Executive Director Reports

Executive Director Report
June 1, 2013

Notes:

Site Selection for 2014 – The contract has been signed for the 2014 Annual Council Meeting – New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA – 2/6-9/2014 - the room rate is $139 for single and double occupancy. 
Site Selection for 2015 – The contract has been signed for the 2015 Annual Council Meeting – Peppermill Resort, 2707 South Virginia St., Reno, NV 89502 – 2/12-16, 2015 – the room rate is $99 for single and double occupancy.
Site Selection for 2016 – The rotation suggests sites in the East. I'm wondering about Charleston, South Carolina. We would have Mark Del Mastro in Charleston to help with logistics.

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

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Is there a role for ACHS in helping member societies evaluate international programs for chartering honor societies? An ACHS ad hoc committee ten years ago or so determined that there was no similar body to the U.S. regional accrediting associations. The committee determined that members could be trusted to "protect their turf" in determining whether to expand internationally. ACHS, as you know, is largely made up of Specialized honor societies and U.S. specializations know the criteria for excellence in programs. Although I judge this to be a low priority, is there a role that an ad hoc committee could play in determining current practices to share with ACHS member societies? As an aside, Beta Gamma Sigma has significant help from AACSB because that accrediting body accredits international programs as well. And I am sure that AACSB includes institutional standards in its criteria as well.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The ACHS Strategic Plan has implications for this Sub-End.
  2. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational, and 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.
  3. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars, and The PhD Project are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  1. My e-mail Council List is used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  2. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding IRS reports for chapters. Jim Viehland has been helpful, too.
  3. The vendors who exhibited at the 2013 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have nine plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other sponsoring vendors have been contacted about this service. Although the Board approved a $600 fee for vendors not attending the Annual Council Meeting, none have taken advantage of this offer.
  4. Dennis McSeveney has agreed to represent ACHS and exhibit at the NCHC Conference at the 2013 meeting, November 6-9 in New Orleans. I have a conflict with the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Board Meeting in DC.
  5. As the ACHS representative to CAS, I have a concern that not all institutions have requirements for registration of student organizations. CAS members know that this is an honor society standard. We may want to collaborate with CAS to expand university registration of student organizations. It is in the interest of student organizations, the institution, and students to have a university registration process that meets legitimacy standards. The National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) is a recognized leader in higher education for providing members with innovative practices and access to programs that support campus engagement. There is potential to collaborate with the National Society for Campus Activities (NACA). Is there support for exploration of partnership with NACA?
  6. In the past I have expressed interest in promoting the CAS learning and development outcomes in chapter programming. With some effort I think ACHS could help member societies accomplish the full mission of  ". . . collaboratively exhibiting excellence in scholarship, service, programs, and governance" as well as demonstrate the difference that honor societies make in universities, society/community, and individual lives (ACHS Strategic Plan Desired Outcomes 1 and 3). I recommend that ACHS move forward with a focus on assessment through (a) the development of an ad hoc committee and (b) annual meeting programming. As an aside, I have quite a lot of experience through Kappa Omicron Nu, CAS, and the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) in developing rubrics. I have shared some of this in previous ACHS Breakfast Roundtables, but I don't know that this topic has been adopted by other member societies.
  7. As you know I am serving as editor for CAS. Standards are revised on a 10-year cycle, and six-eight revised standards are approved by the CAS Board each year.
  8. I have established Google Alerts for "honor societies" and "honor society," so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate.
  9. The Adviser Grant Program accepted the following proposals:
    Sigma Delta Pi at Abilene Christian University – final report received
    Sigma Delta Pi at Azusa Pacific University – final report received
    Sigma Delta Pi at Illinois State University
    Alpha Kappa Mu at Youngstown State University
    Alpha Kappa Mu at LeMoyne-Owen College
    Alpha Beta Gamma at Athens Technical College – final report received
    Reports are posted on the Website when the projects are completed.
  10. As you know we continued the publication of the A Matter of Honor brochure and requested pre-publication orders to guide us in determining number for printing. The brochure is also available for free download on the Website.
  11. The ACHS continues to assist member societies with protection of trademarks. The Damascus Apparel Company ceased using honor society apparel on its Website. New efforts continue in 2013 regarding the protection of honor society graduation paraphernalia. Our attorney has issued cease and desist letters to several companies, but I do not have a report yet on the outcomes.
  12. Kappa Omicron Nu agreed to become a test case for the ACHS attorney to determine whether the specific colors of honor cords can be trademarked. Information will be shared when the outcome is determined. Those societies that have honor cords without trademarked key attachments are more susceptible to sale by unauthorized companies.

