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Committee on Meetings and Conferences (COMC)

General Description

This is a standing committee of approximately 12 members. The ex officio members are the President of the AMS, the Secretary of the AMS, the AMS Staff Liaison, and the Executive Director of the AMS (non-voting). There shall be one member from the Board of Trustees, appointed by the Chair of the Board. All other members shall be appointed by the President; these include three members chosen from among the Vice Presidents and Members at Large of the Council, and at least four at-large members.

The Associate Secretaries shall be guests of COMC at all of its meetings.

The Chair is appointed by the President to a one-year term as Chair upon recommendation of the committee. This term can be extended if necessary. The Associate Executive Director for Meetings and Professional Services shall attend COMC meetings and provide administrative and staff support. The Director of Meetings and Conferences will be a permanent invited guest.

The COMC reports to the Council. It shall provide a written review of its activities annually to the Council; ordinarily a preliminary version of this report will be submitted to the ECBT at its November meeting.

Principal Activities

The Committee shall take a long range view of Society activities and structures in the area of Meetings and Conferences. COMC shall:

  1. Advise the Council and leadership of the Society and make recommendations concerning Society policy on meetings and conferences; COMC may recommend both modification of existing activities, as well as initiation of new activities and directions.

    Because both the Secretariat and the Meetings and Conferences Department are charged with dealing with specific details of meetings and conferences, COMC shall concentrate its efforts on matters of general policy, with a long range view. COMC does not have the authority to direct specific actions.

  2. Carry out annual reviews, so that at least every six years it has conducted reviews and appraisals of the principal Society activities in its area of responsibility, such as:

    1. Sectional Meetings
    2. Special Lecture Series, Special Projects and Short Course
    3. National Meetings (scientific program)
    4. National Meetings (overall program, including governance meetings)
    5. International Joint Meetings
    6. Conferences and Institutes
  3. Receive reports pertaining to meetings and conferences policy from committees of the Society, and forward analysis and recommendations to the Council; report regularly to the membership; maintain an awareness of the views of the membership on issues concerning meetings and conferences; this may involve surveys, focus-group discussions, individual communications and committee correspondence.
  4. Fulfill the charges to all policy committees included in Council resolutions as they may pertain to the area of responsibility of COMC.

COMC will coordinate its activities with other policy committees in areas of mutual concern. COMC will foster coordination with other professional organizations and government agencies on cooperative and parallel activities.

Though COMC is charged with attention to policy issues and with taking a long-range view towards matters affecting meetings and conferences, it may be appropriate for COMC to communicate informal suggestions to the Secretariat or the Meetings and Conferences Department for their consideration. Likewise, it may be appropriate for the Secretariat or the Meetings and Conferences Department to seek the informal advice of COMC about ongoing activities.

Council motions concerning policy committee charges
The 11 January 1994 Council approved the following resolution:

The Council charges the committees on Education, Meetings and Conferences, Profession, Publication, and Science Policy to carry out at least every six years reviews and appraisals of Society activities in the areas of their charges and to report the results of these reviews to the Executive Committee and to the Council.

The 7 January 1997 Council approved the following as “policy” regarding co-sponsorship of meetings and conferences of other organizations:

When the Society receives a request for co-sponsorship, this request will be referred to the Secretariat. The Secretariat will then determine whether the proposed co-sponsorship has mathematical merit and is otherwise in the best interests of the Society. If the request is a simple one, then the Secretariat can approve the request without further input; in more complicated cases (e.g., those requesting funding from the AMS), the Secretariat will forward the request to the ECBT and Council with a recommendation.

The Society reserves the right to appoint one or more members to appropriate program and organizing committees. Under normal circumstances the Society reserves the right of first refusal to any conference proceedings. This right should be exercised judiciously in light of the importance of maintaining goodwill between the Society and the organization requesting co-sponsorship; in all cases, the determination as to whether the Society will exercise its right to publish any proceedings should be made in a timely manner.

The 7 January 1997 Council approved COMC's recommendation concerning procedural and policy items regarding international meetings:

  1. That the AMS continue to develop its written guidelines concerning the handling of financial arrangements and other organizational aspects of the meetings.
  2. The AMS continue to work towards coordination at international meetings, such as
    1. The involvement of people who already have contact with the country (e.g., who can speak the language and have substantial scientific contacts);
    2. Coordination between any AMS program committees and counterpart committees in the country involved.

The 6 January 2017 Council approved COMC’s recommendation that the “Meetings in Cooperation with the AMS” program be discontinued.

Miscellaneous Information

COMC can create such standing or ad hoc subcommittees as needed to do its work. These subcommittees may include non-COMC members. If the complexity of issues demands, COMC may recommend to the Council the creation of special task forces.

The business of the COMC can be done by US Mail, electronic mail, telephone, FAX or by meetings at or independent of national meetings, for which expense may be reimbursed by the Society. There shall be at least one face-to-face meeting annually for which expenses shall be reimbursed by the Society. This committee has been designated at LEVEL P.

Votes on motions or recommendations taken by mail (US or e-) shall be considered binding provided that:

  1. A time for closing the vote is specified, which is at least seven working days following the dissemination of the statement of the motion or recommendation in its final form and unless item three or more members request that the motion or recommendation be placed on the agenda of the next face-to-face meeting of COMC.

Note to the Chair

Committee chairs should be informed, at the beginning of each fiscal period, of the budget of their committees and cautioned to remain within the budget. Such items as travel reimbursement, accommodations, and meals for guests of any kind fall within these budgets.

For the purpose of archiving the committee activities, the Secretary maintains a central file system for archiving committee records. Committee Chairs are asked to submit committee records on yearly basis. Chairs can submit material at their discretion, and some materials that they may wish to provide are meeting minutes, agenda, and emails. Confidential material should be noted, so that it can be handled in a confidential manner.


Past Members

A list of current and past members is available here: