President's Message

John L. Robins
John L. Robins
President - IUVSTA
(1995-1998) Triennium

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to our second electronic-based IUVSTA News Bulletin. As you will be aware, this and the previous edition have appeared well after their scheduled publication dates. This has been occasioned by developing new procedures and overcoming new problems associated with using the new publishing medium. We also find that new questions are continually arising, such as how do you ensure that editions of electronic-based Bulletins are archived when the material in them (i.e. the material to which we have linked) may be spread across computers in many parts of the world? However, we hope that we will be able to present future editions of the Bulletin twice yearly on dates closely following June and December.

In my previous message to you I referred to two of the numerous issues I had raised in my Inaugural Statement at the start of the triennium. I would now like to reiterate my views on another of those issues, namely the value of developing a Mission Statement and associated Strategic Plan for our Union.

Following discussion of this topic in the Long Range Planning Committee, two quite different documents have been produced and both will be valuable in different ways. One is an excellent immediate view of the breadth of our Unions' objectives, supported by current activities. This has now been converted into a comprehensive "What is IUVSTA?" presentation and I have already used it to send with letters to organisations for whom there is a necessity to explain what our Union is and what we do. The other, using a more traditional approach, attempts to lay out the whole structure of our Union and so show up which of our objectives are currently being pursued and which are not receiving comparable attention. I believe this has considerable potential as a "planning" document which will be valuable in guiding us as we continue to expand the activities of the Union. Both will appear in the ECM80 minutes.

The planning version of our Mission Statement and associated Strategic Plan is still in a formative stage. Thus I urge you all to think deeply about what IUVSTA stands for, why it was originally formed, what it has done, is doing and can do in the future, whether its structure is developing in an optimum way to cope with changing circumstances and, perhaps most importantly, what its purpose, value, organisation and activities should be in ten to fifteen years from now. The more people who involve themselves in thinking of these issues, the better it will be for our Union. If any of you have well considered views on these matters, I would be pleased to hear from you.

IUVSTA continues to thrive and there is much activity on many fronts. Please remember that you can keep informed on most of the activities of the Union by regularly consulting our Web pages.

Once again I sincerely thank all those among you who continue to work for, or participate in, the activities of IUVSTA.

John Robins
April 1998

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