AMS Administrative Handbook
I. Structure of the American Musicological Society
The American Musicological Society is organized in accordance with its By-Laws, as adopted and amended by vote of the membership, and with this Handbook, as adopted and amended by the Board of Directors. It is governed by officers, the Board of Directors, and the Council, elected in accordance with provisions in the By-Laws. Other positions are appointed by the President, in consultation with (and in some cases, with the approval of) the Board.
By-Law definition: The officers, their general duties, and their terms of office are described in Article V of the By-Laws. Only the Treasurer and Secretary may be elected to succeed themselves. Every officer is a voting member of the Board.
The President, “except where otherwise directed by the Board of Directors, is the chief executive officer of the Society,” “shall preside over all meetings of the members and the Council,” and “shall function as Chair of the Board of Directors.” During the year before his or her term begins, s/he shall serve as:
- President-elect, to gain experience as a voting member of the Board. The President-elect serves as chair of the Board Committee on Committees.
During the year following his or her term as President, s/he shall serve as
- Past President, to give counsel to the Board and new President as a voting member of the Board. S/he serves again as Chair of the Board Committee on Committees.
- Vice President
The Vice President shall serve concurrently with the President, shall serve as acting President in the absence or incapacity of the latter, shall succeed to that office if it becomes vacant, and shall take on other duties assigned by the President or the Board. The Vice President serves as the chair of the Board Committee on the Annual Meeting.
The role of the Treasurer, described in Article V.A.5 of the By-Laws, includes the “care and custody of all the funds and securities of the Society.” The Treasurer serves as chair of the Finance Committee. Tasks entrusted to the Treasurer include:
- Supervise the investment of the Society’s endowment funds within a balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other appropriate asset classes.
- Make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding appropriate spending levels of the Society’s endowment funds.
- Report to the Board of Directors semi-annually regarding the performance of the investments within the endowment portfolio.
- Report to the Society as a whole at the annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation and in appropriate publications of the Society regarding the financial health of the Society and the growth of its endowment funds.
The role of the Secretary, outlined in Article V.A.6 of the By-Laws, includes taking minutes at Board meetings, administering balloting, and acting as liaison between Board, Council, and chapter officers.
- Take Minutes at the two meetings of the Board each year (and at any other special meetings such as retreats and meetings of the Society at which business is formally transacted). The Minutes should be a record of issues discussed and actions taken, focused more on what is done than on what is said.
- Furnish the President, Executive Director, and relevant officers with a list of “action points” from the meeting as soon as possible after its conclusion.
- Submit a draft of the Minutes of the meeting to the Executive Committee within two weeks of the meeting, incorporate corrections, and send corrected draft of Minutes to President for inclusion in Agenda Book of next meeting
- Prepare and send to the Executive Director a brief report on the Board’s business and actions at each meeting for publication in the Newsletter and the web site (“News from the Board”).
- Note corrections to Minutes at the next meeting of the Board; send final version of the Minutes to the President (for next Agenda Book) and to the Executive Director (for archiving).
- Audio recordings used to facilitate the taking of Minutes will be erased upon approval of the Minutes by the Board of Directors.
- Because of their frequently sensitive nature, Minutes will be treated by the AMS Archives as restricted files, accessible to current members of the Board of Directors but otherwise closed to researchers for a specified period of time following approval of the Minutes by the Board of Directors. For all meetings held prior to 8 November 2017 this period is set at 50 years; for all meetings held on or after 8 November 2017 the period is 20 years.
- Instruct the Board Nominating Committee on its duties so that it can begin its work before the summer.
- At the fall meeting, 1) create a ballot from the list of names provided by the Board Nominating Committee as vetted by the Board (during the meeting Wednesday); 2) distribute this ballot to the Board for numerical ranking of candidates; 3) collect the ballots (before the end of the meeting Wednesday); 4) tabulate and report results to Board (Thursday morning).
- Approach the prospective candidates for Director in ranked order about their willingness to serve on the Board, until six candidates have been confirmed for the three Director slots. (The President approaches the prospective candidates for Officer positions.)
- Solicit biographical information from all candidates (Officers and Directors) send edited versions to the Executive Director, who will prepare the ballot (paper and electronic). The Secretary should check the ballot’s instructions to voters.
- Count the paper ballots within about two weeks of the balloting deadline, combine with results of electronic balloting provided by the Executive Director, and report the election results to the Executive Committee; be generous in waiting for straggling mail ballots from overseas, etc., within reasonable limits.
- Notify all candidates of their election or non-election; the Executive Director will send elected Officers and Directors a full set of instructions
3. Chapter Officers Meeting (breakfast meeting (7:00-8:45 a.m.) on Friday of the Annual Meeting)
- Send an announcement to all Chapter Officers, asking for updates to Chapter officer personnel; get a reasonable count of attendees so that the Executive Director can order breakfast.
- Consider issues to be aired at the meeting, polling the Chapter Officers for agenda items, and then sending the agenda out in advance, if possible.
- Preside at the meeting; ask for a volunteer to take Minutes at the meeting; recognize guests: usual visitors include President, fund-raising leaders, Executive Director;
- Obtain the Minutes from the volunteer within a few weeks of the meeting; edit them, send to the Chapter Officers and Executive Committee, alerting them to any critical matters to be dealt with; report the Minutes to the Board at the March meeting.