#222 - ACS Council Meeting

REPORT FROM COUNCIL
 

The Council of the American Chemical Society met on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 during the Fall National Meeting of the Society held in Chicago, Illinois. The session was relatively short (only three hours and forty minutes – about ten minutes more than promised by ACS President, Attila Pavlath) and was virtually non-contentious. This report provides some of the highlights of the Council activities.

Deceased Councilors – Dr. Ben Luberoff - Former CINF Member

The Council meeting is traditionally opened with a resolution honoring Councilors who have passed away since the prior National Meeting of the Society. Of interest to CINF members, Dr. Ben Luberoff, a long-time member and supporter of the Division, was one of those so honored.

Elections and Nominations for the Committee on Nominations and Elections, The Committee on Committees, and the Council Policy Committee – CINF Members on all Three Elected-Committees!

Council elected seven of fourteen nominees to the Committee on Committees: Carol A. Duane (CINF Member), Lydia E. M. Hines, Mary V. Orna, Eleanor D. Siebert, and Herbert B. Silber to a three-year term (2002 through 2004), and Peter K. Dorhout and William Dorhout to fill the remainder of a 2000-2002 term.

Council also elected five of ten nominees to the Council Policy Committee: Merle I. Eiss (CINF Member), Dean W. Cooke, Thomas J. Kucera, and Kent J. Voorhees to a three-year term (2002 through 2004), and Warren V. Bush to fill the remainder of a 2000-2002 term.

And finally, Council elected four of eight nominees to the Committee on Nominations and Elections: Rita R. Boggs, Michael P. Doyle, Kathleen M. Schulz, and Peter J. Stang. Bonnie Lawlor (CINF Councilor), is currently an N&E member,

Report from ACS President – Divisions to Receive Funding this Year! ACS Member Survey Soon to be Available on the Web!

Attila E. Pavlath, ACS President, mentioned that he had been ill and in the hospital the evening prior to the Council meeting. However, he made it through the meeting and hopefully is well. He mentioned that he has appointed 25 Councilors from Associate to Full members of ACS Committees. He reported that the Emergency Task Force on Appropriations to Divisions and Local Sections has been given approval to distribute $100K to Divisions and $50K to Local Sections. The Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) will handle the criteria and distribution of funds to the Divisions and the Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC) will do the same for Local Sections. The funds will be distributed by November 1, 2001, and both DAC and LSAC will report the basis for their distribution to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Pavlath introduced Dr. Judy C.Giordan, Chair of the ACS Member e-Poll Task Force, who then gave a brief summary of the survey results (the actual report is 1,000+ pages!). The purpose of the survey was to provide ACS leadership with a statistically sound and projectible basis for making informed strategic resource allocations. Demographic information – such as degrees, gender, age, business, etc. was gathered. Ninety-thousand ACS members were contacted and 8,009 responded (9%). The survey indicated that members are not aware of the programs/services that ACS has to offer, that there is little participation in Local Sections and Divisions, and that only 8% are actively involved in the Society. Satisfaction with the Society is highest among members who are older, academic, male, and retired. 97.8% would recommend ACS membership to others, primarily for the journals and other print materials. Barriers to participation in ACS were mentioned as "in groups" and "elitists". The report recommends that ACS focus on themes most important to members, that ACS communicate their programs and services, and that ACS do better at hearing what members say – bottom, line – satisfy the membership (ACS received low marks in member services). The information will be used for strategic purposes, for measuring the impact of the strategic plan, and to continually update and improve the Society. A summary of the report will be available on the ACS web site, and a full copy will be given to any ACS member who requests it.

Reports From ACS President-Elect and Immediate-Past President – ACS Focus on Diversity on the Work Force

Eli M. Pearce, President-Elect, reported that one of his objectives as President will be to deal with diversity in the work force. He stated that today’s minorities will be the majority in 20 – 30 years. Diversity will be a major theme at the Spring 2002 National ACS meeting in Orlando. A series of programs will focus on this issue and will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Women Chemists Committee as well as with the anniversaries of the national Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and the Chinese-American Chemists Society. Also planned for Orlando is a significant program dealing with energy policy and technology. In Boston (Fall 2002), there will be a program on Globalization. Participants will include leading corporate executives who will discuss their future R&D plans as they relate to the globalization process. Dr. Pearce asked members to contact him with any ideas that they may have with regard to any of the programs that he mentioned (epearce@poly.edu).

