Officer Duties

Duties and Responsibilities of the Officers of CSG
Compiled by William Loy, March 1994

The Constitution for the CSG, as a part of the AAG, is the basic
governing document. In the Constitution, the duties and
responsibilities of the officers are spelled out. Also to be
taken into account is current practice or “how we do things.”
The following statement attempts to blend the dictates of the
Constitution with our current modus operandi. The duties for
each officer are described by “annual meeting” year. There are
seven officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary/Treasurer,
Non-Academic Director, two Academic Directors, and a Student
Director. We also recognize a Past Chair position. New
officers assume their duties at the annual business meeting and
should plan to attend all AAG meeting during their term of

All officers are to be elected according to procedures in the
Constitution. Agreement to be nominated must happen in time for
a biography to be submitted for the Winter Newsletter, as a
practical matter December first. Ballots must be mailed in

Election results are due “at least two weeks” prior to the AAG
meeting. Views on who should be nominated for positions are to
be solicited at the AAG meeting and a slate of candidates
developed by the summer.

Vice Chair/Chair/Past Chair

Being elected Vice Chair carries a three-year obligation. The
newly-elected Vice Chair attend the first AAG meeting as future
Program Committee Chair soliciting sessions for the following
year — arranging CSG-sponsored paper sessions, panels, and
workshops. This first meeting is also a good time to talk to
officers of other specialty groups about jointly-sponsored
sessions. Three groups acting together can apply for AAG funds.
The Vice Chair attend the CSG Board Meeting, the Specialty
Group Chairs luncheon, the Awards luncheon, and the CSG Business
Meeting — assuming “the gavel” before adjournment. During the
AAG meting the Vice Chair should find two Program Committee
members — one from the area of the next AAG meeting and one
from the area of the meeting two years hence. The Vice Chair is
a member of the Goals Committee.

After the AAG Annual Meeting, the Vice Chair continues to firm
up the CSG-sponsored or co-sponsored sessions for the next year,
mindful of AAG rules and deadlines. All CSG-sponsored session
materials are to come to the Vice Chair in time to be assembled
into a package for AAG Central Office before its deadline in

At the CSG Business Meeting at the AAG Annual Meeting, the
newly-elected Vice Chair is recognized, the Vice Chair become
the Chair, and the Chair becomes the Past Chair. The other
newly-elected officers also take office at the Business Meeting.

The new Chair conclude the CSG Business Meeting and then becomes
the CEO for a year. According to the Constitution, four
committees are to be appointed: 1) Awards, three persons; 2)
Goals, Vice Chair plus two persons; 3) Nominations, Past Chair
plus two persons; and 4) Program, three persons (one from the
area of next AAG meeting — one from the area of two years
hence). As a matter of practice, the Program Committee is led
by the newly-elected Vice Chair, who should select two
assistants as specified.

The out-going Chair writes the Annual Report in accordance with
current AAG directives. A suggested outline for reports is
provided by AAG and the reports from recent years are available
as a guide. Most of the information needed will be in the
minutes of the last Board and Business Meetings, the last year’s
newsletters, the last AAG Program or from the Treasurer. These
reports have traditionally been due on 31 May.

The Chair also expounds on something cartographic as the lead
article in the CSG newsletters. See previous issues. Submit
these essays to the newsletter editor well before the deadlines.

The Chair is ex-officio on all committees and should be
supportive of all CSG-sponsored activities. During the year,
the Chair should communicate with all officers about the several
activities that are on-going — the newsletter, the treasury,
the Master’s Thesis Research Grant Program, the Student Honors
Competition, the National Geographic Society Award and the TIME
Magazine Award. Typically, there will be several items of
correspondence from the AAG Central Office to answer. The Chair
organizes and conducts the annual CSG Board Meeting (ask AAG for
space before scheduled CSG Business Meeting) and the CSG
Business Meeting, as scheduled. Agendas and copies of previous
minutes are to be available at these meetings.

Prior to the adjournment of the CSG Business Meeting, “the
gavel” is passed and the officers shift, as described
previously. The new Past Chair becomes the chair of the
Nominations Committee. In consultation with the new Chair, two
additional nominating committee members shall be secured. The
Constitution spells out their duties and the schedule —
solicitation of nominations in writing (Fall newsletter), two or
more nominees per office, January (Winter newsletter) balloting,
March notification (Spring newsletter). The Past Chair should
also be available for advice from the other officers concerning
past practices.


