MAA Focus June/July 2010 : Page 22

            he MAA is now bringing to a close a two-year effort to rewrite our bylaws. Th e new bylaws will be presented to the membership for a vote at the business meeting atMathFest in Pittsburgh this coming August. Th e proposed new bylaws will be posted online by July 1 (check ). Th e current bylaws can be found at  . Th e rewrite has been total, the fi rst time our bylaws have been completely rewritten rather than just amended since they were originally adopted almost a century ago. Th is has given us the opportunity to improve the structure and readability of the document and to seriously con- sider every provision of the old bylaws. Revising the bylaws has been a fascinating process that has been undertaken with tremendous care and attention to detail. The new bylaws certainly will be amended over the coming years, but we hope that this new structure will serve the Association for at least its next century. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the task force that now has spent almost two years hammer- ing out this document. Th e task force was chaired by Wayne Roberts, and the other members were Bill Haver, Ken Ross, Mar- tha Siegel, Tina Straley, and Ann Watkins. We also have received extensive feedback from the Governors, who had their first look at the new bylaws this past January, and from four reviewers who, in the past few months, have leant a fresh and careful eye to its language: Frank Farris, Jennifer Galovich, Betty Mayfield, and Jerry Porter. I hope that when you see any of the individuals involved in draft ing and polishing this document you will add your own thanks for the work that has gone into it. Although the revision of the bylaws will have little direct impact on most members, there are a number of changes that should improve the governance of the MAA. One pronounced differ- ence is that many items that previously were spelled out, and thus could only be changed by amendment, now will be left to the discretion of the Board of Governors (the Board). These in- clude categories and privileges of membership and the determi- nation of which journal editors must be approved by the Board. Th e other big changes involve the Committee and Council structure, with a greatly increased role for the Council Chairs. Th e old bylaws said nothing about the committee structure of the MAA, aside from specifying a few particular committees: the Executive Committee, the Committee on Sections, the Com- mittee on Publications, the Audit Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Investment Committee. Over the years, as the concerns and activities of the MAA expanded, the committee structure of the MAA grew. By the 1980s, we had over a 100 committees. In the early 1990s, Co- ordinating Councils were added to coordinate the work of the various committees. By the time the Strategic Planning Working Group on Gov- ernance began its work in 2007, it was clear that the entire structure needed significant overhaul: Some committees were answerable to more than one council, others— through migration of their responsi- bilities—were no longer in the ap- propriate council, and the councils themselves were not always orga- nized efficiently or sensibly. Th e work of reorganizing the Councils did not require bylaw changes, and has already been accomplished by the Board, but a new article describing the purpose and responsibilities of the Councils has been added to the bylaws. In addition, the Coun- cil chairs, who now will be elected by the Board, also will serve on the Board. Th is recognizes their increased role in forming and coordinating the policies of the MAA. Signifi cantly, the new bylaws do not specify what the coun- cils should be, with the sole exceptions that there must be a Council on Publications and Communications (replacing the old Committee on Publications) and that the Executive Com- mittee will act as an Executive Council for the oversight of the committees assigned to it. We recognize that, over time, the council structure may need to change. Th e responsibility for deciding what those changes will be rests with the Board. Th e new bylaws add only one new specifi ed committee: the Budget Committee. Th is committee has long existed, but now will be mandated. Under the new bylaws, its chair will be des- ignated as the Associate Treasurer and will be an Officer of the Association. Also, the Associate Secretary, who is responsible for the MAA scientifi c program and planning of the annual meetings of the Association, now will be designated as an Of- ficer. Th e Associate Treasurer will be elected by the Board, as are the Treasurer, Secretary, and Associate Secretary. The Trea- surer, incidentally, retains responsibility for the control and administration of all funds other than current operating funds and chairs the bylaws-mandated Investment Committee. Another change introduced by the new bylaws is that the membership of the Executive Committee is now specified: the     