Daryle H. Busch, Immediate Past-President, reported that he continues to support the advancement of women and minorities in the chemical professions. He mentioned that a Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development decreed action to improve the diversity of the high technology workforce and promised financial support. The National Science Foundation is also putting up sizeable amounts of money towards this goal, and the Council on Competitiveness received a large sum of money to found a new organization whose mission is to put an end to the shortage of women and minorities in the high technology workforce. This new organization is BEST – Building Engineering and Science Talent. ACS has a Task Force working in cooperation with that new organization.

Report from The Chair of the ACS Board – Divisions and Local Sections to Receive Funding for at Least Two Years!

Dr. Nina McClelland, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, reported that $300K will be allocated to Divisions and Local Sections over the next two years during which time a long-term solution to the financial situation for those groups will be developed. The Task Force focusing on women and the chemical profession has developed a three-year pilot project starting in 2002 for the career advancement of women in the chemical profession. The Board is in the process of working with five Professional Societies worldwide in order to establish shared memberships in order to provide ACS members with a global network. In closing, she mentioned that the Budget and Finance Committee will hold a financial planning conference in the Fall, and that the Board will meet on November 9, 2001 to consider the recommendations resulting from that conference.

Report of the Executive Director – CAS to Add Previously Uncovered Data!

John Crum, Executive Director of the Society, reported that Chemical Abstracts Service will be adding previously uncovered reactions and citations to its databases. The reactions alone will total 750,000. In addition, property data will also be added. He mentioned that a summary of the ACS strategic plan for 2001-2003 is available and that the focus is on three I’s – the Individual (members’ needs), the Internet (electronic communication and dissemination of information), and International (expansion of the Society’s impact worldwide). He also mentioned that Halley A. Merrell, ACS Secretary, will be retiring at the end of January 2002 (this was Halley’s 70th ACS National Meeting!!). Council gave Halley a standing ovation in thanks for his years of service.

Council Policy Committee – Divisions and Local Sections Will be Asked to Report Changes Regarding Health, Safety, and Environmental Concerns

The Council Policy Committee (CPC) has developed a report on responsible care (Health, Safety, and Environmental Concerns). Copies will be sent to all ACS Divisions and Local Sections who will be asked to report by the Boston ACS meeting on any changes that they will make within their own operations to ensure compliance with the report. It was stated that CPC approved the recommendation that the Web be used to support Council activities. Council Agendas, minutes, etc. will eventually be made available via the Web. In addition, CPC recognizes the need for a central source of ethical reminders with regard to publications, research integrity, etc.

Committee on Committees – Petition for Urgent Action to Increase the Size of Society Committees Withdrawn

ConC reported that the petitioners for taking urgent action with regard to increasing the size of Society Committees have withdrawn their request for urgent action. The petition is for consideration only at this meeting. ConC completed their sunset review of the Committee on Admissions and recommended that it continue. Council voted in favor of the recommendation. It was noted that the third annual conference for new committee chairs will be held over a three-day period in mid-winter. The Women Chemists Committee has requested that the committee be established as a joint Board/Council committee rather than remain in the "other committee" category. ConC will make a recommendation to Council on this request next year. In closing, it was mentioned that ConC is preparing a list of their recommendations for committee members and committee chairs for the year 2002.

Committee on Nominations & Elections – Task Force Looking at Internet Balloting

The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) has a Task Force looking at establishing an electronic balloting capability for ACS Elections. Currently, the Task Force is taking a comprehensive look at the ACS Constitution & Bylaws in order to identify the sections that require change to allow for such balloting. Simultaneously, the technology and security requirements for electronic balloting are also being determined. N&E also has established a Task Force to look at ACS Campaign Guidelines in order to make the campaign process a fair, financially equitable, and pleasant experience for all candidates. It was noted that a "first" occurred during the Council elections at this meeting. A three-way tie for the Council Policy Committee slots resulted. All three persons were ultimately elected to the Committee. The terms of office (either a three-year term or the completion of the remainder of a three-year term) were determined by the drawing of lots.

Committee on Budget and Finance - ACS Expects a Net-Deficit of $8 Million in 2001

Dr. Nina McClelland, Committee Chair, reported on the Society’s probable financial performance for 2001. Core programs are expected to provide a net positive contribution of $220K. However, this represents a $222K unfavorable variance to the planned budget for those programs. Inclusion of the projected net program expenses of the Member Insurance Program ($2.6 Million) and the Board’s appropriations ($5.6 Million) will result in a projected net deficit of $8 Million. CAS is expected to have a favorable variance to budget due to the better-than-expected sales of Sci-Finder. SciFinder Scholar is now in more than 400 schools (it was in 115 when commented upon at the Spring meeting). This number includes 33 schools in France that are covered under a single agreement. It was noted, that the 2001 financial projections are in compliance with all of the Board’s financial guidelines.

