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Mid February 2005

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Edited by
Elizabeth Beck (
Carol Lamb (
NCHC Website:
NCHC email:

Included in this e-letter:

  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Message from NCHC President, Virginia McCombs
  • Conference 2005 proposal deadline
  • Dues deadline
  • Peterson’s Honors Programs & Colleges, 4th Edition Information
  • What are JNCHC and HIP?
  • Call for Nominations
  • NCHC Consultant Grants for new honors programs
  • Call for Portz Fund Grant Proposals
  • Honors colleges basic characteristics discussion listserve

Upcoming Deadlines

  • March 1: Deadline for dues to be received at headquarters in order for your name to be in the2005 Handbook Update (information:
  • March 1: Deadline for Spring/Summer issue of JNCHC (information:
  • March 1: Deadline for 2005 NCHC Consultant Grants (information:
  • March 15:  Conference 2005 proposal deadline
  • April 1: Deadline for submitting information for Peterson’s Guide 4th Edition  (
  • May 1: Deadline for inaugural issue of Honors in Practice (HIP) (

Message from NCHC President Virginia McCombs

Dear NCHC Members,

I hope that the winter snow is melting away and that you may be seeing the first signs of spring on your campuses. Although we are just six weeks into 2005, there has been tremendous activity within NCHC, including interviews for our new Executive Director, a very profitable strategic planning meeting, and a review of technology packages for our new national headquarters in Lincoln.  But first things first.

I am very pleased to announce that our new Executive Director is Patricia Ann Speelman.  Patricia comes to us with extensive experience in running non-profit organizations.  She is an award-winning, former newspaper writer and managing editor, and she has been an adjunct instructor of theater at a community college.  The interview committee, which included members of both the personnel and executive committees, were impressed with Patricia’s thoughtful answers and breadth of experience in recruiting membership, program development, and working with volunteers.  She also notably increased both sponsorships and grant donations to support her organization. We believe that Patricia is an excellent choice to oversee the transition of NCHC from an all-volunteer organization to one with a professional staff and permanent headquarters. Her experience and fresh ideas will help NCHC take the next steps to provide expanded services to our membership and build connections with other higher education organizations.

The year ahead will be extremely busy for NCHC. Now that we have a new Executive Director, the focus of the national headquarters office will be the move to Lincoln.  Patricia will be very involved in this process, including a visit to Ames to observe the office there and help supervise the move.  We also hope to have Patricia attend selected committee meetings and perhaps a regional Honors council meeting so that

she can begin to know our membership.  Once the move is accomplished, we hope by April 1, our attention will be the creation of the new office and the implementation of our new technology package. The Executive Committee is very excited about the possibilities of this new technology. For the first time we should be able to generate data for and about our membership that can help all of us with our program planning and review. We will be able to track our membership, generate reports, take care of all of our financial business, register for our national conference and other institutes, and in general have a fully integrated data base.  The technology should also result in an updated website with many new features, including a members-only portion of the site.

In addition to these extensive transition issues, I would like to see NCHC pursue increased collaboration with other higher education organizations. We have engaged in some collaboration in the past, as with the Kettering Foundation, NAAAHP, and Phi Theta Kappa.  I would like to see the expansion of such interactions with organizations such as the National Academic Advising Association with our members attending their regional or national conferences and presenting sessions about NCHC.  We would in-turn invite their members to present a session or host a table at the Idea Exchange about their organizations. NCHC members highly value networking within our organization. We need also to pursue networking with other associations, particularly those whose primary focus is on students and excellence in teaching. Such networking and subsequent collaborations would increase the visibility of NCHC and more importantly bring new ideas to help serve our students.

And speaking of networking, don’t forget to submit proposals for our upcoming conference in St. Louis. The conference planning committee is developing a wonderful program, including the implementation of many of your suggestions.  The deadline in March is approaching quickly!

We will keep you informed about the progress in our new national headquarters.  This will be an interesting and exciting year for NCHC. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please send them my way. I encourage you to get involved with this organization. Nominate yourself to serve on a committee or run for office. Get involved with conference planning for the 2006 meeting in Philadelphia.  Kate Bruce, the 2006Conference Program Planner, would love to hear from you (! If you are associated with an organization that would be a good networking opportunity for NCHC, please send me the name and contact information (

I look forward to working with you over the next year.

