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Model Charter

Charter of the SIGMAA on (Intended Special Interest)

Article I.  Identification

Section 1.  State the name of this SIGMAA.

[The official name of a SIGMAA must be of the form “The Special Interest Group of the MAA on (Intended Special Interest),” which shall normally be shortened to simply “The SIGMAA on (Intended Special Interest).” Typically a group also chooses an acronym, which may also be indicated in this section.  Such an acronym may be of the form “SIGMAA XXX” or “XXX SIGMAA.”]

Section 2.  Describe the mathematical focus and purpose of this SIGMAA.

[This is a very important section of the charter for both the reviewers involved in the SIGMAA approval process and also for MAA members who, after approval of the SIGMAA, may wish to consider membership. The length of this section may depend on the nature of the special interest.]

Article II.  Activities

Section 1.  List and briefly describe the intended activities of the SIGMAA.

[The list may be itemized using parts (designated (a), (b), (c), etc.).  Some examples of items typically included are holding meetings; sponsoring talks, panel discussions, receptions, etc.; maintaining a web page, on-line newsletter, and list server; and facilitating professional development of members.]

Section 2. Relationships with MAA Activities

(a) List here any existing MAA Councils, Committees, Programs or other structures with whom the SIGMAA will have a relationship, and describe the extent of that relationship.

(b) No activity of this SIGMAA, including publications, shall be represented as coming from the MAA at large, but rather from this SIGMAA, unless such activity and representation have been approved by the Executive Committee of the MAA.

[This is required language.]

(c) Reports of this SIGMAA's activities shall be included in an annual report submitted by the SIGMAA to the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs, with copies to the chair of the Coordinating Council to which the SIGMAA is assigned.

[This is required language.  Note that currently the annual report in the above reference is completed in an electronic template and submitted by March 1.]

Article III.  Meetings

Section 1. Indicate the frequency and place of on-site meetings of the SIGMAA.

[General membership meetings of the SIGMAA may occur at either the January Joint Mathematics Meetings or at MathFest, one of which may (if desired) be selected as the “official” meeting for doing business. Other activities may be scheduled at MAA Section meetings.]

Section 2.  Indicate how SIGMAA meetings will be conducted.

[The rules of procedure for meetings should be indicated. In general, these should be as simple as possible, consistent with principles of democracy. Here, or in a separate part, indicate how special meetings, when necessary, will be conducted, and by what process (e.g., e-mail) members will be informed and participate.]

Section 3.   Indicate the number of members required to constitute a quorum at meetings. 

Article IV.  Membership

Section 1.  Membership in this SIGMAA shall be open to any MAA member.

[This is required language.]

Article V.  Administration

Section 1.  Officers and Executive Committee

[Provide a list of the specific officers of the SIGMAA (e.g., chair, chair-elect, past-chair, secretary-treasurer, newsletter editor, web page manager, etc.) and indicate which are elected and which are appointed.  Define the SIGMAA Executive Committee, and indicate any SIGMAA members who, due to some status related to the focus of the SIGMAA, may be named as ex-officio members of the SIGMAA Executive Committee. (Be careful to distinguish in the charter the “SIGMAA” Executive Committee and the “MAA” Executive Committee.)]

Section 2.  Duties of Officers

[Describe the duties of each officer and the role the Executive Committee will play in the administration of the SIGMAA.  Be sure to specify which officers will be responsible for the following:  presiding at meetings, keeping records, corresponding with the membership, submitting reports, handling finances, planning programs, overseeing electronic communications, and serving as a liaison with the MAA Associate Secretary concerning arrangements at national MAA meetings.]

Section 3.  Elections, Appointments, and Terms of Office

[Specify the timing (see next paragraph) of an annual election of SIGMAA Officers, describe the composition of the nominating committee, and indicate relevant information about the nomination and election process.  Give the terms of office for elected officers or appointed members of the Executive Committee, and indicate limits on terms for officers and a method for filling vacancies in offices.]

