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Spring 2007 - Governor's Column

A significant portion of the Board of Governors meeting was given to listening to and responding to the first three strategic planning reports. The first report was about the American Mathematics Competitions. This committee reported finding that the AMC is acknowledged in all circles - mathematical, student, and teacher - as an excellent collection of exams. The primary concern is slowly shrinking participation, apparently caused by increasing pressures on the educational system, alternative exams, and lack of minority participation. They proposed solutions that involved improved marketing and a flexible system of volunteer assistance.

The second reporting area was Professional Development activities. Here again, the working committee found that that the MAA work in providing professional development opportunities for its membership and the general mathematics community was outstanding. The primary concerns were engaging a larger, more diverse group of participants, establishing stable sources of financial support for these activities (rather than relying on grants), and the collection and utilization of evaluation data. The committee offered a list of recommendations on how these concerns might be addressed by the organization.

The third reporting area was Revenue generation. While recognizing the strong growth that the MAA has sustained over the past decade, this committee shared its primary concern that we still rely primarily on our membership fees for revenue. Their principal recommendation is that the organization continue to diversify its revenue stream, with no more than 20% coming from any one type.

The board had additional discussions about the next three areas for strategic review: student participation, governance, and membership.

In more routine matters concerning the budget and membership, the Board heard reports affirming that the MAA continues to improve its financial situation and will have end 2006 with a balanced budget. The MAA hired a new audit firm this past year which also gave the Association high marks for its financial reporting. The second step towards implementing the new dues structure will be implemented with the 2007 dues, which will increase about 7%.

As you are aware, the publications department of the MAA produces a wide range of high quality publications. This past year was no exception. Eighteen new books were published, and 10 more are currently in the pipeline. These include the five volume series on Euler and his work, as part of our year long celebration of his life. Sales continue to be strong; sales through Amazon.com are up 22% over 2005.

Our print and online journals continue to do well also. There is, as usual, a standing request for more volunteer referees; please contact the appropriate editor if you are interested. I should note that as part of the strategic plan, there is an on going discussion of which and what kind of "journals" should satisfy the membership requirement to subscribe to a journal. In particular, should Math Horizons, JOMA, and Convergence be allowable choices? If you have thoughts on this please let me know or contact the national office.

The list of future national meeting sites contains some very unusual and interesting sites. Please take time to review the list and to begin to make plans now.

August 10-12 2007, San Jose, CA
January 6-9, 2008, San Diego CA
July 31-Aug 2, 2008, Madison WI
January 7-10, 2009, Washington DC
August 6 -8, 2009,Portland OR
January 5-8, 2010,San Francisco CA
August 5-7, 2010,Pittsburgh PA
January 5-7, 2011, Boston MA
January 9-12, 2012, San Diego CA
January 15-18, 2013, Baltimore MD
January 1013, 2014, San Antonio TX
August 5-8, 2015, Washington DC

Submitted by Rick Gillman,
Governor of the Indiana Section of the MAA

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