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. The recent Informational Alert by a San Jacinto College NCHC member regarding HonorSociety.org to the NCHC list serve followed my personal interactions with students regarding legitimacy. I thanked the San Jacinto College faculty member on the NCHC list serve as well as all members for supporting ACHS standards. In this case NSCS has filed a cease and desist letter because of trademark violations. With the approval of the President I have sought attorney advice on the role that ACHS should play in monitoring new honor societies for legitimacy. A report will be available for the Board Meeting.
  2. The Website link of "How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society," is cited by universities, parents, and students when they call for more information.
  3. I pass lots of requests from members of ACHS member societies on to the appropriate national office. It is interesting that everybody finds ACHS. Lots of students want to be members of ACHS, so I explain that honor societies are members of ACHS. Or they wish to have honor society chapters on their campus; I use this opportunity to direct them to administrators or student affairs personnel to make contact with ACHS member societies about eligibility. Sometimes students wish to be members of a chapter on campus. I explain that even though invitations should be delivered to all eligible members, they need to contact advisers because some students are missed for various reasons.
  4. The ACHS Website had 127,921 visitors last year—about the same as last year.
  5. The online ACHS Annual Report Form has been working well. I'm thinking that there may be some items to add after board discussions about the Strategic Plan. As you probably know, the information collected is automatically captured for the Annual Summary. The current form is attached.
  6. Recently I have had requests for comparative salary data to guide hiring and salary negotiations. I have shared the Executive Summary of Results (distributed to Kappa Omicron Nu) from the National Compensation Study (the Annual Survey for Association Chief Staff Executives) by the American Research Company. Is that enough? Should we consider adding to the Annual Report or conducting a survey?

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

  1. The Strategic Plan has implications for this Sub-End.
  2. Responses to requests about formation of honor societies and to societies interested in membership give opportunities to promote ACHS standards.
  3. I am working with a number of students and faculty members who seek to develop new honor societies. Despite my attempts to help them understand the difficulty and the long-term commitment required, many still want the information that I can provide for such a venture. Most people don't get back to me, but I suspect there will be a few new ones in the near future. The latest request was for a two-year criminal justice program.
  4. The resource, Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters, is useful to those societies that wish to charter online programs that do not have specialized accreditation. This document suggests good ideas for chartering chapters when there is no accreditation available. ACHS does not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but this document helps member societies set standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Accountability is a friend to high standards.


Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

Executive Director Report
February 2, 2012

Notes:

Site Selection for 2014 – The contract has been signed for the 2014 Annual Council Meeting – New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA – 2/6-9/2014 - the room rate is $139 for single and double occupancy. 
Site Selection for 2015 – The board suggested Las Vegas or Reno. February 12-15 is the possible date. The Hyland Group is working on potential hotels.

