#235 - ACS Council Meeting

Report on the Council Agenda for April 9, 2008

The Council of the American Chemical Society will meet in New Orleans, LA on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 from 8:00am until approximately 12:00pm in the Grand Ballroom of the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.  All ACS members are welcome to attend, although only Councilors are permitted to vote.  A continental breakfast will be available at 7:15am for all attendees.

There are an unusually high number of items for Council Action. These items are summarized below:

Nominations and Elections

President-Elect: The Committee on Nominations & Elections has identified four nominees for the office of 2009ACS President-Elect: Thomas J. Barton, R. Stephen Berry, Joseph S. Francisco and Josef Michl. Council will vote to select two candidates who will run for office in the Fall of 2008.  The four nominees will answer questions at the Town Hall meeting scheduled for Sunday, April 6, 2008 in the Bissonet room of the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street from 4:45pm - 5:45pm.  All ACS members are encouraged to attend.  It is a great way to gather first-hand information and decide for whom you might want to vote in the Fall election.

ACS Dues for 2009

Council will vote on the recommendation from the Committee on Budget and Finance with regard to the 2009 membership dues (an increase of $4.00 - from $136 to $140).  The increases to ACS dues are based upon an escalator defined in the ACS Bylaws (Bylaw XII, Section 3,a).  The dues are calculated by multiplying the base (current) rate “by a factor which is the ratio of the revised Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (Service Category) for the second year previous to the dues year to the value of the index for the third year previous to the dues year, as published by the United States Department of Labor, with the fractional dollar amounts rounded to the nearest whole dollar”.

Base rate 2008: $136.00

Change in the Consumer Price Index, Urban Wage Earners, Services Category:

    2007 CPI-W Services           244.275
    2006 CPI-W Services           236.600
    Change in CPI-W Index           3.24%

2009 Dues, fully escalated: $136.00 x 1.0324 = $140.41
2009 Dues, Rounded: $140.00

Distribution Formula for Division Funding

Council must approve the procedure developed by the Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) for the distribution of the Divisional Allotment among Divisions.  The proposed procedure is as follows:

Each Division receives a base allotment, plus a dollar value per each dues-paying member and divisional affiliate as of December 31 of the second preceding year.  The total Divisional Allotment is divided into four parts.  The total base allotment fraction is 12.5% of the Divisional Allotment.  The total per-Member allotment is also 12.5% of the Divisional Allotment.  This amount is divided by the total number of Division Members (counting every Division to which a member belongs) and then each Division is given a share for each of its Members.  The Innovative Grant Allotment is set at 10% of the Divisional Allotment.  Finally, 65% of the Divisional Allotment is set aside for the Divisional Programming Allotment.

Base Allotment:
This is calculated as follows:  The total number of Divisions is determined and divided into  the total funds available for distribution of the base allotment.  The result is the base allotment (base allotment = (0.125 x Divisional Allotment) / (Number of Divisions).

Per Member Allotment:
This is calculated as follows:  The total number of Members who can be identified as Members of Divisions is determined and divided into the total funds available for distribution as Per-Member Allotment.  The result is the per-Member allotment (per-Member allotment = (0.125 X Divisional Allotment)/ (total number of Division Members).  Members belonging to multiple Divisions are counted for each Division to which they belong).

Innovative Grant Allotment:
Innovative Grants moneys are distributed by DAC based upon proposals from the Divisions for innovative programs. The procedures for soliciting and selecting proposals are decided upon by DAC.  

Program Allotment:
The Program Allotment is distributed to each Division according to the following formula:

Attendance at oral sessions:  50%
# members at meeting: 25%
# posters presented: 25%

The distribution of attendance money is determined as follows:

Class I Division (less than 2,000 members):  Full credit for attendance at the oral session with the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

Class II Divisions (2,000 – 3,499 members): Full credit for attendance at the two oral sessions having the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

Class III Divisions (3,500 or more members): Full credit for attendance at the three oral sessions having the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

For all Divisions, counts for all off-peak programming (Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and all evenings) are doubled.

Co-sponsored sessions, but not co-listed ones, are considered to be sessions of every co-sponsoring Division.  All co-sponsoring Divisions receive full credit for co-sponsored sessions.

The total number of “attendance units” is divided into the total funds available for distribution based on attendance, and the attendance payouts are calculated for each Division based on its number of “attendance units.”

The distribution of the moneys based upon the number of Division Members registered at the two national meetings is determined as follows:

The total number of registrants who can be identified as Members of Divisions is determined and divided into the total funds available for distribution based on the number of members registered.  The Division members registered payout is then calculated.  Members belonging to multiple Divisions are counted for each Division to which they belong.

