International Chinese Information Systems Association (ICISA) is a non-profit organization that commits
to advancing the theory and practice of information systems, and to promoting the exchange of information and
cooperation among its members. ICISA is a professional academic institute established in 1992 and is dedicated to all
information systems scholars worldwide. Any information systems professors, scholars and professionals are welcome to join the ICISA.
The Birth of ICISA & The Communication of the ICISA
Chia-Hao Chang Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Michigan 48128, USA .
The Early Days
In the disciplinary of Management Education, Information Systems can be considered as a late comer. During the seventies, there were only a few Chinese IS colleagues and the contact among us was minimal. In 1981, University of Pennsylvania hosted the first ICIS, at which I only found Drs. Peter Chen and James Tang. For the next several years, I began to meet more and more Information Systems professors during conferences such as ICIS, TIMES/ORSA Joint Meeting and DSI Annual Meeting. As far as I can recall, the ICIS in 1987 (Pittsburgh) was the first ever conference I met over twenty Chinese IS professors and Ph.D. students. We got together a couple of times during the conference to introduce ourselves and exchange information. After the meeting, we started our correspondence, and the first directory only consisted of twenty-one names. I collected news from our peers and sent out two or three issues of newsletter each year. Soon, the letter also included news from our sister societies such as the Association for Chinese Management Educator (ACME) and Society for Information Management (Taiwan). The newsletter also announced career opportunities and posted job positions. In 1989 the name North America Chinese Information Systems Professor Association, proposed by Prof. Rebecca Wu, was adopted. Although we called it an association, it was in fact very informal. The association did not have any bylaws or officers. Newsletter was the only activity we had.
1991 ACME Conference at Gatlinburg
In 1990, Association for Chinese Management Educator (ACME) elected Dr. Ting-Peng Liang, an IS professor, as their third president. He proposed to organize a conference in August of the following year, and asked for support from the American Chinese Accounting Professors Association (ACAP) and our association. In response, not only we promised to distribute the ¡§Call for Papers¡¨ for the conference to our members and encourage participation, Prof. David Yen was also sent to help organize the conference on behalf of our association. With our heavy promotion, about half of the papers accepted by the conference were related to the area of Information Systems. Prof. Eldon Li's paper was chosen to be the best paper and Prof. Ruth King's paper was runner-up. Since then, Information Systems associates consistently play an active role in subsequent ACME annual conferences.
Association bylaw & Its first election
The place chosen for the conference was Gatlinburg (near Smoky Mountain), a resort with startling view. Not often we had the chance to pull so many Chinese Information Systems fellows together. This conference definitely provided us a physical platform to get together. I decided to grab this golden opportunity to formally establish the foundation, which I believed should be the bylaws, for the association. Therefore I brought draft copies of proposed bylaws to the conference and distributed them to all IS professors when they arrived the resort. The second night, twelve of us met and carefully studied each article of the bylaws, line by line, word by word and finally developed a proposed version. These persons deserve acknowledgement. Nine came from North America. They are Houn-Gee Chen, P. C. Chu, Ruth King, Eldon Li, Jimming Lin, Ming-Te Lu, David Yen, Yufei Yuan and I. Three friends came from Far East. They are C. K. Farn (Taiwan), Andy Kong (HK) and Gordon Wong (HK). Afterwards, T.P. Liang also sent in his opinions. The proposed bylaws were then sent to all members for their approval. To speed up the process, the nomination of the organization officers was sought at the same time. Over thirty members mailed in their confirmation of the proposed bylaws. Numerous nominations for association officers were also received. A voting ballot was then mailed to each member. Some sent back their ballots. Other voting ballots were collected during both the 1991 DSI annual meeting and ICIS.
The electron result was counted during the ICIS-1991. Three guests from Mainland China, Prof. Cui Youxian (State Education Commission), Prof. Xue Huacheng (Fudan University) and Prof. Piao Shun-Yu (People's University of China) were invited to monitor the counting process. As the voting result, the first board of director consisted of Pai-Cheng Chu, Chang-Tseh Hsieh, Eldon Li, Michael Shaw and myself. The executive committee included Chia-Hao Chang (president), Ming-te Lu (president-elect), David Yen (secretary), Jimming Lin (VP membership), Peter Chen (VP publication), Chee Ching (VP Public Relation) and Ruth King (Treasurer).
First Couple Years
In this association, Prof. Ming-Te Lu should be regarded as the most experienced senior member, well respected by the peers. Immediately after the election, he chose Prof. David Yen, one of the five elected executive officers, to be the secretary. They started their work right at that moment. The first goal was to establish a research committee to enhance the research activities among members. Four members, Drs. Chee Ching (Chair), P. C. Chu, Ruth King and Ai-Mei Chang were invited to be the committee members. Newsletters were published bi-monthly during the year of 1992. Editor David Yen asked me to write the "president's message¨ in Chinese. That, in fact, gave him a problem because he had to learn how to key Chinese characters into the computer file. It must have been a difficult job. As soon as that term was over, the following newsletters were all in English.
The following year, members chose Prof. David Yen, a respected scholar, to be the president-elect to lead the association. During these first two years, Ming-Te and David laid out a solid foundation for this association, and at the later time both of them also contributed significantly to our sister association ACME. The newsletters came out quarterly in 1993. More research articles were included, and the name of the newsletter was changed to Communications of NACISPA. That name was only adopted for two years. In 1994, then President-elect Michael Shaw suggested to change the association's name to International Chinese Information Systems Association (ICISA) and got approved by the members. The association started to use the new name in 1995, and the official publication also changed its name to Communications of the ICISA.
People say "a thousand-mile journey starts at the first step." Many participated and contributed to the birth of this association by helping in this first step. Editor Michael Tarn asked me to write a brief history of the association and I hope this article can achieve just that.