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

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Council members were sent petitions from Phi Beta Delta (International Scholars) and Alpha Eta Mu Beta (Biomedical Engineering). I believe ACHS standards have been met.
  2. The Compliance Review Form was refined at the May 15-16, 2012 Board Meeting.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational, and 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.
  2. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars, and The PhD Project are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  3. My e-mail Council List is used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  4. The vendors who exhibited at the 2012 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have seven plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other sponsoring vendors have been contacted about this service. Although the Board approved a $600 fee for vendors not attending the Annual Council Meeting, none have taken advantage of this offer.
  5. ACHS was represented by Alpha Lambda Delta at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2012 meeting, November 14-18 in Boston.
  6. As the ACHS representative to CAS, I have coordinated a review of the College Honor Societies (CHS) standards. A number of ACHS member societies gave feedback, and the CAS committee is now considering the suggested changes. One suggestion has to do with university (registrar) identification of qualified candidates. An addition as been suggested: "The process for establishment of collegiate chapters of CHS must include support of the institution for identification of qualified candidates." Under Human Resources a suggested addition states "CHS should provide means of recognition locally for adviser's service." The following mission revision was proposed: "The mission of College Honor Societies (CHS) is to promote the values of higher education and confer distinction for high achievement in undergraduate, graduate, and profession studies; student leadership; service; and research." (Although a new mission statement was discussed at the May board meeting, no official proposal has been made to the Council to date. ACHS will be able to amend the mission before the revised standards are submitted to the CAS Executive Committee and Board for approval.)
  7. As you know more and more institutions are not supporting honor societies by identifying students who qualify in the upper 35 or 20 percent of the class. Is it time for ACHS to do a study to figure out alternative GPAs for these two standards to give assistance to member societies?
  8. I'm still interested in ACHS promoting the CAS learning and development outcomes in chapter programming. With some effort I think ACHS could help member societies accomplish the full mission of " . . . collaboratively exhibiting excellence in scholarship, service, programs, and governance." It seems to me that if we could demonstrate learning and development outcomes by honor societies that institutions would be even more supportive than they are.
  9. As you know I served as editor for the Blue Book—"CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition"—published in August 2012.
  10. I am also serving on the CAS Work Group on Technology and Dissemination. The tasks involve following up on strategic planning conducted in 2011. CAS pays expenses for the Work Group.
  11. The Adviser Grant Program accepted six proposals for 2012-13:
    Sigma Delta Pi at Abilene Christian University
    Sigma Delta Pi at Azusa Pacific University
    Sigma Delta Pi at Illinois State University
    Alpha Kappa Mu at Youngstown State University
    Alpha Kappa Mu at LeMoyne-Owen College
    Alpha Beta Gamma at Athens Technical College
    Reports will be posted on the Website when the projects are completed.
  12. The ACHS attorney had success with the Damascus Apparel problem related to violation of trademarks. Although Damascus Apparel never responded directly to the attorney, the company removed all references and shirts of ACHS honor societies from its website.
  13. Even with several reminders, there are still 11 member societies who have not filed annual reports.

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. As you know there has been an update of the ACHS Website and there are more changes coming. Plans are being made to convert our database system from FM Light, a DOS program installed in 1992, to a system managed by Access and SQL at the beginning of the next fiscal year. Some features are being installed now that will support this online system in the Cloud. We know that there will need to be a dual system because some of our member societies will continue to submit checks. (The report forms are already functioning in the new system.) This conversion is necessary because we do not know how long Microsoft Windows XP will support FM Light. We are quite sure that newer versions of Windows will not support our system. An advantage is that another small organization is being converted now; "bugs," if there are any, will be found before our database is converted. We have an advantage that Brian Booth, who is our IT contractor and knows the organizations in this office, is managing this conversion. He has an excellent consultant if he needs one, and one of the biggest advantages of this conversion system is that both Access and SQL are standard programs, not written by a specific programmer. 
  3. The Website link of "How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society," is cited by universities, parents, and students when they call for more information.
  4. The ACHS Website continues to average about 70,000 visitors a year. Since we have been counting there have been 575,000 visitors.

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 a number of students and faculty members who seek to develop new honor societies. Despite my attempts to help them understand the difficulty and the long-term commitment required, many still want the information that I can provide for such a venture. Most people don't get back to me, but I suspect there will be a few new ones in the near future. The latest requests were for a lower division veterans honor society and an African American History and Culture honor society.
  3. The resource, Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters, is useful to those societies that wish to charter online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. This document suggests good ideas for chartering chapters when there is no international accreditation available. ACHS does not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but this document helps member societies set standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Accountability is a friend to high standards.


Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

Executive Director Report
May 9, 2012

Notes:

2013 ACHS Annual Council Meeting – Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA – 2/14-17/2013 – the room rate is $129 for single and double occupancy. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service from Reagan National Airport, and the Metro is easily accessed by a 10-minute walk or the Courtesy Hyatt shuttle.
Site Selection for 2014 – The contract has been signed for the 2014 Annual Council Meeting – New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA – 2/6-9/2014 - the room rate is $139 for single and double occupancy. 
Site Selection for 2015 – The rotation schedule calls for a southwest destination—perhaps Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, or Arizona. Any suggestions? Denver might be a possibility.

