IEEE exists and prospers thanks to its legions of volunteers who are passionate about the technology and help in fulfilling The Institute’s mission. They serve as committee members for Societies, Councils, Chapter and Sections chairs, reviewers for journals and our conferences, conference committee members and chairs, associate editors and Editors-in-Chief for its 186 premier journals and many other roles. Their numbers are certainly in tens of thousands at any given time.
This novel idea of cumulative activity reward points is embraces the concept that active, long-term volunteers can achieve higher status and/or honors, like Premier Gold members, distinguished reviewers, lifetime Premier members and alike. I believe this idea is worthwhile, especially as IEEE is both governed and driven by an extraordinary community of volunteers who certainly not only deserve respect but also recognition. They are The Institute’s most precious resource and since the technology advances so fast, this scarce resource is in high demand. Our volunteers, however, derive no other benefits than their personal satisfaction from championing technologies and serving the IEEE mission they are passionate about.
Our present reward system is largely based on Certificates of Appreciation that are awarded for volunteering in specific roles and for a specific time period. In addition, we have a number of service awards. But in general, the IEEE recognition system tends to reward current or recent activities. In contrast, the Cumulative Rewards System would be more cumulative rather than rewarding a volunteer role for a specific period. I would favor such new reward system. However, I’d prefer that no financial benefits be attached to the higher grade status.