Conference proposal deadline: March 15, 2005

The deadline for submitting Conference 2005  proposals is March 15 at midnight central standard time. That is not so far away, so please let your interested students and faculty know of the deadline. Proposals include General Session, Idea Exchange, Poster Sessions, Diversity Workshop, Master Class, and Student Interdisciplinary Panel papers.  Complete information, along with a copy of last year’s program book is on the NCHC web site (

Dues Reminder

We plan to send the 2005 NCHC Handbook Update to the printer in early March; therefore if you want your name and institution listed in it, we need to receive your dues by March 1. We can process Visa and MasterCard credit cards, which is sometimes faster than waiting for your purchasing department to process payments.

Peterson’s Guide to Honors Programs & Colleges, 4th Edition—Deadline April 1. Hurry!

Peterson’s Guide to Honors Programs & Colleges is about to go into a fourth edition and by now you should have received an email from Joan Digby telling you this exciting news.   Joan’s team has put together a mailing that includes information on how to submit your information which you should receive yet this week or early next. If you do not receive the mailing, please contact Joan (  And here is the best news of all. Peterson’s has decided to update and/or compose The Campus Context section (all the institutional information) from their data base, so that will make updating your information much easier because you will only need to do the sections about your Honors Program or College and the contact information at the very end.

Complete instructions along with samples from the 3rd edition are also up on the web site (  Scroll down the home page right under announcements, and click on the link. Remember the deadline for submission for Peterson’s Guide is April 1.  But most importantly—only NCHC members will be listed in the guide, so if you haven’t sent in your Institutional renewal, so do right away.

What are JNCHC and Hip???

Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (JNCHC–Deadline March 1
is a refereed periodical publishing scholarly article on honors education.  The journal is dedicated to scholarly essays that stress research in and on honors education.
Honors In Practice (HIP)—Deadline Mary 1
The purpose of this journal is to focus on practical and descriptive essays, descriptions of successful honors courses, suggestions for out-of-class experiences, and administrative issues for Honors programs.

Call for Nominations

It’s that time of the year again:  time for you to help shape NCHC by nominating qualified faculty, administrators, and students for Executive Committee and Vice President.  For complete information, or to nominate someone—you can even nominate yourself—contact Norman Weiner ( Also, if you would like to serve on a specific committee or board, let Norm know.

Call For Portz Fund Grant Proposals—Deadline March 15

The NCHC Portz Fund Committee solicits applications from NCHC institutional and professional members for small grants (up to $500.00) and for large grants (normally up to $1,000.00) with twice-yearly deadlines of March 15 and September 15.  Portz Fund grants are intended to support Honors program/college innovation. Complete information is on the NCHC web site ( or contact Kate Bruce, Honors Scholars Program, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Rd, Wilmington, NC 28403 (

NCHC Consultant Grants For New Honors Programs!!!—Deadline March 1

$1,800.00 has been allocated for 2005 from special projects funds of NCHC for matching consulting grants.  This amount will be divided into three $600.00 matching grants for new Honors Programs (created in the last five years) at NCHC institutional member institutions.  Consultants should come from the list of NCHC-recommended Site Visitors (complete listing at  Click on Consultant Services.)

The NCHC Assessment and Evaluation Committee will review the applications and report with recommendations to the Executive Committee at its spring meeting.  To apply for one of these matching grants, send an e-mail message to NCHC Office ( with the following information included in an attached document:

Consulting visits to the three Honors Programs will take place in the summer or fall of 2005.

  1. Name of Institution
  2. Date Honors Program was established.
  3. Name and title of Honors administrator
  4. E-mail address of Honors administrator
  5. Telephone number of Honors administrator
  6. Specific information on how institution will provide matching funds (not in-kind contribution)for consulting visit
  7. Concise description of need for consultant

Electronic applications are due by March 1, 2005.

Honors Colleges Listserve

An ad hoc committee, chaired by Peter Sederberg, was charged with determining the basic characteristics of an Honors College.  After much time and effort, the committee wrote a draft document for discussion at the 2004 Conference in New Orleans. Taking into account the suggestions and discussion that happened there, the committee revised their document which is available on the NCHC web site (  In addition, we have set up a listserv for those of you who are interested in continuing the discussion.  If you are interested in joining this listserve, please send an email to: In the body of the email type:  subscribe nchchonorscolleges  You must type  this in the body of the message, and leave a space between subscribe and nchchonorscolleges.

The Executive Committee will consider action on this document at the June Executive Committee meeting. Now is your opportunity to weigh in on this issue.

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