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 second round of compliance review examined fourteen specialized societies: Alpha Beta Gamma, Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Alpha Kappa Delta, Alpha Phi Sigma, Alpha Pi Mu, Alpha Sigma Mu, Beta Kappa Chi, Beta Phi Mu, Chi Epsilon, Chi Sigma Iota, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, Delta Tau Alpha, Epsilon Pi Tau. Lambda Sigma, held over from last year, was also examined this year.
  2. The third round (2012-13) should examine thirteen specialized societies: Gamma Theta Upsilon, Kappa Mu Epsilon, Kappa Omicron Nu, Kappa Tau Alpha, Lambda Iota Tau, Lambda Pi Eta, Mu Kappa Tau, Omega Chi Epsilon, Omicron Delta Epsilon, Omega Rho.
  3. The online Compliance Report system seems to have worked well. When the Compliance Review Form was last refined, it was my understanding that for compliance member societies should be expected to have the following policies: whistleblower, conflict of interest, document retention and destruction, and process for determining compensation. In addition, the Website should have the following items accessible to the general public: national officers and headquarters staff; national office mailing, telephone, fax, and email addresses; criteria for membership, benefits of membership, membership fee, bylaws, chapter list, and chapter charter policies and procedures.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational, and 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.
  2. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars, and The PhD Project are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  3. My e-mail Council List is used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  4. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding IRS reports for chapters. Jim Viehland has been helpful, too.
  5. The vendors who exhibited at the 2012 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. Although the Board approved a $600 fee for vendors not attending the Annual Council Meeting, none have taken advantage of this offer.
  6. ACHS will exhibit at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2012 meeting, November 14-18 in Boston.
  7. As the ACHS representative to CAS, I have a concern that not all institutions have requirements for registration of student organizations. CAS members know that this is an honor society standard. We may want to collaborate with CAS to expand university registration of student organizations. It is in the interest of student organizations, the institution, and students to have a university registration process that meets legitimacy standards.
  8. In the past I have expressed interest in promoting the CAS learning and development outcomes in chapter programming. With some effort I think ACHS could help member societies accomplish the full mission of " . . . collaboratively exhibiting excellence in scholarship, service, programs, and governance."
  9. As you know I am serving as editor for the Blue Book—"CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition"—to be published in August 2012. The deadline of June 1 is looming. Fortunately I have a CAS employee and a colleague that are assisting with the publication.
  10. I have established Google Alerts for "honor societies" and "honor society," so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate.
  11. The Adviser Grant Program accepted one proposal this year. I'm concerned that member societies may not have forwarded announcements. Because I think the projects have been very beneficial to institutions and communities, I hope that we continue the project and spend more effort on publicity.
  12. As you know we discontinued the sale A Matter of Honor brochure, and offered it on the ACHS Website. We sold brochures to only about six member societies in the recent past. I know there was a request to return to printing the brochure, but I think we need to conduct a survey to find out if member societies will continue to purchase them and possibly at a higher cost. In order to keep the cost down, we ordered about 75,000 brochures at a time. Sometimes those lasted more than a year, and they became outdated. It was my thinking that the video would replace the brochure, and we do have a recent statistic that there was video usage of 3900 in April, up from 2500-3000. Quite a few member societies have posted the video on their sites, so the usage is probably a great deal greater. But . . . what do we do about the interest in having brochures available for purchase?
  13. The ACHS attorney is still working on the Damascus Apparel problem related to violation of trademarks. No letter of response has been received from Damascus Apparel after two letters to the company; we have observed that the company removed the photos of tee shirts for Psi Chi and Chi Epsilon on the company website. The next decision to be made will be to decide whether to go further than the cease and desist letter to a legal procedure to seek injunctive and monetary relief. The attorney asked for recognition by Damascus Apparel that the company had a responsibility to require authorization for use of trademarks. Shall we continue to expect this outcome?
  14. The issue of institutional rules regarding graduation paraphernalia has not been addressed. From my perspective a policy should be free from bias in recognizing honor society membership at graduation--the rule should be ALL or NONE. One solution would be for institutions to prohibit paraphernalia in the all-university graduation assembly and permit paraphernalia in the college ceremonies. I question the policy of institutions to allow only ACHS societies to recognize members, too (which is the case in some places). This raises the question about why an honor society has been allowed at the institution if it can't recognize its members.
  15. As you know the complaint from an adviser against one of our member societies was resolved by President McSeveney. I am grateful for our Complaint Resolution Process.

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 2012 Annual Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link).
  3. The Website link of "How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society," is cited by universities, parents, and students when they call for more information.
  4. I pass lots of requests from members of member societies on to the national office. It is interesting that everybody finds ACHS. Lots of students want to be members of ACHS; I use this opportunity to direct them to advisers or Student Affairs to make contact about eligibility. Even though we expect invitations to all eligible members, some students are missed for various reasons.
  5. The ACHS Website continues to average about 66,000 visitors a year.