New MAA Bylaws

David Bressoud

The MAA is now bringing to a close a two-year effort to rewrite our bylaws. Th e new bylaws will be presented to the membership for a vote at the business meeting at MathFest in Pittsburgh this coming August.<br /> <br /> Th e proposed new bylaws will be posted online by July 1 (check http://www.maa.org). The current bylaws can be found at http://www.maa.org/aboutmaa/bylaws03.html. The rewrite has been total, the first time our bylaws have been completely rewritten rather than just amended since they were originally adopted almost a century ago. Th is has given us the opportunity to improve the structure and readability of the document and to seriously consider every provision of the old bylaws.<br /> <br /> Revising the bylaws has been a fascinating process that has been undertaken with tremendous care and attention to detail. Th e new bylaws certainly will be amended over the coming years, but we hope that this new structure will serve the Association for at least its next century. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the task force that now has spent almost two years hammering out this document. Th e task force was chaired by Wayne Roberts, and the other members were Bill Haver, Ken Ross, Martha Siegel, Tina Straley, and Ann Watkins. We also have received extensive feedback from the Governors, who had their first look at the new bylaws this past January, and from four reviewers who, in the past few months, have leant a fresh and careful eye to its language: Frank Farris, Jennifer Galovich, Betty Mayfield, and Jerry Porter. I hope that when you see any of the individuals involved in drafting and polishing this document you will add your own thanks for the work that has gone into it.<br /> <br /> Although the revision of the bylaws will have little direct impact on most members, there are a number of changes that should improve the governance of the MAA. One pronounced difference is that many items that previously were spelled out, and thus could only be changed by amendment, now will be left to the discretion of the Board of Governors (the Board). These include categories and privileges of membership and the determination of which journal editors must be approved by the Board.<br /> <br /> Th e other big changes involve the Committee and Council structure, with a greatly increased role for the Council Chairs.<br /> <br /> Th e old bylaws said nothing about the committee structure of the MAA, aside from specifying a few particular committees: the Executive Committee, the Committee on Sections, the Committee on Publications, the Audit Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Investment Committee.<br /> <br /> Over the years, as the concerns and activities of the MAA expanded, the committee structure of the MAA grew. By the 1980s, we had over a 100 committees. In the early 1990s, Coordinating Councils were added to coordinate the work of the various committees. By the time the Strategic Planning Working Group on Governance began its work in 2007, it was clear that the entire structure needed significant overhaul: Some committees were answerable to more than one council, others— through migration of their responsibilities— were no longer in the appropriate council, and the councils themselves were not always organized efficiently or sensibly.<br /> <br /> Th e work of reorganizing the Councils did not require bylaw changes, and has already been accomplished by the Board, but a new article describing the purpose and responsibilities of the Councils has been added to the bylaws. In addition, the Council chairs, who now will be elected by the Board, also will serve on the Board. Th is recognizes their increased role in forming and coordinating the policies of the MAA.<br /> <br /> Significantly, the new bylaws do not specify what the councils should be, with the sole exceptions that there must be a Council on Publications and Communications (replacing the old Committee on Publications) and that the Executive Committee will act as an Executive Council for the oversight of the committees assigned to it. We recognize that, over time, the council structure may need to change. Th e responsibility for deciding what those changes will be rests with the Board.<br /> <br /> Th e new bylaws add only one new specified committee: the Budget Committee. Th is committee has long existed, but now will be mandated. Under the new bylaws, its chair will be designated as the Associate Treasurer and will be an Officer of the Association. Also, the Associate Secretary, who is responsible for the MAA scientific program and planning of the annual meetings of the Association, now will be designated as an Officer. Th e Associate Treasurer will be elected by the Board, as are the Treasurer, Secretary, and Associate Secretary. Th e Treasurer, incidentally, retains responsibility for the control and administration of all funds other than current operating funds and chairs the bylaws-mandated Investment Committee.<br /> <br /> Another change introduced by the new bylaws is that the membership of the Executive Committee is now specified: the Officers (President, Past-President or President-Elect, First and Second Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Associate Secretary, Treasurer and Associate Treasurer), and the chairs of the Council on Publications and Communications and the Committee on Sections.<br /> <br /> A few positions on the Board of Governors will be lost. Th e editors of the Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, and the College Math Journal will no longer be ex officio members of the Board, but in their place the chair of the Council on Publications and Communications will join the Board. Former presidents, instead of serving six years beyond their term as president will now only serve an additional four years on the Board.<br /> <br /> We always have had a Nominating Committee to nominate the candidates for President-Elect and First and Second Vice-Presidents. Th e responsibilities of that committee will be expanded under the new bylaws to include candidates for the six Governors-at-large, the Chair of the Committee on Sections, and the Council Chairs, all of whom sit on the Board and who are elected by the Board.<br /> <br /> For the first time, the membership of this Nominating Committee is specified. Its chair for two years will be the immediate past president, and it will have four additional members serving four-year non-renewable terms. These four additional members will be elected by the general membership, with two elected in each year that we run an election for the President-Elect and the Vice-Presidents.<br /> <br /> Other changes include straightening out the relationships among the Budget Committee, the Investment Committee and the Audit Committee; specifying duties of the Executive Director; and authorizing electronic voting and communication of official business, subject to controls to be determined by the Board.

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