Note that election of officers of a SIGMAA must be conducted through an online balloting system by the MAA Office.  Two one month windows of opportunity are available for the election process, namely, April 1 through April 30 and October 1 through October 31.  Typically a SIGMAA that specifies the January Joint Mathematics Meeting as its general membership meeting will select the October 1 through October 31 window, while the April 1 through April 30 window will be selected by a SIGMAA whose general membership meeting is held at the August MathFest.  

[The following wording is required.] 

1. Nomination and election of officers will take place by electronic ballot of the membership. By October 1 (or April 1) the MAA will distribute to the SIGMAA members instructions for voting by October 31 (or April 30). The electronic ballot will indicate that write-in votes are permitted. The winner will be the candidate receiving the most votes. Ties will be broken by a fair, unbiased random device supervised by the MAA. 

2. Should an office other than Chair become vacant midterm, the Executive Committee of the SIGMAA, in consultation with the most recent Nominating Committee, shall appoint a member of the SIGMAA to fill that office for the remainder of the term of office.  Should the office of Chair of the SIGMAA become vacant midterm, the Executive Committee shall appoint a member of the Executive Committee (to include the ex officio immediate Past Chair) to fill the office of Chair for the remainder of the term and, should this appointment create a vacant office, shall fill the vacant position according to the rules just given. 

Article VI.  Finances Section 1.  An annual MAA dues supplement shall be assessed each member of this SIGMAA. This fee will be used to support in part the activities of this SIGMAA, and the manner of collection and disbursement of these funds will be determined by the MAA Executive Committee.  The initial amount of this dues supplement will be $XX per year.  This SIGMAA may formally request a change of this amount by sending such a request to the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs, which after consideration will forward a recommendation to the MAA Executive Committee.  The MAA Executive Committee may also initiate a request for a change of the dues supplement.

[Except of filling in the initial amount, this is required language.  Currently dues supplements for all SIGMAAs are set at $10 per year.]

Section 2.  This SIGMAA shall submit an expense budget for each calendar year to the MAA Director of Programs and Services no later than March 15 of the preceding year. It shall include the projected cost for any regularly planned activities, including receptions, room charges, equipment, etc. at national meetings. The budget is subject to the approval of the MAA Executive Committee.

[This is required language.  Currently annual SIGMAA budget requests are submitted on a spreadsheet template that the MAA Department of Programs and Services sends to the SIGMAA officer delegated financial duties.]

Section 3.  This SIGMAA may apply to the MAA for specific funding beyond what is provided from dues. All requests for funds shall be substantiated by a budget for the proposed expenditures.

[This is required language.]

Article VII.  External Funding Section 1.  This SIGMAA may write grant proposals to be submitted by the MAA.  The SIGMAA will follow the policies and procedures of the MAA for all such submissions.

[This is required language.]

Section 2. Neither this SIGMAA nor any officer nor any representative thereof shall have any authority to contract debts for, pledge the credit of, or in any way bind the MAA.

[This is required language.]

Article VIII.  Changes

Section 1.  Changes to this Charter may be proposed by this SIGMAA if a recommendation for such changes is supported by a two-thirds majority of the members voting. The proposed changes must then be submitted for consideration to the Committee on SIGMAAs, which will forward a recommendation on approval to the MAA Executive Committee.

[This wording may be modified to meet a SIGMAA’s quorum rule.  However, the substance of this wording must be retained.]

Section 2.  Changes to this Charter may also be initiated by the MAA Executive Committee, which will forward such a request to the MAA Committee on SIGMAAs. In turn the Committee on SIGMAAs will work with the SIGMAA to develop specific new language for the charter that is acceptable to the SIGMAA.  The Committee on SIGMAAs will then forward the revised charter to the MAA Executive Committee to be considered for approval.  In this event, changes must be approved by the Board of Governors.

[This is required language.]

Article IX.  Dissolution

Section 1.  This SIGMAA shall be dissolved for either of the following reasons:

(a) Failure to maintain at least XX members for two consecutive years

(b) Reasons agreed to by a majority vote of the Board of Governors.

[Except for the designated number of members, this is required wording.]

Section 2.  If dissolved, any unspent funds of this SIGMAA shall be returned to the general fund of the MAA.

[This is required language.]

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