Iowa Section of the MAA

Executive Committee Meeting

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Central College


Present:  Ruth Berger (Competition Chair), Mariah Birgen (Chair-Elect), Jim Freeman (Governor), Joel Haack (Past-Chair), Nancy Hagelgans (Invited Speaker), Al Hibbard (Chair), Mark Mills (Newsletter Editor), Cal Van Niewaal (Liaison Coordinator), Wendy Weber (Secretary-Treasurer)


Hibbard called the meeting to order at 7:30am.


1.      Minutes from Executive Committee meeting of (April 17, 2004) were approved by acclamation.

2.      Update on the Competition Campaign by Weber.  Section members contributed $1885.00 after last year’s meeting.  Steve Willson (Iowa State University) has matched this initial donation.  Weber will pass out donation cards during the Treasurer’s report of the Business meeting and request members to fill out the donation before they leave the meeting.

3.      Discussion of proposed changes to the Bylaws.  The functional order for the next year after today’s election of the Chair-Elect will be as follows:  the current Past-Chair will function as Past-Chair, the current Chair will function as Chair, the current Chair-Elect will become the Vice-Chair, and the Chair-Elect will be the Vice Chair-Elect.  Freeman raised the question of whether the Bylaws would be on the agenda for the Board of Governors’ meeting at Math Fest.  Hagelgans replied that it most likely would be.

4.      Discussion of Public Information Officer position.  It was decided that since the Newsletter Editor currently performs many of these duties; the Public Information Officer position should be eliminated.

5.      Discussion of Student Chapter Coordinator.  Cathy Gorini has resigned as Student Chapter Coordinator.  Haack will announce at the Business Meeting that there is an opening for this position and invite members to fill it.  If there are no volunteers this year, the Chair will raise the issue of filling it at next year’s meeting to determine if there is interest or if this position should be eliminated.  Using the Liaison to raise any student related issues was suggested.

6.      Discussion of nominations for Section Meritorious Service Awards.  Freeman will contact he national office to determine who has received this award in the past.  Freeman requested to use the Executive Committee to determine any future awardees; the committee agreed by acclamation.

7.      Discussion of Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition.  Berger will raise the issue at the Business meeting and poll members in order to determine when future Competitions should be held.  This discussion will coincide with determining if the Section meeting should be moved to the fall.  Currently there are four major mathematical events taking place in the spring:  The Undergraduate Symposium at Simpson College, the Section Meeting, the Iowa Collegiate Mathematics Competition, and the Great Plains Meeting. 

Issues raised in this discussion include: 

    1. conflicts with the Computer Science meeting in the fall,
    2. the Iowa Section Bylaws (Article IV Section1) state that the meeting will occur in the spring,
    3. moving the Section Meeting to the fall may result in fewer undergraduate presentations but more graduate job presentations,
    4. most institutions in Iowa have long spring break breaks, not long fall breaks,
    5. is the Friday/Saturday choice of days better than Saturday/Sunday,
    6. the programming context occurs sometime in early November,
    7. the MAA National Executive Committee meeting is a weekend in November; national speakers may be hard to obtain for that weekend,
    8. should the section meeting always be a specific time (i.e., the first weekend in November) or should it be allowed to float with more flexibility.


It was decided that the timing of the meeting depends on events taking place at the host institution as well as the schedule of the speakers so that it is not feasible to specify a recurring date for the meeting.


  1. Discussion of Section NExT.  It is becoming more difficult to be accepted in the national Project NExT, and Iowa community colleges and four year institutions are still hiring young faculty.  Birgen will organize a group to meet during lunch after the Business Meeting to discuss forming an Iowa Section NExT.  Freeman pointed out the need to be up-front with the Section about the costs associated with supporting this group.  Birgen will check into costs of other Section NExTs and come up with a proposal for the following year’s Section Meeting.
  2. Discussion of extending an invitation to candidates for Chair-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer to the Executive Committee Meeting at the Section Meeting on a continual basis.  It was agreed that this is a good precedence and should be continued. It will help with the transition into the new positions following the election(s).
  3. Discussion of operational plans.  Weber passed around the operational plan for the Secretary-Treasurer as an example.  Hibbard has a page of the Section website for operational plans of each leadership position in the Section.  Operational plans will be updated annually and made available to each successive leader.
  4. Discussion of Section website.  Hibbard reported that the Section web page is now being held at Central College.  Hibbard has added several new features to the web page:  a constant banner for all pages, page for operational plans, pre-registration form for Section Meetings, etc.  He will be presenting more information about the web site at a talk later in the day.
  5. Discussion of American Mathematics Competition (AMC).  Freeman reported that currently there is no formal relationship between the AMC and the Section.  Freeman will look into ways to involve the Section in the AMC such as by sending letters to students soon after the scores are announced or inviting high school teachers and students to the Section Meeting.
  6. Discussion of minutes of the Executive Committee and Business meetings.  It was decided that the Secretary-Treasurer would type up the minutes of both meetings and send them electronically to the Executive Committee following the Section Meeting.  The minutes of the Executive Committee meeting would be edited and approved by the Executive Committee and put on the Section’s web page.  The minutes of the Business meeting would be edited and formally approved by the Section at the next Meeting.
  7. Discussion of involving ASA (American Statistical Association) or AMATYC in the Section’s Meetings.  Hagelgans mentioned also involving the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).  Haack mentioned that the Section should also advertise its meeting in the ICTM (Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics) newsletter.  It was decided that invitations for inclusion in our Section meeting be extended to these groups.
  8. Discussion of welcome letter sent out by the national office.  When new members join the MAA, they are sent a letter welcoming them to the Iowa Section and providing them with a certificate for one free registration at the next Section Meeting.  It was decided that our Section continue this practice whether the national office does or does not.
  9. Discussion of subsidizing officers of our Section at national meetings.  Freeman pointed out that doing so would require the Section to reevaluate its finances.  The Section recently raised the registration fee from $5 to $10, agreed to annually contribute $200 to the Competition fund, is interested in beginning a Section NExT, all of which require a financial commitment.  Supporting all of these activities cannot be done with our current financial structure.
  10. Report on a new MAA policy about recordings.  Video and audio taping of events at the Section meeting will not be allowed.  Still photography is permitted.
  11. Report on MAA policy on reimbursement.  The reimbursement for Governors at national meetings is $600.
  12. Report on MAA bylaw about Governor replacements at national meetings.  Current practice is that if a current Governor cannot attend a national meeting then only a past Governor may attend as a voting member.
  13. Discussion of nominating Section members to national committees.  Freeman will investigate the national committee structure.  Nominations can be sent to Martha Siegel at any time and will be held until a position is open.  The Section is encouraged to nominate active members of the Section as well as younger colleagues and women.
  14. Meeting was adjourned at 8:30am.



Respectfully submitted,

Wendy A. Weber