The 1915 Constitution of the Ohio Section provided for two officers, a Chairman and a Secretary-Treasurer, each of whom was to be elected at the annual meeting. These two officers and "an additional member elected by the Section at the annual meeting" constituted the Executive Committee, which was to "transact all business of the Section between meetings." Immediately after adopting the constitution, the members present elected R.B. Allen (Kenyon College) as Chairman, Gordon N. Armstrong (Ohio Wesleyan University) as Secretary-Treasurer, and C.C. Morris (Ohio State University) as the third member of the Executive Committee.
The first annual meeting of the Section was held less than four months later, on April 21-22, 1916. At the business session T.M. Focke (Case School of Applied Science) was elected Chairman, while Armstrong and Morris were re-elected to their respective positions. Thereafter a new Chairman and third member of the Executive Committee were elected each year, but the Secretary-Treasurers were re-elected many times. If fact, while there have been 75 Chairmen of the Ohio Section since 1915, only seven members have served as Secretary-Treasurer. This longevity of service on the part of the Secretary-Treasurers has provided much needed continuity to the organization of the Section.
The third member of the Executive Committee was usually from the school at which the next year's annual section meeting was scheduled to be held. We may suppose that it was the assignment of this third member to coordinate local arrangements for the meeting. The office was abolished when the 1964 Constitution and By-Laws were adopted.
In 1923 a three-member Program Committee was created, with members being elected for one-, two-, and three-year terms, respectively. At each annual meeting thereafter, the senior member of the committee would retire, and a new member would be elected. Over the years it has not been at all unusual for a member of the Program Committee to later be elected Section Chairman. The names of Section Chairmen and Program Chairmen and their terms of office are listed in Appendix C.
Although members of the Executive Committee normally served one-year terms, and members of the Program Committee served for three years, there was an exception during World War II. Because of the war effort, no annual meeting - and hence no election - was held in 1945. This meant that Chairman J.B. Brandeberry (University of Toledo) and third Executive Committee member H.M. Beatty (Ohio State University) served from 1944 to 1946, and the terms of the Program Committee members were likewise extended.
Beginning in the late 1940's it became the practice to elect all three members of the Program Committee annually, although the three-year rotation scheme was still observed so that, in effect, only one new member was elected. There were, however, years when more than one new member was elected to the Program Committee, undoubtedly due to an early resignation. The senior member of the committee was now designated as its Chairman.
Sectional Governors were approved by the MAA at its annual meeting in December, 1946. Their election was to be conducted by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Association, and their term of office was specified as three years. Governor elections were phased in over a three-year period, with the Ohio Section electing its first Governor, Forbes B. Wiley (Denison University), in 1949. Professor Wiley had been the Section's third Chairman, serving in 1917-18. As noted in Appendix C, there have been fourteen Ohio Section Governors since 1949. Also, Zaven A. Karian (Denison U.) served as an MAA Governor-at-Large from 1987 to 1990.
In 1964 the original Constitution of the Ohio Section, which had been in effect for nearly 50 years, was replaced by a new Constitution and By-Laws which provided for the offices of President, Past-President (the most recently retired President), President-Elect (who would automatically become President the following year), Secretary-Treasurer, and Secretary-Treasurer-Elect (when appropriate). The Executive Committee was to be made up of these officers along with the Section Governor and the Chairman of the Program Committee. A year later, however, at the suggestion of the MAA Committee on Sections, the word "Chairman" was substituted for the word "President" wherever it appeared. In 1988 the title "President" was finally accepted, and Charles Hampton (College of Wooster) became the first President of the Ohio Section.
The Ohio Section minutes for December 31, 1915, mention a committee on nominations, and there must have been such a committee appointed every year. A comment in the 1954 records suggests that such committees were usually made up of "former chairmen and senior members who happened to be at the [annual] meeting." The 1964 By-Laws specified that the nominating committee "shall consist of the three most recent Past-Chairmen of the Section..." Although nominations from the floor at the annual meeting are also permitted, there is no record of any election in which an office was contested. Presumably each nominating committee did its job well and presented a single slate that was acceptable to the members attending the annual meeting.
Although women have been active in the Ohio Section since its inception, no female was Chairperson until Marion D. Wetzel (Denison University) held the post in 1978-79. The current President, Janet B. Roll (University of Findlay) is only the second woman to lead the Ohio Section. It is noteworthy that these two, along with Mary E. Sinclair (Oberlin College) and Joan P. Leitzel (Ohio State University) are the only females to have chaired the Program Committee. Barbara Flajnik (Wittenberg University) is currently a member of the Program Committee, and is due to chair it in 1991-92.
In addition to the elected officers, today's Ohio Section relies on the services of a number of other appointed leaders. Over the years these have included a contest chairman, newsletter editor, public information officer, TEAM coordinator, and two-year college representative. Chairs of the standing and ad hoc committees also fall into this category. These appointed officers are not members of the Executive Committee, but are invited to attend its meetings to report on various Section activities and advise the Executive Committee members on appropriate courses of action.
Copyright 1990, The Ohio Section, MAA, All rights reserved.