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ESP Constitution and Bylaws

ARTICLE I - Name

The name of this organization shall be Alpha Omicron Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Phi, Cooperative Extension Professionals' Organization

ARTICLE II - Purpose
The purpose includes, but is not limited to, recognizing excellence in the Extension community; providing opportunity for networking, fellowship, and collaborative efforts; fostering leadership development through mentoring Extension professionals in the philosophy and professional practices of Extension education; and facilitating professional development.

Mission Statement: Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) is dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension System and to developing the Extension profession and professional.

Vision Statement: Epsilon Sigma Phi leads the Extension System in promoting and supporting professionalism in Extension.

ARTICLE III - Membership

ESP is an equal opportunity/affirmative action organization. ESP is committed to the active involvement of all of its members regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, or veteran status. ESP values and seeks a diverse membership.

Section 1 - Qualifications. Membership is open to faculty, extension educators, professional, and administrative staff who have exhibited excellence in education and programming leadership, and who have held full or part-time Extension appointments for a total of two years or longer. Members in good standing at the time of their retirement are eligible to continue membership as life members as follows.

Section 2 - Classification. Membership in this chapter shall consist of Annual and Life members. All chapter members are members of the National Epsilon Sigma Phi Organization.

  • Annual members: Individuals who are currently employed in Extension or retired from Extension, who pay annual dues.
  • Life members: Individuals who are members in good standing at the time of their retirement from Extension and have paid an amount equal to five times the annual national dues at the time of application are eligible for lifetime membership. A life member holds the rights and privileges of an annual member.

Section 3 - Member Status. An annual member may withdraw from Chapter membership by notifying the Secretary in writing; and membership so withdrawn may be reinstated by submitting a written request and payment of current dues.

A member may be expelled from the Organization for conduct unbecoming a member. Expulsion from the Organization shall require a two-third vote of the members at its annual meeting.

Annual members who have failed to pay annual dues, without requesting withdrawal of membership in writing, shall automatically be placed in an inactive status. Payment of current annual dues shall be required for reinstatement. Members may transfer to another ESP Chapter if they move to the area of another chapter. Membership is terminated upon leaving Extension employment or death.

Section 4 - Membership Certificate. All new annual members, shall at the time of induction into the Organization receive a certificate of membership, along with the Creed, a copy of the Epsilon Sigma Phi Constitution and Bylaws, and the Chapter Constitution and Bylaws. Life members, upon payment of lifetime dues, receive a national ESP life membership certificate and card.

Section 5 - Recognition on Retirement. A replica of Penn State University's Nittany Lion statue, or contribution of equal amount toward their Epsilon Sigma Phi Life Membership , shall be presented to each member who retires, in recognition of his/her career with Cooperative Extension in Pennsylvania. The replica or gift shall be presented at some appropriate county or University gathering where recognition of both the recipient and the Alpha Omicron Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Phi, will be publicized. Only those members who retire in good standing, with paid-up dues, and have been an annual member for at least 10 years are eligible to receive this honorary recognition.

ARTICLE IV - Officers and Executive Committee

Section 1 - Officers. The officers of this organization shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and  Past President. 

The terms of each office shall be 1 year.

The incumbent Vice-President shall be advanced automatically to the office of President. The incumbent Secretary shall be advanced automatically to the office of Vice-President. In the event of resignation of one of these elected officers, the other officers shall advance automatically to fill the vacated position, and the Officers shall appoint a new secretary.

An election for the offices of Secretary and Treasurer shall be conducted annually. The Treasurer may stand for re-election.

The Secretary shall be nominated from that group of the membership who are in good standing.

No officer shall concurrently hold office in the Pennsylvania Association of County Agricultural Agents, the Pennsylvania Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, or the Pennsylvania Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Officers shall assume their appointed or elected duties as of the first day of the month following the Annual Meeting at which they are elected/appointed to that position.

