#215 Council Meeting

Summary of ACS Council Meeting, April 1998


The Council meeting held in Dallas on April 1, 1998 as part of the Spring National meeting of the American Chemical Society fulfilled its mission of the day. Although there was very little controversial material on the agenda and the meeting was expected to be short (possibly even establish a record for brevity), it ran from 8:00A.M. until after 11:00A.M., playing an April Fool's joke on all of us who thought we would have lots of time to get to the airport for our flights home!. The Council action that will have an impact on all of us is the raising of the annual ACS dues by three dollars in 1999 (the dues will go from the current $102 to $105). Discussion of this action took a lot of time, despite the fact that Council agreed years ago that the dues would be connected to the U.S. Consumer price index and would automatically change. The change is calculated from a dues escalator formula set in the ACS bylaws. However, the debate raised a valid issue - if the Society is in strong financial health why increase dues? And the response was equally valid - there are expenses related to member programs (programs that are benefits developed to recruit and maintain members) that need to be offset. And, understandably, the Society does not want to erode its financial reserves that are, in a sense, an "insurance policy" against catastrophic events, to offset those member program expenses. In any event, look for a dues increase in 1999.

Another important outcome of the Council meeting was the selection of the two candidates who will run for the position of 1999 President-elect. Four candidates were presented to Council - Daryle H. Busch, professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas, Glenn A. Crosby, professor of chemistry at Washington State University (Pullman), Marjorie C. Caserio, emeritus professor of Chemistry at the University of California San Diego, and J. Ivan Legg provost of the University of Memphis. Each candidate was given three minutes to present the goals that they would like to accomplish if elected to the ACS Presidency, after which council voted by paper ballot to select two candidates who will run for office later this year. Later during the meeting the winners were announced: Daryle Busch and Glenn Crosby.

For those of you active in your ACS Local Section, you should note that Council approved to extend the responsibilities of the ACS Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) to include the dissolution of Local Sections should the need arise (until now LSAC could only recommend the creation of a Local Section). The ACS Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) announced that they will request that Council vote on a similar expansion of their activities at the 1999 Spring National ACS meeting in Anaheim (they, too, can only recommend the creation of a Division). Other items also related to Local Sections include the approval by Council for the Central Utah Section to annex 12 geographically-appropriate counties as yet unassigned to an ACS section, and a name change to the University of Illinois Section. The latter will now be known as the East Central Illinois Section.

The Council action that evoked spontaneous applause (sympathy is sent to all you slot machine lovers) is the move of the ACS Spring National meeting in the year 2000 from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Also of interest related to this meeting is the announcement by the Committee on Divisional Activities that they will be coordinating an ACS-wide celebration to highlight the "Turn-of-the-Century" in San Francisco. Division Officers and Program Chairs will be contacted for their input to the program Steering Committee chaired by Paul Anderson, the immediate Past-President of the Society.

The ACS Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs(CEPA) presented to Council a petition for consideration (it will be voted upon at the Boston meeting in August 1998). The petition was related to the forthcoming Sixth edition of the Society's Professional Employment Guidelines. Discussion arose because the proposed new edition does not include wording related to CEPA involvement in investigations related to "unprofessional conduct" (by either employees or employers) in cases culminating in employment termination. During the discussion it was noted that CEPA has already stopped publishing such investigations due to a lack of an established link between such termination actions and an employer's willingness to abide by the ACS guidelines.

Other Items of Interest

The above represents the major highlights of the meeting. However, the following items may also be of interest. (note that oral reports are always given at Council by members of the Presidential succession, the Chairman of the Board, the ACS Executive Director, elected Committees of the Council (Council Policy Committee, Committee on Committees and the Committee on Nominations and Elections), Council Standing Committees (Local Sections, Meetings and Expositions, Membership Affairs, Economic and Professional Affairs, Constitution and Bylaws, and Divisions),and the three Society Committees - Budget/Finance, Education, and Science. Other Committees may give an oral report at their option and with prior notice to the Council Policy Committee. All reports are not commented upon here. If you have a special interest on any of the above, contact either of the CINF Councilors - Gary Wiggins (wiggins@indiana.edu) and Bonnie Lawlor (chescot@aol.com)).

Meeting Attendance

Attendance at the Dallas meeting, at least as of the Council meeting, wasn't all that much better than at Las Vegas last Fall. There were 9,126 registrants. The Exhibit Hall held 392 booths from 208 companies. The same figures from Las Vegas showed 8,778 registrants, and 226 companies occupying 371 booths. Obviously the record-breaking attendance at the 1997 Spring ACS National meeting in San Francisco has had its effect. Hopefully, the 1998 Fall meeting in Boston will have significantly higher attendance all-around!.