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 a number of students and faculty members who seek to develop new honor societies. Despite my attempts to help them understand the difficulty and the long-term commitment required, many still want the information that I can provide for such a venture. Most people don't get back to me, but I suspect there will be a few new ones in the near future. The latest request was for a Mortuary Science honor society. To my amazement the institution had regional accreditation for its associate degree program.
  3. The resource, Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters, is useful to those societies that wish to charter online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. This document suggests good ideas for chartering chapters when there is no accreditation available. ACHS does not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but this document helps member societies set standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Accountability is a friend to high standards.
  4. Thanks to Alpha Chi's research, I distributed guidance and details about the Office of Personnel Management preference for ACHS members in recruitment of jobs by Federal agencies. You will note a letter to Phi Alpha Theta responding to how they used that letter from me. I still wonder how they got it.


Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

Executive Director Report
February 7, 2012

Site Selection for 2014
It was my decision to rule out New Orleans before getting Dallas or Louisville bids. Therefore, the board needs to discuss these options and choose whether to seek more bids.

  • Courtyard Marriott, 859 Convention Center Blvd. - $135/room - waived meeting room rental (This seems like the best option. I have had good experiences with these hotels.)
  • Hampton Inn @$159 (2011 rates) (no waived meeting room rental but there is complimentary breakfast in Lobby that we might be able to convince them to put in a special room for us). We can also try to negotiate waiver of meeting room rental.
  • Renaissance Arts Hotel @ $179 with waived meeting room rental. I don't know if negotiation would work to lower the room rate.
  • Hotel Monteleone @ $199 with waived meeting room rental
  • Ritz Carlton @ about $200
  • Astor Crowne Plaza offers January 7-12 and a rate of $139

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

Certified honor societies in continuing compliance with high standards.

  1. Assistance has been provided to the Standards and Definitions Committee in reviewing reports for the second round of compliance review. Dennis Organ is Chair.
  2. The new online Compliance Report system seems to be working well. Perhaps the S&D Committee can critique the experience with this new process.
  3. Quite a few of the compliance reports indicate that the following policies have not been adopted: whistleblower, conflict of interest, and document retention and destruction. Although the Board didn't rule that these must be required for compliance, I suggest that we send sample policies and recommend adoption.
  4. The ACHS attorney suggested that the first paragraph for the Complaint Resolution be modified to include "complainant" in addition to Council Member:

    Pursuant to the Association of College Honor Societies' ("ACHS") Procedure for Making Complaints, any Council Member or Complainant, upon reasonable belief that any member has violated ACHS's bylaws, rules, practices, or standards, or engaged in any conduct that is not in ACHS's best interest, may submit a written complaint to the ACHS's President (the "President") outlining the allegations against the member who has committed such violations (the "Respondent"). Any such complaint must: (a) be in writing, (b) set forth in sufficient detail the alleged grounds for the complaint; and (c) include any evidence the Complainant possesses that supports the complaint.
  5. An annual reminder is advisable to member societies to monitor chapter publicity about ACHS standards.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. Communications about internship scholarships for ACHS student members from Washington Internship Institute (renamed from Institute for Experiential Learning), The Fund for American Studies, The Washington Center of Internships and Academic Seminars, and The PhD Project are sent directly to chapter advisers by those organizations. Our Website describes the offerings and benefits.
  2. The stock of A Matter of Honor is exhausted. The brochure for member society use is posted at http://www.achsnatl.org/presentation-a-matter-of-honor.asp.
  3. Several member societies have placed a link of the ACHS video on their websites.
  4. ACHS exhibited at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2011 meeting, October 19-23 in Phoenix.
  5. There are no plans this year to either exhibit or provide ACHS brochures for the 2012 AACRAO in Philadelphia, April 1-4.
  6. The Adviser Grant Program accepted one proposal for 2011-12. This program has contributed greatly to intra-campus collaboration—a goal of ACHS, but perhaps I will need to make more contacts with member societies. The strategic planning process may shed some light on this program and suggest other alternatives.
  7. The online ACHS Directory has been updated.
  8. Five representatives of member societies will be honored at the Saturday, February 18 luncheon: Dennis Organ, Nancy McManus, Angie Perna, Thomas Sweeney, Pamela Park.
  9. A number of societies will be represented this year after a period of absence: Thomas B. Connery of Delta Epsilon Sigma, Kevin Howell of Epsilon Pi Tau, Yupo Chan of Omega Rho, Catherine Wong and Beth Kilian of Phi Sigma, Darla Stone of Pi Omega Pi, Rachell Proffitt and Kim Schoessow of Pi Theta Epsilon, and David Grant of Theta Alpha Kappa.
  10. Our newest member society, Alpha Sigma Lambda, will be represented by Pam Collins.
  11. The new Executive Directors of Golden Key, Brad Rainey, and Tau Beta Pi, Curtis Gomulinski, will be in attendance at the 2012 Annual Council Meeting.
  12. Damascus Apparel did not respond to our letter by the deadline of February 1, so we will probably have to communicate with our attorney to issue a cease and desist letter (or other recommendation). The letter stated that ACHS would act after February 15.

