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Executive Director Reports 2003-2010

Executive Director Report
June 10, 2010

Site Selection for 2012 - The rotation calls for West. Here are some possibilities for February 16-19, 2012:

  1. Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites, Shelter Island (America’s Cup Harbor and San Diego Bay), near San Diego airport with complimentary transportation - $144.00 guest room rate. Very reasonable menus, good food. Free Wi-Fi. (I attended a conference there in February 2010, and I enjoyed the resort-like atmosphere. The resort is known in the San Diego area for its live music Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.) Explore Shelter Island with a bicycle ride or leisurely walk along the 3-mile waterfront paths. Meeting room rental waived. Old Town Trolley is 0.1 mi. from the property.
  2. Town and Country Resort & Convention Center – Connected to San Diego’s premier shopping destination, Fashion Valley Mall (Mission Valley) – $128.00 guest room rate. Trolley stop on property for Downtown and Old Town. Meeting room rental waived.
  3. DoubleTree Hotel, Mission Valley - $139.00 guest room rate. Trolley stop across the street for Downtown and Old Town. Meeting room rental waived.
  4. Note: We were too small for the Hyatt’s and the Marriott’s to consider proposals at this time. Others, including Westgate Hotel, had high guest room rates ($225).

Site Section for 2013 – The rotation calls for East. Here are some possibilities for February 14-17, 2013.

  1. Hotel Monaco, Baltimore, MD - $149.00 guest room rate – Menus reasonably priced. No meeting room rental. Complimentary Wi-Fi available.
  2. Phoenix Park Hotel, Washington, DC - $139.00 guest room rate – The food prices are high, and I don’t know if we can get the meeting room rental rate waived.

It is advisable to sign two contracts soon while hotels are offering reduced rates.

Future ACHS Meetings - Is it time to reduce our carbon footprint by having biennial meetings? 

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Compliance with ACHS standards. The first round of compliance is being conducted with the general societies classification. The Committee has the reports for review. Several recent experiences demonstrate a need to have further items on the report so that the Standards and Definitions Committee can ensure compliance with our standards.
    1. A written complaint was filed against one of our members this Spring. After consultation with President Ransdell and our attorney, Sandra Cotter, it was decided that a Complaint Resolution Process needed to be developed to comply with the ACHS bylaws. See attached document prepared by Attorney Cotter. Following receipt of the document, it was posted on our Web site and distributed to the complainant. Upon further consideration, the complainant decided that the ACHS compliance process next year would be satisfactory to examine the policies and practices of the society. There was no pressure to deal with the complaint in this fashion. Because of the sensitivity of this matter, the member society will not be identified.
    2. Because of the nature of the complaint it seems necessary to add some items to our compliance report:
      1. Whistleblower Policy
      2. Conflict of Interest Policy
      3. Document Retention & Destruction Policy
      4. Evidence of governance by membership and board of directors
    3. Another issue that arose from the complaint has to do with the dual role of executive director and chapter adviser of a society located on a campus. It seems to me that it would be wise to establish a policy that advises separation of those roles. Should it be mandatory?
    4. The issue of transparency is raised through the complaint and also through an examination of several Websites. In our “How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society,” we advise that the following items be available to the public (not in a member-only section) by a legitimate honor society Website. I recommend that this subject be added to the Compliance Report.
      1. National Officers and Headquarters Staff
      2. National Office mailing, telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses (not a PO box—state and federal policies require a physical address)
      3. Criteria for membership
      4. Benefits of membership
      5. Membership fee
      6. Bylaws
      7. Chapter charter policies and procedures
    5. Can we require that every member society post their chapters on our Chapter Search? That is a transparency requirement as far as I’m concerned.
    6. The addition of these items will ensure that the Standards and Definitions Committee treats all member societies in the same way.
  2. A recent Google Alert about the Long Island University Website (for all academic honor societies on campus) indicated inadequate information about eligibility standards for ACHS societies (see attachment). Although this is indicative of incomplete information from chapters, I think we need to make sure that all of our members monitor the chapter publicity about standards. Although it is difficult to ensure chapter compliance, I think we need to advise all members to remind chapters of appropriate language. Perhaps a standard press release should be distributed.
  3. Given the concerns listed above, is it time for ACHS to offer a consultant about bylaws documents or a session at the annual meeting?

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational, and I believe all of the bugs have been resolved. It is updated twice a year. The following URL provides links for automatically updating the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp. Member societies have been reminded to update the society general information page and contact information, the chapter list, and grants information page. Should we add a few of the items above (re: compliance) to the annual report?
  2. Our IT contractor developed a News Blog to replace the News item on the Web site menu. I don’t know that we will get comments, but it was an opportunity to install Web 2.0 technology with very little cost, and Google Alerts pick up new posts.
  3. Should ACHS have a Facebook page?
  4. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  5. The February 2010 Executive Director report was posted to the Website. Confidential information was removed before posting.
  6. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies. The recent request by Alpha Lambda Delta regarding online membership databases may suggest a topic for consideration at the annual meeting.
  7. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding IRS reports for chapters. Jim Viehland has been helpful, too.
  8. The vendors who exhibited at the 2010 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have eight plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other sponsoring vendors have been contacted about this service.
  9. A number of vendors have requested the ability to pay for a citation on our Vendors page. It might be useful to our members to allow other vendors that meet our standards for service to pay a yearly fee for posting on our site. Is there a legal issue here regarding discrimination if we don’t open up opportunities for other vendors? What is your pleasure?
  10. ACHS will exhibit at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2010 meeting, October 20-24 in Kansas City.
  11. It is my opinion that ACHS has gained more visibility through CAS membership than through any other relationship. Student affairs professionals often work directly with honor society chapters. My concern is that not all institutions have requirements for registration of student organizations. CAS members know that this is an honor society standard.
  12. I have been appointed editor for the Blue Book—“CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition”—to be published in August 2012. My term begins in October. I will be on the Executive Committee, and all expenses in addition to the normal board member expenses of two meetings per year will be paid by CAS. A graduate assistant or editorial assistant will be paid by CAS to help with the editorial work in 2012.
  13. ACHS with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars were sponsors for $400 each to provide ACHS brochures for the registration totebags at the 2010 AACRAO Meeting in New Orleans, April 21-24. This was chosen as an alternative to hosting a booth. We want to be known as the “Standards People,” and it is believed that a three-year rotation system for hosting a booth, conducting a presentation, and sponsoring totebag inserts might serve our purposes.
  14. I have established Google Alerts for “honor societies” and “honor society,” so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate.
  15. The Adviser Grant Program accepted six proposals, and reports have been received from all awardees to date. The awards were paid when the final reports were filed. This has been a highly successful program.
  16. In consultation with Teresa Ransdell, Steve Loflin and an official from America’s Promise (following the presentation at the 2010 meeting) are developing a proposal for a pilot project to implement one of its programs, perhaps mentoring high school students. This would fulfill a social responsibility theme. Elaine Leibsohn is leaving the program, so Steve plans to work with her successor who is not yet on board. The proposal will use a similar process as our Adviser Grant Program to involve multiple student groups on campus.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I am the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. A number of documents from the 2010 Annual Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link).

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. I am working with individuals interested in founding another business honor society. This is another group forming an accreditation body.
  3. I am working with Salute (Veterans National Honor Society) to ensure that its standards are changed to comply with ACHS standards. This group honors veterans who enroll in college after being honorably discharged.
  4. I think Phi Alpha (social work) will be adopting our standards in order to apply for membership.
  5. One of the benefits of the anti-trust case is that I have a very good resource (Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters) for those societies that are apt to have lots of online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. The Task Force gave us some good ideas to share even if there is no accreditation available. We do not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but we do want to help our member societies sets standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Here again, accountability is our friend.
  6. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.
  7. Office of Personnel Management preference for ACHS members – I continue to hear from federal recruiters who wish to verify the list of ACHS member societies, especially when they note some missing on our Web site. So when I’m asked about the groups that have left, all I can say is that it was their decision to resign membership

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

January 29, 2010 

Site Selection for 2012

The ACHS Rotation Schedule has the West for 2012. The last city in that region was Portland in 2006. Prior to that we had been in Seattle. What do you think about San Diego?

Site Selection for 2013

The Rotation Schedule has the East for 2013. I’m wondering about DC or Northern Virginia. We were last in this region in 2005.

Partnership with NCHC for Annual Council Meetings

There has been some discussion about holding our annual council meeting in connection with a partner organization. The 2013 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conference will be in New Orleans. That meeting is usually held in late October or early November. The 2012 NCHC conference will be held in Phoenix. NCHC has a rich agenda that would serve ACHS members well. Perhaps we could share plenary sessions and have some of our own. No discussion has been held to date. Are you interested in exploring a joint meeting with NCHC for 2013?

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards

  1. 2010-2014 Compliance Schedule – I have assisted the Standards and Definitions Committee with distributing the request for information to the first 15 societies--general classification.
  2. The Scabbard and Blade petition has been mailed to member societies for advance information prior to voting at the 2010 Council Business Meeting.
  3. The Grade Inflation report has given us strong rationale for our standards. Thanks to Sigma Theta Tau for this study.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational. It is being updated; we expect 100 percent participation—the first time ever. In addition to the Annual Report updates, the following URL provides links for automatically updating the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp.
  2. The Annual Report system is a great improvement; a few had difficulty with the passcode system because an email was automatically sent to the person listed in the directory as the official contact—not necessarily the person entering the report data.
  3. Our IT contractor developed a News Blog to replace the News item on the Web site menu. I don’t know that we will get comments, but it is an opportunity to install Web 2.0 technology with very little cost, and Google Alerts pick up new posts.
  4. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  5. The June 2009 Executive Director report was posted to the Website. Confidential information was removed before posting.
  6. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  7. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding governance and honor society practices. The predominant topic has to do with the new IRS regulations for reporting.
  8. The vendors who exhibit at the 2010 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have seven plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other vendors have been contacted about this service.
  9. ACHS exhibited at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2009 meeting, October 28-November 1 in DC. NCHC no longer awards complimentary memberships, so we have paid the membership fee.
  10. The NCHC panel presentation, “Student Learning & Development Outcomes in Undergraduate Research,” that I organized with five co-presenters (institutional representatives) was well received. The topic was the new CAS learning and development outcomes and my work with Kappa Omicron Nu to develop rubrics for evaluating undergraduate research programs, manuscripts, and oral presentations.
  11. CAS - I have been asked to submit credentials for serving on the Executive Committee. Expenses for the extra meetings are paid by CAS. I still have a concern that not all institutions have requirements for registration of student organizations. CAS members know that this is an honor society standard. CAS has given ACHS permission for a direct link to honor society and undergraduate research standards on the CAS Website.
  12. ACHS will collaborate with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars to add our A Matter of Honor brochure as an insert in the tote bag for the upcoming AACRAO Meeting in New Orleans. We will not exhibit.
  13. I have established Google Alerts for “honor societies” and “honor society,” so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate. 
  14. The 2010 Adviser Grant Program accepted eight proposals, and a report has already been received from one.
  15. The A Matter of Honor brochure will be updated following the 2010 meeting. It appears that we will need to modify the design in order to make it available in pdf form for societies wishing to have electronic communication with international chapters.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. The CAS Executive Committee asked me to work with them to develop additional means of outreach, particularly for assistance in outcome assessment. My experience with rubrics is of interest to the Committee.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards. The Sigma Theta Tau study of grade inflation is a wonderful tool for convincing societies that a 3.0 GPA is inadequate as an eligibility standard.
  2. We have three guests attending the 2010 Annual Council Meeting. A group that is forming an honor society for experiential education, an additional honor society for a third business accreditation organization (it hasn’t met CHEA standards), and the social work honor society, Phi Alpha (it will have to raise its eligibility standard). You will remember that our former member society in social work, Alpha Delta Mu, met our eligibility standards, but we had to remove the society from membership due to a total breakdown in management.
  3. I am working with a group on formation of a sports management honor society. Our standards will be the basis of the society.
  4. I am working with a group on formation of a forensics honor society. Our standards will be the basis of the society.
  5. Our Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters continues to serve us well in the movement toward chartering honor societies in online universities.
  6. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.
  7. I believe that ACHS is in the forefront of responding to the IRS changes. Our member societies appreciate the help we give them. I think we need to continue to help with the responsibility regarding the 990-N filing. Are there other legal, tax, and insurance issues that we should address? I do know that there appears to be a loophole for student organizations that have less than $5,000 annual income--they do not require an EIN number and do not have to file a 990-N. The problem is that once that limit is exceeded, the organization has to get an exemption and file. How can any national staff be sure that each and every chapter knows the rules and abides by them?
  8. Office of Personnel Management preference for ACHS members – I continue to hear from federal recruiters who wish to verify the list of ACHS member societies, especially when they note some missing on our Web site. So when I’m asked about the groups that have left, all I can say is that it was their decision to resign membership. It appears that some recruiters give the benefit to job applicants to members of previous ACHS societies and other do not.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