The distribution of the poster paper money is determined as follows:

The total number of poster papers presented by the Divisions at the two national meetings is determined and divided into the total funds available for distribution based on the number of poster papers.  The poster paper payout for each Division is calculated.  Posters presented more than once are to be counted only once.  For this reason and to simplify the tasks of counting and calculation, posters presented at events such as SciMix and AEI are excluded from the calculation.  Co-sponsored poster sessions are considered to be poster sessions of every co-sponsoring Division.  All co-sponsoring Divisions receive full credit for co-sponsored papers.

A list of frequently asked questions on this topic has been created by DAC and is included at the end of this report.

Bylaw Changes for Action

There are several Bylaw changes in the agenda for Council Action:

Petition on Election Procedures for President-Elect and District Director

ACS Bylaws provide for a preferential ballot when three candidates run for President-elect or District Director.  When four or more candidates run, the bylaws specify that a separate runoff election is required if no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast.  These runoff elections are expensive and delay the election results.  This petition proposes an election mechanism that provides for a preferential (ranked) ballot and an “instant” runoff.  If no candidate receives a majority (50% + 1) of the votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and the votes for the candidate indicated as the next-highest priority are redistributed among the remaining candidates.  This method is currently practiced in Ireland and Australia and is considered to be preferred to the separate runoff between the two highest vote getters  by Robert’s Rules of Order which states “…preferential voting is especially useful and fair in an election  by mail if it is impractical to take more than one ballot.  In such cases, it makes possible a more representative result than under a rule that a plurality shall elect.”  The Committee on Budget and Finance has concluded that this petition will have a minor ($0 - $100,000) positive impact on the finances of the Society.

Petition on Election Procedures 2006, Part 2

The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) is recommending that the petition candidate process and the election process for President-elect and all Director positions be brought into alignment.  An absolute number (300) is used as the signature requirement for petition candidates for President-Elect and Directors-at-Large, but a percentage (1% of the District membership) is used for District Directors.  Because the membership of the Society changes, it is more logical to use a percentage rather than have to adjust the Bylaws on a periodic basis.  The proposed change requires a 0.5% requirement for President-elect and a 0.25% requirement for Director-At-Large.  The provisions for limiting signatures from a single Local Section and District reflect the current ratios, one-sixth and two-thirds, respectively

The net effect under the current membership will be to increase the signature requirement from 300 to 750 for President-Elect and from 300 to 375 for each of the Director-at-Large positions.  In the 2005 survey of Councilors and non-Councilors, 71% favored an increase in the number of signatures. However, I suspect that there will significant discussion/comments from Council floor before action is taken.

The Committee on Budget and Finance believe that the above change in the Bylaws will have no impact on the Society’s finances.

Petition on Membership Categories

This petition represents a comprehensive revision of the qualifications required for membership and affiliate status in the Society.  It is in response to a growing consensus that current membership requirements are too narrow and, while indicating the Society’s focus on chemistry, would make anyone with a bachelor’s degree or higher in chemistry or in a related field of natural science, engineering, technology or science education eligible for membership.  In addition, anyone with an associate degree in chemical science or a related field of technology would also be eligible as would any qualified pre-college chemistry teacher not able to meet the primary requirement.  These changes permit all current Associate members to become full members and the Associate category would be eliminated.  There are no changes in the various dues categories for members or affiliates of the Society.

There is also a growing consensus that undergraduate students should be eligible for full membership as they are in most of ACS’ sister organizations.  The Associate member category would be replaced with a Student member category, giving student members all rights except for holding national office.  They will also be able to vote in national elections.  Divisions and Local sections will have the option of allowing students to serve as officers except as Councilors and Alternate Councilors.  Divisions and Local Sections will also have the option of waiving or discounting student member dues. The term “Associate Member” will be replaced by “Student Member” in almost every place that it occurs in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.

Because student members will be full members, the Bylaws will be codified to include the dues that will be assessed (these are currently set by the Board with Council approval).  The changes will reflect as closely as possible the current dues assessment for student affiliates ($38 with C&EN, $23 without C&EN).   

The 20% allocation of the total dues pool to Local Sections and Divisions would be applicable to Student member dues.  The impact of voluntary membership in Divisions is difficult to predict.  There are over 10,000 members of Student Affiliate Chapters, but not all choose to pay to become student affiliates.  The maximum possible increase in Local Section and Division funding from Student member dues  would be about $46,000 (based upon 2007 rates), of which 55% ($25,300) would go toward allocation to Local Sections and 45% ($20,700)  toward allocation to Divisions.  This would represent about a 1.5% increase over current allocation amounts.

The changes in the number of members could, in the long-term, affect the Councilor divisor and ultimately the number of Councilors of each Division and Local Section.  This would not happen until 2012 as the divisor has already been set for 2008 – 2011 and at that time a divisor will be set to have a minimum impact on Council size.

