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MAA Iowa Section Newsletter
Fall 2013

This is the web edition of the Iowa Section Newsletter. To receive a printed copy of the newsletter or to make suggestions/comments, please contact the editor, Amanda Matson,


Section Governor's Report

This past August, in Hartford, CT, I attended my first MathFest in the role of governor. The MAA had the new governors come a day early to help get us up to speed on process and structure and gain familiarity with the organization. I was impressed with the how smoothly this initial meeting went and how valuable it was to hear about the various facets of the organization. One thing that I had heard before, but it was good to hear again, was the statement that committee structure is always in the need for more volunteers. Thus, I would encourage everyone to find a place that fits your interests and serve on a national committee.

The next day was devoted to the full Board of Governors meeting. There were many reports from MAA staff and committee chairs. There was a short Executive Session (without staff members) where votes were taken on elections and nominations (and during which I was elected to the Audit Committee). The Oklahoma section had its revised Bylaws approved after some discussion. The topic that had the most discussion was related to the financial picture of the association, including the declining membership and the new dues structure. We have been informed that most associations from both academic and nonacademic areas are also facing declining membership. While we are now financially sound, it is not sustainable to spend slightly more than there is income. The new dues structure is meant to partially address this but it also simplifies internal bookkeeping, reducing about 373 types of memberships to simply 5. Overall, I felt it was a good meeting and I have much better grasp and appreciation of how the MAA operates.

Al Hibbard

Section Chair's Report

Much of my chair's report comes from the Section Officers' meeting at MathFest this past August in Hartford, CT.

MAA Membership

It is important for all of us to maintain (or establish) our MAA memberships! Membership numbers, nationally, are lower and so our section should be thinking of creative ways to encourage MAA membership in ways that align with being active in our Iowa Section.

Newly Elected Governor

Congratulations to Central College's Al Hibbard for being elected Governor of the MAA Iowa Section this past spring. He'll serve our section in a three-year term, ending in 2016.

Section Emails

National MAA has indicated to all sections that messages intended to be distributed to all members of a section should go through the section's leadership, and then through national MAA since they hold the official membership lists for all sections. Therefore, it is important to a) follow this practice, and b) encourage all of us active in MAA Iowa to maintain our MAA memberships.

Section Meeting Book Sales

A reminder that we are no longer allowed to sell physical books at our section meetings. All purchases at our section meetings will be now be orders sent in to the national office. Shipping is still free, the meeting discount still holds, and the section still gets a cut of the “sales made at the meeting.”

Section Bank Accounts

At the Section Officers' meeting, we were informed that, on average, sections hold roughly 300% of their annual expenses. The Committee on Sections recommends that sections aim to hold 150-200% of their annual expenses in reserve and find ways to use the additional money to benefit the membership. Remember that the IRS wants non-profits (of which MAA is one!) to use their money to further the mission of the institution.

MAA Centennial Year - 2015!!

2015 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the MAA! There will be significant national MAA activity to celebrate this anniversary, including an extra day at that year's MathFest (Aug. 5-8, 2015). Our section needs to think of ways to join in this celebration, and we'll discuss some of those at our business meeting.

Website Management

Twenty-six out of 29 sections have migrated their websites to the MAA server. The Committee on Sections would like to have each of the websites further migrated to the current MAA content management system (CMS); this will permit more consistent branding but will also allow more than one person to be able to upload content to the website. The goal is to have everyone migrated over to the CMS by 2015.

Section Treasurer's Report


Iowa Section NExT Announcement

The Iowa Section NExT meeting is Friday, October 18 at Wartburg College, approximately 9:30am-2:30pm, immediately preceding the MAA Iowa Section meeting. Recent PhDs in pre-tenure academic math positions in Iowa as well as grad students in the final two years of their PhD program are welcome to join. There will be opportunities for networking, discussions and presentations in line with the goals of the national Project NExT, but open to a wider audience. Topics include pedagogy and other aspects of the math faculty profession. Please spread the word to eligible colleagues. If you are eligible, interested, and haven't applied yet, please complete the application form at this section site and send to Jonas Meyer at (priority deadline is September 30.). If you are interested in leading a discussion or giving a presentation, please contact Jonas.

Dates of Importance

October 18-19, 2013 - Annual Meeting of the Iowa Section, Wartburg College, .

January 15-18, 2014 - Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.

August 7-9, 2014 - MathFest 2014, Portland, OR.

If you have additions, corrections, or comments on anything on this page, please pass this information to the newsletter editor.

Last modified: 9/26/2013