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Guidelines for Bylaw Revisions

Sections are asked to revise their bylaws periodically to reflect current practice in the Section and current MAA policies.

It is the duty of the executive committee of the Section to revise the bylaws, 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 the template provided here. 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. The Committee on Section Bylaws has prepared a to help the process go smoothly.

Sections contemplating changes in bylaws should consult the Committee on Section Bylaws early in the process. The Committee on Section Bylaws 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 agree 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 bylaws. If the members approve the proposed bylaws, the Section sends the approved bylaws to the Committee on Sections, who will forward them to the Board of Directors for final approval. A suggested timeline is provided below.

Ten-Year Review Schedule


Pacific Northwest

North Central
Rocky Mountain

Allegheny Mountain
New Jersey





Metro New York



Nebraska/SE South Dakota


Pacific Northwest

North Central
Rocky Mountain


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. Before Section members vote on a bylaws proposal, the Section's executive committee should carefully study the bylaws template and consult with the Committee on Section Bylaws.

The following table shows a suggested schedule for a Section that plans to vote on a bylaws proposal at a meeting between March and June. 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

After review is completed at the Section level, the Committee on Section Bylaws also reviews any proposed changes (or lack thereof).  The revised bylaws are then approved by the Section membership and subsequently by the Board of Directors.  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 fafterby the following December.  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 Section Bylaws.

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 Section Bylaws 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 Section Bylaws via email
JMM The Committee on Section Bylaws reviews the current or proposed bylaws.
January 15 The Chair of the Committee on Section Bylaws 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 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 Section Bylaws, the Section members vote on the proposed change, the Committee approves, and finally the MAA Board of Directors approves.