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MAA Members Approve Important Updates to Association Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation

About the Updates to MAA Governance
At its annual business meeting on January 7, 2017 during the Joint Mathematics Meetings, the MAA membership voted in favor of updated bylaws and articles of incorporation. The updates to MAA’s governance structure were developed in consultation with MAA membership, primarily through the Board of Governors, beginning in 2014 and available to members online and in the October/November issue of MAA FOCUS magazine.


The major differences in the revised bylaws include an updated governance structure with a smaller nine person Board of Directors that holds fiduciary responsibility for the organization, as well as a new Congress that will serve as a representative body and conduit of communication for a wide range of interests within the association.  

In addition to approving revisions to the MAA’s bylaws, the membership also voted in favor of updates to the association’s articles of incorporation so that these articles are returned to compliance with Illinois state law.

About the Revision Process
Beginning in its January 2014 meeting in Baltimore, the Board of Governors has engaged in multiple discussions over several meetings regarding MAA governance and communication.  Out of those conversations, a broad consensus emerged for a new leadership structure and updated bylaws.  

The proposed changes, which are in line with best practice recommendations for nonprofit organizations, include a smaller Board of Directors that will allow the leadership to more ably respond  to challenges such as the rapid changes wrought by the digital revolution. At the same time, we will retain broad representation of the membership through the new Congress, which shall set long-term strategic goals, advise the Board, and be a conduit for communication among constituencies of the MAA.

At their August 2016 meeting, the Board of Governors recommended the passage of the new bylaws.

What Happens Next?
The new bylaws take effect on February 1, 2017.  At their meeting on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the MAA Board of Governors approved a transition plan (pending an affirmative vote on January 7 by the membership on the updated bylaws).  

The main changes to governance roles include former 1st Vice President, Matt Boelkins, serving as the Chair of the new Congress, and former Associate Secretary Hortensia Soto serving as Officer-at-Large.  Each will serve for a single year as part of the transition.  At MAA MathFest in July 2017, the Congress will elect the next Chair and Officer-at-Large to begin serving February 1, 2018.  

The national election of the MAA President and Vice-President will be held as planned in spring 2017.

The incoming Chair of the Congress has convened a group of interested volunteers from the current Board of Governors to flesh out their plan to initiate action as a Congress.

The Committee on Sections will develop plans to assist the 29 MAA Sections with the revision of their bylaws as necessary and appropriate. Routine revisions to Sections governance will continue on the regular schedule that the Committee has already put in place.

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