EPIC Charter


We, members of the faculties of Columbia University, who have achieved the status of professor emerita or emeritus, adopt this Charter to serve in the creation of a fellowship of retired professors, researchers, lecturers and administrators of Columbia University to be known and recognized as EPIC. Formation of this fellowship signifies our shared commitment to Columbia University and its goals. As teachers, researchers, and administrators we have guided generations of students in the enriching process of their education. EPIC constitutes a renewed pledge of loyalty to that calling to which all of us have devoted major parts of our lives. It is also at the foundation of our continuing relation to the University and readiness to provide continuing services where appropriate in furtherance of our common purpose.

Article I. Purposes of the Fellowship


To establish and maintain a social and professional association of persons who share the common experience of long careers as members of the University, and a profound commitment to their cultural, scientific, or professional fields. In their commitment to the University they also see an opportunity to provide advocacy for retirees, to build a community of active retirees creating and conducting events that may enrich the lives of members, their families, students, or others in the community, and to provide further service to the University whenever their backgrounds as former professors, researchers, or administrators of the University render them suitable.


To serve as a channel of communication between the members of EPIC, individually or collectively, and the administration of Columbia University. Such communication would inform retirees of the many opportunities to contribute their knowledge and wisdom to the many on-going discussions and meetings that welcome retirees, to many active organizations, to exploit the possibilities of teaching and taking courses, and the many benefits they may enjoy in the University community. Communication from EPIC to the administration may not only keep it informed of retirees’ needs, but also assist it in understanding how the research, teaching and mentoring functions of retired University faculty might be enhanced, how its retirees can best provide services to the University and its community, and how retirement from the University can be made more attractive to senior teachers, researchers and administrators, whose freedom to decide the timing of their retirement makes that attractiveness important to the University’s continuing need to renew itself.

Article II. Membership

Section 1.

Membership is offered to all persons who now hold the title of professor emerita or emeritus in accordance with the statutes of Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and the Jewish Theological Seminary and, upon their retirement, to all professors, lecturers, and researchers and administrators of Columbia University who have been involved with its academic programs.

Section 2.

The privileges of full membership in EPIC include the member’s participation in its governance, and family participation in all its activities. After their first year of membership, fully enjoying these privileges, members who wish themselves and their families fully to enjoy these privileges are expected to pay the dues set for each academic year, unless excused from doing so by reason of financial hardship. Dues-paying members will be listed in a Directory of Fellows, which includes a personal website.

Section 3.

Retirees from other University or college communities who share EPIC’s aspirations and wish to participate in its activities may join it as Associate Members on paying its dues, but Associate Members are not entitled to participate in its governance.

Article III. Governance

Section 1.

Election of officers and Steering Committee members, revisions of this Charter, and such other important matters as the Steering Committee may choose to present, shall be decided at an annual meeting of the full membership normally to be held toward the end of the academic year, with electronic participation as required, on a date set by the Executive Committee on at least two weeks’ advance notice to the participating membership.

Section 2.

The officers of EPIC shall be a President, a Vice President, and a Secretary/Treasurer, elected for a one-year term by votes taken at the annual meeting or, at the discretion of the Steering Committee, by mail or electronic ballot. Officers may be reelected to their office. The functions of these offices are those conventional for offices so named. Should the presidency fall vacant during the President's term, the Vice President shall become President for the remainder of that term; should there be a vacancy in the Vice Presidency, it will be filled for the remainder of that term by the Secretary-Treasurer; and should the office of Secretary-Treasurer become vacant, an acting Secretary-Treasurer shall be nominated by the Executive Committee and promptly submitted to the Steering Committee for its advice and consent.

Section 3.

