On March 12, 2021 URISA International sent out an email update about the OneURISA initiative. The email is included below. Be sure to attend the Future of GISAA Meeting on Wednesday, April 21 at 11:00 am. Voting will be available to current GISAA members for one week after the meeting. Being a URISA International member does not make you a GISAA member (read below for more on that) so be sure your GISAA membership is current if you want your voice heard!
Dear URISA Member,
I want to take this opportunity to update you on the OneURISA initiative as we approach the June 1, 2021 deadline for chapters to sign the Chapter Charter Agreement and begin the process of becoming a fully chartered chapter. For those new to URISA International (URISA) who may not be familiar with OneURISA, allow me to provide a summary:
Chapters have always been integral to URISA and serve an important function at the local level. They are closer to local issues and often serve as the starting point for members interested in getting more involved in their professional community through URISA. Over time, chapter membership became separate from URISA International membership, making the definition of URISA membership confusing. For example, it is common for chapter members to register to attend a URISA educational event believing member discounts applied to them when in fact, they were not a URISA member, but only a member of their local chapter.
Professional organizations are typically structured such that when an individual joins, they become a member of both the parent organization and their local chapter. Dues paid to the organization support services and benefits at both levels. The parent organization helps to support chapter programs and events, collaborating with local volunteer leaders. Working together provides for a coordinated, exponential increase in the organization's ability to share knowledge, education, and best practices and have a positive impact on the profession.
After a lengthy discussion between chapter leaders and the URISA Board, the OneURISA initiative was announced in 2018. Existing and any new chapters are required to sign a Charter Agreement (previously an Affiliation Agreement) and meet several conditions, primarily that chapter membership is tied to membership in URISA. It is important to note this requirement does not prevent nonmembers from participating in chapter activities.
Under the unified membership model, when you join or renew your URISA membership you automatically become a chapter member if one exists in your geographic area. If there is not a local chapter, let’s talk about starting one!
The following list indicates the current status of U.S. Chapters.
[Note: International Chapters will undergo a separate implementation process following the U.S. Chapters].
Currently Chartered U.S. Chapters:
New England URISA
Northern Rockies URISA
Rocky Mountain URISA
U.S. Chapters in the chartering process:
U.S. Chapters inquiring about the charter process:
U.S. Chapters currently not planning to charter:
Currently, inactive U.S. Chapters set for automatic disaffiliation:
Central Appalachian URISA
As stated above, existing chapters have until June 1, 2021, to formally indicate their decision to charter as a chapter of URISA. Those that choose to charter with URISA will continue to maintain URISA chapter status. Those that choose to go a separate way, will no longer be associated with URISA as a chapter. You can find out more about the charter process at www.urisa.org/chapters/oneurisa/
We encourage you to investigate the status and plans for the chapter in your area and contact your current chapter leadership with your opinions on the unified membership model. Your membership in URISA is a statement of your commitment to the GIS profession and the vision and mission of our professional association.
Thank you for your dedication,
Kevin Mickey, President