International Chemistry Celebration

The ACS ad-hoc Committee for the year-long International Chemistry Celebration that will be "kicked-off" in November 1998 reported on "A Global Solute to Polymers". This initiative is intended to highlight the worldwide positive impact that natural and synthetic fibers have had on society. ACS Divisions are being encouraged to participate through appropriate programming. In addition, the Committee is asking that Divisions, Local Sections, etc. collaborate with an international partner (a student, a chemist, a chemical society or branch thereof) during the celebration year in order to promote activities that will highlight chemistry's positive contributions and enhance communication among chemical societies worldwide.

Participation on ACS Committees

ACS President, Paul Walter, encouraged Councilors to seek appointment on ACS Committees and to encourage non-Councilors to seek appointments on Committees that do not require a member to hold a Councilor position (yes, there are such Committees and a new brochure describing all ACS Committees has been developed by the Committee on Committees. CINF's own Merle Eiss is a member of that Committee, so feel free to contact her if you want a copy). ACS is always seeking new, dynamic leadership and, if your are willing and able to work, serving on a committee is an excellent means of getting to know more people within the Society, enhancing your skill set, and getting even more benefit from your ACS membership.

International Historic Chemical Landmark

Among other things, ACS Past-President Paul Anderson, reported that he participated in the ACS recognition of SmithKline Beecham for the discovery of Tagamet. Along with the Royal Society of Chemistry, ACS recognized the UK facility of SmithKline Beecham as its first International Historic Chemical Landmark.

ACS Board Concerns

Joan Shields, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, reported that the ACS membership goal for 1998 is 161,000 with a retention rate of 94%. This is the second year for the ACS 2001 Membership Campaign. The goal is to have 175,000 members by 2001. She also reported that the Board has established an ad hoc committee to look at the how the technical programs are developed for National ACS meetings. The Society is concerned that young chemists are being attracted to "boutique" societies that have a very targeted focus on a given scientific discipline and that, as a result, ACS is not gaining/retaining members to the fullest extent possible. The Committee (on which one of CINF'S Councilors, Bonnie Lawlor, participates as Chair of the ACS Committee on Divisional Activities) met briefly in Dallas, and will meet again for a weekend-long discussion in June. The goal is to have a recommendation ready for the ACS Board in December 1998.

New ACS Publications

ACS Executive Director, John Crum, reported that ACS announced two new publications - Modern Drug Discovery and Combinatorial Chemistry. He also reported that both CAS and the Publications Division met their 1997 financial goals and that electronic delivery of information continues to accelerate, not only via CAS and Publications, but also through the creation of new Web sites such as ChemCenter and ChemPort.

1997 ACS Financial Performance

Nina McClelland, Chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance, reported that ACS ended 1997 with an increase in unrestricted net assets (before gains from investments) of $4.3 million. This was $3.7 million favorable to the approved 1997 budget. Indeed, the Society stayed within all of the Board-established financial guidelines and was able to absorb expenses for two Board-approved programs: ChemCenter (the ACS Internet web site) and the ACS 2001 Membership Campaign. (It was these statements regarding the Society's financial health that generated all of the discussion over the 1999 dues increase!).

Future ACS elections

In addition to the candidates for President-elect noted earlier, Stanley Israel, Chair of the Committee on Nominations and Elections, announced the following candidates for Regional Directors: Region II - Helen Free and John Massingill; and Region IV - Maurice Bursey and Joe Hightower. In addition, candidates for ACS Director-at-Large are: Carlos Guiterrez, Nina McClelland, Eli Pierce, and Robert Soulen. The elections for the above positions will take place in the Fall of this year.

Local Section Anniversaries

C.Gordon McCarty, Chair of the Committee on Local Sections Activities, reported that eight Local Sections are celebrating anniversaries this year: 50th - Mobile, Red River Valley, Richland, and Southern Indiana; 75th - Akron, Erie, and Illinois-Iowa; and 100th - the Northeastern Local Section! He also reported that 93 sections (49%) now have home pages connected to ChemCenter.

Potential New Division

Bonnie Lawlor, Chair of the Committee on Divisional Activities, reported that since it was established in late 1995, the Probationary Division on Chemical Toxicology has grown from 80 to 451 members, has programmed at the Fall 1996 and 1997 National ACS meetings, and have demonstrated financial and administrative responsibility. Therefore, DAC will be requesting that Council grant them Full Division status by a vote to be taken at the Council meeting in Boston. She also reported that DAC is creating guidelines for the development of a Division Procedure Manual (along with a complete prototype) and updating the Division Officers Digest - both for release at the 1999 Division Officers' Conference that will be held in San Antonio, Texas in January.

As noted earlier, if there is a Committee or Officer's report on which you would like more detail, please do not hesitate to ask.

Respectfully submitted by CINF Councilors,
Bonnie Lawlor
Gary Wiggins