Start a Professional Chapter

Starting a chapter
Requirements for chartering a chapter
Model Constitution and model Bylaws 

There are several questions that should be asked before chartering a local chapter to help ensure its success.

  1. Does your community have the potential to grow industrially? It’s important not only to have enough interested members to start a chapter, but it’s also vital that the chapter have some assurance that new members will be continually added.
  2. Are many of the members interested in leadership? Good leadership is vital to the success of any organization, and an IISE chapter is no exception. There should be several members interested in serving as chapter leaders. If only one or two people are willing to serve in leadership positions they can easily get 'burnt out'. A chapter cannot survive unless there is potential for new leadership on a continuing basis.
  3. Is the membership diverse? Some chapters are composed almost entirely of employees of one large company in the area. While there are many benefits to this type of core group, it’s also a good idea for the chapter to have some diversity, with members from various companies and institutions.

Starting a Chapter

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm in chartering an IISE chapter. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Chapter Organization Committee
This committee is an informal group who meets regularly to plan and work toward the organization of a chapter. One member of the group should be designated as the liaison with IISE headquarters during the charter process. You will also want to make several assignments for committee chairpersons, such as recruitment, publicity, finances, secretary, etc.

Assistance from IISE Headquarters
Your primary contact at IISE headquarters is Pam Patterson, Membership Administrator. She can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. She can also provide you with a list of IISE members in your area, as well as the names and contact information of officers of adjacent chapters. IISE can also provide brochures, membership applications and magazines for recruiting new members.

The Region Vice President (RVP) is an elected volunteer responsible for a specific geographical area. Your RVP can also assist with any questions you may have about IISE or chapter organization.

Each IISE chapter is responsible for its own financial affairs. However, if the committee needs funds to assist with the chapter organization, they can be requested from the RVP. If the RVP is confident that the chapter is feasible and will be formed, they will forward the request to the Senior Vice President - Chapter Networking for approval. If approved, funding up to $150 may be provided.

Recruiting Members
You will need at least 20 IISE members to charter a US chapter. International chapters also need 20 IISE members. Information from IISE headquarters can assist in locating current IISE members in your area. However, you will also want to recruit new members. Here are some suggestions to assist with that effort:

  1. Contact leaders of the industrial engineering profession in your community. Approach managers of industrial engineering departments and professors at local colleges and universities.
  2. Keep in mind that potential members may not have an "industrial engineering" job title or work in an industrial engineering department. When contacting companies without industrial engineering departments, ask for the person in charge of quality or productivity.
  3. Use local newspapers and company newsletters to publicize the organizational meeting. Once the chapter is chartered, continue to use these as a way to publicize chapter meetings and other events.
  4. Stress the benefits of IISE membership: networking, continuing education, leadership opportunities, subscription to ISE magazine, discounts on IISE books and products, discounts on IISE conferences and seminars, promotion of the industrial engineering profession.

Organizational Meeting
This meeting should be held in order to accomplish the following:

  1. Assign tasks for completion of the chapter charter package
  2. Elect temporary officers
  3. Discuss organizational issues, such as chapter meeting schedule, planning for the program year, etc.

Temporary Officers
You will need to elect officers to serve in the interim while the chapter charter is awaiting approval. It is also a good idea to ask the people elected if they would be willing to run for a 'permanent' position once the chapter is chartered. Chapters should hold an annual election of officers, and details are outlined in the model constitution and bylaws. You should elect the following officers: President, vice president, secretary and treasurer (the last two can be combined if desired).

The officers should then appoint several temporary committees, however, these should be elected positions once the chapter is formed. The following committees are recommended for organizing a chapter:

  • Constitution and Bylaws (C&B): A model C&B is included in your information package as a guide.
  • Nominations: To prepare a slate of officers once the charter is approved. It should include the above four officers and at least four directors (however, you can elect more if necessary).

The director positions can correspond to the organizational committees and/or you can add others as needed. If you need assistance with this, contact the Chapter Operations Administrator at IISE headquarters.

  • Programs/Meetings: To arrange meeting locations, invite a speaker if desired, etc.
  • Membership: To pass out and collect applications, answer questions, contact local companies.
  • Publicity: To prepare meeting notices and information for newspapers and/or company newsletters.

Requirements for Chartering a Chapter

The items listed below must be included in your charter package, which should be sent to the attention of the Chapter Operations Administrator at IISE headquarters, 3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200, Norcross, GA 30092

  1. Chapter Constitution and Bylaws
    The model Constitution and model Bylaws can be used in writing your own. You will include your Constitution and Bylaws in your charter package. The Constitution and Bylaws will be sent to IISE's parliamentarian, and must be approved before the chapter can be chartered.

    This process may take several weeks, so please allow ample time for the approval process (at least four weeks for U.S. charters and at least eight weeks for international requests). Any revisions required by the parliamentarian must be made before the charter can be granted.
  2. Chapter boundaries
    These must be included at the beginning of your constitution. Chapters in the U.S. must provide a list of zip codes within a 50-mile radius of the chapter center. Outside the U.S., states or countries must be listed.

    If the area selected for the new chapter is presently assigned to another chapter, you will need to obtain approval from the adjacent chapter(s) before designating your boundaries.

    The chapter name must also be included in the constitution, and should be descriptive enough that there will be no future problems with new chapters that may form in the area.
  3. A list of at least 20 members or applications and payment for new members
    Please include the name and membership number of those members who would like to transfer into the new chapter. For international chapters it is imperative that the membership number be included.

    You may also send in applications and payment for new members. After the charter process is complete, all new member applications should be sent directly to the IISE Customer Service department.
  4. Temporary slate of officers 
  5. Letter of recommendation from the Region Vice President 
  6. If necessary, a letter of endorsement from adjacent chapters 

Questions? Contact the IISE membership administrator