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Fall 2008 - Governor's Column

The MAA continues to be in a solid financial situation. The net worth and income continues to increase. The Association has an operating budget of $8 million, investments of $7 million, grants of $6 million, and real estate with an appraised value of $17 million. The most recent audit was clean. Unfortunately, there was an operating budget deficit of $3 thousand in 2007 and a similar deficit projected for 2008. Primary causes are an unexpectedly low recovery of costs from federal grants, high cost associated with the San Jose MathFest, and lower book income. Strong returns on investments and some large unrestricted gifts in 2007 resulted in an increase in net worth despite the budget deficit. Savings in marketing, savings by holding the new Governors orientation at MathFest, and conservative investments are helping to mitigate the current deficit.

In line with recommendations made by the Strategic Planning Group on Governance, the Board approved a new council and committee structure for the Association. The hope is to make coordination and governance more natural and more likely to lead to innovative ideas and programs. To retain more institutional history within committees, members appointed in January of year n will be expected to attend the Joint Math Meetings in years n through n + 3, providing some overlap between out-going and in-coming members. The new committee structure can be found at

The Strategic Planning Group on Membership provided a list of suggestions for the Board to consider in future meetings. These include possible reconfigurations of individual, institutional, and corporate memberships; new international, section, and fellowship categories were suggested. The Board will need to think about the impact of any changes in categories and prices in conjunction with revenue goals, plans for physical and electronic publications, and other goals for the Association.

The Board, through focus groups, provided input to the Strategic Planning Groups on Sections and STEM Issues and the Mathematics Program. The former was interested in ways Governors can be of most effect in the relationship between the Association and the Sections. The later was interested primarily in the ways that the materials produced by the MAA (e.g., Guidelines for Programs and Departments in Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences) are or are not used by MAA members when they could be a valuable resource.

Soon the Board will have received reports from the ten Strategic Planning Groups that have been formed over the past three years. The wealth of ideas and the desire to study and take action led to the decision to not form new Groups.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your section governor. Please contact me if you want more detail about any aspect of the Board's work, want to make suggestions, or would like to volunteer for a committee.

Submitted by David Housman,
Governor of the Indiana Section of the MAA

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