Chapter Constitution

Revised April 19, 1984

I. This Society is a constituent member of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and shall be known as the Epsilon of Connecticut Chapter.

II. The purpose of Phi Beta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship, and cultural interests, and to support excellence and integrity in the pursuit of the arts and sciences. Chapter activities encourage liberal education, scholarship, and concern for the responsible uses of knowledge. Individuals elected to membership commit themselves to advancing the goals of Phi Beta Kappa.

III. The membership of the Chapter shall consist of charter members, members in course, alumni/ae members, honorary members, associate members, and affiliate members. Associate members shall be defined as initiates of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa other than Epsilon of Connecticut who are currently members of the faculty or staff of the University of Connecticut. Affiliate members shall be defined as initiates of a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa other than Epsilon of Connecticut who are currently members of the University community.

  1. To maintain the historic character of Phi Beta Kappa, the Committee on Members in Course shall be chosen predominantly from teachers of liberal subjects. Liberal subjects and studies are understood as those designed principally for knowledge or understanding or appreciation of the natural and social world in which we live, as contrasted with training intended to develop skill or vocational techniques. The Chapter shall determine any participation of undergraduate members in the Committee on Members in Course.
  2. Undergraduates shall be elected to membership only after their qualifications have been carefully investigated. Their election shall be primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievements, and good character. Only those students whose work has been definitely liberal in character and purpose shall be eligible to election as members in course, this requirement being satisfied ordinarily by a proportion of three-fourths of liberal studies. They shall also be completing at least two years of residence at the University of Connecticut, and must have attained the minimum average grade specified in the Chapter by-laws. The number of undergraduates elected from any class shall ordinarily not exceed ten per cent and in no case shall exceed fifteen per cent of those expected to receive liberal bachelor degrees in that class. A limited number of undergraduates of outstanding ability may be elected in their junior year and included in the annual quota. [Note that at UConn we consider “senior” and “junior” in terms of credits earned – which may or may not match your graduation class.]
  3. The Chapter shall be responsible for determining the work or courses which are to be considered liberal in character in accordance with the Stipulations of the Council on eligibility of undergraduates as members in course. The Chapter may consider the results of such methods of evaluation as honors work and comprehensive examinations and also the opinions of teachers and administrative officers concerning the characters capacity, scholarly achievements, and breadth of interest of each student under consideration.
  4. Graduate students elected in course must be completing, with an unusually high record, at least two years of graduate study leading toward the Ph.D. degree and meet the same standards for liberal studies required of undergraduates. Ordinarily they shall be graduates of institutions not having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and also shall possess a superior record in their undergraduate work.
  5. Graduates of the institution of not less than ten years’ standing who, by contributions in the fields of the natural sciences and letters or by works of pure literature, have since graduation given clear evidence of the possession of distinguished scholarly capacities, may be elected to alumni membership. The number elected in any triennium should be strictly limited by the Chapter by-laws.
  6. Graduates of other institutions who have made distinguished contributions in humane sciences and letters may be elected to honorary membership. No graduate of another institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be so elected without the consent of that chapter. The number elected in any triennium shall be strictly limited by the Chapter by-laws.
  7. Members of other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa who are, or who become, officers or members of the teaching staff of the institution shall thereby become associate members of the Chapter with full privileges in the conduct of its affairs. Other members of Phi Beta Kappa in the vicinity may be invited to any meeting of the Chapter.
  8. The Chapter may make further limitations or restrictions concerning any class of members other than associate.
  9. Since good moral character is a qualification for membership, any member who, after being given due notice and an opportunity for a hearing, has lost this qualification may be expelled from Phi Beta Kappa by a four-fifths vote of the members present at a regular annual meeting of the Chapter.
  10. A citation of the qualifications of each person elected to alumni or honorary membership shall be entered upon the minutes and submitted for record to the Secretary of the United Chapters. A full report of all members elected, expelled, or recorded as having resigned or died shall be sent annually to the Secretary of the United Chapters.

IV. This Chapter shall send a delegation to represent it at each meeting of the Council of Phi Beta Kappa and shall contribute its share to the financial support of the United Chapters.

V. This Chapter shall, by suitable by-laws, provide for the election of officers, the selection of members, the conduct of its meetings, and such other matters as may be deemed proper; provided that said by-laws shall contain nothing inconsistent with this Constitution or with the Constitution and By-Laws of the United Chapters, and provided further that said by-laws and any amendment thereto shall not become effective until approved by the Senate.

VI. Should the Chapter wish to amend its Constitution to bring it into conformity with the current model Constitution, it may do so subject to the approval of the Senate of the United Chapters. Otherwise this Constitution may be amended only by the Council of Phi Beta Kappa.