The club meets on the second Monday of each month from September through April. The program consists of a social period, dinner, and presentation of a research lecture by either a member or guest. Notices are sent about two weeks prior to each meeting and should be returned by Noon the Thursday prior to the Monday meeting. Members are liable for reservations not canceled by Noon the Thursday before the meeting.
A motion of announcing lectures to the university community to make Osborn Club visible on campus was made by Jim Hill and approved by the Steering Committee in October, 2007. Titles, speakers, time, and location of Osborn Club lectures were announced in ISU Calendar and Inside Iowa State.
To be an Active Member, attendance at three of the eight meetings of the calendar year is required. The rule is suspended when notification is given of being off campus or ill for one-half of the academic year. Lack of attendance places the member in the Associate Membership status. Associate Members cannot vote for members or officers. Associate Members not attending one meeting during the preceding two years are dropped from the roll.
Life Membership is granted after 25 years of membership or completion of one year's service as Chairperson. Life Members are exempt from attendance requirements; however, those who leave the Ames area are not continued on the Club roll.
The Steering Committee consists of four members, one of whom is elected each year at the annual election. Committee terms are for four years. The Steering Committee approves new members, select candidates for Chairperson and Steering Committee, and works with the Chairperson to guide the affairs of the Club.
The Chairperson is responsible for all the operation details of the Club, principally, meetings, membership and the annual election. The Chairperson serves for the calendar year, but traditionally assumes responsibility for the January meeting of the following year.
Nomination for membership should originate with a member and be endorsed by one other member. Nominations should go to the Chairperson. Criteria to consider in nominating a new member are as follows: (a) that the research field be clearly in the natural or physical sciences or study thereof; (b) that the nominee be Iowa State University faculty or staff who is personally conducting research; (c) that the research activity and productivity be substantial and of high quality; and (d) that the nominee be responsible for leading their research program. By vote of the membership in 2005 a requirement of being at ISU for one year was removed from the criteria.
By vote of the membership in December, 2001, all elections of new members and officers of the Osborn Research Club will be conducted over at least a four (4) week period from the time ballots are mailed to the membership. The closing date of the election will be printed as part of the ballot. Only those votes received by 5:00 p.m. on the closing date of an election will be counted. At their discretion, active and life members of the Osborn Research Club may register their vote on any club ballot either by E-mail or by hard copy. Confidentiality will be maintained on all ballots with only the Club Chair, Steering Committee Members, and the secretary who handles the Club Records having access to the individual ballots for counting purposes only. The selection of new members shall be by unanimous affirmative vote of the Steering Committee and by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Active and Life Membership that votes within the prescribed election period.
By vote of the membership in May, 1986, the evening speaker's meal is paid for by the Osborn Research Club's treasury.
The following items were voted on by the membership in July 2008.
1. The membership voted to change the by-laws to eliminate the need for the Steering Committee to approve new members. It was proposed that the Chair review the application (signed by two active members) and send both the application and the candidate's vita directly to the members for a vote. This recommendation had the support of the Steering Committee.
2. The membership voted to change the by-laws to eliminate the need for the Steering Committee to approve the reinstatement of former members. It was proposed that the Chair have the ability to directly reinstate former members. This recommendation had the support of the Steering Committee.
3. The membership voted for expansion of the membership pool to allow us to consider members of the Professional and Scientific community for membership. This recommendation had the support of the Steering Committee.
4. The membership voted to eliminate the May meeting. Attendance has been low because it is held after spring semester final exams are over and many members are out of town. For the May 2008 meeting, expenses exceeded contributions. Elimination of the May meeting would give us four lectures in the fall and four lectures in the spring. This recommendation had the support of the Steering Committee.
5. The Steering Committee also voted to change the site of the Osborn Club Meeting to the atrium in the Molecular Biology Building and have the dinner catered by Ames Best Pies, with the lecture in the lecture hall (1420 MBB).
In September 2008, the amount charged for the dinner was raised from $18.00 per person to $22.00.
A copy of the history of the Osborn Club (including slides and scripts) has been deposited in the Archives of the Parks Library. Our records indicate that we lack all Annual Reports from 1931 to 1941. Otherwise the historical record appears to be complete.