Executive Director Report
June 8, 2009

 Notes:

Site Selection for 2010 – A contract was signed with the Hyatt Regency Boston, One Avenue de Lafayette, for February 18-21, 2010.

Site Selection for 2011 - The rotation calls for Southeast. Here are some possibilities for February 16-20, 2011:

  1. Crowne Plaza Jacksonville (FL) Riverfront Hotel (across the bridge from Jacksonville Landing Riverfront Marketplace) -     $119.00 guest room rate
  2. Omni Jacksonville Hotel(Jacksonville Landing Riverfront Marketplace) - $139.00 guest room rate
  3. Hyatt Regency Jacksonville - $119.00 guest room rate

The main advantage for this Florida city is that it isn’t as influenced by high season rates.

Future ACHS Meetings - Is it time to reduce our carbon footprint by having biennial meetings?

 This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Compliance with ACHS standards.
    1. Alpha Sigma Mu – lacks procedure for amendment of governing documents. This Society has undergone a recent change in the national office. I expect that the society will respond now.
    2. Delta Epsilon Sigma – This society was handicapped by the death of Pat Lee. Lacks membership criteria, national convention and democratic process, financial report to the membership. I’ll have to make some more contacts.
    3. Sigma Lambda Alpha – lacks petition from institution for a chapter, accreditation, amendment of governing documents, and financial report to the membership. I’ll have to add some more pressure.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational. It is updated twice a year. The following URL provides links for automatically updating the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp. Member societies have been reminded to update the society general information page and contact information, the chapter list, and grants information page. A few members have not complied with requests for updates, and I will send another reminder.
  2. Our IT contractor is developing a News Blog to replace the News item on the Web site menu. I don’t know that we will get comments, but it is an opportunity to install Web 2.0 technology with very little cost, and Google Alerts pick up new posts.
  3. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  4. The February 2009 Executive Director report was posted to the Website. Confidential information was removed before posting.
  5. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  6. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding governance and honor society practices. The most recent request came from the Mortar Board president regarding salary and dues ranges and bylaws rules for setting dues.
  7. The vendors who exhibited at the 2009 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have seven plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other vendors have been contacted about this service.
  8. ACHS will exhibit at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2009 meeting, October 28-November 1 in DC. NCHC no longer awards complimentary memberships, so we have paid the membership fee.
  9. NCHC accepted the 2009 panel presentation, “Student Learning & Development Outcomes in Undergraduate Research,” that I organized with five co-presenters (institutional representatives). The topic will feature the new CAS learning and development outcomes and my work with Kappa Omicron Nu to develop rubrics for evaluating undergraduate research programs, manuscripts, and oral presentations. (BTW: It is my vision to have ACHS more involved in promoting undergraduate research.) Winning this presentation spot is a major triumph; NCHC received almost 700 proposals.
  10. It is my opinion that ACHS has gained more visibility through CAS membership than through any other relationship. Student affairs professionals often work directly with honor society chapters. My concern is that not all institutions have requirements for registration of student organizations. CAS members know that this is an honor society standard.
  11. ACHS exhibited with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the AACRAO Meeting in Chicago, April 13-16, 2009.
  12. Consideration is being given to an alternative for exhibiting for the 2010 AACRAO Meeting in New Orleans, April 21-24, 2010. It is very difficult to assess value from traffic alone. The mere existence of ACHS at the meeting has value. We want to be known as the “standards people,” so I think there are other means of accomplishing our goals—presentation, ad in program, pens, notepads, tote bag inserts, etc. Perhaps a three-year rotation would be useful. A partnership plan is being put together for consideration of the board.
  13. I have not yet tackled the description of ACHS in Wikipedia that needs to be edited.
  14. I have established Google Alerts for “honor societies” and “honor society,” so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate. For example, this past week I noticed an announcement about the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society. So, I emailed Executive Director Steven Hatchell to discuss ACHS standards and inquire about the society because a 3.2 GPA was required for football scholar athletes to be recognized. After a couple of emails, he called me and we talked about the relevance of ACHS for the Hampshire Honor Society. It doesn’t really fit because it is an award program—no dues, no chapters, etc. The primary goals are honoring scholar athletes, awarding scholarships, and encouraging graduation. The society doesn’t fit with our definition of an honor society, but I didn’t have a suggestion for a different title. He would be open to suggestions, and we agreed to keep in contact. We have to acknowledge that we don’t have a registered trademark on honor society, so we can’t control its use. We have a definition of affiliates in the Policy Manual, but it is pretty vague—I’m not sure what it means. Would the Hampshire Honor Society be an affiliate?
  15. I believe the Annual Report system is an improvement; a few had difficulty with the passcode system because an email was automatically sent to the person listed in the directory as the official contact—not necessarily the person entering the report data. I have a few suggestions:
    1. Add question to obtain the total combined expenditures for general fund and foundation.
    2. Add definitions for each cate gory of expenditures.
    3. Survey members to see if we can get a general agreement on enhancement. 

    Should we have enough expenditure categories so that the percentages add up to 100%?

    Do we still think that we want open-ended responses for the following categories? 

    1. Membership Trends
    2. Benefits to Profession and Society at Large
    3. Accomplishments
    4. Challenges to Your Society
    5. Renewal Efforts of Your Society
    6. Trends in Higher Education with Potential Impact
  16. The Adviser Grant Program accepted ten proposals, and reports have been received from six to date. The awards were paid when the final reports were filed. The Board in 2008 was not ready to propose a new theme on social responsibility, but the award program was begun to provide a reward system for advisers and a test of the value of the theme. Are we ready to set a new theme?

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies. A recent message on the list serve inquired about the Society of Leadership and Success, and I shared the information that this group had determined (with us) that it was not an honor society.
  2. The CAS Executive Committee asked me to develop the General Criterion Measures for the Self-Assessment Guides, and I completed that task in March.
  3. A number of documents from the 2009 Annual Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link).

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards. My frustration regarding new societies arises from the fact that I think there are already too many honor societies. However, there is usually nothing that discourages a founder—even though I raise all the legal and management issues that make it difficult for a new society to prosper. I always attempt to explore alternatives such as building relationships with related societies.
  2. I am working with individuals interested in founding a leadership honor society. Apparently there are some funding agencies interesting in starting a new society. The good news is that I think they will use our standards if it goes any further.
  3. I am working with a group on formation of a sports management honor society. Our standards will be the basis of the society.
  4. I am working with a group on formation of a forensics honor society. Our standards will be the basis of the society.
  5. One of the benefits of the anti-trust case is that I have a very good resource (Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters) for those societies that are apt to have lots of online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. The Task Force gave us some good ideas to share even if there is no accreditation available. We do not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but we do want to help our member societies sets standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Here again, accountability is our friend.
  6. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.
  7. I believe that ACHS is in the forefront of responding to the IRS changes. Our member societies appreciate the help we give them. I think we need to continue to help with the responsibility regarding the 990-N filing. (I disagree that an attachment to the society 990 will work. I think the Feds want an electronic filing.) Are there other legal, tax, and insurance issues that we should address?
  8. The good news is that ACHS is visible; the bad news is that ACHS is visible (complaints). I believe complaints are going to increase. Because of my experience with some persons who have complaints about honor societies but won’t identify themselves, I will require identification before I reply. I will make sure that we respect the request for information or complaint, but I think the person has the responsibility of giving an identity. I hate to complicate the situation by creating a complaint form, so I’m going to take a wait-and-see stance. I can make sure this approach is appropriate by contacting our attorney.
  9. Office of Personnel Management preference for ACHS members – I continue to hear from federal recruiters who wish to verify the list of ACHS member societies, especially when they note some missing on our Web site. So when I’m asked about the groups that have left, all I can say is that it was their decision to resign membership. Phi Theta Kappa continues to note the benefit of civil service jobs, but it no longer states that membership gives that benefit. It appears that some recruiters give the benefit to job applicants to members of previous ACHS societies and other do not. I have no reason to believe that standards have changed so I don’t argue that case.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

February 13, 2009

 This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Compliance with ACHS standards.Alpha Phi Sigma – New Bylaws have been approved to meet ACHS standards. Thus, compliance is complete.