There is a provision in Bylaw XII establishing a discount for students who are members, but it is only used by graduate students.  This discount will now be termed the graduate student discount.  Undergraduates would now qualify as student members with a much greater discount.

The Committee on Budget and Finance reports that these changes will have a minor negative impact on the Society’s finances ($0 - $100,000).

Bylaw Changes for Consideration

There is one Bylaw change included in the Agenda book for consideration only.  Action will be scheduled for Philadelphia.  It basically states that the dues for Society Affiliates will equal that of members.  The rationale is that they enjoy the same privileges of members except that they cannot vote for or hold an elective position in the Society or its Local Sections and Divisions.  They are eligible for the same meeting fees and publication subscription rates as members of the Society.  As of the last official membership count (12/21/06) there were 1,290 Society Affiliates. A five-month delay is specified because dues notices are typically sent out up to four months in advance of the dues date and lead time is required for printing of revised materials.

The financial impact is currently being assessed.

Local Section Name Change

The University of Kansas Local Section petitions for a change in name from the University of Kansas Local Section to the Wakarusa Valley Local Section because the ACS members and territory are not limited to the University of Kansas.  Also, the University of Kansas Local Section has been confused with that of a nearby local section that includes the terms “Kansas” and “University” in its name. The new name derives from the Wakarusa River which originates near the eastern edge of the local section boundary and does not imply sole affiliation with any college or university.

Academic Professional Guidelines

The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) is recommending that the Academic Professional Guidelines (APG) be updated in order to be consisted with The Professional Employment Guidelines and The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct.” The draft has been approved by ACS legal counsel and had been submitted for consideration at the Boston 2007 Council meeting.

Special Discussion Item

There is no special discussion item scheduled for the New Orleans Council Meeting.

Town Hall Meeting

A Town Hall meeting organized by the Committee on Nominations and Elections is scheduled for Sunday, April 6, 2008, in the Bissonet Room of the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street from 4:45pm - 5:45pm.  This will provide an opportunity to ask questions of the four nominees for the 2009 ACS President-Elect. All ACS members are encouraged to attend.  It is a great way to gather first-hand information and decide for whom you might want to vote in the Fall election.

Respectfully submitted, March 31, 2008.

CINF Councilors

Bonnie Lawlor
Andrea Twiss-Brooks

 

Frequently Asked Questions

About Proposed Formula for Division Allocations

Q: Why does the formula need to be changed?

A: There are several deficiencies in the current formula.  It discourages collaborative programming among the Divisions, it is based on factors outside the control of the Divisions (how many of their members go to the Exposition), and it is mathematically inconsistent.  The proposed formula addresses each of these.

Q: What are the main changes in the formula?

A: The mathematical problems are addressed by making the Base and Per Member Allotments a percentage of the whole, and not fixed dollar amounts.  The calculation based on Exposition Attendance has been eliminated.  Collaborative programming is now encouraged by crediting all cosponsoring Divisions for attendance at the cosponsored oral and poster sessions.

Q: Does this change the allocation to Local Sections?

A: No, the Local Section allocations are not affected by this proposal.  As a whole the Local Section allotment remain at 11% of dues, and are divided among the Local Sections based on the formula used by LSAC.

Q: How is the overall amount of the Divisional Allotment determined?

A: By Bylaw XII 3b, the amount of money to be allocated to Divisions is 9% of total dues.  This is unchanged under this proposal, which only deals with how this Allotment is divided among the several Divisions.  In recent years this has been between $1.2M and $1.4M.

Q: Does the new formula favor smaller or larger Divisions more than the previous one?

A: The proposed formula maintains the aspects of the old one that are fair to both big and small Divisions.  One portion, the Base Allotment, is 12.5% of the total Divisional Allotment, and is divided equally among the Divisions (of which they are currently 33).  A second portion, the Per Member Allotment, is also 12.5% of the total, and is apportioned based on the membership of each Division.  Anyone who is a member of more than one Division is counted for each of their Divisions.

Q: How is the rest of the Divisional Allotment distributed?

A: Ten percent of this is used for the Innovative Grants.  These are used to promote new ways by which the Divisions can improve their programming, attract new members, help serve the community more effectively, or in other ways generally enhance their service to the members.  These are given out by DAC based on proposals submitted by the Divisions.  The rest of the Divisional Allotment, 65%, is based on Programming at the national meetings.

Q: What determines each Division’s share of the Programming Allotment?

A: This is calculated based on several measures of how much each Division contributes to the strength of the national meeting.  This is in three parts and uses three metrics: the number of Divisional members registered for each meeting (25% of the Programming Allotment, or 16.25% of the Total Allotment), the number of posters in sessions of that Division (again 25% of the Programming Allotment, or 16.25% of the Total Allotment), and the number of attendees at the oral symposia of the Division (50% of the Programming Allotment, or 32.5% of the Total Allotment).

