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Guidelines for Bylaw Revisions

While sections may revise their by-laws and make amendments at any time with the approval of the Board of Governors, sections asked to do a formal revision every ten years so that the bylaws reflect current practice in the section and current MAA policies.

It is the duty of the executive committee of the section to revise the by-laws, but other members of the section may assist. While sections should tailor their bylaws for their particular needs, each section's bylaws must be in accord with the bylaws of the Mathematical Association of America and should use the template below. In particular, to preserve the tax-exempt status of MAA and its sections, it is important to follow the suggested format as closely as possible for Articles I, II, and V. In addition to the format and suggestions contained in the template, consideration should be given to further ideas contained in the Resource, "Organization of an Effective Section".

Sections contemplating changes in bylaws should consult the Committee on Sections early in the process. The Committee on Sections will provide recommendations after reviewing a preliminary version of the proposed section bylaws. Once the executive committee of the section and the Committee on Sections agrees on the recommendations, the executive committee then presents the proposed by-laws to all members of the section (this is often done electronically) prior to the next section meeting. At the business meeting of the next section meeting, all members of the section who are present vote on the proposed by-laws. If the members approve the proposed by-laws, the section sends the by-laws to the Board of Governors for final approval. A formal timeline is provided below.

The Committee on Sections suggests that each MAA section thoroughly review the section's bylaws every ten years so that the bylaws reflect current practice in the section and current MAA policies. Interim amendments can be made at any time during the intervening nine years with the approval of the Board of Governors.

Ten-Year Review Schedule

The Committee on Sections will work with each MAA section to review the section's bylaws every ten years. The following table shows the suggested rotation schedule for reviews of section bylaws.



Pacific Northwest

North Central
Rocky Mountain

Allegheny Mountain
New Jersey



Metro New York



Nebraska/SE South Dakota


Pacific Northwest


Procedures for Amending Bylaws of MAA Sections


In the year that a section is reviewing bylaws, the section should follow certain procedures in a timely fashion. Important steps before the section members vote on the proposed bylaws are study of the model for section bylaws posted on MAA Online and consultation with the Committee on Sections.

The following table shows a suggested schedule for a section that plans to vote on a bylaws proposal at a spring business meeting held after March. If a section intends vote on its bylaws proposal at a business meeting held before March, this schedule can be adjusted to accommodate that action.

Policy for Assuring Section Bylaws Review and Revision

Each section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is expected to review and revise its bylaws once every ten years.  After review is completed at the section level, the Committee on Sections also reviews any proposed changes (or lack thereof).  The revised bylaws are then approved by the section membership and subsequently by the Board of Governors.  This entire process should take no longer than 18 months (January, year n to August year n+1).

This decennial review process is essential for two reasons.  First, it provides the section the opportunity to ensure that their practices are consistent with the bylaws by either reforming the practice or amending the bylaws.  Second, the review process assures that section bylaws are compliant with current MAA policies and any legal requirements.

Therefore, each section will be given a 24 month window in which to complete this process.  That is, if they miss having the bylaws ready for board approval at Mathfest, they are expected to have revisions ready at the following Joint Mathematics Meeting.  If they fail to meet this deadline, their subvention payments will be forfeit in each year following until the bylaws revision process is completed.  Exceptions may be granted by the chair of the Committee on Sections.

Amending Bylaws Annual Schedule

Spring of preceding year & Fall The Section decides on any needed bylaws changes after considering current Section practice and reading the model for section bylaws posted on MAA Online. Preliminary versions of proposals may be sent to the Committee on Sections for comments.
December 1 The section submits the current bylaws, the proposed new section bylaws and a list of major changes, if changes are anticipated, to the chair of the Committee on Sections via email
JMM The Committee on Sections reviews the current or proposed bylaws.
After JMM The Chair of the Committee on Sections sends any suggestions to the Section.
February 15 If requested, the Section submits a new proposal to the Chair of the Committee.
February 15 - March 15 The Section and Committee continue to communicate about the proposal until the Committee and Section agree.
Spring Section Meeting Formal notice of the proposed bylaws is sent to section members according to the Section's current bylaws. The Section votes on the proposed bylaws at the business meeting. After approval, the Section formally submits the bylaws to the Chair of the Committee.
Summer The Committee reviews the proposed bylaws and recommends their approval to the Board. The Chair of the Committee works with the MAA Executive Committee to put the bylaws on the agenda of the MAA Board of Governors. The Board votes on the bylaws.


Interim Amendments to Section Bylaws


After a ten-year review, limited amendments to section bylaws may be proposed in the years when a ten-year review is not scheduled. In this case, only the amendment and related parts of the bylaws, not the entire document, will be considered. The procedure is analogous to that for complete review: the Section consults with the Committee on Sections, the Section members vote on the proposed change, the Committee approves, and finally the MAA Board of Governors approves.