    The following members have been informed that compliance must be completed in 2009. 
    • Alpha Sigma Mu – lacks procedure for amendment of governing documents. This Society has undergone a recent change in the national office and should be stable now.
    • Delta Epsilon Sigma – This society was handicapped by the death of Pat Lee. The society lacks membership criteria, national convention and democratic process, financial report to the membership. The national office has moved and is operational now.
    • Sigma Lambda Alpha – This society lacks petition from institution for a chapter, accreditation, amendment of governing documents, and financial report to the membership. 
  2. The new PSI national office is functioning well with all the controls that should be in place for a legitimate and effective organization. Because the newly elected Board President would not call a meeting, I acted with the approval of the other Board members to call a Board meeting in September. The Board acted to approve new bylaws for chapter approval and approved governance policies using Policy Governance. A facilitator was hired to help as a third party in building good relationships and an esprit de corps that will carry the organization forward as well as to help accomplish an enormous amount of work.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The publication of the online ACHS Directory is complete. The benefit of the new annual report process is that it also contributes to updating the directory. At other times, each member society can use the following URL for making changes: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp.
  2. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  3. The June 2008 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  4. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  5. ACHS exhibited with Alpha Lambda Delta in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2008 meeting, October 22-26 in San Antonio. I had a conflict so ALD represented us.
  6. We have arranged for a booth for the 2009 AACRAO Meeting in Chicago, April 13-16, 2009.
  7. To date, there are still 11 outstanding Annual Reports. I learned that a reminder to specific persons was more effective than sending out a general reminder. Unfortunately, the report to be distributed at the Annual Council Meeting will not include recent updates. We will make the updated report available on the Web site.
  8. The Adviser Grant Program on social responsibility was a tremendous success. Recipients are listed at http://www.achsnatl.org/SR_Award_Recipients.pdf. Alpha Chi and Kappa Omicron Nu contributed funds so that all 9 applicants received awards.
  9. I recommend that the ASAE “Global Principles for Social Responsibility for Associations and Nonprofits” be approved by the Council. And I hope that ACHS will encourage each member society to adopt the principles as well. Kappa Omicron Nu adopted the principles at its board meeting in January, and its August Conclave will feature programming on social responsibility. I don’t know whether it is time to propose social responsibility as an ACHS theme; is it possible to have two themes: Social Responsibility and A Matter of Ethics?
  10. I believe the Annual Report system is an improvement; a few had difficulty with the passcode system because an email was automatically sent to the person listed in the directory as the official contact—not necessarily the person entering the report data. I have a few suggestions:
    • Add question to obtain the total combined expenditures for general fund and foundation.
    • Add definitions for each category of expenditures.
    • Survey members to see if we can get a general agreement on enhancement. 

Should we have enough expenditure categories so that the percentages add up to 100%?

Do we still think that we want open-ended responses for the following categories?    Membership Trends, Benefits to Profession and Society at large, Accomplishments, Challenges to Your Society, Renewal Efforts of Your Society, and Trends in Higher Education with Potential Impact.                              

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. I have initiated the development of a proposal for the NCHC 2009 meeting in Washington, DC, October 28 – November 1 that focuses on the interests of honors programs and honor societies in standards for undergraduate research. An Idea Exchange request has also been filed
  2. The adult program standards (developed under my leadership) were approved by the CAS Board October 19, 2008.
  3. The Fall 2009 CAS Meeting will celebrate 30 years of service in developing standards for higher education. A resolution will be offered to the Council to show ACHS support.
  4. A number of documents have been added to the ACHS Web site regarding models of code of conduct, conflict of interest, whistleblower, and document retention and destruction policies have been added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link).

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

June 10, 2008

Site Selection for 2010 – A contract was signed with the Hyatt Regency Boston, One Avenue de Lafayette, for February 18-21, 2010.

Site Selection for 2011 - The rotation calls for Southeast – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, or Alabama. Any suggestions? Is it time to reduce our carbon footprint by having biennial meetings?

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The publication of a new 2008-2010 Member Directory is in process. The following URL provides links for automatically updating the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp. A few members have not complied with requests for updates. We will issue proofs and make sure that all member societies respond.
  2. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  3. The February 2008 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  4. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  5. The vendors who exhibited at the 2008 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have twelve plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net.
  6. ACHS will exhibit with Alpha Lambda Delta in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2008 meeting, October 22-26 in San Antonio. I have a conflict so ALD will represent us.
  7. I continue to serve on the NCHC External Relations Committee.
  8. ACHS exhibited with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the AACRAO Meeting in Orlando, March 24-26, 2008.
  9. We have signed a contract for a booth for the 2009 AACRAO Meeting in Chicago, April 13-16, 2009.
  10. I have not yet tackled the description of ACHS in Wikipedia that needs to be edited.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. As chair of the CAS Committee on adult program standards, I am working with a group at Penn State to develop the final draft from feedback from the peer review and the CAS Executive Committee. I anticipate that the Board will consider the standards next fall.
  3. New CAS General Standards were approved in April 2008. The 16 student learning and development outcomes were reduced to 6.
  4. The Kappa Omicron Nu Chapter Benchmarks for assessment of chapter effectiveness and the “Adviser as Teacher” benchmarks are an effort to increase accountability. These have been added to the ACHS Web site.
  5. A number of documents from the 2008 Annual Meeting and models of code of conduct, conflict of interest, whistleblower, and document retention and destruction policies have been added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link). 

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. Petition from Delta Omega (public health) has been withdrawn. Changes that are required for membership were not acceptable to the society.
  3. Alpha Epsilon Rho (electronic media) is modifying standards to meet ACHS standards.
  4. Alpha Iota Delta in decision sciences and information systems is working on a petition for membership.
  5. I am working with the founder for a new honor society for forensic science. This gives us an opportunity to make sure the petitioning process moves easily through the approval process.
  6. One of the benefits of the anti-trust case is that I have some very good advice for those societies that are apt to have lots of online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. The Task Force gave us some good ideas to share even if there is no accreditation available. We do not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but we do want to help our member societies sets standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Here again, accountability is our friend.
  7. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.
  8. I believe that ACHS is in the forefront of responding to the IRS changes. Our member societies will appreciate the help we can give them.
  9. The good news is that ACHS is visible; the bad news is that ACHS is visible (complaints). I believe complaints are going to increase. Because of my experience with some persons who have complaints about honor societies but won’t identify themselves, I will require identification before I reply. I will make sure that we respect the request for information or complaint, but I think the person has the responsibility of giving an identity. I hate to complicate the situation by creating a complaint form, so I’m going to take a wait-and-see stance. I can make sure this approach is appropriate by contacting our attorney.
  10. I have recently had several questions from Federal agencies associated with the US Office of Personnel Management requesting information about Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Theta Kappa, asking why these societies are not listed on our Web site. It appears that the salary benefit is not accorded to members of these societies.

February 6, 2008

Site Selection for 2009 – A contract was signed with the Hyatt Regency Phoenix for February 19-22, 2009 for the room rate of $149, single and double. Negotiation with the Phoenix CVB is continuing. Fred Reichelt and the Hyatt Regency are working with us to design the support of the CVB.

Site Selection for 2010 – Our site rotation indicates that the meeting should be held in the East—that is rather a broad category. We also have a category of Southeast (2013). Here are some suggestions: DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, & Nashville. Any others? Easy access for flights and opportunities for reasonable hotel rates are essential. I think all of these meet that criteria.

Long Range Planning and Strategic Issues Committee - This committee is essentially the Board, and I believe it should be. Although the Board has dealt with the charge, I would like to see the Board develop a separate report so that it is just not a segment of the minutes. I believe we want to be sure that the report becomes a clear message for direction and for involvement of the Council. The report might also become an appendix of the Board Policies.

Nominating Committee – I have a concern about the damage we do when we have contested elections. We have had one complaint this year and I suspect another person has been hurt. We have an elected nominating committee, so I suggest that we think about how we might change the culture so that the nominating committee produces a slate. ACHS had a history of slates before we made changes in governance and management. The reason the nominating committee was changed to an elected committee was because there was perceived control by past officers and appointed committee members. Although I don’t think there is a present concern about the membership of the nominating committee, this new problem has arisen.

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Compliance with ACHS standards.
    1. Alpha Phi Sigma – Chili Sanders and Dorothy Mitstifer originally helped with amendment of bylaws regarding eligibility criteria, petition from institution for a chapter, election of governing board. A Bylaws Committee is now working on this task. This situation was created by an internal complaint and a request of ACHS to provide help. I think they are trying to complete this task by Fall. This was one of the more complex situations; it is not easy to give up some things that have developed over time.
    2. Alpha Kappa Delta – OK - lacked information about petition from institution for a chapter. A new form has been developed.
    3. Alpha Sigma Mu – lacks procedure for amendment of governing documents. This Society has undergone a recent change in the national office. I expect that compliance will be a priority.
    4. Beta Kappa Chi –OK – filed petition for chapter chartering.
    5. Delta Epsilon Sigma – This society was handicapped by the death of Pat Lee. Lacks membership criteria, national convention and democratic process, financial report to the membership.
    6. Eta Kappa Nu – Some communication has begun– lacks financial report to the membership. The society has not paid dues for two years, but I think we have made some inroads with the leadership.
    7. Lambda Sigma – OK - added criteria for judging all-around leadership. Phi Sigma – lacks eligibility criteria, petition from institution for a chapter, financial report to the membership. Apparently this group has been working on the issues.
    8. Sigma Lambda Alpha – lacks petition from institution for a chapter, accreditation, amendment of governing documents, and financial report to the membership.

  2. Anti-Trust complaint – The Task Force Report and the Chapter Benchmark Rubric that Kappa Omicron Nu developed have been received with interest. Although I think there has been sincere work on the issue, I’m not ready to predict the outcome.
  3. The Task Force on Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters (triggered by a formal complaint against one of our members and requests for help from two member societies) completed its report.
  4. The unprecedented take-over of Phi Sigma Iota is nearing a conclusion. There is still a sticking point regarding the newly elected Board President, so I am in charge until that is resolved and the Board meets and is trained. The new national office is functioning well with all the controls that should be in place for a legitimate and effective organization. I made a trip to that campus and worked with the new Administrative Director and with College Officials to prepare the Memorandum of Understanding.When I meet with the Board I will state the case for reimbursement of our direct expenses.

    This experience raises the following concerns:

    1. Are there other member societies that could have a similar lack of controls and management policies?
    2. Are the ACHS standards sufficient for certification?
    3. Should we make annual reports mandatory? The society in question hadn’t submitted a report for at least three years. This may be an indicator of lack of administrative oversight.
    4. Is it time to do more than educate about insurance protection, auditing, incorporation, operational manuals, etc.?
    5. What are the dangers of management of honor societies within an academic institution?
    6. Should the Policy Handbook developed for the honor society in question be offered as a model to member societies?
    7. Should the model bylaws document for establishing honor societies be offered as a model to member societies?

  5. The S&D Committee examined Websites and made recommendations for change. Are there issues yet that should be addressed?