Committee on Education

The Committee on Education reported that more than 100 student posters were presented at the Chicago meeting. It also mentioned that the committee is developing recommendations for the restructuring of science education in high schools.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

The Committee reported that 169 employers - representing 1,392 potential hires - attended the Chicago meeting. Approximately 4,001 interviews were held as of Tuesday, August 28th. It was also noted that the current unemployment rate for chemists is at 1.5%, down from 2%.

Committee on Local Section Activities –National Chemistry Week Themes Set

Kathleen Schulz, Chair of the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC), reported that National Chemistry Week 2001will be held during the fourth week of November. The theme will be "Chemistry and the Arts". The 2002 theme will be "Chemistry Keeps us Clean". LSAC has established new "EZ" annual report forms that will substantially decrease the amount of time required to compete the reports. Use of the "EZ" form will be optional, and those Sections using the form will not be eligible for the LSAC awards given for outstanding performance. LSAC has established a new award to be given for the most innovative use of technology. It will be awarded for the first time in 2002. LSAC presented three new awards this year: 1) the best activity increasing membership participation in a Section – California; 2) the best new activity- East Tennessee; and best support of the ACS Strategic Plan – New Jersey. The awards given for outstanding performance of a Local Section in the various categories were given to: California (Very Large); St. Louis (Large), Rochester, NY and Midland (Medium Large), Michigan State University (Medium), and Southern Illinois/Wyoming (Medium Small). In closing, it was noted that LSAC and DAC are working together to improve collaboration in Regional meetings and have established a working group to improve Division/Local Section collaboration overall.

Committee on Meetings and Expositions - 2001 A Record Year for Total Attendance at Both National ACS Meetings!

George Heinz, Chair of the Committee on Meetings & Expositions (M&E), reported that as of the morning of the Council meeting registration at the National Meeting was at 15,290. The Exhibit had 543 booths from 328 companies. These figures made the Chicago meeting a record for the number of exhibitors and number of booths. Also, the sum of attendees at both San Diego and Chicago made the meetings in 2001 the most attended in any year of the Society’s history!! At this meeting 6,089 papers were presented in 66 concurrent sessions. It is expected that the total revenue from the meeting will be $990K. 72% of hotel arrangements were made online for the Chicago meeting. It was reported that LCD equipment will be made available at no charge to Divisions for every technical session at least through 2002. In addition, overhead projectors and 35mm slide projectors will continue to be made available. N&E will poll Division Program Chairs to determine if all three technologies will continue to be required for program presentations.

Council voted to approve the petition on meeting registration categories. The petition was put forth because the present language of the Bylaw VI, Section 4,b discriminates among nonmember chemical scientists based upon the geographic location of their residence. A nonmember chemical scientist living outside the U.S. pays less for ACS meeting registrations than a similar person living within the U.S. Indeed, the non-U.S. resident pays the same fee as an ACS member. The current language does not permit an extension to ACS members living outside the U.S. of the member privilege of paying a lower registration fee. The Committee on Budget and Finance found that if passed, this petition will have a significant positive impact on the finances of the Society ($50,000 - $250,000). The petition will become effective 1/1/02 pending Board approval. There had been some opposition to this petition because it does not take into account financial relief for foreign speakers. However, it is believed that the financial allocations to Divisions and Local Sections that have already been mentioned will help defray speakers’ expenses. Also, the ACS attempt to obtain reciprocal arrangements with other scientific societies around the world will also help in this matter.

Council approved the meeting registration fees for 2002. The fees will be $265, representing a $10 increase over the 2001 fees.

It was noted that all the booth space for the 2002 National Meetings is expected to be sold out soon. If that occurs, the "virtual" exhibit held in Chicago will be repeated. This virtual tradeshow had 128,000 hits as of Wednesday morning.

There were complaints from the floor regarding the distance of the Chicago conference center from the meeting hotels. The response was that as cities need to expand their convention space they are building new centers outside city centers due to space restrictions within the city. To offset this growing problem, N&E will be able to supply more transportation information prior to national meetings next year. This is due to the fact that the meeting programs will be in a different format. They will not appear in C&EN. Rather they will be printed separately and "wrapped" and mailed along with C&EN. This new format frees the program from the C&EN space and format restrictions, and provides N&E with greater flexibility in content and format.

