Chapter Bylaws

BYLAWS OF ALPHA OF COLORADO CHAPTER OF PHI BETA KAPPA
Adopted at the March 8, 2012 chapter meeting.

I. Officers

A. The elected officers of Alpha Chapter shall be president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer.  These officers shall be elected by majority vote in a secret ballot at each spring meeting of the chapter.  Terms shall be three years, staggered such that one officer is elected or reelected each year.  No term limits are imposed.  The chapter may elect separate officers as secretary and treasurer, with the terms not to coincide.

  1. Elections for president shall occur in 2014 and thereafter on a three year cycle.
  2. It shall be the duty of the president of Alpha Chapter to preside at all meetings of the chapter and its Executive Committee, to call and preside at special meetings, to preside over Alpha Chapter initiation ceremonies, and to perform other functions appropriate to the office.
  3. Elections for vice president shall occur in 2012 and thereafter on a three year cycle.  It shall be the duty of the vice president to carry out the duties of the president when that person is unable to do so.  It shall be the further duty of the vice president to present the history and context of our chapter at Alpha Chapter initiation ceremonies.  The vice president is responsible once per triennium during their term of office to chair an ad hoc committee for examining the major programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to maintain a list of those majors whose students are eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa.
  4. Elections for secretary/treasurer shall occur in 2013 and thereafter on a three year cycle.  The duties of the secretary/treasurer are to take and maintain a record of the proceedings of Alpha Chapter, including the names of those invited to join our Chapter and those accepting our invitation.  The secretary/treasurer shall be responsible for asking the appropriate University of Colorado Boulder office to carry out the selection procedure to provide names of enrolled student candidates eligible to be invited to join Alpha Chapter, and to submit the resulting names to the appropriate campus office to check for compliance with Alpha Chapter’s standards for ethical behavior.  Upon the vote of Alpha Chapter to invite new members, the secretary/treasurer shall notify those individuals in an effective manner to invite them as members-elect to the initiation ceremony.  The secretary/treasurer shall maintain the appropriate and required communications with the Phi Beta Kappa Society office.  The secretary/treasurer shall collect and disburse Chapter funds upon the direction of the Executive Committee, and shall provide a report on Chapter finances at each regular chapter meeting.  The secretary/treasurer shall maintain a list of the names of Phi Beta Kappa members eligible and appropriate to be active in our chapter and give notice to these individuals of coming Chapter meetings and ceremonies.  The secretary/treasurer shall establish and maintain a suitable web site or other electronic means of providing Chapter and Phi Beta Kappa information to a wide audience.
  5. The terms of officers shall commence at the end of the semester in which they are elected.
  6. No person shall be elected or continue to serve as an officer of this chapter who does not reside in or near the city of Boulder.  Vacancies in the slate of elected officers will be filled by nomination of the other members of the Executive Committee until a special election is held at the next spring regular meeting.  The terms of officers elected in such a special election shall retain the schedule of terms listed above.

II. Committees

A. The Executive Committee shall consist of the three elected officers, and shall have authority to conduct the affairs of Alpha Chapter between meetings, subject to instruction from the Chapter and save as otherwise specifically provided in these Bylaws.

B. The Finance Committee shall consist of the president, the secretary/treasurer and at least one other active member of this Chapter. Only this committee is authorized to oversee and make changes to the Chapter’s endowment account and other investments.  The president and the secretary/treasurer shall have signature authority for changes to these and other accounts.

C. No more often than one every three years, taken to coincide with the term of the president, an ad hoc committee may be formed to bring nominations as Honorary Member before the Chapter at a regular meeting.

D. A Fellowship Committee shall be formed each year to serve each Spring term, chaired by the president, to consider the awarding of Alpha Chapter fellowships.  This committee is to consist of the president and at least two other active members of Alpha Chapter.  The secretary/treasurer shall be responsible for making known to the appropriate campus departments the availability of these fellowships, and to maintain an appropriate description of their terms and conditions on the Chapter web site.  The number and dollar amount of Chapter fellowships are to be determined by members of the Chapter a regular meeting, after considering the state of our endowment accounts.  Conditions for the granting of fellowships are to be set by vote of the Chapter, and recorded in the minutes for future reference.