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. A request for update of the Member Information Pages, Chapter Lists, and Grants Information was distributed in December in preparation for publishing the Member Directory. The following URL provides links for automatically updating the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/services.asp.
  2. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  3. The June 2007 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  4. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  5. The vendors who will exhibit at the 2008 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have twelve plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. In the original announcement I did not specify that the free listing was for one year. I’m going to make that change, but those who did not exhibit this year will have a one-year grace period. I think that is fair because of the omission in the original listing.
  6. ACHS participated in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2007 meeting, October 31-November 4 in Denver. I had a very good response to our information and mission.
  7. I have a conflict for the 2008 meeting so I have arranged with Alpha Lambda Delta to distribute our brochures and the new Member Directory.
  8. I continue to serve on the NCHC External Relations Committee.
  9. ACHS will exhibit with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the AACRAO Meeting in Orlando, March 24-26
  10. I have begun work on publishing the 2008-2010 version of the Member Directory.
  11. I have not yet tackles the description of ACHS in Wikipedia that needs to be edited.
  12. Our relationships with ACPA and NASPA need to be continually enhanced. As a response to our invitation to attend the Annual Meeting, we had a letter from Greg Roberts of ACPA that supported our mission but stated that he had a conflict. What other ways can we build relationships? ACHS as a member of CAS certainly keeps us in communication with both organizations.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. As chair of the CAS Committee on adult program standards, I am working with a group at Penn State to develop the final draft from feedback from the peer review and the CAS Executive Committee. I anticipate that the Board will consider the standards next fall.
  3. Because of the Kappa Omicron Nu interest in monitoring student learning and development outcomes for the KON sponsored Undergraduate Research Community, I developed a self-assessment evaluation instrument from the CAS standards. Further work has involved developing a rubric for program assessment. I believe Gary White will discuss this work in one of the Breakfast Roundtables.
  4. Through my work with compliance I am aware of the questionable quality of bylaws of some of our members. I have concluded that one service that ACHS should make available, maybe at the 2008 meeting, is free consultation with a registered parliamentarian to examine governance documents. I propose employing Christine (Chili) Sanders.
  5. The Chapter Benchmarks that were shared at a Breakfast Roundtable last year have been expanded by Kappa Omicron Nu to include a rubric for assessment of chapter effectiveness.
  6. Kappa Omicron Nu developed a benchmark document for “Adviser as Teacher” that has possibilities for the ACHS concern about advising. A rubric is being developed for this document as well.
  7. The interest of Kappa Omicron Nu and Alpha Lambda Delta is assessing outcomes of honor society membership is at a standstill but I think that ACHS must join the accountability movement.
  8. I think we should be interested in adding more management “stuff” to our Web site. That would mean collaboration with the Association Management Committee.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. Petitions from Delta Omega (public health) and Alpha Epsilon Rho (electronic media) have been received. The Eligibility and Admissions Committee is reviewing these petitions
  3. Alpha Iota Delta in decision sciences and information systems is working on a petition for membership.
  4. I am working with the founder for a new honor society for forensic science. This gives us an opportunity to make sure the petitioning process moves easily through the approval process.
  5. One of the benefits of the anti-trust case is that I have some very good advice for those societies that are apt to have lots of online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. The Task Force gave us some good ideas to share even if there is no accreditation available. We do not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but we do want to help our member societies sets standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Here again, accountability is our friend.
  6. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page.
  7. Alex Perwich and worked together on the electronic annual report. Adding this task to the Public Information Committee has been suggested. It is now time to identify the purpose of the annual report and to determine the information that is required to accomplish the purpose. I think we need to give serious consideration to this issue. It is my view that we should not collect data that we are not going to use—either in setting policy, informing the public, guiding direction, helping our member societies increase their effectiveness.
  8. I believe that ACHS is in the forefront of responding to the IRS changes. Our member societies will appreciate the help we can give them.
  9. The good news is that ACHS is visible; the bad news is that ACHS is visible (complaints). I believe complaints are going to increase. Steve and I have had lots of correspondence with one persistent person who did not have a justifiable complaint about NSCS. In this case, this person did not identify himself/herself. In the future I will require identification before I reply. I will make sure that we respect the request for information or complaint, but I think the person has the responsibility of giving an identity. I hate to complicate the situation by creating a complaint form, so I’m going to take a wait-and-see stance. I can make sure this approach is appropriate by contacting our attorney.

June 16, 2007

Site Selection for 2009 – A contract was signed with the Hyatt Regency Phoenix for February 19-22, 2009 for the room rate of $149, single and double. Negotiation with the Phoenix CVB is continuing. Fred Reichelt and the Hyatt Regency are working with us to design the support of the CVB. 

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Compliance with ACHS standards. I am working with eight member societies to complete the information require by the Standards and Definitions Committee. 
  2. Kappa Delta Pi has a new Acting Executive Director.
  3. Anti-Trust complaint – Since the March 14, 2007 complaint, the ACHS Attorney and I have been working to help the Member Society respond.
  4. The Task Force on Guidelines for Chartering Chapters was triggered by the formal complaint regarding anti-trust.

    1. The charge for this Task Force is to provide helpful policies for chartering chapters in the expanded higher education environment. The ACHS Bylaws require accreditation and institutional approval but do not speak to the policies that would ensure mission-focused success of chapters. Several societies have requested help in this domain, and the Board of Directors believes that some guidelines would be helpful to member societies as they respond to the technology-driven higher education environment. The Guidelines are not intended for certification purposes but as helpful ideas for the consideration of member societies.
    2. Steve Loflin is providing leadership of this Task Force.
    3. The ACHS attorney, Sandra Cotter of Dykema Gossett, is guiding the ACHS response.

  5. The unprecedented take-over of one of our member societies by ACHS was initiated after a formal complaint and an on-site visit to determine the threat to the image of the honor society community (including a reflection on the certification standards of ACHS) and to the 85 year-old society. There were two choices: help shut down the society or take over critical operations. This experience raises the following concerns:

    1. Are there other member societies that could have a similar lack of controls and management policies?
    2. Are the ACHS standards sufficient for certification?
    3. Should we make annual reports mandatory? The society in question hadn’t submitted a report for at least three years. This may be an indicator of lack of administrative oversight.
    4. Is it time to do more than educate about insurance protection, auditing, incorporation, operational manuals, etc.?
    5. What are the dangers of management of honor societies within an academic institution?
    6. Should the Policy Handbook developed for the honor society in question be offered as a model to member societies?
    7. Should the model bylaws document for establishing honor societies be offered as a model to member societies?

  6. The ACHS attorney approved the policy for termination of membership.
  7. Although Website content is certainly not covered by ACHS standards, we recommend that criteria for judging legitimacy include the following standards. Should the S&D Committee examine Websites and make recommendations for change?

    Web Site – the following items are accessible by the general public (missing items raise questions of credibility):
    • National Officers and Headquarters Staff
    • National Office mailing, telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses
    • Criteria for membership
    • Benefits of membership
    • Membership fee
    • Bylaws
    • Chapter charter policies and procedures 

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. A request for update of the Index of Honor Societies was distributed in late May. The following URL automatically updates the Website: http://www.achsnatl.org/updatechapters.asp.
  2. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter of Ethics). Items from the Committee’s report were added to the Website.
  3. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  4. The February 2007 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  5. My E-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  6. The vendors who exhibited at the 2007 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have nine plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net.
  7. The IT contractor, id2net, has developed several Website templates of varying complexity for member use. Color plates were posted for member consideration at the 2007 Annual Meeting.
  8. ACHS participation is scheduled for the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2007 meeting, October 31-November 4 in Denver.
  9. I continue to serve on the NCHC External Relations Committee and have been asked to develop a plan for more collaboration between NCHC and ACHS. One idea is to focus on undergraduate research.
  10. Our IT team has developed a Grant Search Page, http://www.achsnatl.org/grant_search.asp, with an email entry page at http://www.achsnatl.org/grants-information.asp. Reminders have been distributed. When we have the majority of members linked, the site will be publicized with NCHC, ACPA, and NASPA. Kathy Beardsley of the University of Maryland will represent Alpha Lambda Delta and the Association of College Honor Societies at the July 25-28, 2007 National Association of Fellowship Advisors Conference in Washington, DC. We will distribute a handout that gives the link to our Grant Search Page. NAFA came to our attention at NCHC, and the Grant Search Page was the outcome of discussion with association members. Credit should be given to Glenda Earwood for making this contact possible.
  11. Diane Selby will represent us at the ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Conference, June 10-23, 2007 in Columbus, OH. This Conference will feature CAS assessment processes, and Diane will distribute a handout that gives information about and a link for the CAS Honor Society Standards. Schedule conflicts prevented Jon Cook and me from attending this Conference.
  12. ACHS exhibited with Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the AACRAO Meeting in Boston in February 28-March 3, 2007. Consideration is being given to requesting a session at the 2008 meeting.
  13. The current ACHS Member Directory is the 2005-2007 version. I propose that we produce the 2008-2010 version to be published in early 2008.
  14. Although I question the credibility of the site, the description of ACHS in Wikipedia needs to be edited.
  15. The College Loan Corporation is planning to submit a partnership proposal to ACHS. Is this company appropriately a partner or a vendor? There are several similar companies; Beta Gamma Sigma has partnered with this company for about a year. I know a number of societies have had correspondence from the company. My basic concern is whether this company (and others) gives appropriate financial planning guidance. The big problem with accepting this company as a partner (even if our research finds that it gives excellent service) is that there are many more. Do we accept all who apply? How do we choose?

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2007 meeting, October 31 - November 4 in Denver.
  3. I attended the 2007 AACRAO meeting, February 28-March 3. NSCS and Golden Key shared expenses for the ACHS Exhibit Booth.
  4. The 2007 Annual Council Meeting minutes included several papers, and items have been added to the ACHS Website in a section titled Association Knowledge Resources. Is there a better title?
  5. As chair of the CAS Committee on adult program standards, I am working with a group at Penn State to develop the first draft. I anticipate that the committee will meet next fall to agree on the standards for peer review. 
  6. The Undergraduate Research standards have been approved by CAS. I was the expert on the Committee to write the first draft.
  7. Because of the Kappa Omicron Nu interest in monitoring student learning and development outcomes for the KON sponsored Undergraduate Research Community, I developed a self-assessment evaluation instrument from the CAS standards. KON is interested in collaborating with other honor societies and NCHC in a pilot study of the effectiveness of the instrument.
  8. Through my work with compliance I am aware of the questionable quality of bylaws of some of our members. I have concluded that one service that ACHS should make available, maybe at the 2008 meeting, is free consultation with a registered parliamentarian to examine governance documents. I propose employing Christine (Chili) Sanders.
  9. Kappa Omicron Nu developed an evaluation instrument for Chapter Benchmarks that were shared at a Breakfast Roundtable by Sarah Shoffner. I think this is a subject that merits consideration by ACHS.
  10. Kappa Omicron Nu developed a benchmark document for “Adviser as Teacher” that has possibilities for the ACHS concern about advising.
  11. Alpha Lambda Delta and Kappa Omicron Nu are interested in evaluating honor society student learning and development outcomes. Two possibilities are intellectual growth and self-esteem. After some initial work is completed, I hope ACHS will support this endeavor.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. A petition from Delta Omega (public health) is expected. I have worked with the Association of Schools of Public Health to modify the bylaws to conform to ACHS standards. This Association is modeling the relationship of the professional association and the honor society after that of Sigma Pi Sigma and the American Institute of Physics. Delta Omega was represented at the 2007 meeting by Jessica Rinsky and Allison Foster. If a petition is received before August 31, the adopted changes will not have met the one-year requirement in February 2008.
  3. Richard Drye of Delta Epsilon Iota wishes to have ACHS consider Associate Membership. His society represents a functional area (career services) instead of an academic area. I’m not sure there is danger in having a relationship with such a group; this kind of entrepreneurship is going to be developed whether or not we create a relationship. The issue probably revolves around how a new class of membership could be designed to honor the legitimacy of ACHS. Should it be Friends of ACHS rather than Associate Membership? How do we create standards for such a classification? Should we build in our definition of “recognition societies” to cover this interest? That would open the door to all kinds of specialized societies that prefer to have lower standards than ACHS, e.g., Beta Alpha Psi in accounting. Or do we want to create another class of partners?
  4. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page. I’m looking for new language to give more strength to our page. The threat to all of us by the National Scholars Honor Societies is increasing. It appears that they are in the process of another name change. The URL, www.magna-cum-laude.org, takes the viewer to their site.
  5. Alex Perwich and I will work on the next generation of the electronic annual report.
  6. The good news is that ACHS is visible; the bad news is that ACHS is visible (complaints). ACHS legitimacy seems to be well recognized except for societies that have left us.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

February 9, 2007

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. To date 56 member societies are in compliance with ACHS standards. Further contacts were made in early Fall and January. No formal response from 9. I recommend that the Board give a deadline of November 30, 2007 for responding to the compliance letter. Most of the non-compliant member societies have minor issues to resolve—probably no governance changes required. 
  2. The honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) were approved and published in summer 2006 in the CAS Book of Professional Standards in Higher Education (the Blue Book).
  3. CAS conducted a National Symposium on Standards, Self-Assessment, and Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education, November 12-14, 2006 at the Hilton Hotel Crystal City, Washington Reagan National Airport. The goal was to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct assessments to improve student learning. Future symposiums are likely.

 Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The Index of Honor Societies will be updated after the second semester by use of the following URL: http://www.achsnatl.org/updatechapters.asp
  2. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter of Ethics) is being supported by Virginia Mathie (Psi Chi) and the Public Information Committee. Items have been added to the Website.
  3. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from three organizations—Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars—have been sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  4. The June 2006 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  5. My E-mail Council List has been used to gather information upon request of member societies. Members who have requested feedback have been well pleased with information generated in this manner. I have shared management information (from ASAE) on occasion.
  6. The Association Management Committee has been invited to provide Annual Meeting presentations and resources/information for posting on the Website.
  7. The vendors who are exhibiting at the 2006 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have nine plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. 
  8. The IT contractor, id2net, has developed several Website templates of varying complexity for member use. Color plates will be posted for member consideration at the Annual Meeting.
  9. ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2006 meeting, November 15-19 in Philadelphia. Contacts increased significantly over previous years.
  10. I am serving on the NCHC External Relations Committee and have been asked to develop a plan for more collaboration between NCHC and ACHS. One idea is to focus on undergraduate research. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
  11. From conversation at the NCHC Annual Meeting, I determined that ACHS could provide a service by developing a one-stop search page for member benefits of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and awards. Our IT team has developed a Grant Search Page, http://www.achsnatl.org/grant_search.asp, with an email entry page at http://www.achsnatl.org/grants-information.asp. It is linked, and members will be encouraged to add information. When we have the majority of members linked, I will publicize it with NCHC, ACPA, and NASPA.
  12. A request has been made to have ACHS materials distributed by Golden Key and Alpha Lambda Delta at the ACPA/NASPA Joint Meeting. Still to be determined is whether I will attend to help both groups “man” the exhibit booths.

 Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. I have become the “go to” person for information about honor societies.
  2. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2007 meeting, October 31 - November 4 in Denver. 
  3. I have tentatively agreed to be a co-presenter for a NCHC program session on undergraduate research.
  4. I will attend the 2007 AACRAO meeting, February 28-March 3. NSCS and Golden Key are sharing expenses for the ACHS Exhibit Booth.
  5. I anticipate that the 2007 Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge by featuring speakers and their presentations on our Website.
  6. As chair of the CAS Committee on adult program standards, I am working with a group at Penn State to develop the first draft. I anticipate that the committee will meet next fall to agree on the standards for peer review.
  7. As a member of the CAS Committee for Undergraduate Research standards, I developed the first draft. Gary White of Sigma Pi Sigma participated in refinement of the standards. The peer review produced information for refinement, and the Committee has completed them for review by the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee reviewed the standards and recommended minor changes. The standards will be considered by the Board in April.
  8. Because of the Kappa Omicron Nu interest in monitoring student learning and development outcomes for the KON sponsored Undergraduate Research Community, I developed a self-assessment evaluation instrument from the CAS standards. KON is interested in collaborating with other honor societies and NCHC in a pilot study of the effectiveness of the instrument.
  9. Through my work with compliance I am aware of the questionable quality of bylaws of some of our members. I have concluded that one service that ACHS should make available, maybe at the 2008 meeting, is free consultation with a registered parliamentarian to examine governance documents. I propose employing Christine (Chili) Sanders.
  10. Kappa Omicron Nu developed an evaluation instrument for Chapter Benchmarks that will be shared at a Breakfast Roundtable by Sarah Shoffner. I think this is a subject that merits consideration by ACHS.
  11. Kappa Omicron Nu developed a benchmark document for “Adviser as Teacher” that has possibilities for the ACHS concern about advising.
  12. Alpha Lambda Delta and Kappa Omicron Nu are interested in evaluating honor society student learning and development outcomes. Two possibilities are intellectual growth and self-esteem. After some initial work is completed, I hope ACHS will support this endeavor.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards. 
  2. Four prospective member societies will be in attendance at the 2007 Annual Council Meeting. 
  3. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page. 
  4. Alex Perwich and I will work on the next generation of the electronic annual report.
  5. A letter of termination of membership of Alpha Delta Mu has been sent by certified mail. A policy about how to handle public information regarding termination of membership has been developed for discussion and refinement by the Board before obtaining a review by the ACHS attorney. (This draft is merely for the beginning of discussion and is not carved in stone.)

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

June 10, 2006

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. To date 56 member societies are in compliance with ACHS standards. No formal response from 11. I have talked with a few but do not have current information on progress. I will make further contacts in the Fall when it is easier to reach people.
  2. As you know the honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) were approved in April 2005. A link to the standards was posted on the ACHS Website, and hard copies were distributed to Council members and Society Presidents. The standards will be published in summer 2006 in the CAS Book of Professional Standards in Higher Education (the Blue Book).
  3. CAS has announced a National Symposium on Standards, Self-Assessment, and Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education, November 12-14, 2006 at the Hilton Hotel Crystal City, Washington Reagan National Airport. The goal is to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct assessments to improve student learning. Teams from institutions are invited to attend so that assessment planning can take place. See attachment.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The Index of Honor Societies has been updated with information supplied by member societies. I asked each member society to verify the accuracy of the chapter list in late winter. A good many have not responded. Because we have received many different styles of response, we have developed a form (Member Society Chapter Updates) that can be automatically posted upon my approval (for security reasons). Several member societies have been asked to test it. See URL: http://www.achsnatl.org/updatechapters.asp. It is not linked yet because we want to be sure there are no major glitches. I used it personally for Kappa Omicron Nu, and I thought it worked well. 
  2. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) was launched two years ago, and Virginia Mathie (Psi Chi) is chairing a task force to expand participation. I believe more stories about chapter activities would be useful. I add things to the ACHS Website as they become available.
  3. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from three organizations—Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars—have been sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits. I question whether we are doing enough.
  4. The February 2006 Executive Director report was posted to the Website.
  5. The 2006-07 Committees were supplied charges and a description of the role of committees in the present governance structure.
  6. The 2006 Long Range Planning Activity Report needs to be reviewed carefully. It will be important to demonstrate that the Board listened. After Board discussion and prioritizing, it may be useful to do some selective follow-up to identify the level of interest in some of the suggestions; the response would help in allocating human and material resources.
  7. I’m still hoping that the Association Management Committee will provide resources/information to be posted on the Website.
  8. The vendors who exhibited at the 2006 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date six have taken advantage of the offer. Further contacts will be made to increase the value of this service to our members and to the vendors who support us. 
  9. My IT contractor, id2net, is willing to provide a few Website templates of varying complexity for member use if this seems advisable. I propose that we contract for three templates if there is enough interest. Then each society can contract for personalization and hosting if desired. At least three member societies (as well as ACHS) have used the services of id2net. The advantage of this company is that Lisa and Brian Booth have knowledge about honor societies and don’t have to have a big learning curve.
  10. I am serving on the NCHC External Relations Committee. I hope this is the beginning of more collaboration. I have developed a good relationship with the Executive Director, Patti Speelman.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. 
  2. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2006 meeting, November 15-19 in Philadelphia. Glenda Earwood and I have had a program session approved: Ethics, Scams, and Honors: Tools for Discernment. Now we have our fingers crossed that it is not scheduled as a final session of the Conference.
  3. Although we don’t have anything in progress, I think we need to consider how to enhance our relationship with NASPA, ACPA, and AACRAO.
  4. I have tentatively budgeted for attendance at the 2007 AACRAO meeting, February 28-March 3. It is my intent to submit a program proposal to discuss honor society standards with registrars. Further ideas for the proposal will be appreciated as well as the name of a registrar to share in planning and implementing the program.
  5. I anticipate that the 2007 Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge by featuring speakers and their presentations on our Website
  6. As chair of the Committee I presented the internship standards to the CAS Board in April, and they were approved for publication in the 2006 in the CAS Book of Professional Standards in Higher Education (the Blue Book).
  7. I accepted the role of expert on a new CAS Committee and have developed the first draft of the Undergraduate Research standards. It is expected that an August 2006 meeting of the standards committee will refine them for peer review. The goal is to have standards ready for review by the CAS Executive Committee next February. Gary White of Sigma Pi Sigma will be active in the development of these standards. He is attending a CUR meeting in late June and will undoubtedly have some contributions from that meeting. I have a conflict but there may be another committee member available to attend.
  8. it is my goal to identify articles or publications that provide insight for the honor society community. Because the body of knowledge about honor societies is so important I’m wondering if we should create a task force to conduct a search of the archives of member societies to develop a Knowledge Portal. We could easily create a mini-site on our Website for this purpose. Perhaps a past president would be interested in this (Mike Wolfe). I know he has some exciting plans for his retirement, but this might appeal to him.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. I’m still concerned about the number of contacts from two-year institutions desiring to form honor societies for various specializations. I wonder if in the interest of limiting proliferation if we should recommend that our members serve these groups.
  3. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of a non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Website Home Page. 
  4. Continuing contacts by the press have enabled me to explain the role of ACHS in maintaining and enhancing standards.
  5. I have begun work on the next generation of the Annual Report. Alex Perwich volunteered to work on automating the summary of the report through Survey Monkey. He has obtained pro bono service from WebSurveyor to help us on this task. I propose that (given the kind of information we gather on the Annual Report) we make sure that we conduct only one other survey per year to obtain data on new issues of interest. The issue of risk management is a current one after the UT-Austin tragedy. (We had too many surveys last year, so we need to set priorities for what we want.) We have had very good results with 1 or 2 questions on e-mail lists. Those can be just part of a general communication strategy, either originating from a member society or from a committee.
  6. The membership in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has proved to be very beneficial to promoting ACHS as a standard bearer for authority and excellence in honor societies. Although I don’t need the recognition for the contributions I’ve made, on behalf of ACHS, to development of standards, it does bring ACHS into the limelight. I believe visibility pays off over time. The Executive Committee has recognized the timeliness of my work as chair—thus the four standards committees in the last two+ years.
  7. Contact has been made with Sigma Xi, but I do not have their plans to share at this time.
  8. Continuing attempts to contact Alpha Delta Mu by telephone and certified mail have been failures. In the interest of learning more I have contacted some advisers who are having no more success than I have. In addition I have had requests from others to obtain contact information.

