientists into the products we use and on which we depend for our quality of life."
Awareness of the need for a national technology policy was fostered in other testimony before Congress during 1980. A bill calling for the establishment of a National Technology Foundation was introduced, which incorporated several USAB recommendations. As an interim measure, reorganization of the National Science Foundation into a National Science and Engineering Foundation was also proposed, and the appointment of a national commission to survey U.S. technology policy needs and the status of the engineering profession was also recommended.
In 1980, IEEE became a member of the newly formed American Association of Engineering Societies, opening new avenues for cooperation in influencing government decision-making.
Door to the Future
In 1981, U.S. members achieved one of their major professional goals: widespread pension reform. The extension of individual retirement accounts to all workers, whether or not vested in employer-sponsored plans, was a major reform built upon earlier legislative efforts. Richard J. Gowen, elected to serve a second term as Vice President for Professional Activities and Chairman of USAB, called the new tax law "a major victory for the engineering profession." After eight years of effort, an IEEE group IRA also became a reality.
With tax-deferred investment accounts for individuals in place, USAB's Pension Task Force began to work toward decreasing vesting times required by conventional corporate retirement plans, and opposing any reduction of corporate pension benefits tied to Social Security increases.
1981 also saw the introduction of an IEEE-drafted patent bill that would give employed inventors rights to their own inventions unrelated to an employer's data, time, or materials. While little forward momentum was observed in Congress, USAB continued to monitor patent issues closely and promote its interests at propitious times. The Task Force believes that many aspects of the patent system in the United States require modification, and IEEE is undoubtedly in the forefront of organizations fostering change.
Manpower issues specifically, a number of radically varying projections of engineering manpower supply and demand came to the fore in 1981. Attempting to reconcile differences in statistics, USAB convened a two-day workshop, inviting representatives of the American Association of Engineering Societies, trade associations, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation, as well as IEEE leaders and the trade press. Subsequently, background papers were developed by USAB, noting substantial differences in manpower surveys and suggesting that an overall balance between supply and demand exists, with some shortages in certain disciplines only. On a related issue, USAB urged its professional activities network to monitor and advise of any abuses of the Department of Labor certification procedures for alien engineers, so that appropriate authorities might take corrective action.
USAB's Career Maintenance and Development Task Force sponsored a successful national conference on careers, attracting more than 125 participants. Engineering managers, personnel managers, and practicing engineers heard more than 30 papers presented on ways in which engineering careers can be enriched for the benefit of engineers and their companies.
Continuing its dialogue with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a delegation of IEEE-USAB leaders visited the new Presidential Science Advisor on two occasions to discuss such key concerns as Federal support of R&D, industrial innovation, national productivity, and engineering education.
Three Congressional Fellows were selected to serve in 1981. Achieving this long-standing goal was in part made possible with the establishment of a Congressional Fellows Fund to help support the program. Since 1981, corporations and IEEE societies have contributed to IEEE's goal of providing additional Fellows to serve in Congress.
More than 400 participants, both in and outside the nuclear industry, attended the second conference hosted by IEEE for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Experts who employ probabilistic risk assessment techniques produced a revised review guide for evaluating the safety of nuclear power plants.
The Energy Committee completed its slide presentation for the public. Entitled, "Energy in Perspective," the show received wide circulation among technical and non-technical professional societies, corporations, schools, and community action groups. Nearly 400 sets of slides and cassette recordings of the script are in circulation and continue to be well received by various groups today. An updating of the data contained in the presentation is in progress.
Prior to Senate hearings on the Department of Energy's photovoltaics program, the Energy Committee sponsored a technical briefing on photovoltaics for Congressional staff members. Because of the valuable information provided, IEEE has been asked to continue to provide such briefings on other topics as hearings are scheduled. Energy Committee members also testified before Congress and continued to develop position papers on key issues.
An active R&D Committee testified on the budgets of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation, and participated in an intersociety analysis of R&D in the Federal budget. In addition, the Committee sponsored a successful, well-attended briefing on Federal R&D funding.
A reorganization of USAB activities under four major councils--Member Activities, Government Activities, Career Activities and Technology Activities--was completed in 1981. In an attempt to make the USAB more responsive to members as a Board, a Nominations and Appointments Committee was designated to select candidates to head each council, as well as candidates to become Controller and National Chairman of the Professional Activities Committee for Engineers. USAB's network of local leadership, activities, and support.
By 1982, it was clear that the council structure facilitated action by task forces and improved interaction between USAB and IEEE members in providing for member needs and delivery of services. USAB, in addition, had clearly become the focal point for all IEEE activities in Washington.
In 1982, Edward J. Doyle was elected to serve as Vice President for Professional Activities and Chairman of USAB and re-elected to serve a second term in 1983.
Early in 1982, the fifth conference on U.S. Technology Policy, "Charting the National Course," was jointly sponsored with TAB in conjunction with other activities of National Engineers' Week, including a series of major IEEE Board meetings. The Board of Directors and the other major Boards of the Institute met for the first time in Washington since USAB's founding Key government and IEEE leaders addressed four aspects of national technology policy: energy, resources for innovation, information systems, and public understanding of technology. Concluding the week-long series of meetings, 1982 IEEE President Robert E. Larson delivered an address to congressional staff in the U.S. Capitol, entitled, "Developing a More Coherent U.S. Technology Policy Through Consensus-Building."
Late in the year, another major event took place on Capitol Hill when USAB sponsored a reception site for Members of Congress, their staffs, and media interested in viewing EAB's short course on robotics, which was broadcast nationwide via satellite. An introduction to the subject of robotics and its policy implications was offered by members of USAB, who had also arranged for a robot demonstration. Together with the course, a successful briefing was provided to Congress and the media.
As a result to the media coverage, IEEE members were invited to appear on a nationally broadcast television program that featured computers as educational tools, including such advanced technologies as robotics. The program aired early in 1983.
Another special technical briefing was conducted during the year by the Committee on Communications Policy for the staff of the House subcommittee considering revisions in the Communications Act of 1934. The 1981 IEEE President Richard W. Damon, testified on the rewrite of the Act, one of three parties invited to appear before the House subcommittee. CCP also encouraged and is supporting a Standards Board ad hoc committee effort to propose methodology by which network standards can be set through a restructured telephone industry.
The R&D Committee sponsored a briefing on Federal R&D funding and participated in an intersociety analysis. Congressional testimony was also presented on the R&D projects and funding levels of several agencies.
Following a meeting with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Energy Committee agreed to evaluate the effects on various energy technologies of Administration proposals to reorganize the Department of Energy. In addition, the Committee issued Legislative Alerts urging members to endorse the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which was signed into law with many of the provisions supported by USAB intact.
Two Congressional Fellows served in Congress during 1982. For the first time, USAB sponsored a student intern, an electrical engineering senior who researched public policy implications of cellular radio and mobile telephones. USAB also participated in a number of student professional awareness conferences held at student branch locations throughout the United States. Patents and ethics proved to be popular issues with students, and ties between student branches and local professional activities leaders were strengthened, as well as those between USAB and the student magazine.
Local professional activities committees took on a new name and a new acronym. At a professional activities workshop in 1982, participants voted to add the "for Engineers" to their previous designation as Professional Activities Committees. PACE, rather than PAC, became the acronym, in order to avoid confusion with political action committees that provide funds to candidates for public office. The distinction became more crucial with time, as USAB gave consideration to forming a political action fund to allow the U.S. IEEE members to make voluntary contributions to political candidates.
Positions were developed and submitted and testimony was presented on a number of issues during the year. Hearings were held on the IEEE-drafted patent bill to set standards for permissible employee pre-invention assignment agreements. USAB also expressed opposition to increasing patent and trademark fees. Opposition was also taken to proposed changes in the certification procedures for alien engineers, and to a General Accounting Office report recommending repeal of the Service Contract Act.