E. Ad-hoc committees may be formed from among members of Alpha Chapter at any time by the president.

III. Membership

A. Any Boulder campus or community member duly elected to any chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is eligible to become an active member of this Chapter, to vote, and to hold office.  Campus members may be students (including graduate students), administrators, staff, or faculty of any rank or title.  Students enrolled at other campuses of the University of Colorado are not eligible for election to Alpha Chapter.

B. Members in course are those students of the University of Colorado at Boulder duly elected, invited, and initiated into Alpha Chapter.  Members in course who remain on the campus or in the community shall be notified of and invited to chapter meetings to the extent possible.

C. Honorary members of Alpha Chapter may be elected, with no more than one such new member elected every three years.  The conditions and rules for such membership shall follow the rules of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  Honorary members may be elected if their undergraduate degree was not from a college or university hosting a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, from fields with degrees not normally accepted for Phi Beta Kappa, or from fields in which an undergraduate degree is not appropriate.  No graduate of an institution hosting a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be elected to Alpha Chapter unless the parent chapter has been notified and raised no objection within a two month period.  Honorary members will be nominated to Alpha Chapter by an ad hoc committee, who shall present the Chapter membership with a strong case for the educational, literary, social, scientific or other attainments suitable to this very high honor.  A majority vote of members at a regular meeting is required to extend an invitation to honorary membership in Alpha Chapter and in the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  A citation of the qualifications of each person elected to honorary membership shall be prepared and submitted to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

IV. Eligibility for Members in Course

A. Any student of the University of Colorado at Boulder with at least one declared major from among those offered by the College of Arts and Sciences who meets all of the following requirements may be invited to join Alpha of Colorado chapter.

    1. The declared major must not be in an applied, preprofessional, studio, or performance field.  The Chapter shall maintain and post a list of those degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences eligible for invitation.  This list shall be reviewed and updated no less often than once every three years by an ad hoc committee established for this purpose and chaired by the vice president.
    2. Meeting the requirements for acceptance into and progress towards a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder is taken as evidence of a liberal education, as stipulated by the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
    3. Student candidates at the time of invitation must have completed at least 90 college credit hours, of which at least 45 credit hours must have been earned on the Boulder campus.  Transfer credit hours and grade point averages accepted for credit by the College of Arts and Sciences may be included in the overall count of credit hours and grade point average.
    4. The achievement of a grade point average of 3.85 (out of a 4.0 scale) with 90 credit hours or a grade point average of 3.70 with 100 credit hours is required for an invitation to join this Chapter. These credit hour and grade point standards may only be altered by a vote of the chapter to amend these Bylaws.
    5. The moral and ethical expectations of Phi Beta Kappa shall be demonstrated by an examination of the record of potential invitees, as kept by offices of this campus.  Members of Alpha Chapter will consider and vote on the invitation of each person whose name occurs on an appropriate university list of disciplinary actions, and may include in their deliberations other evidence of behavior or character not meeting our expectations. Complete anonymity of student names is to be maintained in considering this procedure.

B. The evaluations of credit hours, Boulder credit hours, and grade point averages for eligibility for election to Alpha Chapter may be done with the technical assistance of the appropriate university administrative offices.

C. Those enrolled students who are deemed worthy of consideration for election to Alpha Chapter but who were not invited in the normal course of our selection process may be recommended for membership by a Boulder campus faculty member of Phi Beta Kappa.  Such nominations shall be fully documented and justified, and may be presented to the membership for election at the discretion of the Executive Committee.  Candidates for advanced degrees in the liberal arts and sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder may be so nominated.

D. In no case shall the number of students invited to join Alpha Chapter in any one academic semester exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the number of graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences at the preceding commencement.

V. Procedures for the election of new members

A. The secretary/treasurer shall, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, prepare each semester a request to the appropriate administrative office of the university for a list of those enrolled students meeting the Chapter standards above.  This request shall be submitted at a time each semester soon after the records of the previous semester are compiled.

