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January 28, 2011

Sigma Xi Constitution, Bylaws Modified

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – During the 2010 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting, a number of resolutions were presented to the Assembly of Delegates for changes to the Society's constitution and bylaws. Most of these changes were related to voting procedures.

The bylaws were amended so that the election of Society officers, directors, associate directors and members of nomination committees is open to all active (dues-paying) members and associate members. The ballots may now be electronic, and the voting will be completed within 30 days of the Assembly of Delegates.

Previously, only the designated chapter delegates who attended the annual meetings were allowed to participate in these votes. (Bylaw III, Section 3, Subsection C)

The bylaws were modified to allow the Board of Directors (with recommendations from the finance committee) to set the annual membership dues and associated fees. In addition, the board will allocate the amount of local chapter support. Previously, the board put forth a motion at the annual meeting, and the fees were voted on by the Assembly of Delegates. (Bylaw IV, Section 1, Subsection A)

The constitution was amended to prevent members of the Board of Directors from serving dual roles at the Assembly of Delegates. The language in the constitution did not limit a board member from also serving as a voting delegate at the assembly. It was argued that wearing the “two hats” of leadership at the same time can create conflicts of interest, where the board member has conflicting loyalties to the board and to his/her region or constituency.

Board members are encouraged to lobby vigorously for the interests of those who elected him or her, but once a board decision is made, the board member is expected to support the board and the Society as a whole, not a special-interest group. (Article III, Section 2, Subsection D)

Finally, the Board of Directors approved the change of venue for the annual Assembly of Delegates from face-to-face meetings to electronic/virtual meetings beginning in 2012. The assembly will be held the first Saturday in November beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The assembly will continue to include designated chapter delegates for voting purposes and for requirement of a chapter’s “good standing,” but as always, all members will be invited and encouraged to attend.

About Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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