Spring 2004

September 21, 2004

The Baylor University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa met September 21, 2004 with Bennett, Burnett, Foley, Fish, Hendon, Herring, Hicks, Johnson, Kisacky, Mathis, Moore, Ortuņo, Osborn, Smith, Tate, Toten Beard, Vanderpool, and Wilkins present.

Chapter president Ken Wilkins called the meeting to order at 4:04 pm and welcomed the following members in attendance at their first chapter meeting: Michael Foley (Great Texts Program, PBK Santa Clara), Adam Moore (Campus Living and Learning, PBK Baylor), Margaret Tate (Philosophy, PBK William & Mary), Deanna Toten Beard (Theater Arts, PBK Mary Washington), Sinda Vanderpool (Modern Foreign Languages, PBK Davidson) Jessamy Bennett and Jull Hicks, (undergraduate members).

The first matter of business was a report from Phillip Johnson, chapter secretary. The minutes from the March 2004 meeting were approved, followed by an update report on Ongoing Activities and Initiatives. It was announced that the officers are still working on how best to use the $1000 award the chapter received from the national office. Still under consideration is the purchase of a large, bronze PBK key to give the chapter a "permanent presence" on campus, but it is not known how much that will cost. (A recent issue of the "Key Reporter" with a photo of such a key on the cover was passed around).

Other issues included the following:

--officers will be reviewing new course offerings to determine acceptability for election to PBK. It will be necessary to look at language and math requirements again-especially the latter, since many students interested in PBK call asking specifically about this.

--the Provost's office has approved our budget request for funds. This money goes toward the purchase of keys, certificates, honor cords, and the initiation banquet for the students elected.

--although we have a very fine website, it is currently not quite up-to-date. It contains electronic copies of calendar and minutes, and the chapter will continue working to improve both content and format in an effort to upgrade to CMS.

--payment of yearly dues ($3.00). We have approximately 70 chapter members (faculty, students, staff), so it is important to have enough dues-paying members to form a quorum at meetings. Long-time chapter members will notice an increase in dues of $1, the first increase since dues were initiated over 20 years ago!

--to show how we have continued to raise the level of activity and involvement in PBK, Dr. Johnson passed around a new, expanded roster of members, including the names of almost twenty graduate students who are eligible for chapter membership.

Sue Herring brought a letter which was shared with the chapter concerning the "Endowed International Scholars Fund" established in honor of Dr. Bruce Cresson, first president of the Zeta chapter. As of May, 2004 the fund contained almost $21,000. A student from Katy, Texas, Lori Meineke (University Scholar) is the recipient of this year's award. It was suggested that the officers continue to look for ways to encourage ongoing donations to this fund by chapter members, both on campus and off.

Ken Wilkins distributed a current PBK committee list along with a "committee preferences" sheet for more members to volunteer to serve on standing committees. Some had already signed up by e-mail. Members-in-Course Committee is set, but additional members are still welcome. Julie Kisacky volunteered to be Chair of the Initiation Committee. New member Sinda Vanderpool asked for an explanation of each committee's responsibilities, which Dr. Wilkins provided. Almost all committees are comprised of faculty, staff and student members, except those such as Members-in-Course that require confidentiality in reviewing transcripts. The most pressing issue concerned the National Merit Scholars Committee. Date and location needed to be set within the next week for the annual fall reception. Jeff Fish will chair the Albaugh Committee. Dr. Fish indicated that good speakers are expensive, but the committee has several possibilities. The chapter gets significant publicity impact from the Albaugh Lecture and also from the Visiting Scholar Program. The next Visiting Scholar is Elliot M. Meyerowitz, plant geneticist, who will be on campus the end of January. Dr. Wilkin's department (Biology) will host and other biology faculty will also be involved. Marian Ortuņo reported that the Members-in-Course Committee will be meeting soon to begin reviewing transcripts for fall initiates and to assess acceptability of new course offerings. Fall initiation (18-20 initiates) will take place on Monday, Dec, 6th, 2004. Spring initiation is scheduled for April 30, 2005 in the Barfield Drawing Room.

With no further old or new business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Phillip Johnson

Marian Ortuņo