    In anticipation of the need to terminate membership, I raise the question about the appropriate means of informing the public. It is uncomfortable to condemn an honor society, but I believe we owe it to students and institutions to make a public statement. As far as I know, this is a first. So we need to be sure we do it right. The other so-called honor society in social work is a Recognition Society—meaning that the eligibility standards do not meet the ACHS minimum standards. And it seems that the group has no interest in raising standards and petitioning for ACHS membership.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

February 10, 2006

 This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. To date 49 member societies are in compliance with ACHS standards. No formal response from 17. Follow-up letters have requested a response. Only about four have major issues that require amendment to bylaws, e.g., percentile for scholastic eligibility, amendment of bylaws, and election of board members. Several issues could be handled by policies, e.g., financial report to membership, chapter petition process. It is likely that present practices in some cases already respond to concerns about compliance; we just need an explanation. The major reason for lack of follow-through has to do with transition of officers and ACHS representatives.
  2. The Summary of the Annual Reports for 2004-05 includes % of expenditures for publications, scholarships, and annual meetings. Although I can’t vouch that these figures are 100% comparable across societies, the average % is an interesting target for those societies wishing to increase benefits to members. Societies can also compare with those having similar expenditures. There are many variables, e.g., some societies hold meetings with the professional association so that the expenditure is very low; online publications are lowering publication costs; and so on. My goal in publishing these percentages is to encourage discussion of members ROI. It is acknowledged that some societies contribute in other ways than publications, scholarships, and leadership development at annual meetings.
  3. I am anticipating modifying the Annual Report process for next year. I expect to have the services of Alex Perwich as consultant in selecting out the items that can be gathered and summarized with Survey Monkey. A proposal will be ready for consideration at the Summer Board Meeting. I plan to pilot it with a few societies before using it for the whole membership. 
  4. As you know the honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) were approved in April 2005. The Contextual Statement has been approved by the editor of the CAS Book of Professional Standards in Higher Education (the Blue Book) (see attachment).
  5. I’m concerned about the status of Alpha Delta Mu. I have attempted contact by regular mail, telephone, and certified letter.  

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The Index of Honor Societies is currently being updated with information supplied by member societies. I will ask each member society to verify the accuracy of the chapter list. Some of the Annual Reports lack complete information. 
  2. As you know the 2005-2007 ACHS Member Directory was distributed in August. You will note on the Financial Report that this smaller version stayed within the budget.
  3. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) is accomplishing the goal of building community. I propose that the Board recommend continuation of the project for a second three-year commitment. 
  4. Internship scholarships for ACHS student members from three organizations have been negotiated: Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars. These three groups are linked on the ACHS Homepage. There may be another proposal for partnership with a group that sponsors workshops for students interested in developing businesses.
  5. The July 2005 Executive Director report was posted to the Web site.
  6. The vendors who exhibit at the 2006 Annual Council Meeting will be offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date six have taken advantage of the offer. Further contacts will be made to increase the value of this service to our members and to the vendors who support us.
  7. Although there are more sophisticated ways of communicating, the e-mail list used by my office seems to be most satisfactory to members. 
  8. The ACHS IT staff made changes to the dynamic title on the ACHS page with Quick-Links to member societies. The result is that a Google search for most societies now shows the ACHS society page on the first page of results, often just after their own website (and in some cases, before it). 
  9. Katrina responses by member societies have been featured on the ACHS Web site.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. 
  2. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2006 meeting. 
  3. A link on the Home page gives easy access to the resources for the Ethics project, and I have posted additional resources as they become available. I am hoping that the public will increasingly use our resources. I have asked the IT staff to increase the visibility of the ethics resources for electronic searches.
  4. I anticipate that the 2006 Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge, thanks to Board planning and the work of Diane Selby and Program Committee. I’m hoping we might feature some of our speakers and their presentations on our Web site. 
  5. In my role as CAS Board Member I accepted the chairmanship of the internship standards committee. The standards have been submitted to the CAS Executive Committee with anticipation that the CAS Board will consider them in its April meeting.
  6. I have accepted the role of expert in developing CAS standards for undergraduate research. I will appreciate offers to help me develop the standards or to review the first draft. I will be using CUR and NCUR personnel to assist me. 
  7. I am particularly interested in developing a section on our Web site that focuses on Association Management.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. I anticipate working with Sigma Xi, after approval of the amendment to the Bylaws to establish a new classification of membership, to return to ACHS membership. Reinstatement, according to Article III, Section 10, requires application to the Board of Directors and a 4/5th vote of the Council at the Annual Meeting.
  2. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Web site Home Page. Another link (“Concerned about honor society legitimacy? Click here.”) for students, parents, and university officials concerned with honor society legitimacy has been placed at the top of the ACHS Homepage. Most of the people who call me about credibility of honor societies have the ACHS site open and refer to specific pages. I think the ACHS position on the first page of most Google searches for honor societies can be credited for our visibility.
  3. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  4. Continuing contacts by the press have enabled me to explain the role of ACHS in maintaining and enhancing standards. The Letter to the Editor in response to the Wall Street Journal article about Phi Beta Kappa was not published. See attachment.
  5. Recent contacts from two-year institutions desiring specialized honor societies leads me to wonder if, in the interest of limiting proliferation, we should recommend that our members serve these groups. With the acceptance of Epsilon Pi Tau we broke the unwritten rule that our members were limited to upper division institutions; I can’t imagine that the workload would increase that much. Personally, I would not have founded a new group had I anticipated the change.
  6. The membership in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has proved to be very beneficial to promoting ACHS as a standard bearer for authority and excellence in honor societies. Although I don’t need the recognition for the contributions I’ve made, on behalf of ACHS, to development of standards, it does bring ACHS into the limelight. I believe visibility pays off over time. The Executive Committee has recognized the timeliness of my work as chair—thus the four standards committees in the last two years. See note* below.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

The Role of College Honor Societies

CAS Standards Contextual Statement

The purposes of honor societies in colleges and universities are threefold. First, they exist primarily to recognize the attainment of scholarship of a superior quality. Second, a few societies recognize the development of leadership qualities and commitment to service and excellence in research in addition to a strong scholarship record. Third, to the degree this recognition is coveted, they encourage the production of superior scholarship and leadership. To accomplish these objectives, it is clear that an honor society must define and maintain a truly high standard of eligibility for membership and achieve sufficient status by so doing that membership becomes something to be highly valued.

The honor society has followed the expansion and specialization of higher education in America. When Phi Beta Kappa was organized in 1776, there was no thought given to its field because all colleges then in existence were for the training of men for the service of the church and the state. With the expansion of education into new fields a choice had to be made, and Phi Beta Kappa elected to operate in the field of liberal arts and sciences. Although this was not finally decided until 1898, the trend was evident earlier; the 1880s saw the establishment of Tau Beta Pi in the field of engineering and Sigma Xi in scientific research.

Early in the 20th century, other honor societies came into being. Phi Kappa Phi was organized to accept membership from all academic fields in the university. A few others of this nature had origins in Black, Catholic, or Jesuit colleges and universities. These honor societies became known as general honor societies. Other variations have developed since that time. Leadership honor societies recognized meritorious attainments in all-around leadership and campus citizenship. Numerous societies drew membership from the various departments of study, recognizing good work in the student’s special field of study. These societies are generally known as specialized honor societies. Another variation recognized scholastic achievement during the freshman or sophomore year. Yet another variation recognized achievement in associate degree programs. 

The national organization of each honor society sets standards for establishing collegiate chapters and requirements for administering them. Chapters are chartered to institutions and have a dual relationship: maintain national honor society standards and requirements and abide by institutional policies and procedures. 

The Association of College Honor Societies was founded in 1925 to join forces for the establishment and maintenance of useful functions and desirable standards, including criteria for membership, for governance of each member society, and for chapter operation. In addition to defining honor societies, similar student organizations with more liberal membership requirements were named Recognition Societies. Baird’s Manual*, for many years the definitive reference of college organizations, adopted the ACHS definitions for classification of Honor Societies and Recognition Societies. 

The standards and functions originally named in the early history of ACHS still have relevance today as ACHS fulfills a certifying function in assuring candidates for membership as well as institutions that member societies have met the high standards.  The standards also serve a role for judging credibility of non-member societies. 

The challenge in the 21st century is the same as when ACHS was founded: to use academic and operational standards to allay the confusion prevailing on campuses and among the public regarding the credibility and legitimacy of newly emerging honor societies. A plethora of Internet societies, for-profit societies, and an increasingly narrow focus of specialized societies gives rise to the need for the CAS standards to guide colleges and universities in setting regulations for official recognition of campus honor societies. Students, parents, and the public can use the standards as criteria for judging quality. 

Resources

Association of College Honor Societies. (2002). ACHS Handbook, 2002-2005. 4990 Northwind Dr., Ste. 140, East Lansing, MI  48823-5031. Web site: www.achsnatl.org.

Warren, J. W. (2000). Prelude to the new millennium: Promoting honor for seventy-five years. East Lansing, MI: Association of College Honor Societies. www.achsnatl.org/history.asp

* Note – Baird’s Manual of American College Fraternities, last published in 1991 by Baird’s Manual Foundation, was the authoritative reference work on college Greek-letter societies since first published in 1879. 

Letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal

The article “Phi Beta What?” (WSJ, Nov. 4) did not include information from the interview with the Executive Director of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS).

Phi Beta Kappa has been a standard bearer for promoting, recognizing, and rewarding excellence in scholarship, a role shared today with the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). In 1925 the concern about the growing proliferation of honor societies resulted in the founding of ACHS to establish standards. Christopher J. Bosso of Pi Sigma Alpha recently noted at an induction, "No matter how blasé we think we are about such matters, we still care that somebody, somewhere recognizes the work we've done. Without that belief in hard work and merit, the American democratic ethos loses much of its potency and, indeed, its legitimacy."

The work that legitimate honor societies do is being undermined by the proliferation of organizations that profess to be honor societies but that have either very low standards or no standards at all. ACHS sets standards for honor societies, and the ACHS member honor societies in turn certify that students have met high academic standards. Unless there are high standards, membership is as meaningless as a diploma from a bogus institution. ACHS has guidelines on its website (www.achsnatl.org) to help students, faculty, and parents evaluate the credibility of honor societies.

Honor societies provide more than just an entry on the resumé. ACHS members cooperate (e.g., “A Matter of Ethics”) to promote high standards. Honor societies have significant scholarship and grant programs, conduct leadership and professional development programs, and contribute to the campus and the community through service. In short, honor societies do more than recognize high standards of scholarship; they support the educational missions of institutions and inspire members to greater achievements and honor.