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 2011 Annual Council Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link), and we will post documents from the 2012 Annual Council Meeting.
  3. The CAS standards for honor societies and the learning and development outcomes are of value to ACHS member societies. Perhaps ACHS should consider recommending that learning and development outcomes be incorporated into chapter responsibilities. This action would ensure that honor society goals are more than recognition. The College Honor Societies standard will be updated with new general standards in the upcoming publication of CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition. Kappa Omicron Nu has developed chapter benchmarks that include selected CAS standards. See http://www.kon.org/chapter_files/forms/annual-report-form-b.asp.

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. Phi Beta Delta (international programs) has submitted a petition for membership. It was received after September 1, and the E&A Committee is reviewing it now.
  3. Mu Nu Gamma will be represented at the 2012 Annual Council Meeting by GT Lineberry. This is a new society that serves mining engineering.
  4. The "Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters" document has been useful in helping societies consider chapters in online programs.
  5. 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.
  6. Many inquiries are received pertaining to The National Society of Leadership and Success. ACHS and this society agreed several years ago that it did not fit the ACHS model. But students getting invitations confuse it with an honor society.


Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

Executive Director Report
June 10, 2011

Notes:
Site Selection for 2013 – Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA – 2/14-17/2013 – the room rate is $129 for single and double occupancy.

