Phi Beta Kappa Review Team Makes On-Site Visit

Posted: March 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

As part of the second step in a three-year process, an academic review team from the Phi Beta Kappa honor society is making an on-site visit to the Fairfax Campus this week. Says Marion Deshmukh, History and Art History, who is chairing the committee coordinating the application for a campus chapter, “The reviewers will take their findings back to their council, and we’ll receive formal notification of their decision in December. If we’re approved, we could start a chapter next spring.”

The three-member review team has been on campus meeting with administrators, faculty, staff, and students since Wednesday. The team also had dinner with President Alan and Mrs. Sally Merten at the Mathy House together with faculty members who are Phi Beta Kappa members.

“Phi Beta Kappa is the ‘grandaddy’ of the honor societies,” says Deshmukh, “and only 10 percent of colleges and universities have a chapter. It would be great for our top students.”

Chapter selections by the prestigious liberal arts honor society are made only once every three years. Among the many factors considered in the selection process are the university’s admissions standards, student SAT scores and retention, student-faculty ratios, the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty, budget, library facilities, and athletics. To qualify for a chapter, 10 percent of the faculty in the arts and sciences must be Phi Beta Kappa members, a level that George Mason has met.

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