Q: How are number of Divisional members at each meeting determined?

A: This is done using the membership database and the records of meeting registration.  The total number of registrants who can be identified as Members of Divisions is determined, and divided into the total funds available for distribution based on the number of members registered.  Members belonging to multiple Divisions are counted for each Division to which they belong.

Q: How is the money for posters divided?

A: The distribution of the poster paper money is determined as follows: The total number of poster papers presented by the Divisions at the two national meetings is determined, and divided into the total funds available for distribution based on the number of poster papers.

Q: If the same poster is presented at more than one poster session in one meeting, is it counted for each presentation?

A: No, posters presented more than once are to be counted only once.  For this reason and to simplify the tasks of counting and calculation, posters presented at events such as SciMix and AEI are excluded from the calculation.

Q: Are posters in cosponsored poster sessions counted for each Division?

A: Yes, cosponsored poster sessions are considered to be poster sessions of every co-sponsoring Division.  All co-sponsoring Divisions receive full credit for co-sponsored poster papers.  In the past only the primary sponsor received credit, but DAC feels this discouraged collaborative programming, while the proposed formula will encourage it.

Q: What factors are used to calculate the share based on attendance at oral sessions?

A: The basic data for this is the estimate of how many people are present at each oral session, which is made by the session chair(s).  Thus, it is quite important for each Division to encourage their session chairs to fill out this form and return it to ACS staff to get credit.

Q: How are cosponsored sessions handled?

A: In the past only the primary sponsor received credit, but DAC feels this discouraged collaborative programming.  In order to encourage collaborative and multidisciplinary programming, cosponsored sessions are considered to be sessions of every cosponsoring Division.  Thus, all cosponsoring Divisions receive full credit for cosponsored sessions.  However, if a Division is not a true cosponsor of a symposium but merely co-lists the sessions, it does not receive credit for the attendance at those sessions.

Q: There are two types of cosponsored sessions, nominal and cooperative.  Which one applies in the calculation?

A: Only cooperative co-sponsorships are used in the calculation.  OASYS (the Online Abstract Submittal System) permits the primary division’s program chair to distinguish between nominal and cooperative co-sponsorships.

  • Cooperative co-sponsorships occur when divisions cooperate together in terms of co-organizers, jointly inviting papers and, most importantly, contributing logistical and financial resources to the session.
  • Nominal co-sponsorships occur when divisions simply endorse the symposium in another division’s program and have no expectation of any revenue sharing.

Q: Will the new calculation, if approved at the spring 2008 ACS national meeting in New Orleans, be applied to the 2007 national meeting programs in Chicago and Boston?

A: No.  However, if approved at the spring 2008 meeting, the formula will be applied to the 2008 meetings in New Orleans and Philadelphia when the calculation is run in 2009.  Before doing the calculation, however, ACS will confirm in writing with each of the cosponsoring divisions that their symposia were nominal or cooperative.

Q:  Nominal and cooperative co-sponsorships are described in the ACS Bylaws.  How is “co-listing” used with respect to these two terms?

A:  Co-listing refers to a division putting information about another division’s program in the technical program “Gray Box.”  This action provides information only for the meeting attendees, and does not indicate a nominal or cooperative co-sponsorship.

Q: Are sessions at off-peak times still treated differently?

A: Yes.  In order to encourage the Divisions to have strong programming throughout the week, counts for all off-peak programming (Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and all evenings) are doubled.  This is the same as in the current formula.

Q: Are all concurrent sessions counted?

A: No, just the largest from each Division are counted.  This is an attempt to be fair in how this is distributed and to be sure that the larger Divisions which run many more sessions than the smaller ones do not get too large a share of this allotment.  Each Division gets credit for only one, two, or, three sessions for each half-day, based on their size.  The Divisions are divided in classes in the following way (unchanged from the current formula).

Class I Division (less than 2000 members)
Full credit for the attendance at the oral session with the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

Class II Division (2000 to 3499 members)
Full credit for the attendance at the two oral sessions with the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

Class III Division (3500 or more members)
Full credit for the attendance at the three oral sessions with the highest reported attendance for the Division for each half-day of the national meeting; no credit for subsequent concurrent sessions.

Q: Does the Programming Allotment reflect symposia organized by the Divisions at venues other than the national meetings, such as at regional meetings?

A: No, it is only based on the national meetings.  There have been several requests to include some recognition of such programming as well.  DAC is sympathetic to these concerns, as part of the mission of the Divisions is to provide information to their members at such venues.  However, it was felt that the changes being made in this round were sufficiently complex that adding more changes would have been too confusing.  At the New Orleans meeting this spring DAC will be discussing how to incorporate such modifications, and intends to propose such changes to Council as soon as they are ready.

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