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Help Shape the Future of the CAS- Complete the 2003 CAS Membership Survey
By Joanne Spalla, Chairwoman, 2003 Membership Survey Task Force 

What topics should be the focus of CAS continuing education efforts? How should the CAS contribute to actuarial practice beyond North America? What new features should be added to the CAS Web Site?

CAS members may see these questions and others on the 2003 CAS Membership Survey being conducted in May. This quinquennial survey affords the CAS a valuable opportunity to align our activities with the needs of our members. The Membership Survey Task Force encourages you to complete the survey, which, for the first time, can be completed online. Prizes will be awarded to randomly selected respondents. To complete the survey, go to www.casact.org/members/survey.htm.

The task force understands that CAS members are asked to fill out several surveys each year. While those surveys address important issues, they do not cover the broad range of issues facing the organization that the five-year membership survey does. You may have declined to complete surveys in the past because the narrow topics that are addressed do not pertain to you, but we guarantee that this will not be the case with the 2003 Membership Survey. This survey covers issues related to actuarial publications, research, online services, basic education, continuing education, governance, professionalism, and much more.

Your input provided through the survey is crucial in shaping the short- and long-term direction of the CAS. As evidence, consider the impact of the 1998 Membership Survey. The results of the last five-year survey motivated the implementation of online services and offerings that were requested by respondents. For example, the 1998 survey found that over 90 percent of the respondents believed that the CAS should make seminar handout material available on its Web site. Shortly thereafter, there was a focus placed on obtaining handout material from meeting and seminar speakers, and the CAS Web Site now contains over one thousand handouts from continuing education events. In addition, a strong majority of respondents to the 1998 survey indicated that the CAS Web Site should provide the complete text of research papers. That input helped to push the CAS to   make all volumes of the Proceedings, Forum, and Discussion Paper Program available for download through the Web Site.

"The broad-based input that CAS leadership receives from the Membership Survey provides a perspective that we cannot easily obtain through other means," observed   Bob Conger, Chairman of the CAS Board of Directors. "On a day-to-day   basis, the leadership team receives quite a lot of useful input from smaller groups of members (the attendees at a seminar, for example); the Membership Survey seeks to represent the views of the entire membership. Through this survey, we hear important messages about our members' priorities, get indications about the areas in which various strata of members believe the CAS should and should not be investing our resources, and collect very pointed feedback about which of the CAS services are working extremely well and which need improvement. I strongly encourage each CAS member to express his or her   views through the Membership Survey. We are counting on your input."

Because the survey is being administered online, it is easier and quicker to complete than in past years (see Online Voting story). If you only have time to complete a portion of the survey, you can save your responses so that you can return to the survey and answer the remaining questions at a later time. Printed copies are also available upon request by contacting the CAS Office.

The Membership Survey Task Force has invested a lot of time and energy in gathering questions from committees and reviewing the survey instrument with survey research consultants. The Task Force is enthusiastically awaiting the responses, and will deliver a report on the results to the leadership of the Society later this year. The final report will be made available to the entire membership on the CAS Web Site. We urge you to do your part in shaping the future of the CAS by completing the survey.

Editor's note: In addition to Chairwoman Joanne Spalla, members of the Membership Survey Task Force include Roger   M. Hayne, Douglas W. Oliver, Stephen W. Philbrick, Alessandrea C. Quane, James B. Rowland, and Staff Liaison Todd P. Rogers.

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