Site Selection for 2014 – The rotation for the Annual Council meeting is targeted to the Midwest. Suggested cities are Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Mobile, Little Rock, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Dallas. Any preferences? I think we will get better prices at second-tier hotels, but that wasn’t the case 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. Compliance with ACHS standards. The second round of compliance will be conducted as soon as the Review Guidelines are approved. The compliance review will examine fourteen specialized societies: Alpha Beta Gamma, Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Alpha Kappa Delta, Alpha Phi Sigma, Alpha Pi Mu, Alpha Sigma Mu, Beta Kappa Chi, Beta Phi Mu, Chi Epsilon, Chi Sigma Iota, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, Delta Tau Alpha, and Epsilon Pi Tau.
  2. The revised Review Guidelines have been proposed by Nancy McManus and Tom Sweeney. Tom was co-chair of the 2010 Committee, and Nancy was a member. Nancy agreed at the last board meeting to work on this task. See separate attachment.
  3. A Google Alert last year about the Long Island University Website (for all academic honor societies on campus) indicated inadequate information about eligibility standards for ACHS societies. I think this is a continuing issue; perhaps we should remind member societies to annually monitor chapter publicity about standards.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. The online ACHS Member Directory is fully operational, and 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.
  2. Our IT contractor developed a News Blog to replace the News item on the Web site menu. Perhaps the Public Information Committee could consider how to promote member society participation.
  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. My e-mail Council List has been used to gather and to share information with member societies.
  5. Officials from several member societies have recently asked for my guidance and experience regarding IRS reports for chapters. Jim Viehland has been helpful, too.
  6. The vendors who exhibited at the 2011 Annual Council Meeting were offered space on the Sponsoring Vendors Web page. To date we have nine plus the ACHS IT contractor, id2net. Other sponsoring vendors have been contacted about this service. Although the Board approved a $600 fee for vendors not attending the Annual Council Meeting, none have taken advantage of this offer.
  7. ACHS will exhibit at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2011 meeting, October 17-24 in Phoenix.
  8. I continue to believe 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.
  9. I am serving as editor for the Blue Book—“CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education, 8th edition”—to be published in August 2012. My term began last October. I am 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.
  10. ACHS and its partners, Golden Key and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, did not exhibit or provide ACHS brochures for the registration tote bags at the 2011 AACRAO Meeting. We want to be known as the “Standards People,” but perhaps a three-year rotation system for hosting a booth, conducting a presentation, or sponsoring tote bag inserts might serve our purposes. Any thoughts?
  11. I have established Google Alerts for “honor societies” and “honor society,” so I am able to track electronic conversations and react if appropriate.
  12. The Adviser Grant Program accepted four proposals, and reports have been received from three awardees to date. The awards were paid when the final reports were filed. This has been a highly successful program. Summaries are posted on the ACHS Website. Each honor society that collaborates with project goals is informed of the completion of the project and payment of the award. 
  13. A Matter of Honor brochure – ACHS is selling brochures to only about six member societies that include the brochure with the candidate invitation. We do use the brochure for CAS, CAI, NCHC, and AACRAO. Any suggestions about the future for this publication?
  14. In light of the above situation, I authorized our IT contractor to develop a video using the content of the brochure for posting on the Homepage of our Website. See draft at http://www.achsnatl.org/draft/video3.html. I think we could authorize each member society to link its Website to the ACHS Website at no cost. We will have the copyright. Any alternatives?
  15. We received a letter from Phi Sigma Iota expressing thanks for our support in rescuing the society in 2007-08. (The letter will be read at the Board Meeting because it shows how ACHS benefited a member society.)
  16. The ACHS attorney provided a letter stating our position in the honor stole problem with ODK. Although this problem was resolved amicably, it appears that we need to establish a policy regarding graduation paraphernalia for member societies to approve.
  17. The issue of institutional rules regarding graduation paraphernalia has not been addressed. From my perspective a policy should be free from bias in recognizing honor society membership at graduation--the rule should be ALL or NONE. Large institutions might prohibit paraphernalia in the all-university graduation assembly and permit paraphernalia in the college ceremonies. I don’t think institutions should allow only ACHS societies to recognize members either (which is the case in some places). ACHS doesn’t hold the trademark, and if an institution has allowed a society on campus it should be considered legitimate. (I do think institutions should have high standards for the organizations they permit on campus, but we can’t control that.) Are there other positions on this matter?
  18. Complaint from an adviser against one of our member societies – I have attached our Complaint Resolution Process for our use in the discussion at the Board Meeting.

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 2011 Annual Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link).
  3. The Website link of “How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society,” has been cited by universities, parents, and students when they call for more information.
  4. The ACHS Website draws about 66,000 visitors a year.
  5. This following organization has solicited us to become an Alliance Partner. The PhD Project is an alliance of foundations, corporations, universities, and professional and academic organizations dedicated to addressing the severe lack of diversity in corporate America. Is this a partnership to add to the three internship partners we have currently?

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 the following societies to ensure their standards comply with ACHS standards.
    1. Salute (Veterans National Honor Society) - This group honors veterans who enroll in college after being honorably discharged.
    2. Phi Alpha (social work) – This will replace Alpha Delta Mu whose membership was suspended.
    3. Tri Iota (Iota Iota Iota) - This honor society serves Women’s Studies.
    4. Delta Delta Epsilon - This honor society serves forensic sciences.
    5. Mu Nu Gamma – This honor society serves mining engineering. We tried to convince Tau Beta Pi to sponsor a constituency group within its membership, but TBP wasn’t interested.
  4. I am even supporting a new honor society that will probably not qualify for ACHS because it has ACCSC accreditation instead of regional accreditation. At least this honor society will not be a scam.
  5. Several years ago a representative of the National Society of Leadership and Success (also known as Sigma Alpha Pi) attended our Annual Council Meeting with the goal of determining if the society met the standards and mission of ACHS. There was mutual agreement that the society did not fit the ACHS model. In recent days we were part of a discussion that shows that NSLC is still promoting itself as an honor society. Its mission is to provide leadership training and does not have a scholastic standard for eligibility. The leadership training opportunities the society provides are pretty expensive for campuses.
  6. The resource, Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters, is useful to those societies that wish to charter online programs that do not have to meet a specialized accreditation. This document suggests good ideas for chartering chapters when there is no accreditation available. ACHS does not want to eliminate options for honor society chapters, but this document helps member societies set standards for chapter programming and operations to meet their missions. Accountability is a friend to high standards. See attachment.
  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

Executive Director Report
February 7, 2011

Notes:
Site Selection for 2012 - 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.