A final complaint had to due with the price of hotels. It was asked why one can sometimes obtain rooms at a lower rate individually rather than by reserving through ACS. The response was that ACS books the rooms (and rates) years in advance. Hotels often will have lower rates at the time of the meeting, depending upon their occupancy level. In closing, it was noted that the meeting sites approved for 2013 & 2014 are being reconsidered, and new choices may be presented to Council next year.

Committee on Membership Affairs – Requirements for ACS Membership Clarified.

The Committee on Membership Affairs (MAC), put forth a proposed change to Bylaw I, Section 3, a,(5), that would provide a clarification of the qualifications for ACS Membership. The exact wording is "An associate degree or equivalent in a chemical science or chemical technology and five years of employment in a chemical science". The petitioners stated that this change does not actually change membership requirements; it only changes how the requirements are administered. It was stated that "Nearly all technicians with a two-year degree and five years of applicable experience would qualify for admission to the American Chemical Society as regular members under the current Bylaw I, Sec.3, a (5), but currently their applications must go through the Admissions committee. There is no consistency to the process since these applications are decided on a case-by-case basis. This petition, if successful, would streamline the process and the paperwork, thereby improving customer service. This petition would also ensure that technicians would receive correct and complete information about the requirements for membership, so that they are not effectively discouraged from applying at all."

The Committee on Budget and Finance had determined that this petition, if passed, would have a minor positive impact of the finances of the Society (less than $50,000). Council voted to approve the petition. It will become effective pending Board approval.

In closing, it was also noted that the committee is working on Bylaw wording in order to simplify the admissions process for pre-college chemistry teachers.

Committee on Divisional Activities – Probationary Division of Laboratory Automation Established

Dr. Frank Blum, Chair of the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC), reported that DAC recommends the formation of a new probationary Division of Laboratory Automation (LABA) effective 1/1/02. Council approved the recommendation. (Note: It should be noted that CINF opposed this recommendation because the proposed Division’s original scope suggested that there would be significant programming overlap between LABA and CINF. As a result of CINF’s opposition, as well as opposition from ORGN and I&EC, the scope was changed to limit programming only to laboratory automation as follows: "The scope of the Division of Laboratory Automation shall be to openly exchange and disseminate technical information about the use of computers, robotics, automation tools, and other related technologies as applied to the study and practice of automation in the chemical and related sciences". All mention of such topics as drug discovery, combinatorial chemistry, functional genomes, etc. was stricken from the original scope. Should CINF find that this probationary Division does not restrict is programming as defined, CINF has formal recourse for complaint to DAC).

DAC has awarded a total of $25K to four divisions for use in their innovative projects. These divisions are: Analytical, Chemical Education, Polymeric Materials; Science and Engineering, Rubber, and Chemical Technicians. Seven Divisions will take part in a pilot project of "Gated Communities" as part of Chemistry.org. DAC will distribute $100K to Divisions by November 1, 2001 as part of the interim financial support being given to Divisions and Local Sections until a permanent solution is developed.

DAC held a Caucus for Division Councilors at the Chicago meeting. Those in attendance voted to continue the Caucus indefinitely in the future. The 2001 Program Coordination Conference will be held in November, and the Division Officers Leadership Conference will be held February 1-3, 2002 in Clearwater, Florida. In closing, it was mentioned that the Cellulose, Paper & Textile Division (CELL) has changed its name to "Cellulose & Renewable Materials Division".

Committee On Publications – All Print Journal Backfiles to be Made Available Electronically

Dr. Joan Shields, Publications Committee Chair, reported all ACS print journals will have their complete pre-1996 backfiles made available in PDF format with searchable bibliographic metadata in 2002.

Committee on Minority Affairs – Increase in ACS Membership by Minorities

Nancy B. Jackson, Chair of the Committee on Minority Affairs, reported that the number of minority members has increased form 4,700 in 1997 to approximately 6,000 in the year 2000.

Other

In closing, Dr. Judy Giordan read a resolution thanking ACS President, Attila Pavlath, for his leadership, and the Chicago Local Section was thanked for its assistance with the National Meeting.

 
Respectfully Submitted, September 12, 2001

Bonnie Lawlor, Councilor
chescot@aol.com

Joanne Witiak, Alternate Councilor
jlwitiak@rohmhaas.com
 

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