January 9, 2005, in flight between Atlanta and Philadelphia:
As long as things are still fresh in my mind, I want to write down my Atlanta impressions. Up front, let me say that the weather in Atlanta was fine as one might except it for such a Southern location, giving the much needed relief from the winter in the North.I was glad there were no snowstorms as I had encountered them at two earlier visits to Atlanta many years ago.
For me it was the fourth meeting, since I joined the Board of Governors. I want to focus on two items before the board: the dues structure and the report of the Committee on Design of Strategic Planning. Of course, we approved the dues matrix for 2006, as required, which takes care of small across the board increases every couple of years due to inflation and the like. The dues structure is something else. It considers which types of members should get reduced dues and the like. Currently,full members receiving two journals "support" those receiving only one journal. This presumably requires adjustment. We discussed a special rate for part-time instructors who now seem to fall between the cracks. Another matter mentioned in our preliminary debate were reciprocity agreements between the MAA and various other organizations such as NCTM and AMATYC. I expect to hear more about it at the next board meeting.
You are all familiar with strategic planning at your own college and if it is like ours, that grand scheming rarely is converted into action. One wished there is more thought put into how strategic planning is done. This is just what the MAA has started with its Committee on Design of Strategic Planning, chaired by Joanne Leitzel. The report of this committee was just endorsed by the Board of Governors. Among other things, the report makes recommendations on the time frame of strategic planning, how priorities should be set and recommends input from the membership, in particular on the section level. There are plans for focus groups at section meetings led by a visiting MAA speaker. Hopefully, we will have soon the opportunity to host such a focus group at one of our meetings.
Lastly, I want to welcome two 2004/05 National NExT Fellows and one Project ACCCESS Fellow. They are the orange dots Joseph Kolacinsky (Elmira College) and David Perkins (Houghton College) and Karen S. Hale (Onondaga Community College), respectively. We hope to welcome them at out Spring meeting and the Seaway NExT workshop preceding it.