Human Resources Policies

HR12 Professional Organization Memberships

Policy Status: 

Under Review

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources

POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: September 1, 1959


NOTE: The implementation of SIMBA requires the review of many University Human Resource Policies and Guidelines. After consultation with key constituencies, work has been underway to update, consolidate, and improve our policies and guidelines to better serve the Penn State community. However, please be aware that due to the volume of the impacted policies and guidelines, not all policies are currently updated to reflect changes which have been communicated; however, the policies will be updated soon and have appropriate and applicable effective dates listed. We appreciate your patience as we work through this review process. Any questions can be directed to HR Services at 814-865-1473 or submit an inquiry via WorkLion.


  • Purpose
  • General
  • Memberships
  • Approval of Memberships
  • Individual Memberships

    To state University policies concerning memberships in professional societies, associations, or organizations.


    In an institution of higher learning it is recognized that in order to maintain professional competence in the various disciplines it is necessary to maintain contacts in the disciplines through membership in professional societies and associations. The professional societies provide an opportunity to maintain and upgrade competence and professional standards by face to face discussions, by journals distributed as part of the membership, and by meetings where papers are presented.


    When dues or fees are paid by the University, membership in a professional society or association is considered to be an institutional membership in the name of the University. In most instances, a senior staff member (General Officer, Staff Officer, Dean, Department Head, and Professor) is named as the institutional representative to represent the University.

    The senior staff member may vote in the name of the University and may hold office in the organization.


    Institutional memberships will be considered when it appears to be in the best interest of the University. Proposals are made through the appropriate University budget executive by means of a properly signed Special Request for Check with an attached invoice. All subsequent renewals, must also be approved by the budget executive.


    Normally, the University will not pay for individual memberships to organizations. However, some organizations are structured in such a way that only individual memberships are available. In rare instances where, in the judgement of the budget executive, the University can only be represented in such a manner, charges for individual memberships will be processed for payment. Requests for approval are made via a Special Request for check as indicated above.

    Date Approved: 

    January 27, 1989

    Date Published: 

    January 27, 1989

    Effective Date: 

    January 27, 1989