I attended my first Governor's meeting at Mathfest in Knoxville, TN on August 9, 2006. As this was my first Governor's meeting, I tried to keep it simple and absorb the gist of events that were ongoing from previous meetings and put in my two cents whenever I thought it was appropriate. I came away with two main items. The first was the completion of the carriage house. The MAA has converted the Carriage house at the MAA headquarters in Washington, DC into a conference center that will accommodate groups of up to 60 people. Planning began in October 2003 with a meeting of the Carriage House Advisory Board. The work is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2006 with opening ceremonies scheduled to take place April 19-21, 2007. These will include a ribbon cutting, a tribute to Paul Halmos (a major contributor with his wife Virginia), several major speakers, and a Saturday program directed to students and (middle and high) school teachers. The aforementioned board is also charged with outlining the direction of programs that the conference center will host. Two subcommittees (local programs and national programs) are concerned with the long term use of the Carriage House (exclusive of rentals). Ideas for local programs include professional development for high school teachers; a middle school circle; AMC training, testing, and grading sessions; joint projects with the MD-DC-VA section; and an MAA book club. The idea of joint Smithsonian-MAA programs is being pursued. From what I can gather, this facility is supposed to provide members with a venue for smaller conferences in the DC area.
The second discussion item that I feel is of interest to the membership of the section deals with the issue of how the governors serve their sections. Historically, governors have brought back news from the Board of Governors to their constituencies. It has been suggested that the line of communication needs to travel both ways. Typically section concerns are directly addressed in the section officers' meeting. This system, in my opinion, insulates the Board of Governors (and the national association) from issues that are of concern in the sections. It was suggested that governors need to solicit concerns from section members. This is not meant to bypass the executive committee of the sections but to provide a two-way conduit between the membership and the Board of Governors. I think this is an excellent idea and, in fact, I urge you to email me your concerns so that I can make the national organization aware of them or at least to keep me informed of the section's viewpoints when the board is in a position to vote on decisions affecting the membership. Remember that I was elected to serve you.
As an aside, I found out from the editor's report that submissions are down slightly at The College Math Journal. They do not have a shortage of manuscripts but this could be of interest to potential authors.