The Constitution (Art. IV, 5.) specifies the duties and a
two-year term. Board and Business Meeting minutes are to go to
AAG within 60 days; financial accounts kept and reported
annually to CSG officers; queries from AAG are to be answered.
CSG members have also come to expect three major newsletters
annually. The following deadlines allow for following the
Constitution regarding nominations and balloting: September 1 –
Call for Nominations; December 1- Nominations with biographies;
March 1 – Election results. The newsletter also serves to
announce award competitions, provide information about the AAG
meetings, and to provide lots of news.

The AAG Central Office specifies how the treasury is to be
managed with a separate account and approved procedures. The
Secretary/Treasurer deposits AAG-collected dues, AAG workshop
rebates, and other monies and disburses funds to pay CSG bills
in accordance with AAG rules and CSG policies. See recent
annual financial statements. Annual financial activity is about

Academic Director

The two-year terms are staggered with one Academic Director
elected the same year as the Secretary/Treasurer and one the
same year as the Non-Academic Director.

The Academic Directors manage the Student Honors Competition
assisted by the Student Director. They also assist the National
Geographic Society administer its award and TIME Magazine with
its new map design award. The Academic Directors should prepare
advertising flyers to go in the Fall newsletter and to be posted
in appropriate places. Notice should appear in the AAG
newsletter. The Directors shall be responsible for managing the
judging in accordance with CSG Board policy. They will inform
the winners and losers. Winners should be encouraged to attend
the CSG Business Meeting and, if possible, the AAG Awards
Luncheon (paid by the CSG). Timing may be a problem for public
acknowledgment. The Directors will attempt to see that the
awardees are honored. The two Academic Directors will
coordinate their responsibilities. As officers, they will
attend the Board and Business Meetings and offer advice.

Non-Academic Director

The Non-Academic Director is elected for a two-year term when
the Secretary/Treasurer is in the mid-term. The primary
responsibility of the Non-Academic Director is to administer the
Master’s Thesis Research Grant Program. The Fall newsletter
should carry an announcement giving the deadlines of November 1,
March 15, and June 1. The Non-Academic Director should solicit
advice from other CSG officers, as wanted, as a “second
opinion.” This program is currently funded at $900 annually
with three awards of up to $300 envisioned. Considerable
latitude is given as to what is “cartographic in nature.” The
Non-Academic Director should attend the Board and Business
Meetings of the CSG.

Student Director

The Student Director will serve for one year. A primary duty of
the Student Director is to assist the Academic Directors with
the Student Honors Competition publicity. One approach is to
send a letter to the appropriate places encouraging students to
apply. This letter should follow the Fall newsletter closely.
It would also be appropriate to assist the Non-Academic Director
with publicizing the Master’s Thesis Research Grant Program and
to encourage students to be CSG members. The Student Director
should also attend the Board and Business Meetings at the AAG
meeting to advise us old fogies. Perhaps the Student Director
could solicit opinions about CSG prior to the AAG meetings by
letter or by asking for peer group input. In any case, plan to
speak up!


It appears that CSG operations are close to the CSG
Constitution. Minor differences exist, notably the Constitution
does not specify the Vice Chair as the Program Committee
Chairperson and the need for geographically-specific program
committee members has not been met recently.

The Awards Committee has become the Academic and Non-Academic
Directors for purposes of managing the awards that CSG is
empowered to award. The possible function of making
recommendations “to the AAG Honors Committee for consideration”
has not been done in a formal way.

CSG does not currently have a Goals Committee, which is supposed
to have three members – the Vice Chair and two others. We seem
to be in agreement concerning our stated goals. The Goals
Committee is supposed to ask the membership annually about
future activities. An annual Goals Committee report is
requested. We should consider a Goals Committee.

I miss a Membership Committee. Every organization has a
Membership Committee. Currently AAG members indicate a desire
to be a CSG member and pay the buck (students) or five dollars
(what a bargain!). Do we wish to extol the virtues of CSG? If
so, how?

Please let me know any errors of commission or omission in these
comments. I hope that a little “operating manual” will help the
CSG to run even more smoothly.