There shall be an Executive Committee of EPIC to guide the President on important matters, to decide such matters having to be acted upon between meetings of the Steering Committee, and to act as the continuing liaison with the University administration. It shall consist of five members: the President, the Vice President, the Secretary/Treasurer, and two members of the Steering Committee chosen by the President for the diversity of expertise and personal attributes they would bring to its functioning. It shall meet on notice reasonable in the circumstances, in person or electronically, whenever called to do so by the President. The Secretary/Treasurer shall note its actions and report them to the Steering Committee for its possible consideration at its next meeting.

Section 4.

There shall be a Steering Committee, consisting of the officers and fourteen other members, to determine agendas for the general meeting and any other meetings which it may deem necessary to call, to consider actions taken by the President and/or the Executive Committee since its last meeting, and to act on behalf of EPIC between annual meetings. The Steering Committee shall meet, in person and/or virtually, at the beginning of each academic year to plan for the conduct of business for the year, in March to plan for the annual meeting, and, on reasonable notice of time, place, on matters to be considered, as given by the President or Executive Committee, at least one more time during each academic semester. Minutes of Steering Committee meetings shall be made available to the full membership in a timely manner. Appointments to the Steering Committee to fill vacancies shall be made by the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, and shall be chosen for the diversity of expertise and personal attributes they would bring to its functioning. Steering Committee members continue in office until they resign, cease full membership, or are displaced by nominees elected at the annual meeting. Should one or more nominees be elected to the Steering Committee at the annual meeting, the Steering Committee members displaced shall be, first, any that have been placed on the Committee since the previous annual meeting, and then the Committee’s most senior members, from the most senior down.

Section 5.

The President in consultation with the Executive Committee, or the Steering Committee, may create such permanent or ad hoc other committees as may be useful either to coordinate EPIC’s continuing activities, or to consider and propose new matters for its possible adoption or action. Membership on any such committee shall include at least one member of the Steering Committee, and shall be open to any full member of EPIC wishing to serve upon it.

Section 6.

At its meeting to plan for the annual meeting, the Steering Committee shall nominate officers for the following academic year. It shall immediately notify the full membership of these nominations, and also of any persons named to itself since the previous annual meeting, with sufficient personal detail to apprise the membership of their qualifications. No later than April 1 of each academic year, any full member may then nominate themselves or other full members in writing to be officers or members of the Steering Committee, providing similar detail to apprise the membership of their qualifications. For any elected positions that are, in consequence, contested, any person whose tenure will be decided by the election may briefly address the annual meeting in support of his or her candidacy.

Section 7.

At the beginning of each academic year, or on creation of a new relationship with a University office or committee, the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall appoint a representative of EPIC to any such office or committee (such as the University Senate Housing Policy Committee) on which EPIC’s presence would be accepted. 

Article IV. Administrative Matters

Section 1. 

At its meeting to plan for the annual meeting, the Steering Committee shall consider and adopt a budget for the following academic year and propose dues at a level appropriate to meet the expected expenses, net of other income that may be received from the University, its endowment or other activities.

Section 2. 

At the conclusion of each fiscal year, the Secretary/Treasurer shall allocate all funds in the operating account in excess of $25,000 to its endowment fund.

Section 3. 

Records and Files of the Fellowship. The files of EPIC, including address lists and membership information, as well as minutes and agendas of meetings, and records of other determinations by the Steering Committee or the membership, shall be maintained by the Secretary/Treasurer and an Administrator appointed and supported by the University. The files shall be stored electronically with proper backup, and, if paper, in the EPIC Office.

Article V. Amendments

This Charter may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those full members voting, present or by absentee ballot, at its annual meeting. The Steering Committee may propose such amendments by two-thirds majority, and that proposal shall be acted upon at the next annual meeting. Any full members may propose an amendment in writing to the Steering Committee for its consideration. If such a proposal has the support of at least ten percent of the full membership, it shall be transmitted as a proposal to the full membership even if not so approved by the Committee, with statements of the arguments for and against its adoption.

rev. 1/13/05, 1/21/05, 6/14/17, 9/25/18 & 10/6/20