Rationale for the proposed modifications to the Bylaws

Motion: Modify the bylaws as reflected in http://sections.maa.org/iowa/Bylaws/ProposedBylaws.html. (Additions are in larger red font and deletions are indicated by striking through blue italicized text.)

A rationale is given by article and section.

Article I, Section 2: The language of our current version of this section is not very welcoming to people working outside of a four-year institution or universitity. This version is adapted from the Ohio Section's Bylaws, recently approved by the board of governors.

Article III, Section 1: There are two substantive changes here.

Currently, the Chair-elect is elected in the morning after the Executive Committee has already met and is then expected to both host the meeting the following year as well as organize the program's schedule of events. This proposal divides those two main tasks and assigns them to different people. In this proposal, the names Vice-Chair and Vice-Chair Elect were chosen, though alternatives may be {Program Chair or First Vice-chair} or {On-site Chair, Local Chair, Arrangments Chair or Second Vice-chair}, respectively. The Vice-Chair Elect will be elected on an annual basis and he/she will be responsible for hosting the next meeting (or finding an alternate location) and be responsible for all of the local arrangements. The tasks are manageable for someone newly elected in the Business Meeting. The Vice-Chair takes office at the close of his/her term as Vice-Chair Elect, at the end of the spring meeting. This person takes care of setting up the program and schedule of the next meeting and works in coordination with the Vice-Chair Elect to do so. This person next assumes the role of Chair in his/her third year. Note that Past Chair is removed from the list officers since this person has no responsibilities stated in the bylaws nor has this person had any in practice either. Note that this officer is added to the Executive Committee (next section). To accommodate the transition to this system, the current Chair and Past Chair would retain their office for another year, the current Chair-Elect would become the Vice-Chair, and the newly elected Chair-Elect would become the Vice-Chair Elect.

Currently, the Secretary-Treasurer wears several hats. This proposal portions those tasks to two people. Over the years, to our benefit, we have had an increasing selection of books available from the MAA and other publishers. This takes some work both ahead of time and at the meeting, sometimes in conflict with the tasks to which the Secretary needs to attend. This proposal would delegate the book sales task to the Treasurer. The Secretary will be in charge of the collection of registration fees, but all other monetary concerns will be in the domain of the Treasurer.

Some may argue that a section our size does not need two offices. Independent of the size, there are some fixed costs to the time needed to accomplish the various tasks. The responsibilities for our current position have expanded and the last two office holders have been proactive in getting more more books available for us to peruse at the meetings. Our current office holder feels a need for this and this voice should carry the most weight. See below for further justification from Wendy.

To accommodate the transition, the current Secretary-Treasurer, whose first year of a new term is about to start, would be both Secretary and Treasurer for this first year and a new Treasurer would be elected next year. This helps by providing a staggered election schedule to help coordination of transitions among the two officers.

Article III, Section 2: The proposal reflects the past practice of an expanded Executive Committee and formalizes it to include the Past Chair (an officer in the current bylaws), the Information Director (new title for the Newsletter Editor since this person has evolved to help maintain the web site as well), the Competition Coordinator, and the Liaison Coordinator. These voices are often helpful while trying to make various decisions at the executive level.

Article III, Section 6(b): This formalizes what is discussed above.

Article III, Section 6(c): This is added to describe the role of this new officer.

Article III, Section 6(d): This is modified to remove the Treasurer's duties from the description of the Secretary's duties.

Article III, Section 6(e): This is added to describe the role of this new officer, with the description verbatim from the previous Secretary-Treasurer's duties.

Article IV, Section 2: As described above, changes the charge for planning the annual meeting from Chair-Elect to the Vice-Chair, who also works with the Vice-Chair Elect.

Article IV, Section 4: This makes it explicit that email constitutes writing, for purposes of giving an advance notice of a meeting.

Article VII, Section 2: This makes it explicit that email constitutes writing, for purposes of giving an advance notice of a Bylaws modification. We are assuming now that email is sufficient but this will remove any doubt.

Further support for dividing the Secretary-Treasurer position

While the prospect of having students help out at the meetings would alleviate some of the pressures of the Secretary-Treasurer during the meeting time, most of the difficulties in working more than one position do not occur during the meeting. In the years I have been Secretary-Treasurer, I have tried to increase the number of books that publishers send to us to have on display and for attendees to take back to their institutions for review. This involves a lot of time via email and follow-up conversations with book representatives to get a nice variety of texts. This year we will not have any books available from publishers because I was not able to manage it. The process for the national Haimo Teaching award has been set back a month, and working with the nominator to prepare what we hope is a winner crowded into the time needed to notify publishers so that they can respond and get books to us.

The fact that we are a small section does not mean that either position has a small amount of work. Both positions are called upon throughout the year to do a variety of tasks. In order to be ready for the meeting the Treasurer must prepare a report for the Business Meeting, and the Secretary has forms that need to be prepared and copied. In addition to these items, the certificates for the student presentations must be prepared as well as organizing a way for these presenters to choose a book from the MAA's collection. The procurement of additional texts for review has already been addressed above.

Once the Section Meeting is over, the work that would naturally be that of the Secretary just begins with typing up the minutes of both the Executive Meeting and the Business Meeting. All the information collected at the meeting then must be summarized and presented to the national office in a timely manner (this is in addition to the report requested in the summer on the section activities for the year). The Treasurer must account for all registration fees (with the Secretary since registration falls under his/her domain), book fees, book orders (both by credit card and check/cash).

In addition to these duties, the Section voted to charge a registration fee for the Competition. In addition to reimbursing all parties involved with the meeting for their parts, these funds must also be managed in the two separate accounts (Section vs. Competition). With Steve WillsonÕs generous offer of a matching donation of $5,000 to help support the Competition, the time and resources needed to raise money has been quite a bit. We are only at $2000 of the $5000 we hope to raise by May 2006. The best time to try and procure donations is at the Section Meeting.

Quite simply, the position of Secretary-Treasurer is not a small job. As the Secretary-Treasurer takes on more for the section, this position becomes increasingly more difficult for one person to manage on a regular basis. I have included the Operational Plan for the Secretary-Treasurer which itemizes tasks not mentioned above.

Wendy has also included her operational plan/timeline/checklist (in Word), for those really interested in what has been doing.