Keith Sanders, Kappa Tau Alpha (journalism)

Dorothy Mitstifer, Executive Director, ACHS

 

July 1, 2005

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. To date 48 member societies are in compliance with ACHS standards. No formal response from 20. Follow-up letters in the fall will ascertain progress. I have talked with a few but do not have current information on progress. I don’t think it is refusal to comply, it has more to do with finding the right person to contact. The Council member may pass it on to someone who doesn’t understand the significance of the process.
  2. As you know the honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) were approved in April 2005. A link to the standards was posted on the ACHS Web site, and hard copies were distributed to Council members and Society Presidents. The standards will be published in summer 2006 in the CAS Book of Professional Standards in Higher Education (the Blue Book).
  3. I propose that the following language be included in Bylaws amendments for the 2006 meeting: Article III, Section 6.B – Add: “Chapters shall not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law.”

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The Index of Honor Societies has been updated with information supplied by member societies. I will ask each member society to verify the accuracy of the chapter list at the same time as the Annual Report Form is distributed. I have noted public and institutional use of the list.
  2. As you know the deadline for review of proofs for the 2005-2007 ACHS Handbook was June 30. An electronic reminder brought in further updates, but there are still 13 societies who have not responded. I will make some telephone calls, but it appears that our schedule for printing may be delayed. Our goal is for distribution about August 15. I have added a bit of history to document the historic acceptance of our standards by CAS. The reduced size merited a change in name to ACHS Member Directory.  
  3. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) was launched a year ago, and I sent a reminder about the project and copies of the poster and brochure in May to encourage further participation in the next academic year. A link on the Home page gives easy access to the resources for this project. I have posted additional sources as they have come to my attention and have featured activities by member societies. Virginia Mathie (Psi Chi) is chairing a task force to expand participation. More stories about chapter activities would be useful.
  4. Internship scholarships for ACHS student members from three organizations have been negotiated: Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars. Negotiation has begun with two other groups, but it is too early to tell if and when proposals will be developed.
  5. The July 2003 and February 2005 Executive Director reports were posted to the Web site.
  6. The 2005-06 Committees were supplied charges and a description of the role of committees in the present governance structure.
  7. The 2005 Long Range Planning Activity Report needs to be reviewed carefully. It was received too late to include in the minutes. Although there is lack of clarity in suggestions, it will be important to demonstrate that the Board listened. After Board discussion and prioritizing, it may be useful to develop a questionnaire as follow-through. A questionnaire might help to identify the level of interest in some of the suggestions; the response would help in allocating human and material resources.
  8. I will be working with the Association Management Committee, chaired by Jim Viehland, so that resources/information can be posted on the Web site.
  9. The vendors who exhibited at the 2005 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date six have taken advantage of the offer. Further contacts will be made to increase the value of this service to our members and to the vendors who support us.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. 
  2. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2005 meeting, October 26-30. 
  3. Four Honors Directors and I will present a panel, “Learning as an End in Service-Learning, Honor Societies, and Honors Programs,” at the NCHC Conference. As you know I chaired the service learning standards committee, and those standards were also approved in April 2005. The idea for the panel came from discussion on the NCHC list serve that indicated that service learning is often a component of Honors Programs. This would be a way of informing attendees about the CAS standards, how the framework for standards would be useful in program review and improvement, and help the audience explore the implications for honors programs. Thus the panel is an opportunity to explore connections among higher education programs: service learning, honor societies, and honors programs.
  4. Although we don’t have anything in progress, I think we need to consider how to enhance our relationship with NASPA, ACPA, and AACRAO.
  5. I believe we could arrange to make a presentation at the AACRAO meeting if anyone is interested. Exhibits are prohibitively expensive, although it is possible that we might ask one of our member societies to showcase our new Handbook and our brochures.
  6. The Discussion Forum offers an opportunity to post references to important information and papers.
  7. I anticipate that the 2006 Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge, thanks to Board planning and the work of Diane Selby and Program Committee. I’m wondering if we might feature our speakers and their presentations on our Web site. 
  8. In my role as CAS Board Member I have accepted the chairmanship of the internship standards committee. This, too, has a relationship to ACHS and the benefits we offer. 
  9. It is my goal to identify articles or publications that provide insight for the honor society community.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Sigma Xi has expressed interest in returning to ACHS. Because Sigma Xi standards for eligibility relate to research qualifications, expansion of membership categories will be necessary. It should be noted that Sigma Xi withdrew voluntarily early in the history of ACHS when it was clear that scholastic requirements would be the key standard. Because Sigma Xi uses the standard of excellence in research, instead of scholarship, the fit was not good. Although Sigma Xi was one of the founders, it appears that the remaining members did not work to make it possible for the society to remain a member. This all happened at a time when there was a question about accepting other honor societies beyond the founders that represented all fields in a pure academic sense. Patrick Scully, Executive Director of Sigma Xi, is interested in proposing a formal affiliation to his Board. The next move is ACHS consideration of a change to the Bylaws. Although this is a task for the Bylaws Committee, I think Board input is important. I have looked at the Sigma Xi bylaws and propose the following possible addition to categories of honor societies.

    Research Honor Societies. A research honor society is one that receives into membership persons who have demonstrated achievement in a field of pure or applied science. Standards shall be set to include initial research success and noteworthy achievement as an original investigator.

  2. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  3. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Web site Home Page. 
  4. Continuing contacts by the press has enabled me to explain the role of ACHS in maintaining and enhancing standards.
  5. The membership in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has proved to be very beneficial to promoting ACHS as a standard bearer for authority and excellence in honor societies. Although I don’t need the recognition for the contributions I’ve made, on behalf of ACHS, to development of standards, it does bring ACHS into the limelight. I believe visibility pays off over time. The Executive Committee has recognized the timeliness of my work as chair—thus the three standards committees in the last two years.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

February 16, 2005

 This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. To date 46 member societies are in compliance. Contact with the balance of the membership indicates that responses are in progress.
  2. Progress is being made on the honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). The CAS Executive Committee considered the standards at the August meeting, and minor changes were required in the CAS boilerplate language (our standards were not questioned). I will be sharing the revised draft at the February CAS Executive Committee Meeting. The Board will consider the standards in April. The standards will be published in the next issue of the “Blue Book.”
  3. The session about ACHS at the NCHC Meeting had a small audience, but some good contacts were made. The Idea Exchange was also an opportunity to discuss ACHS standards.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The Index of Honor Societies will be updated with information supplied by the Annual Reports. Updates were made following our request in August; response was not extensive. In addition, universities and chapters have filed corrections.
  2. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) was launched in August. Additional resources have been added as they became available and as I learned of member activities. The brochure and poster were shared with CAS members and at the NCHC Fall Meeting. Negotiations are ongoing with several higher education groups to support this project.
  3. The Annual Council Meeting offers opportunities for sharing ideas and resources.
  4. Vendor Corporate Profiles have been added to the Web site. Although to date there are limited citations, we will be encouraging participation at the Annual Meeting. 
  5. Scholarship proposals as benefits for member societies have been received from The Washington Center, The Fund for American Studies, and the Eur-Am Center. IEL recently awarded several scholarships to students from member societies. The July Executive Director Report was posted to the Web site.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. Opportunities to clarify standards have reinforced the value of membership in ACHS member societies.
  2. A possible partnership with NCHC and its Democracy Lab project is being contemplated.
  3. Representatives of AACRAO and ACPA have accepted our invitation to the 2005 Annual Council Meeting. Invitations were extended also to NASPA, CAS, Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Theta Kappa.
  4. The Discussion Forum offers an opportunity to post references to important information and papers. Participation has been limited. An e-mail list is used as an alternative process.
  5. The Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge, thanks to Board planning and the work of Nancy McManus and Program Committee. Summaries of Breakfast Roundtables share valuable information.
  6. Some samples of policies for removal of chapter officers were identified during a follow-up message to members. These samples are shared in the Annual Meeting Packet. Each society should make a risk assessment to determine if bylaws or policies should be enhanced.
  7. In my role as a CAS Board member, I am serving as chair of the committee for developing Service-Learning Standards. The draft including feedback by peer associations will be presented at the February 25-26 meeting of the CAS Executive Committee for possible consideration of the Board in April. 
  8. The visibility through CAS membership brings added credibility to ACHS.
  9. In partnership with Alpha Lambda Delta, ACHS continues as a member of the Center for Academic Integrity.
  10. Recent personal work on Chapter Benchmarks is posted on the ACHS Web site. This document suggests benchmarks for institutional support, chapter development, learning, faculty support, national support, and evaluation. Member societies may adapt the benchmarks as desired, giving credit to the source.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. The petitions of Epsilon Pi Tau and Golden Key were distributed in advance of the Annual Council Meeting. A member of the Eligibility & Admissions Committee has stated a position that all members must have character as a criterion for eligibility. Our position in the Compliance Review was that nothing other than character and academic eligibility could be included. A review of all constitutions found that 28 (42%) of the societies have character in the membership eligibility standards, and 39 (58%) do not. Eight of those who do not, have some language in the Preamble, Mission, or Purpose, but not in the criteria for selection.
  2. The letter from the ACHS attorney unequivocally states that membership must be open to all groups that meet our objective standards. I work very hard to use my “bully pulpit” to discourage the formation of new honor societies and to promote use of umbrella societies. It didn’t work for engineering, and I don’t convince many to be satisfied with broader coverage. Then, too, our societies are not much interested in widening their academic coverage.
  3. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards. Three prospects are attending the Annual Meeting: Beta Alpha Psi (accounting), Delta Epsilon Iota (General, career planning), and Envision (leadership). Petitions are not anticipated in the near future—perhaps never.
  4. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of non-certified societies include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Web site Home Page. In an attempt to protect their students, several institutions have Web site advice to choose member societies of ACHS. We might want to share a template for institutional use that would use anti-trust guidelines as a basis for encouraging care in examining the merits of an honor society; it is a concern of mine that a university attorney may not have vetted some institutional language. Although we want our members to be known as certified, inappropriate language could reflect on ACHS.
  5. The 25th anniversary of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) was a good opportunity for me to share information about ACHS and the A Matter of Ethics project. I distributed posters and brochures and encouraged collaboration with honor societies on campus.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

July 6, 2004

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Following the Board approval of the "Summary of Compliance Review," letters were mailed on March 5 to member societies outlining the Committee conclusions about compliance.
  2. Responses have been received from 19 member societies to clarify or demonstrate changes. Several others have informed me that they are working on bylaw changes. To date 36 member societies are in compliance. An additional 3 societies have corresponded with questions or indications of progress. Follow-up letters in the fall will ascertain progress.
  3. As you know I have developed honor society standards for the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), and Draft 2 is out for review. I expect that the CAS Executive Committee will consider the standards at the August meeting and the Board will consider them in October. I look forward to publicizing the approved standards in a significant way. CAS distributes standards but I don't know the projected date of the next "Blue Book."
  4. I propose that the following language be included in Bylaws amendments for the 2005 meeting: Article III, Section 6.B - Add: "Chapters shall not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law."