USAB's Task Force on Age Discrimination produced a slide presentation for use at local IEEE meetings, and published information of use to members who believe they have been discriminated against. USAB's Pension Task Force began developing a major document on evaluating employer-sponsored pension plans, including an analysis of retirement plans of the top ten employers of IEEE members.
For the first time, USAB's Salary Survey Task Force updated portions of a previous year's survey, providing a "salary update" for members during 1982. Plans were made for an opinion survey to be taken of U.S. members during 1983, and the results of a survey of women members, taken late in 1982, were scheduled to be compiled in 1983.
Also for the first time, USAB published its own guide to assist members seeking employment. As a service to unemployed members, complimentary copies were made available to them through the Washington Office. Following its December 1982 publication, most copies of the guide were sold to members and non-members alike, necessitating a second printing early in 1983. A new edition of the publication is also in progress.
For the second time in USAB's short history, three Congressional Fellows were selected to serve in 1983, bringing the total to 21 who have served over the past decade of USAC/USAB's existence.
In step with Federal budget deliberations in Congress, the R&D Committee again testified in a round of hearings on the budgets of NASA, NSF, DOD, and the budgets for various energy research programs. A briefing on R&D in the Federal budget was also sponsored by the R&D Committee for IEEE members.
As IEEE celebrates the tenth anniversary of its Washington activity, a productive year is in progress, with testimonies being presented on a number of issues and positions being developed. Plans are being made for major meetings later in the year, including a workshop for local professional activities leaders, and third conference on engineering careers. Plans are also being made for another conference on U.S. technology policy, the sixth, to take place early in 1984, in conjunction with the series of IEEE Board meetings.
The work continues and progress is made toward the achievement of goals. In the words of the current USAB Chairman, Edward J. Doyle, IEEE is taking care of member needs and helping to provide the technical information needs of the Nation through "taking positions: that's what it's all about in USAB in Washington. It seems like we do it every day. The opportunities are there. But, more and more, as IEEE gets established, we are asked to take position...."
USAC/USAB Rosters (1973-83)
1973 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
"One of the things that USAC/USAB has given us is the knowledge that with a little bit of strength and a little bit of direction we really can move mountains, we really can influence the politics of this country, and we really can be an influence on the world." - Harold S. Goldberg
1974 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE
Leo Young, Chairman; Richard C. Beloit, Jr. Anthony J. Hornfeck, Robert W. House Einar E. Igebretsen, A.A. Read, Robert M. Shuffler, Sr., Arthur P. Stern, Wilbert L. Sullivan, Leland D. Whitelock
"IEEE's influence is not based on wealth or politics, but on the potential of its technology which the modern world needs and on the enthusiasm of its members." - Leo Young, Chairman
1975 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Harold S. Goldberg, Chairman; Carleton A. Bayless, Richard C. Beloit, Jr. Robert D. Briskman, Paul F. Carroll, William W. Middleton, Robert A. Rivers, Robert M. Shuffler, Sr., Wilbert L. Sullivan, John Zaborszky
1976 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
James H. Mulligan, Jr., Chairman; Hans C. Cherney, Vice Chairman; Carleton A. Bayless, Ross L. Bell, Paul F. Carroll, Robert F. Cotellessa, John J. Guarrera, Eric Herz, Frank E. Lord, William W. Middleton, Irene C. Peden, Robert A. Rivers, Arthur L. Rossoff, Joel B. Snyder, Larry K. Wilson, Stephen S. Yau
