Officer Duties

Duties of the President

General: The President of Sigma Xi assumes the office of President on 1 July, after serving as President-elect for one year, and serves until the following 30 June. The President is one of 5 officers of the Society and serves on the following Boards and Committees of the Society:

  • President (Chair), Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (the "Society")
  • President (Chair), Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Incorporated (the "Corporation")
  • President (Chair), Executive Committee
  • Member, Committee on Finances
  • Member, Committee on Strategic Planning

The Board of Directors is principally responsible for managing the activities, property, and affairs of the Society in accordance with the policies established by the Assembly. The Board of the Society simultaneously serves as the Board of the Corporation (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc.), which is the legal entity holding title to the Society's assets and responsible for managing the property, affairs, and financial business of the Society.

Time Commitment: Below is a summary of the principle meetings or activities in which the President normally participates. The largest single time commitment for the President is the Society's annual meeting in June. The annual meeting includes meetings of the Board of the Society, the Board of the Corporation, and the Executive Committee. Whenever possible, meetings are arranged to accommodate the President's schedule.

Event/Activity
Approx. Date
Usual Duration
Take office as President of the Society July 1
During course of Fiscal Year, the President prepares an editorial for each of the 6 issues of American Scientistmagazine that are published during tenure as President. Generally due in July, September, November, January, and March*
Strategic Planning Committee meeting (Member) Late summer 2 days
- Executive Committee meeting (Chair)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Chair)
- Annual Meeting (Assembly of Delegates) (Chair)
June** Generally Wednesday morning through Sunday noon
Committee on Finances meeting (Member) Between late Feb to Mid-March 1 day
(Generally held in Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Executive Director Performance Evaluation Committee meeting (Member)
- Executive Committee meeting (Chair)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Chair)
November 1 1/2 to 2 days
Complete term as President June 30
*Specific dates to be provided by the Editor of American Scientist.
**Location and date of annual meeting is set 3 to 4 years in advance.

In addition to the above, the President is an ex officio member (with vote) of all committees of Sigma Xi, except the Committees on Audit Review and Nominations. Normally, the President participates in meetings of these committees as they wish. The President may be asked to represent the Society at various functions throughout the year, including chapter installations, but may choose to accept or decline these invitations as he or she wishes.

Duties of the President-elect

General: The President-elect of Sigma Xi assumes the office of President-elect on 1 July after their election at the annual meeting the previous November and serves until the following 30 June. The President-elect is one of 5 officers of the Society and serves on the following Boards and Committees of the Society:

  • Member & Officer, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (the "Society")
  • Vice-President, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Incorporated (the "Corporation")
  • Member, Executive Committee
  • Member, Committee on Finances
  • Member, Committee on Meetings
  • Member, Committee on Strategic Planning

The Board of Directors is principally responsible for managing the activities, property, and affairs of the Society in accordance with the policies established by the Assembly. The Board of the Society simultaneously serves as the Board of the Corporation (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc.), which is the legal entity holding title to the Society’s assets and responsible for managing the property, affairs, and financial business of the Society.

Time Commitment: Below is a summary of the principle meetings or activities in which the President-elect normally participates.

Event/Activity
Approx. Date
Usual Duration
Take office as President-elect of the Society July 1
Committee on Meetings Conference Call (Mbr) Late Summer
Strategic Planning Committee meeting (Member) Late summer 2 days
- Executive Committee meeting (Member)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Member)
- Annual Meeting (Assembly of Delegates)
June*
(See Note)
Generally Wednesday morning through Sunday noon
Committee on Finances meeting (Member) Between late Feb to Mid-March 1 day
Prepare first “Presidential” editorial for Jul-Aug issue of American Scientist April**
(Generally held in Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Executive Director Performance Evaluation Committee meeting (Member)
- Executive Committee meeting (Member)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Member)
November 1 1/2 to 2 days
Prepare “Conversation with the President” for Aug-SepAmerican Scientist June**
Complete term as President-elect June 30
*Location and date of annual meeting is set 3 to 4 years in advance.
**Specific dates to be provided by the Editor of American Scientist.

In addition to the above, the President-elect is an ex officio member (with vote) of all committees of Sigma Xi, except the Committees on Audit Review and Nominations. Normally, the President-elect participates in meetings of these committees as he or she wishes. The President-elect may be asked to represent the Society at various functions throughout the year, including chapter installations, but may choose to accept or decline these invitations as he or she wishes.

