Eta Kappa Nu – Lambda Alpha Chapter

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New information as of October 2012:

Dues are $60 and includes a 1 yr membership into IEEE and a 1yr digital subscription to the BRIDGE magazine

Nancy Ostin is the new IEEE-HKN Director

The HKN-IEEE Mission and Purpose Statement has changed to encompass not only electrical and computer engineering but also the other IEEE designated fields:

Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, Law and Policy.


Membership infromation from Fern E. Katronetsky, IEEE-HKN Executive Director:

Effective 1 January 2011, the induction fee into HKN is $50 and the subscription to HKN’s flag publication, The Bridge, will now only be two (2) years.

Please use the New Member Requisition Forms from the HKN Website as that has the new information.  You can pull the info from and scrolling down to the New Member Requisition Form.

In addition, we will need to know if the inductee is also an IEEE member and what their IEEE member # is.  If not an IEEE member, in order to be inducted into IEEE-HKN, they must also sign up for IEEE membership.  However, for year 2011, the first year of IEEE Student Membership is waived as HKN will be picking that cost up.  However, beyond that, to maintain their IEEE-HKN member status, IEEE dues will be required after 2011.


More information from Eddie Pettis’s – HKN Director at Large – Blog:

Q:  Will current members be able to say that they are members of HKN forever, or do they have to say that they were “inducted?”
A:  Current members are “members” forever.  They do not need to identify themselves as “inducted.”

Q:  To be an officer at a chapter, will you be required to be a member or an inductee?
A:  Officers must be “members.”  New inductees are granted one year of IEEE student membership, making this a two-edged sword.  On the negative side, it reduces the pool of available officers and requires additional fees for those who want to remain active in the organization (currently $32/year).  On the positive side, it encourages people to become officers immediately, which can improve involvement within the organization.  Clearly, people lean one way or the other.  Personally, I don’t like this requirement but accept it as part of the devil’s bargain we made with IEEE.

Q:  To attend future HKN events, will one be required to be a member or an inductee?
A:  Attendance at HKN events requires “membership.”  Same arguments as before apply.

Q:  Do pre-merger members of HKN have to maintain IEEE status to be involved in post-merger member activities?
A:  No.  Pre-merger members of HKN are “members” for life, regardless of IEEE status.

Q:  Are these issues addressed in the policies/procedures or other documentation?
A:  Not with this level of specificity.  The PnP Committee is meeting to amend the document and can increase the specificity level to address these issues more specifically.


Information from J. David Irwin, HKN President:

Dear Faculty Advisors, Chapter Officers and HKN Members,

After a review of the issues related to the merger of HKN and IEEE that have been expressed by many concerned members, I would like to comment on behalf of the HKN Board of Governors.

How will individuals be chosen for induction in HKN?

This process remains the same – top 1/3 of the class for seniors, top 1/4 of the class for juniors.  The selection, pledging, and induction process will continue to be handled within each HKN chapter as it has in the past.   Membership in IEEE will NOT be a condition of being invited to join HKN.  If an inductee is NOT a member of IEEE at the time of accepting the HKN invitation to membership, the HKN induction fee will be structured as shown below to encompass both HKN and IEEE membership.

Membership fees
A fee structure will be developed that provides for a new HKN member, if NOT already a member of IEEE, to pay a pre-determined amount as an HKN/IEEE member.  A current member of IEEE who is invited to become a member of HKN, will pay only the difference between what has been paid to IEEE and the amount charged to a non IEEE member who is inducted in HKN.  It is anticipated that the combined membership fee will not be increased significantly from current IEEE membership fees.

HKN and IEEE Goals
Regarding the issue of the connection between the IEEE and the goals of HKN, we feel it is important to keep in mind that the IEEE has a major role in promoting excellence through its classes of membership, senior member and Fellow, through its renowned awards program and honor ceremony, and through numerous prizes such as best paper and student paper awards that HKN members have participated in over the years.

