Article I. Officers and Organization
The membership of the Chapter shall include:
(a) Charter Members: the Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty to whom the charter of the Chapter was granted;
(b) Associate Members: members of other chapters who become members of the faculty or staff of the University of Connecticut;
(c) Affiliate Members: members of other chapters who become members of the University of Connecticut community;
(d) Members in Course: all members of the Chapter elected as undergraduates or as graduate students;
(e) Alumni/ae Members: graduates of the University of Connecticut elected in recognition of scholarly achievement after graduation;
(f) Honorary Members: non-graduates of the University of Connecticut chosen on the same basis as alumni/ae members.
Members of the Chapter who hold faculty or staff positions at the University of Connecticut shall constitute the voting membership, with members in course on campus. Other members of the Chapter shall have full membership privileges, except the voting on candidates for election to membership and on amendments to these by-laws. Associate members, affiliate members, and members in course on campus shall constitute the resident membership of the Chapter, together with those alumni/ae and honorary members who may be members of the faculty and staff of the University or resident in the University community.
The officers of the Chapter shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Historian. Officers must be voting members of the Chapter and shall be elected by a majority vote at the annual meeting. The President and Vice-President shall be ineligible for election to more than two consecutive terms in the same office. In addition to such special duties as shall be prescribed by these by-laws and by resolution of the Chapter, the respective duties of these officers shall include:
(a) The President shall call and preside at meetings and shall serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
(b) The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his or her absence.
(c) The Secretary shall perform the duties usually pertaining to that office and be responsible for obtaining materials from and sending reports and fees to the United Chapters; for informing candidates, by mail, of their election; and for providing appropriate publicity.
(d) The Treasurer shall collect fees before the initiation ceremony, as well as dues and other fees, and keep an account of all financial transactions.
(e) The Historian shall be responsible for preserving the records and other documents of the Chapter.
The term of office for all officers of the Chapter and for all appointed and elected committee chairpersons and committee members shall be the academic year, or multiples thereof.
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the retiring President, the elected officers, the chairperson of the Committee on Members in Course, and one additional member appointed by the President. The appointed member may be an undergraduate or graduate student member of the Chapter. The Executive Committee shall have authority to conduct the affairs of the Chapter between meetings, subject to instruction from the Chapter and save as otherwise specifically provided in these by-laws.
The Committee on Members in Course shall be composed of six resident members of the Chapter, at least four of whom shall be members of the teaching faculty, and the Secretary of the Chapter ex-officio. Two members of the committee shall be elected each year by majority vote at the annual meeting for a term of three years. Members of the committee shall be chosen predominantly from teachers of liberal subjects. The Chapter shall determine any participation of undergraduate members in course on the committee.
The Committee on Graduate Members in Course shall be composed of three members of the Chapter, at least two of whom shall be members of the teaching faculty. One member of the committee shall be elected each year to serve a three-year term. Members of the committee shall be chosen predominantly from teachers of liberal subjects. Election shall be by majority vote at the annual meeting.
The Committee on Alumni/ae and Honorary Members shall be responsible for considering persons proposed for election to alumni/ae or honorary membership. The committee shall be composed of three resident members of the Chapter. One member of the committee shall be elected each year for a term of three years. Election shall be by majority vote at the annual meeting.
The Nominating Committee shall be composed of three members elected by majority vote at the annual meeting, one each year to serve for a term of three years. The Nominating Committee shall present to all resident members of the Chapter at least one week before the annual meeting nominations for officers and committee members for the ensuing year. Other nominations may be made from the floor.
The Auditing Committee shall be composed of three members elected by majority vote at the annual meeting, one each year to serve for a term of three years. The committee shall audit the books of the Treasurer and make a report to the Chapter at the annual meeting.
Special committees shall be appointed by the President or the Executive Committee as required.
Article II. Meetings
Arrangements for the annual meeting and for other regular meetings shall be made by the Executive Committee. At the annual meeting, held in April to coincide with the election of new members, the normal order of business shall be as follows:
- Call to order
- Reading of the minutes of the preceding annual meeting and of any intervening business meetings
- Report of the Executive Committee
- Report of the Treasurer
- Reports of other committees
- Election of members in course, graduate members in course (if any), and alumni/ae and honorary members (if any)
- Unfinished business
- Consideration of communications from the United Chapters
- New business
- Election of officers and committee members
Special meetings may be called by the President or the Executive Committee, and shall be called upon written request by four members. At the special meeting no business shall be transacted other than that stated in the notice of the meeting.
