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AMS Administrative Handbook

Page 7 Committees — Introduction — General Principles and Procedures—Guidelines for Committee Chairs

II. Committees

The American Musicological Society depends upon the contributions of its members for its activities. The Society conducts its business largely through committees, appointed by the President.

A. Introduction

  1. General Principles and Procedures
  2. The General Principles and Procedures address various aspects of the process whereby committees are constituted and their members appointed.

    1. The President appoints all committee members, in consultation with the Board Committee on Committees chaired by the Past President or President-Elect. The President also usually consults the current chair of each committee. Only the slate of appointees to the Board Nominating Committee requires Board approval.
    2. To the extent feasible, committees should be broadly representative of the membership of the Society, weighing such factors as gender, geography, type of institution, profession, field, methodological approach, stage in career, and so on.
    3. The life of a new committee and the terms of committee members begin at the conclusion of the AMS Business Meeting and Awards Presentation during the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is an obvious time for committees to meet and for new members to confer with old ones. Thus, committee appointments are made in sufficient time to allow members-designate to attend unofficially any meetings that take place at the Annual Meeting (for example, attendance as a visitor at the November 2007 meeting; term begins after the Business Meeting and Awards Presentation, and the date of appointment is referred to as “2008”).
    4. As a rule, no one should serve simultaneously on more than one of the principal “deciding” bodies or functions within the Society (e.g., Board of Directors, JAMS or AMS Studies editor, any award committee, chair of Publications, Performance, or Program committees).
    5. Committees and other organizational entities that are not By-Law entities and/or do not serve regular, ongoing Society needs (a) should be given specific or finite charges, (b) should be periodically reviewed regarding progress toward fulfilling those charges, and (c) should be annually reminded (in letters of appointment or reappointment) of their charges and of the short-term need for their existence—the aim of these provisos being to avoid offense when such committees are disbanded.

  3. Guidelines for Committee Chairs
  4. The following Guidelines are meant to serve as reminders of good committee practice, to ensure an orderly transition from one year to the next, and to help preserve the Society’s activities for its archives.

    The Charge to the Committee: Mission Statement. The charge to the committee, based on the By-Laws or on the directive from the President and Board of Directors that established the committee, should be on the Society’s Web page and should be communicated to new members by the President. Some committees may choose to operate under the rubric of a mission statement. Both the charge and the mission statement must be approved by the AMS Board.

    Task List and Calendar: The outgoing chair should provide the President and the Executive Director with a list of tasks and a timetable indicating when they should be performed. (This is particularly important for the Award and Fellowship committees.) The President will include this list in the letter of appointment to the incoming chair, together with the charge to the committee.

    Reports: The chair is required to submit reports or items for Board consideration to the President by February 15 for the spring Board Meeting (generally mid-March), and three weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. In addition, the chair may submit reports to the Editor of the AMS Newsletter. At the conclusion of his or her term, normally at the time of the chair’s October 1 report, s/he should include a summary of accomplishments, and s/he should send to the chair of the Committee on Committees a brief assessment of the committee’s description in the Administrative Handbook on the basis of his or her experience.

    Procedures: The chair and other members of the committee should follow written procedures for the conduct of the committee’s work. If no written procedures exist, they should be drafted and presented to the President. As any changes in procedure also require Board approval, these too must be submitted to the President. It may be advisable to make these procedures public (in some cases, in abbreviated form) on the Society’s webpage.

    Conduct of Meetings: It is advisable to maintain a written record of meetings. This could consist of a simple summary of the deliberations or of a formal agenda, list of attendees, and minutes, as appropriate.

    Archival Records: At the conclusion of his or her chairmanship, the outgoing chair should send the records of the committee to the incoming chair. The incoming chair will send records more than two years old to the Society’s archives at the University of Pennsylvania.