The Grand Council Addresses An Urgent Governance Issue
INDIANAPOLIS – The Venerable Grand Prytanis Rod Talbot and the Grand Council address an urgent governance issue requiring immediate attention.
“Pursuant to Article II, Section 4 (Second) of the International Constitution of TKE, we identified an urgent governance issue impacting the Fraternity. As previously written, there was no protection for the Grand Chapter expressly prescribed in The Black Book against someone with a criminal history, or other pending criminal matter, from serving on the Grand Council or holding a volunteer position,” said TKE Grand Prytanis Rod Talbot.
“In an extreme example, the potential existed for a Grand Council member to have been unable to adhere to his fiduciary duty as an elected member of the International Board of Directors of the Fraternity. This could have placed the entire Fraternity at risk. Upon recommendation of the Judiciary Committee, on January 26, 2017, the Grand Council unanimously approved amendments to both the International Constitution and International Bylaws in The Black Book to protect the Fraternity from this serious vulnerability,” added Talbot.
There were no immediate concerns with any current member of the Grand Council, each of whom has already undertaken background checks and vetting consistent with the amendments. This vulnerability was discovered after the Grand Council tasked the Judiciary Committee to review The Black Book in preparation for the 2017 Conclave.
“During our review of The Black Book prior to Conclave, the Judiciary Committee identified a clear danger and alerted the Grand Council to the lack of protection for the Fraternity. The Grand Chapter has placed the utmost trust and confidence in the Grand Council to manage and protect the Fraternity. Acting within their fiduciary duty to manage and protect Tau Kappa Epsilon, the Grand Council asked the Judiciary Committee to draft amendments earlier this month,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jason B. Blank, Esq.
“We appreciate the thorough efforts of the Judiciary Committee in their review of The Black Book that brought this concern to our attention. As a fiduciary board, we were out of alignment with best practices in the business world. This vote by the Grand Council remedies the matter,” said Talbot.
In accordance with Article III, Section 4 (First) of the Black Book, the changes will need to be expressly confirmed at the 2017 Conclave of the Grand Chapter on August 3-6 in New Orleans. The amendments will be included in the legislative packet released prior to Conclave.
An updated version of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Black Book can be downloaded here.
The Grand Council of Tau Kappa Epsilon consists of eight (8) elected officers, two at-large members, and the Chairman of the Collegiate Advisory Committee. It is their obligation to maintain loyalty to TKE, exercise sound judgement, comply with the expectations normally placed on a director of a nonprofit corporation, hold confidentiality of information, serve the members of the Fraternity impartially, and to abide by the Grand Council Code of Conduct. Each member of the Grand Council agrees to attend up to three (3) board meetings each year, assume the financial responsibility for travel costs, as well as participate in monthly committee meetings and contribute to the TKE Educational Foundation. Each nominee for Grand Council is subject to a background check.
Applications for Grand Council will open on May 1, 2017.