Duties of the Past President

General: The Past President of Sigma Xi assumes the office of Past President on 1 July after their term as President is concluded and serves until the following 30 June. The Past President is one of 5 officers of the Society:

  • Member & Officer, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (the "Society")
  • Vice-President, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Incorporated (the "Corporation")
  • Member, Executive Committee
  • Chair, Committee on Committees
  • Member, Committee on Strategic Planning

The Board of Directors is principally responsible for managing the activities, property, and affairs of the Society in accordance with the policies established by the Assembly. The Board of the Society simultaneously serves as the Board of the Corporation (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc.), which is the legal entity holding title to the Society’s assets and responsible for managing the property, affairs, and financial business of the Society.

Time Commitment: Below is a summary of the principle meetings or activities in which the Past President normally participates.

Event/Activity
Approx. Date
Usual Duration
Take office as Past President of the Society July 1
Committee on Committees (Chair) As necessary via telephone conference or email
Strategic Planning Committee meeting (Member) Late summer 2 days
- Executive Committee meeting (Member)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Member)
- Annual Meeting (Assembly of Delegates)(Member)
June*
(See Note)
Generally Wednesday morning through Sunday noon
(Generally held in Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Executive Director Performance Evaluation Committee meeting (Member)
- Executive Committee meeting (Member)
- Board meeting (Corporation & Society) (Member)
November 1 1/2 to 2 days
Complete term as Past President June 30
Committee on Nominations (3 year term) (Following term as Past President) Jan-Jun Telephone conferences
*Location and date of annual meeting is set 3 to 4 years in advance.
Note: In the absence of the President and the President-elect, the Past President presides over the meetings of the Board of Directors for the Society and the Corporation, the Executive Committee, and the Assembly of Delegates.

In addition to the above, the Past President may be asked to represent the Society at various functions throughout the year, including chapter installations, but may choose to accept or decline these invitations as he or she wishes.

Duties of Treasurer

General: The Treasurer of Sigma Xi assumes the office of Treasurer on 1 July after their election at the annual meeting the previous November, and serves a four-year term. In general, the Treasurer is one of 4 officers of the Society and participates in meetings of the Society's Board of Directors, Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, Incorporated (the "Corporation"), the Executive Committee, and the Sigma Xi Fund of Canada. The Board of Directors is principally responsible for managing the activities, property, and affairs of the Society in accordance with the policies established by the Assembly. The Board of the Society simultaneously serves as the Board of the Corporation (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc.), which is the legal entity, along with its LLC subsidiary (formed in July 2007), holding title to the Society's assets and responsible for managing the property, affairs, and financial business of the Society. The Treasurer also Chairs the Society's Committee on Finances, participates in quarterly meetings with the Society's financial advisors, and prepares the Society's annual budget with the Society's Executive Director and administrative staff.

In addition, the Treasurer may be asked to represent the Society at various functions throughout the year, including chapter installations, but may choose to accept or decline these invitations as they wish.

Service on Boards and Committees: The Treasurer serves on the following Boards and Committees of the Society:

  • Treasurer, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (the "Society")
  • Treasurer, Board of Directors of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (the "Corporation")
  • Treasurer, Executive Committee
  • Treasurer, Sigma Xi Fund of Canada
  • Chair, Committee on Finances
  • Member, Committee on Strategic Planning
  • Member, Committee on Committees

Time Commitment: The largest single time commitment for the Treasurer is the Society's annual meeting in early November that normally runs from Wednesday evening through Sunday noon. The annual meeting includes meetings of the Board of Sigma Xi, the Board of the Corporation, and the Executive Committee. In addition, the Treasurer presents the Report of the Treasurer, and introduces the motion on annual dues during the first session of the Assembly of Delegates at each annual meeting. The Board also meets in spring each year in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (normally in April) for a meeting that runs all day on Saturday. The Executive Committee meets immediately prior to each meeting of the Board, usually the evening before the Board meets. The Committee on Finances meets on Friday during late February or March of each year, the Committee on Strategic Planning meets for a one or two-day meeting, normally in the summer, the Committee on Committees via conference calls or electronically, and the Sigma Xi Fund of Canada normally meets during the annual meeting, by conference call, or electronically. All of these meetings are arranged to accommodate the Treasurer's schedule, particularly meetings of the Board, Executive Committee and the Committee on Finances.

Duties of Directors

Duties: Directors are members of the Society’s Board of Directors that is principally responsible for managing the activities, property, and affairs of the Society in accordance with the policies established by the Assembly. The Board of the Society simultaneously serves as the Board of the Corporation (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Inc.), which is the legal entity, along with its LLC subsidiary (formed in July 2007), holding title to the society’s assets and responsible for managing the property, affairs, and financial business of the Society. In carrying out these responsibilities, Directors are the primary liaisons between the Board and the chapters in their appropriate region or constituency group. Directors also conduct meetings of their region or constituency group at the Society’s annual meeting each November, and are responsible for working with, giving advice to, and contributing to the health of the chapters in their region or constituency. Also, throughout the year Officers and Directors are expected to remain abreast of Society activities by reading the Executive Director’s monthly updates and other Society communications, and by replying to email ballots on business matters of a time-sensitive nature.