Duties of Officers:

  1. President. Shall preside at all meetings of the Organization and shall perform the duties usually incumbent upon this office. Shall represent this chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi on the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) at the National JCEP Leadership Conference and the National ESP Annual meeting.
  2. Vice-President. Shall in the absence or disability of the President assume and perform the duties of the President. The Vice-President shall be responsible for oversight of the program and award committees. Shall represent this chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi on the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) at the national JCEP leadership conference and the National ESP Annual meeting.
  3. Secretary. Shall keep the minutes and records of official business of the Organization. The Secretary shall edit a regular Chapter Newsletter. In the absence of both the President and the Vice-President, the Secretary may preside or select a temporary Chairman who shall perform the duties during such emergencies.
  4. Treasurer. Shall have charge of the membership roll, accept all initiation fees, dues and assessments, pay all bills, keep an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures, maintain a ledger of loans and ensure that loan repayment schedules are met, and make an annual report of these transactions to the Organization. Shall prepare a proposed budget for submission to the incoming officers no later than the Annual Meeting. The books shall be subject to annual audit by the Audit and Finance Committee which will render a report to the members.
  5. Past President. Shall provide leadership to the Nomination and Constitution and By-laws committees. Shall represent Epsilon Sigma Phi on the Pennsylvanian Joint Council of Extension Professionals (PA-JCEP), serving as an officer as necessary in the organization rotation for these roles. 

Section 2 - Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Past President. The President, Vice-President, and Past-President shall represent Epsilon Sigma Phi on the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). The President and Vice-President shall represent the Chapter at the National JCEP Leadership Conference and the National ESP annual meeting.  The Executive Committee, in case of an emergency demanding immediate action, shall have authority to act on behalf of the Membership.

Section 3 - Official Travel Expenses. The President or designated official representatives of the Chapter who attend national meetings shall be entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses including registration, travel, lodging and meals. The amount of such reimbursement shall be determined by Executive Committee and an approved statement of the authorized amount shall be submitted to the Treasurer for payment.

ARTICLE V - Meetings

Section 1 - Annual and Special Meetings. The Chapter shall hold an Annual Meeting in the fall and may hold a special meeting in the spring. The spring meeting may be held in conjunction with the other professional associations. Special meetings may be held when called by the President or the Executive Committee subject to membership notification 14 calendar days prior to the meeting. Roberts Rules of Order shall apply.

Section 2 - Quorum. Membership present at the Annual Meeting constitutes a quorum.

Section 3 - Fiscal Year. The fiscal year for the Chapter shall begin on the first day of the month following the annual meeting, and end on the last day of the month in which the annual meeting is held.

ARTICLE VI - Committees

Section 1 - Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall arrange for the necessary committees to carry out Epsilon Sigma Phi activities, and the President shall announce committee appointments within three months following the Annual Meeting. All persons appointed to such committees shall be members in good standing.

The Vice-President is responsible for communicating the duties of each committee to committee chairs.

Section 2 - Standing Committees shall include the following:

Standing Committees:

  • Audit and Finance
  • Annual Meeting
  • Constitution and By-Laws
  • Professional Development
  • Membership and Initiation
  • Recognition & Career Awards
  • Scholarships, Loans, and Grants
  • Sympathy and Memorial
  • Nomination
  • Global Relations

ARTICLE VII - Initiation Fees and Membership Dues

Section 1 - Initiation Fee. All candidates for annual membership in the Organization shall pay a one time initiation fee, part of which will be forwarded by the Chapter's Treasurer to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the National Fraternity, and the balance will remain with the Chapter.

Section 2 - Annual Membership Dues. All annual members shall pay annual membership dues according to the schedule established by the Executive Committee and approved by the membership at the Chapter's Annual Meeting.

Section 3 - Lifetime Membership. Members who retire from Extension may obtain lifetime membership in the Chapter and National Organization by paying a one-time amount equal to five (5) times the National individual annual membership dues in effect at the time application is made.

Section 4 - Payment of Fees and Dues. All initiation fees, annual dues, and life
membership dues shall be payable to the Treasurer of the Chapter.

ARTICLE VIII - Amendments

With the exception of Articles I and II. the membership shall have the authority to adopt, amend and repeal the by-laws, subject to the restrictions in Pennsylvania law. Any by-law adoption, amendment or repeal made hereunder shall be effective upon approval by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) at a meeting where a quorum is present. Written notification of such amendments must be provided to all members at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting at which the vote is taken.

Revised and/or Amended in 1960, 1966, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010