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21 December 2010

CSI: More than just one - or three - types of members

In CSI membership - one more time, we reviewed the history of CSI's membership classification, and argued in favor of a single category of voting members. Although response has been favorable, two objections have been voiced, one regarding governance, the other related to practical aspects of communication with other members. The first appears to be more important, but the second affects day-to-day activities.

Board representation

As noted last month, CSI began as a group of specifiers, or, in today's terms, professional members. There also were a very few who would today be called industry members, but it was clear that this was an organization of design professionals, concerned primarily with the art of writing specifications. Over the years, the balance changed, and we now have almost equal numbers of professional members and industry members (for convenience, I'm considering industry and associate members as a single group). Along with their growth in numbers, industry members attained more rights and privileges, and there are now only a few small differences between voting members. Clearly, CSI has changed. It is not the organization it was in the beginning, but is an organization of design professionals and product representatives, with a smaller number of contractors and subcontractors.