Written notice of meetings shall be sent by the Secretary to all resident members of the Chapter at least one week in advance of the meeting. The notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, the time and place of the meeting, and the business to be considered.
A quorum at meetings shall consist of ten resident members.
Any vote shall be by secret ballot if requested by one or more of the resident members present.
Locally resident members of other chapters who do not qualify for associate membership as defined in Article I. Section 1. of these by-laws may be invited to any meeting, but they shall not participate in the transaction of business.
Article III. Election and Admission of New Members
Members in course shall be elected primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests. scholarly achievement. and good character. Juniors and seniors who are enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and are candidates for the liberal bachelor’s degree may be considered under conditions a.-f. below. Juniors and seniors in other schools or colleges shall also be eligible if they are majors in an academic department or program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and are fulfilling all the requirements for the liberal degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and if their course programs qualify under the other provisions (a.-f. below) of this section.
(a) The candidate shall be majoring in liberal subjects and studies and be taking a degree program of which at least three-fourths is in liberal work.
(b) The candidate shall have earned at least 60 credits of work in residence at the University. not including credits taken for pass-fail, at the time of graduation. Normally. this shall mean that the candidate being considered in the spring semester shall have completed at least 45 calculable credits at this institution and its regional campuses and be fully registered for the fourth semester. The candidate who has met graduation requirements during the preceding summer sessions or fall semester should normally have completed 60 calculable credits at this institution and its regional campuses. not including credits taken for pass-fail.
(c) For election as a senior, the candidate shall have completed at least one academic term of the senior year of college work, and shall have completed at least 90 credits of liberal work by the time of graduation. For election as a junior, the candidate shall have completed at least one academic term of the junior year of college work, and shall normally have completed at least 75 credits of liberal work. Liberal work shall be understood to exclude training intended to develop skill or vocational techniques except in instances where such training is part of a normally constituted degree program within a department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In those instances in which a candidate’s record contains credits that are questionable with regard to their liberal character, the Committee on Members in Course, with the consent of the Executive Committee, shall be empowered to make recommendations on whether such credits shall or shall not be considered liberal in character.
(d) For election as a senior, the candidate shall have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.40 for all college-level work. For election as a junior, the candidate’s work shall be of exceptional distinction, including the achievement of a grade point average of at least 3.7 for all college-level work. It shall be understood that the grade of “A” carries four (4) grade points, the grade of “B” carries three (3) grade points, the grade of “C” carries two (2) grade points, and the grade of “D” carries one (1) grade point. Plus and minus grades shall be understood as carrying three-tenths (.3) of a grade point above or below, respectively, the grade point level of the grade to which they are attached.
(e) For senior candidates offering 15 or fewer credits in transfer, grades on such transferred work need not be included in computation of grade point averages. For all juniors, and for those seniors offering more than 15 transferred credits, all work taken at the institution(s) of transfer is to be considered in computing the grade point average. In the case of a University Scholar whose transcript includes ungraded independent study, the recommendation of the individual’s advisor is to be sought if the amount of such ungraded work is evaluated as the equivalent of 15 or more credits.
(f) All candidates meeting the above requirements shall be screened for good character by the Dean of Students.
(g) Candidates who have met the qualifications for admission according to conditions a.-f. above but who are not considered during the year in which they are eligible may be considered during an ensuing selection period no more than three years following their graduation from the University of Connecticut. Such consideration shall be given only upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
(h) Subject to other provisions of the Chapter Constitution and these by-laws, students who complete their college course at the end of the summer session or at the end of the semester preceding the election of candidates, if they become eligible at that time, may be considered with the eligible group of the academic year immediately following (in the case of summer school graduates) or the academic year in which they complete their college work (in the case of December graduates). These students shall be required to meet conditions a.-f. above and, in addition, to have compiled a total of new fewer than 105 credits of liberal work.
The number of undergraduates elected from any class, including those who may be elected as juniors, shall ordinarily not exceed ten per cent, and in no case shall exceed fifteen per cent, of the undergraduates expected to receive the liberal bachelor’s degree in that class. A maximum of one-fifth of the members elected from any class may be elected on the basis of junior standing.
Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of this Chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by the Constitution and by-laws of the Chapter, and no right to election shall adhere to any student solely by reason of fulfillment of the minimum grade point average for election to membership in course.
Graduate students in course who were not elected to membership in any chapter as undergraduates, and who have passed their general examination and been admitted to candidacy to the Ph.D. degree in a liberal field, may be elected provided they meet the following conditions:
(a) They have achieved a minimum grade point average in graduate courses of 3.70 with no grade of less than C.
(b) Their undergraduate programs must have been of superior quality. ordinarily in liberal fields, at institutions not having a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at the time of their attendance.
(c) If they took their undergraduate work at an institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the time of their attendance, their election must be with the concurrence of that chapter.
(d) Ordinarily, not more than ten graduate students may be elected in any year, and in no case shall more than thirty graduate students be elected during each triennium. The number of graduate students elected in each year shall ordinarily be limited to a maximum of five per cent of the candidates for doctor’s degrees in liberal fields during that year.
(e) All candidates meeting the above requirements shall be screened for good character by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Nominations for membership in course shall be made by the Committee on Members in Course for undergraduate students and by the Committee on Graduate Members in Course for graduate students. Election shall be by secret ballot and shall require an affirmative vote by three-fourths of the voting members present. Candidates may also be nominated from the floor; but in such cases an affirmative vote by four-fifths of the voting members present shall be required for election. Elections shall continue until ended by the passage of a motion from the floor or until a quota, determined in advance of the balloting, has been reached.
Nominations for election to alumni/ae membership shall be referred to the Committee on Alumni/ae and Honorary Members. No nomination for alumni/ae membership shall be brought before the Chapter for action unless favorably reported by the committee. The committee shall be guided by criteria defined in Article III, Sections 5 and 6, of the Chapter Constitution, and committee recommendations shall include a written statement of the qualifications of each nominee. Election shall be by secret ballot; two negative votes shall serve to reject. No more than two alumni/ae members may be elected in any year, nor more than four in any triennium.
Procedures for the nomination and election of honorary members shall be the same as for alumni/ae members. A statement of the qualifications of each candidate elected to honorary membership shall be sent to the Secretary of the United Chapters, as provided in Article III, Section 10, of the Chapter Constitution. No graduate of another institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be recommended for election without the consent of that chapter. No more than two honorary members may be elected in any triennium.
Provision shall normally be made for initiating new members in course. At least one meeting will be held for the purpose of initiating undergraduate and graduate members in course each year. In its discretion, the Executive Committee may waive the initiation of an alumnus or honorary member, although normally such members will be initiated in the year they were elected.
Since good character is a qualification for membership, any member of the Chapter found, after being given due notice and an opportunity to be heard, to have lost this qualification may be expelled from Phi Beta Kappa by a four-fifths vote of the resident members present at the annual meeting. The name of any member so expelled shall be reported to the Secretary of the United Chapters, with a statement of the grounds for the action.
Article IV. Fees
The initiation fee for members in course and for alumni/ae members shall be determined by the Executive Committee. It shall cover, as a minimum, a ticket to the initiation ceremony and the registration and Council Fund payments to the United Chapters. The Chapter shall be responsible for registration and Council Fund payments for honorary members, who shall pay no initiation fee.
Payment of the initiation fee shall be regarded as formal acceptance of election and shall normally be made before initiation.
Resident members of the Chapter, exclusive of professors emeriti and undergraduate members, shall pay annual dues at a rate set by the Executive Committee and reported to the Chapter.
Special assessments may be levied against resident members by majority vote of the members present at any meeting, provided that written notice of the intention to propose such an assessment is given in the announcement of the meeting.
Registration and Council Fund payments shall be forwarded by the Secretary to the Treasurer of the United Chapters in accordance with Article IV of the By-Laws of the United Chapters.
Article V. Amendments
Amendments to these by-laws, not inconsistent with the Constitution and other lawful regulations of the United Chapters, may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the resident members present at any regular meeting, either upon motion presented and tabled at the preceding regular meeting, or special meeting, or upon condition that written notice of the proposed changes has been sent to all resident members at least three weeks in advance of the meeting. All amendments shall be subject to the approval of the Senate of the United Chapters.