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.
  3. Other properties will be reviewed when a decision is made to select either Baltimore or Washington-----or look for other cities in the East.

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. Mollie Brown, the committee chair, has resigned. Tom Sweeney as co-chair has not formally agreed to continue as chair, so it will be necessary to consider the composition of the Standards and Definitions Committee.
    1. It is clear that the S&D Committee needs to examine the compliance report and propose changes for consideration of the Board of Directors. Some issues that should be considered follow:
      1. Whistleblower Policy
      2. Conflict of Interest Policy
      3. Document Retention & Destruction Policy
      4. Evidence of governance by membership and board of directors
      5. Transparency as defined by “How to Judge the Credibility of an Honor Society” to include the following to be available to the public (not in a member-only section) by a legitimate honor society Website. National Officers and Headquarters Staff
        1. National Office mailing, telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses (not a PO box—state and federal policies require a physical address)
        2. Criteria for membership
        3. Benefits of membership
        4. Membership fee
        5. Bylaws
        6. Chapter charter policies and procedures
    2. We decided that every member society must post their chapters on our Chapter Search.
    3. Refinement of the Compliance Report for the next round of reviews is critical for the purpose of completing the cycle of reviews.
    4. All but one of the member societies reviewed in 2010 were determined to be compliant.

Member societies in mutually beneficial communication and community.

  1. 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.
  2. The June 2010 Executive Director report was posted to the Website. Confidential information was removed before posting.
  3. ACHS exhibited at the NCHC Conference Idea Exchange at the 2010 meeting, October 20-24 in Kansas City.
  4. There are no plans this year to either exhibit or provide ACHS brochures for the 2011 AACRAO Meeting in Seattle, Washington, March 13-16. I suggest that we consider participation in 2012.
  5. The Adviser Grant Program accepted four proposals for 2010-11.
  6. We are still waiting to receive a proposal 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. If a proposal is received, it is likely to use a similar process as our Adviser Grant Program to involve multiple student groups on campus.
  7. The online ACHS Directory has been updated.
  8. After communicating the lack of high quality member society logos for the ACHS Website, we have received several updates.
  9. Eight member societies have not filed 09-10 report

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 Council Meeting were added to the Web site under Association Knowledge Resources (Resources link), and we will post documents from the 2011 Annual Council Meeting. College of 2020: Students is already posted.
  3. The intent to involve the Parliamentarian, Chili Sanders, in the 2011 programming was unsuccessful because she is unable to travel now due to her husband’s health. She is still available to ACHS members if they need her services.
  4. For your information, Kappa Omicron Nu has posted on its Website a Research Resource Guide for Undergraduates that is being tested during second semester, 2010-11. I will talk to the team that used a Federal grant to develop the product to discuss the possibility of sharing with ACHS member societies.
  5. The CAS standards for honor societies and the learning and development outcomes are of value to ACHS member societies. Perhaps ACHS should consider recommending that learning and development outcomes be incorporated into chapter responsibilities. This action would ensure that honor society goals are more than recognition. Kappa Omicron Nu has developed chapter benchmarks that include selected CAS standards. See http://www.kon.org/chapter_files/forms/annual-report-form-b.asp.

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. It appears that forensic sciences will form an honor society using our standards. The faculty members involved in the development of the society are aware that the society cannot become a member until it is five years old.
  3. Phi Beta Delta (international programs) is attempting to meet ACHS standards.
  4. Phi Alpha (social work) is planning to apply for membership in ACHS. This group will replace Alpha Delta Mu, which was suspended by ACHS for failure to pay dues and respond to questions about society standards.
  5. The “Guidelines for Chartering Honor Society Chapters” document has been useful in helping societies consider chapters in online programs.
  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. We may have a complaint to deal with soon from an adviser of a member society. I contacted the ED after the telephone call. This adviser may file a written complaint. It appears that the situation was handled well by the society and the university. So, this one will be difficult to end with a satisfactory outcome to the complainant.
  8. The trademark issue at University of South Florida was resolved to the advantage of ACHS member societies.

Dorothy I. Mitstifer

 

View previous reports, 2003-2010