B. The names of students from the list of those meeting our standards shall be submitted by the secretary/treasurer to the appropriate university office(s) for an evaluation of those malfeasances known to the university.

C. The names and recorded malfeasances and penalties obtained from university sources shall be provided in writing to the chapter for evaluation of moral character.  This shall be done with complete anonymity with respect to names.

D. The chapter shall vote case-by-case on the election and invitation of the individuals on that list.

E. Invitations to become new members in course of Alpha Chapter shall be by majority vote of the members of this Chapter at the regular meetings.

F. Those individuals invited to join Alpha Chapter shall be promptly notified of their selection, by electronic means, by letter, or by other means.  Parents of those selected may be notified as well.  After two such notifications, the Executive Committee may decide to issue no further invitations if no response has been received.  To this end, the secretary/treasurer shall maintain a confidential list of those invited to join this chapter, whether or not the invitation was accepted.

G. The secretary/treasurer shall establish a due date each semester for the names of those accepting our invitation to be included in the program for the next initiation ceremony.

H. Those invited by Alpha Chapter may accept our invitation up to one calendar year after receiving their last invitation.  After that date, late acceptances of Chapter invitations may be accepted for initiation only by vote of the Executive Committee.

I. Election to membership in Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of this Chapter, subject only to the limitations and conditions imposed by the Constitution and the Bylaws of this Chapter.  No right to election shall adhere to any person solely by reason of fulfillment of the minimum grade point average required for election to membership in course.

VI. Initiation

A. Initiations into Alpha of Colorado shall be held at public events near the end of Fall and Spring semesters each year.

B. The president of this chapter shall normally preside at each initiation event, with the presence and assistance of the other officers.

C. A Chapter member shall be named to serve as guide to the new members-elect for each initiation.

D. Each person having accepted our invitation to join Alpha Chapter is expected to attend our initiation ceremony, to learn of the context and meaning of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and to swear or affirm loyalty to the standards of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  The president of Alpha Chapter may schedule informal sessions to induct members-elect into the Society at other times.

E. The names of those duly elected to membership and enrolled as members in Alpha of Colorado Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be promptly reported to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

VII. Fees, dues and assessments

A. Dues for membership in Alpha Chapter may be set annually by vote of the chapter membership.

B. The initiation fees for members in course shall be set each year by vote of the chapter membership.  This fee shall not include the cost of the key or any other personal choices.

C. The initiation fee for newly elected honorary members of Alpha Chapter shall be paid by the Chapter.

D. As far as our financial situation is able, the Executive Committee may choose to use Chapter funds for the initiation fees for those presenting a case of need.  It is our intention that no person invited to join Alpha Chapter be denied full initiation into our Chapter because of financial need.

E. The chapter may hire students or other assistants to help with the many duties of the secretary/treasurer.

VIII. Meetings

A. There shall normally be one meeting of Alpha Chapter in Spring and Fall terms, at such time as the slates of individuals to be considered for election shall be available.  Notice of these meetings is to be distributed to those members of Alpha Chapter or other chapters on the Boulder campus or in the community as known to us.

B. The order of business shall be determined by the president of Alpha Chapter, in accord with the usual manuals and usages.

C. The secretary/treasurer shall take minutes of each meeting, and record decisions of the Chapter membership.  These minutes shall be made available to Chapter members.

D. A quorum for the transaction of business shall be five members.

E. Special meetings may be called by the president or by the Executive Committee or by written request by four members.  At a special meeting no business may be transacted other than stated in the notice of that meeting.

IX. Posting and Amendments

A. These Bylaws shall be posted on the Alpha Chapter website or in otherwise readily accessible media.

B. These Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of Alpha of Colorado Chapter by a two-thirds secret vote of those members attending, provided that notice of the amendment shall have been given at a previous regular meeting or by being made available to all members at least two weeks before the meeting in which a vote to amend is carried out.  This notice may be in writing or as posted on the Alpha Chapter website or other publically available means.  Electronic notice of proposed amendments may be sent to the list of known active members.

X. These bylaws may be temporarily suspended for a single issue by a two-thirds vote of members present at a regular or special meeting.