"As I compare USAB activities then and now, it's certainly very clear how far the organization has come in a relatively short time . . . IEEE has the organizational strength, and the people that go with it, to carry on the work that was begun."- James S. Mulligan
1977 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
John J. Guarrera, Chairman; Joel B. Snyder, Vice Chairman; Ross L. Bell, Richard C. Beloit, Jr., Robert F. Cotellessa, Richard W. Camon, Richard J. Gowen, Howard B. Hamilton, Herbert H. Heller, Eric Herz, Frank E. Lord, Robert A. Rivers, Arthur L. Rossoff, Burkhard H. Schneider, John W. Thatcher, Larry K. Wilson
"The progress of USAB is reflected in the early efforts of political involvement in the early 1970s to the present well established position of influence in Washington in the early 1980s a decade of true accomplishment." - John J. Guarrera
1978 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Bruno O. Weinschel, Chairman; Richard C. Beloit, Jr., S. Brereton, Robert F. Cotellessa, Walter F. Fee, Richard J. Gowen, Howard B. Hamilton, Roy H. Harris, Herbert H. Heller, Esther O. Mayfield, A. A. Read Arther L. Rossoff, Burkhard H. Schneider, James E. Shepherd, John W. Thatcher, Darrell L. Vines
"the most important capital we have in this country, as well as in the IEEE, is skilled manpower and devoted staff." - Bruno O. Weinschel
1979 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Bruno O. Weinschel, Chairman; Richard J. Backe, Vice Chairman; Robert F. Cotellessa, Vice Chairman; David B. Dobson, Edward J. Doyle, Charles A. Eldon, F. Anthony Furfari, William C. Farrell, Richard J. Gowen, H. Mark Grove, Roy H. Harris, Robert E. Larson, Richard E. Merwin, A. A. Read, Arthur L. Rossoff, Peter A. E. Rusche, James E. Shepherd, Joel B. Snyder, Darrell L. Vines, Edward A. Wolff
1980 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Richard J. Gowen, Chairman; Richard J. Backe, Vice Chairman; H. Mark Grove, Vice Chairman; Robert A. Barden, Richard C. Beloit, Jr., Hans C. Cherney, Jose B. Cruz, Jr., David B. Dobson, Arwin A. Dougal, Edward J. Doyle, Charles A. Eldon, William C. Farrell, Howard B. Hamilton, Herbert H. Heller, David C. McLaren, Peter A. E. Rusche, Dick B. Simmons, Joel B. Snyder, Edward A. Wolff, Charles A. Zraket
"We found ourselves being sought by Congress to give presentations, because it was seen that we represented a large, diverse group that could provide information not special-interest information, but expert information that was useful in making broad policy decisions." - Richard J. Gowen
1981 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Richard J. Gowen, Chairman; Richard J. Backe, Vice Chairman; Russell C. Drew, Vice Chairman; Henry L. Bachman, Valdemar Bodin, Merrill W. Buckley, Jr., Hans C. Cherney, Arwin A. Dougal, Edward J. Doyle, Jane G. Evans, William C. Farrell, Ronald J. Fredricks, Howard B. Hamilton, Herbert H. Heller, David C. McLaren, Peter A. E. Rusche, Allan C. Shell, Frederick G. Suffield, John M. Thorson, Jr., Darrell L. Vines
1982 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Edward J. Doyle, Chairman; Henry L. Bachman, Robert A. Barden, Theodore H. Bonn, Merrill W. Buckley, Jr., Russell C. Drew, Jane G. Evans, Ronald J. Fredricks, Harb S. Hayre, Stephen J. Kahne, David C. Lewis, Peter A. E. Rusche, Frederick G. Suffield, K. Reed Thompson, John M. Thorson, Jr., Bruce D. Wedlock, Larry K. Wilson, Ronald J. Wojtasinski
"We started the year on a very high note, holding our Technology Policy Conference in conjunction with the series of IEEE Board meetings. We brought the Board onto the Washington scene and demonstrated that IEEE had become a factor in Washington that could be counted on." - Edward Doyle
1983 UNITED STATES ACTIVITIES BOARD
Edward J. Doyle, Chairman; Henry L. Bachman, Dennis Bodson, Theodore H. Bonn, John A. Casazza, Alan F. Culbertson, Russell C. Drew, Joseph A. Edminister, Eli Fromm, Harb S. Hayre, Ralph A. Lamm, David C. Lewis, Emerson W. Pugh, Peter A. E. Rusche, Donald H. Sandell, K. Reed Thompson, Bruce D. Wedlock, Ronald J. Wojtasinski