The one honor designation that IEEE does not have is an honor student category.  The IEEE could, if it wished, start one right now with or without HKN.  It is likely that this will happen if HKN does not approve the merger agreement.  At that point, students will have to decide whether or not they want membership in HKN, a US only institution, or whether they will want to be an “IEEE-Honor Student” member of a 360,000 member organization recognized in 149 countries.

As has been stated on several occasions in individual memos to members as well as in the FAQ posted on the HKN Website and provided to all chapters, there will NOT be ANY changes for ANY current member of HKN, to ANY HKN award winner, or anyone else associated with HKN up to the merger date.

ACHS Accreditation
It is important to note here that ACHS is NOT an accrediting body.

Over the past several years, the leadership of HKN has not seen any compelling value in ACHS membership.  Even if one were to assume that the listing on the ACHS Web page is of some value, the leadership feels it is, at best, a second or third tier consideration.

It should also be noted that the research honor society, Sigma Xi, is not listed,  and in July of 2006, HKN received notice that Phi Kappa Phi, became the fifth of the original six founding members of ACHS to drop their ACHS membership.  A committee of that organization was asked to consider the importance of maintaining membership in ACHS given their current and future goals, resources, and perception of the broader field of honor societies.  The result was that the Phi Kappa Phi committee recommended that membership be dropped and their leadership agreed with the recommendation.  In light of this action by Phi Kappa Phi, and after a review of benefits and other considerations, HKN discontinued its membership in ACHS in 2007.

We acknowledge that ACHS can provide value to “start – up” honor societies by providing operating guidelines and documents such as sample bylaws.

However, discontinuing membership in ACHS will not diminish HKN’s outstanding, well-documented 104 year history as the honor society for electrical and computer engineering nor cause chapters to be disbanded or preclude them from being formed within the university community.

Annual Maintenance or Membership Fees
Post merger, an HKN inductee will be or will become an IEEE Student Member at the time of their induction.  Obviously, neither IEEE nor HKN can force anyone to keep paying and just as is the case presently, some will not renew their IEEE membership fee just as all HKN members do not renew their subscription to THE BRIDGE and IEEE Student members do not renew their membership in IEEE.

To reiterate, those individuals who are members of HKN pre-merger date, will not be affected in any way; they will not pay an annual membership fee.

Fund Raising
It has been stated on several occasions that members failed to contribute because HKN did not have the designation as a 501(c)3.  This designation was granted by the IRS in March 2004, but the level of gifting has not risen significantly.

Over the past three years, the organization has made numerous pleas to large segments of the HKN membership through individual mailings and enclosures in THE BRIDGE requesting financial support.  In 2005, in a mailing to just over 10,000 members, the IEC offered to provide matching funds for each individual donation of $1,000; that resulted in only eight individuals choosing to participate at that level.  There are no indications that the level of contributions will increase significantly over the next few years.

The HKN Board of Governors agrees that fund raising is good and necessary, but an organization cannot count on fund raising to pay the bills.  The $5 million that IEEE will pay to use the HKN name will generate $250,000 per year with a 5% spending rule.  It is anticipated that these funds in addition to increased revenue from induction fees generated from a larger base of international members, will put HKN in a very sound and stable financial situation.

Member Communication
Having the ability to be in contact with membership is key to the organization’s success.  Keep in mind the difficulty of maintaining accurate contact information for HKN members, the vast majority of whom join as students and within one to two years move away from their universities changing emails, addresses, phones, and in many cases, surnames.  Having access to the IEEE database of international professionals provides a more dependable method of keeping in contact with HKN members.

The HKN Board of  Governors, as well as many distinguished individuals deeply involved in academia, believe that HKN’s new structure could become a model for other honor societies and that many of them will, in fact, follow HKN’s lead.

As the group that is tasked with leading HKN, the Board of Governors is confident they have considered the options and consequences of this merger and recommend it to the membership.

We appreciate your loyalty and concerns for the organization and hope that you can join us as we continue to work to strengthen this outstanding organization.

More info can be found here:



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