As adopted by the Board of Directors on 3 November 2005: “The Board of Directors has fiduciary and other legal responsibilities to provide oversight to the policies and operations of Sigma Xi.”

The Board of Directors as a whole has the following responsibilities:

  1. To set policy and establish goals for the Society, propose modifications to the Constitution and Bylaws as necessary.
  2. To hire the Executive Director and to evaluate his/her performance by reviewing the report of the Performance Review Committee and to determine his/her compensation.
  3. To review and approve the Society’s annual budget as recommended by the Committee on Finances.
  4. To generate resources for the Society.
  5. To review performance of the Board and each Standing Committee Chair and additionally the composition, skills, balance and diversity periodically (at least every 2 years).

Individual Board members have the following responsibilities:

  1. To be familiar with the Society programs, history, mission, organizational structure, and Strategic Plan.
  2. To advocate the Society among peers and in the community.
  3. To provide financial resources at any level through regular contributions, including an annual gift, according to individual means, including augmentation by in-kind contributions.
  4. To identify potential sources of support and to participate in solicitations and other fundraising efforts as needed.
  5. To attend Board Meetings.
  6. To serve on Society committees as required and attend meetings of those committees.
  7. To attend Sigma Xi events.
  8. To contribute wisdom and talent to fashion and promote Society practices and programs.
  9. To represent the membership.
  10. To participate actively in the revitalization of chapters and the recruitment and retention of members within their appropriate region or constituency.

Time Commitment: The largest, single time commitment for Directors is the Society’s annual meeting in early November that normally runs from Wednesday evening through Sunday noon. During this time, Directors participate in meetings of the Board of Directors of the Society and of the Corporation, conduct meetings of their region or constituency, and participate in the Assembly of Delegates and other activities of the meeting. The Board also meets in spring each year in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (normally in April) for a meeting that runs all day on Saturday and half-day on Sunday. Between Board meetings, much of the business of the Society is conducted electronically, including much of the communication between the Directors and the chapters in their region or constituency. Sigma Xi subvents expenses for Directors to attend meetings of the Board, including expenses associated with the annual meeting.

Associate Directors in Sigma Xi

Associate Directors were incorporated into the Society's governance structure in 1998 as part of Sigma Xi's new governance structure. There are 11 Associate Directors in Sigma Xi, one each from 5 of the 6 constituency groups and one each from all 6 geographic regions. (The Membership-at-Large constituency group has elected not to have an Associate Director.) Associate Directors are elected by their respective group or region at the Society's November annual meeting to serve three years from 1 July following their election.

Duties: Associate Directors assist the Directors of their region or constituency group with responsibilities that are defined differently for each region or constituency group. When requested by the Director, the Associate Director may attend and vote at a meeting of the Board of Directors in place of the Director. Also, Associate Directors may be requested to conduct meetings of their region or constituency group at Sigma Xi's annual meeting each November in the absence of the Director.

Time Commitment: Much of the work of Associate Directors is conducted electronically. However, if the Associate Director is asked by the Director to attend a meeting of the Board in the Director's absence that would require a commitment of Wednesday evening through Thursday evening at Sigma Xi's November annual meeting or Friday evening through Saturday evening for the spring Board meeting, usually in April in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. If attending a meeting of the Board in place of the Director, the Society subvents expenses for the Associate Director to attend. If the Associate Director is asked to conduct meetings of the region or constituency group at the Society's annual meeting in place of the Director, the Associate Director's expenses for attending the annual meeting are paid by the Society. Finally, if the Associate Director wishes to attend the annual meeting when the Director also is attending, Sigma Xi will cover the travel expenses only for the Associate Director.

Sigma Xi's Committee on Nominations

Sigma Xi's Committee on Nominations is composed of the three most recent Past Presidents who are not on the Board of Directors and one elected representative from each of the Society's six constituency groups and six geographic regions. Members are elected to the Committee by their respective region or constituency group to serve three-year terms on the Committee beginning at the annual meeting at which they were elected. Terms of the Committee run between annual meetings of the Society and elected members of the Committee may serve only one three year term.

Duties: The Committee on Nominations conducts its business each January to June in which it must select at least two nominees for President-elect of the Society to be placed before the next Assembly of Delegates in November and every four years at least two nominees for Treasurer to be placed before the Assembly for election. The Committee's business is conducted by telephone conference call and by electronic ballots. When two individuals agree to be nominees for President-elect or Treasurer, the Committee's work is concluded.

Time Commitment: Time commitments are variable based on efficiency of the committee. All work is done via email and teleconferences. There are no in-person meetings of the Committee.

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