Phi Kappa Phi Adds UT Chapter

Published: Dec 3, 2010

The University of Tampa will join the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society, Phi Kappa Phi, with a ceremonial installation Dec. 10.

“This brings recognition to our academic programs on a national level,” said Michael Weeks, assistant professor of management and chapter president.

The primarily faculty-run organization highlights student academic achievements. The top 10 percent of seniors and top 7.5 percent of juniors are invited to join. Phi Kappa Phi is open to students in all disciplines which is the difference between Phi Kappa Phi and other well-known honor societies like Phi Beta Kappa, which is only open to students with majors in liberal arts and sciences.

“With the types of disciplines offered at UT, we thought Phi Kappa Phi was better suited for UT,” Weeks said.

The year-long initiative to establish a chapter was an initiative of Provost Janet McNew and led by more than 30 faculty members who were Phi Kappa Phi members of other chapters. The Phi Kappa Phi Board of Directors approved UT's petition for a chapter at the society's biennial convention in August in Kansas City, MO.

Weeks said the UT chapter is open to all faculty and staff who are current members of Phi Kappa Phi and who want to affiliate with UT’s chapter.

Phi Kappa Phi will replace the Alpha Xi Honor Society and about 30 of its students will transition to Phi Kappa Phi membership at the Dec. 10 ceremony. Weeks anticipates issuing more than 200 invitations to students for membership next semester.

Three distinguished faculty will be inducted as honorary members at the Dec. 10 installation:

  •   Dr. Ronald Vaughn, president, The University of Tampa
  •  Jack King, art professor and advisor to UT's Alpha Xi Honor Society
  •  Dr. Britt Shirley, information and technology management professor and recipient of Louise Loy Hunter Award, Spring 2010

Along with academic distinction, Weeks said the Phi Kappa Phi affiliation comes with another great opportunity for UT students.

“Our students will have access to more than $800,000 in scholarships and awards that are given out by the society nationally every year,” Weeks said. “Our students will have access to those funding opportunities for graduate study and other academic endeavors.”