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The ACHS Discussion Forum has not been very active; member societies have not used it to any degree. But I have not had special requests for information either. The messages that have been posted have not received many responses. I attribute part of this to the busy season of March to June. I propose that we re-introduce this service in August and assign Board members to "seed" the discussion.
  2. The Index of Honor Societies has been updated with information supplied by member societies. In August I will ask each member society to verify the accuracy of the chapter list. I have noted some public use of the list.
  3. I have worked with JobTarget to develop a posting to the ACHS Web site. Because of the breadth of professional occupations, the technicians have not finished the links to the database of jobs. The design has been approved. It is anticipated that some of the smaller societies will not create their own, so the ACHS will serve the dual role of offering a job site and of modeling one that some member societies will want to choose for their own members. (Kappa Omicron Nu launched a site about July 1. Although it has some jobs, there are no resumes yet. An announcement has had limited distribution to date.)
  4. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) is ready to launch. A link on the Home page gives easy access to the resources for this project. The posters and brochures have been printed, and an order form has been developed. Contact has been made with a few member societies to encourage acceptance of a leadership role in conducting collaborative ethics programs on campus. Decisions have not been made to date. An editorial about ethics by Jim Froula of Tau Beta Pi is posted, and I will seek examples of ethics programs or publications to feature on the Web site. The Center for Academic Integrity 2004 International Conference is scheduled for October 8-10 at Kansas State University. Deadline for Call for Programs is July 15. Should we feature our project, A Matter of Ethics?
  5. The February 2004 Executive Director report was posted to the Web site.
  6. The 2004-05 Committees were supplied charges and a description of the role of committees in the present governance structure.
  7. The 2004 Long Range Planning Activity showed some concern about communication from the Board. Although I don't "buy" the validity of some of the claims, we do have to deal with the perceptions. I think it will be important to show serious review of the report. And I think we will be able to act on a few suggestions.
  8. To enhance communication, I propose that we develop a restricted section of our Web site so that Council member addresses can be available in a Directory. The user name and password can be the same as the Discussion Forum. There is an additional procedure that can be used to block attempts to steal lists of e-mail addresses.
  9. We have added a page of ACHS logos for downloading to member Web sites. This feature has not yet been publicized.
  10. Perhaps we should think about how we could enhance the activities of the Association Management Committee so that resources/information could be posted on the Web site.
  11. Do we want to offer a resource of links to our vendors? At a cost? A benefit of sponsoring Annual Meeting functions and exhibiting?

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies. A reservation has been made for ACHS participation in the Idea Exchange at the 2004 meeting, November 10-14.
  2. A presentation at the NASPA meeting by Glenda Earwood and colleagues brought little participation, but the planned breakfast meeting on July 9 with NASPA and ACPA is testimony to the importance of a relationship with ACHS. We are fortunate that we have a product (the CAS proposed standards) as a centerpiece for discussion of our interest in obtaining support for increased institutional standards for chartering honor societies on campus. CAS standards have been used in evaluating university functions, so I anticipate that honor society standards will have a similar impact. An AACRAO representative has been invited to the Breakfast.
  3. A presentation at the AACRAO meeting was well received, and development of a relationship still remains a goal.
  4. The Discussion Forum offers an opportunity to post references to important information and papers.
  5. I anticipate that the Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge, thanks to Board planning and the work of Nancy McManus and Program Committee. I'm wondering if an advance request to speakers for access to their presentations would help us be more successful. We did pretty well in 2004, but the Publication Committee has not always been that successful.
  6. In my role as a CAS Board member, I am filling the role as chair of the committee for developing Service Learning Standards. I have developed the second draft and am awaiting a committee meeting to refine the draft. Review by interested associations and professionals will proceed after that.
  7. It is my goal to identify articles or publications that provide insight for the honor society community.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  2. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of non-certified society include the link to "How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society" on the ACHS Web site Home Page.
  3. Continuing contacts by the press has enabled me to explain the role of ACHS in maintaining and enhancing standards.
  4. The 25th anniversary of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) was good opportunity for me to share information about ACHS and the A Matter of Ethics project. I will distribute a poster and brochure to each board member and encourage collaboration with honor societies on campus.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 February 10, 2004

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends related to the ACHS mission.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Following the Board development of the “ACHS Policies for Addressing Noncompliance,” the policies were applied to the S&D Committee reviews, and a “Summary of Compliance Review” was developed. With the clarification of policies, there were no differences found with the committee analyses.
  2. A memo was developed to illustrate the language that will be used in addressing findings of the Standards and Definitions Committee. In most cases only one concern will be addressed. Board approval of the approach is requested.
  3. A letter was developed for member societies who fully comply with the ACHS standards. The intention is to distribute two letters: one in a frame and one for the file (that could be copied for distribution to the Board). Board approval is requested.
  4. Materials have been assembled for working with the Board Task Force, appointed by President Viehland, to approve specific communications to member societies.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The ACHS Discussion Forum has been posted at www.achsnatl.org. Several members of the Board have tested it, and Lisa Wootton Booth will introduce it in her presentation at the Annual Council Meeting. A sign-up sheet will be circulated for members who prefer that we add user names and passwords. (The ACHS Group List is no longer viable because of “spam software” that doesn’t like such big lists.) The benefit of this particular product is that each addition to the Discussion Forum will initiate an e-mail to participants to check on new messages. The Discussion Forum will allow public access to certain sections.
  2. The Index of Honor Societies has been updated with information supplied on the recent Annual Reports. Following the Annual Council Meeting, member societies will be asked to verify the accuracy of the chapter list. Access can be found under Chapter Search in the Full Menu or at www.achsnatl.org/search.asp.
  3. Chuck Sheriff of JobTarget is providing a free personalized career resource site to each ACHS member society. 
  4. The National Project on Ethics (A Matter Of Ethics) was distributed to societies in advance of the meeting. An endorsement by the Board recommends Council approval.
  5. A short tribute to Kay Wilson will be given at the Friday morning Opening Session. Paula Miller of Psi Chi will have a small exhibit honoring Kay.
  6. The June 30, 2003 Executive Director report was posted to the Web site.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. The ACHS session on “Honors Programs & Honor Societies Working Together“ had a small attendance but two small groups led by Jack Sagabiel, Phi Eta Sigma, and Jim Stemler, Alpha Lambda Delta, explored joint activities.
  2. Continuing interaction on the NCHC list serve reinforces the mutual concern for standards for honor societies.
  3. With the partnership of Alpha Lambda Delta, ACHS has become a member of the Center for Academic Integrity. Diane Waryold, Executive Director, will present at our Annual Council Meeting during the Friday morning session.
  4. The new Discussion Forum will offer an opportunity to post references to important information and papers.
  5. The Annual Council Meeting will contribute to the body of knowledge, thanks to Board planning and Richard Pilgrim’s work as Vice President.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. The petition from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars was distributed to societies in advance of the meeting.
  2. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  3. Responses to parents and students inquiring about legitimacy of non-certified society include the link to “How to the Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” on the ACHS Web site Home Page
  4. The membership in the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is going to prove very beneficial to us and to higher education. I have been appointed chair of the committee to propose standards for service learning, and we have requested that a committee be appointed to develop the standards for honor societies. Although we can’t chair that committee, they will use our materials and input. Doug Lange of CAS will participate on the “Honor Society Credibility” panel facilitated by Nancy McManus, so the Council will have an opportunity to learn more about CAS. Many thanks to Glenda for introducing us to this organization. It will significantly increase our visibility and legitimacy. Nancy represented ACHS at the Fall meeting, and she is impressed with this organization. I will be attending the Spring meeting, which is the 25th anniversary celebration.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

June 30, 2003

This report describes the activities to achieve the Sub-Ends identified in the Board Policy Manual.

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. The letter regarding the compliance review by Richard Pilgrim and Dennis Organ was distributed along with the Compliance Review Form and definitions.
  2. The remaining member honor society bylaws were distributed to the Standards and Definitions Committee for compliance review. A report will be prepared for the July Board Meeting.
  3. A few Self-Evaluations have been received. This effort is important in maintaining credibility as a certified honor society.
  4. Honors programs are almost universally recommending ACHS member societies to students in their programs. The relationships with Hew Joiner and Robert Spurrier have been very important in this effort. My presence on the NCHC List Serve has been beneficial as well to present a voice for ACHS.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The ACHS Group List in my e-mail address book has served to respond to inquiries and distribute announcements.
  2. The Index of Honor Societies is operational at “Chapter Search” on the ACHS Web site (without updates from more than one-fourth of our members). In order to control integrity of the system, member societies can update status (active, inactive, closed) through “Member Administration.” After entering the password, the status may be changed; directions are given for adding chapters or changing information.
  3. The Honor Cord Registry is posted on the Web site.
  4. A letter to college and university presidents is scheduled for August 15, 2003.
  5. A proposal has been developed for the ACHS/NCHC partnership for Board consideration. 
  6. A Memorial link for Kay can be found at the bottom of the ACHS Home Page.

Body of knowledge of value to the honors community and other audiences.

  1. A request for a speech on the “Survival of Excellence” by Nicholas Cripe, referenced in the ACHS history and found through an Internet search, encouraged me to post it on the Web site. It is as current today as it was in 1976. Thanks to Jim Froula, I was able to get a copy without requesting it from the ACHS Archives.
  2. John Warren’s presentation at the 2002 NCHC Conference was published in “The National Honors Report,” Spring 2003 issue. It is posted to the ACHS Web site.
  3. The proposal for an ACHS session on “Honors Programs & Honor Societies Working Together“ has been approved for the 2003 NCHC Conference.
  4. A proposal for participation in the NCHC “Idea Exchange” was submitted.

ACHS as the standard bearer for and authority on honor society legitimacy, excellence, and values.

  1. The files of prospective honor societies have been updated, and a communication was sent to 120 societies to ascertain status of interest, intentions, and needs. A number of societies responded, and communication has continued. 
  2. Correspondence with several groups, both established societies and new ones being formed, is ongoing. At a minimum we are influencing them to use ACHS standards.
  3. A number of prospective member names have been duplicated by sororities and fraternities, and several are in the process of exploring their options. It is more and more necessary to obtain trademarks.
  4. Petitions for membership received by September 1, 2003 will be reviewed and, if found complete, will be forwarded to the Eligibility & Admissions Committee. If approved by the E&A Committee, the Board will review for possible distribution to Council members for a vote in February 2004.
  5. Mortar Board officers and section coordinators made a presentation on “Honor Societies: Assets for our Students or Campus Liabilities?” at the American College Personnel Association National Convention, March 31, 2003. They distributed the content of “A Matter of Honor” and ACHS Standards of Excellence to attendees. The presenters raised some critical questions surrounding the title of the session.
  6. The Center for Academic Integrity is interested in a relationship with ACHS. Several years ago we distributed their publication, “Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity,” to ACHS members. The pdf version of this publication is available at www.academicintegrity.org.
  7. An article about ACHS was published by Jay Margolis in the May 2003 “Successful Registrar” regarding FERPA and honor societies. Based on our intention to establish standards for chartering organizations, AACRAO and NASPA have expressed interest in this effort. I propose that a task force (including a charge) be established to work with my office.

 Dorothy I. Mitstifer