#218 Council Meeting

ACS Council Meeting
218th National Meeting, New Orleans, August 1999

Notes from the ACS Council Meeting, August 25, 1999, New Orleans

ACS President Edel Wasserman reported on the international and other meetings he has attended. In addition, he described one of a series of communication workshops aimed at improving the communication skills of graduate students. He has recently testified about the Shelby Amendment concerning access to federally funded data.

President-elect Daryle H. Buschis quite interested in the management of chemical knowledge. He had attended an Association of Research Libraries meeting on Scholarly Communication in the Digital Era, where he reported hearing that research chemists are the source of the library budget problems due to their vastly increased output in recent years. But he suggested in his written report, that they "...might well provide the best hope for a solution. An evolving recommendation that a global campaign be undertaken to inform chemists about the crushing magnitude of the library problems and to encourage chemical researchers to publish in some list of journals that could be recommended on the basis of their relatively low costs." He also visited Chemical Abstracts Service last spring. The president-elect is quite interested in knowledge management and spoke of an ACS Task Force on Electronic Policy. He hopes to have a presidential event on this topic in 2000. In the area of government and legal affairs, President-elect Busch wants to encourage Senator Brownback of Kansas to be a champion of science.

Past President Paul H.L. Walter spoke of his visit to Tanzania where a meeting on chemistry as the answer to environmental problems was held.

Chair of the Board of Directors Hank Whalen reported on a task force recommendation to scale back plans to recruit members in foreign countries. The total ACS membership target is now 168,000 for 2001. The new Office of Technical Programming and Conferences will sponsor its first conference on the topic of combinatorial chemistry in April 2000 in Tucson, Arizona.

Actions taken by the Board at the New Orleans Meeting:

  1. Two statements were approved:
    • To revitalize US-Cuba exchange of science and technology information
    • Against the state of Kansas decision to remove references to evolution and the origins of the universe from the state's education standards and assessments
  2. Approved funding:
    • Graduate Education staff office
    • Chemical census 2000, an all-member census done every 5 years
    • Public opinion measurement program
    • The Langmuir award
    • Sponsorship of CHEMRAWN 14, Boulder, Colorado, 2001.

ACS Executive Director John Crum reported on the $45,000,000 building project at Chemical Abstracts Service to construct a 2-story, 19,000 sq. ft. computer facility. He noted that finances are in a good position in almost all areas. ACS is moving to an independent auditor for counting ballots.

Council Policy Committee: Anne T. O'Brien reported that CPC concurred with the proposed re-districting and financial action plans. Bylaw X, Bylaw VII, sec. 13, and Bylaw VII, Sec 10 were amended concerning Society Affiliation with Other Technical Organizations via unanimous vote of the Council. This now allows a division to affiliate with another organization for 5 years maximum, with possible renewal.

The Subcommittee on Industrial Members has held ACS days at industrial sites to increase awareness of the benefits of ACS participation. A 1998 survey of industrial managers revealed a need for educational programs, especially stressing the handling of multiple projects, setting priorities, improved project management, and communication skills.

Councilor travel reimbursement has been increased to a maximum of $2000 for 2 meetings; $1000 for 1 meeting. 75% of the cost is borne by national.

Paul R. Jones reported for the Committee on Committees (CONC) that developing special programs for committee chairs. The name changefor the Committee on Nomenclature to the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols was unanimously approved, as was the revision of the charge to the Committee on Public Relations and its change of status to that of a Joint Board-Council committee. Governance oversight was moved to other committees. The committee now monitors public opinion, develops the Society's public spokesmanship opportunities and image on behalf of chemistry, manages news and information dissemination, and expands member communications training.

Unanimous approval was also given to the proposal to expand the duties of the Committee on Publications and to discharge the Committee on Copyrights. A task force will determine who should continue the various activities of the Copyright Committee, particularly those related to educational outreach.

The Committee on Nominations and Elections reported the results of the election conducted at this meeting. Elected were:

Committee on Committees: Janan M. Hayes, Wanda W. Rauscher, and write-in candidate John Massengill

Council Policy Committee: Robin J. Hood, Paul R. Jones, Ted J. Logan, Howard M. Peters

Nominations & Elections: Bonnie A. Lawlor, Anne T. O'Brien, Michael P. Doyle, Mamie W. Moy, Robert A. Pett.

The proposed redistricting (which is only for the purpose of voting in national elections) was approved with some opposition. A petition to enlarge the allowed variance among regions from 10 to 15% was defeated.

The Budget and Finance Committee Chair Paul S. Anderson reported that the Society is expected to end the fiscal year $988,000 in the black. The funding of the 3 new programs is as follows: graduate education (up to $170,000), census of chemists (up to $135,000), public opinion research pilot (up to $59,000. It was pointed out that 40% of the meeting attendees are now subsidized.

Donald E. Jones, reporting for the Committee on Education, shared the good news that the US team was rated "best in the world" at the High School Chemistry Olympiad. Their resolution on evolution and the origin of the universe was approved by the Board. They expressed concerned about the proposed increase in fees for undergraduates to attend the ACS national meetings.

Committee on Science Chair Douglas J. Raber reported on engineering achievements with the greatest impact on mankind. They have also issued a "What is science?" statement.

Kathleen M. Schultz, Chair of the Local Section Activities Committee noted that the Red River Valley petition to annex the remaining 40 counties in North Dakota and nine counties abutting the section in Minnesota has been withdrawn. A key issue with the Local Section Activities Committee is that jointly with the Committee on Divisional Activities, they agreed to recommend that a Presidential Task Force be created to look at the issue of equity in resources and Council representation with regard to Divisions and Local Sections.

Generating considerable discussion at the Council meeting was the report of the Committee on Meetings and Expositions, chaired by R. Gerald Bass. A reallocation of overhead costs from the Washington building expenses has caused a $400,000 deficit now that is anticipated to grow to $1,000,000 by 2004, thus precipitating the plan for an increase in registration fees. For students (30-35% of the current registrants), this would be a gradual increase: $30 for undergrads and $35 for grad students in 2000. These fees would rise to $65 and $125 respectively, based on current projections. Presidential candidate Attila Pavlath pointed out that this problem was caused by the reallocation of overhead expenses. He expressed the opinion that the ACS is not a business organization, and that we have a responsibility not to balance the budget by passing costs to younger people. Comments by others lamented the potential harm to attendance by high school teachers. It was suggested by another speaker that ACS look at other areas where expenses could be cut. A motion to re-commit failed, and the motion to put in place the financial plan recommended by M&E passed. Key features of the plan are:

  • Make member fees far less than non-member fees in all categories
  • Peg the increase in advance member rates to the consumer price index
  • Lower the student discount
  • Schedule national meetings only in cities that are economically viable.

The Membership Affairs Chair, Eric C. Bigham, reported that total ACS membership goal is 162,000 in 1999, to grow to 168,000 in 2001. A graduated dues proposal is to be ready by the San Francisco meeting. Revised dates of anniversary for new and reinstated members are to start on a weekly basis under the petition passed by Council.

Bonnie Lawlor, Chair of the Divisional Activities Committee, reported that the DAC has competed the review of division annual reports and is currently doing a statistical review. A 3-year summary of divisional concerns has been compiled and sent to appropriate ACS offices. The DAC and the LSAC have agreed to recommend that a Presidential Task Force be created to look at the issue of equity in resources and Council representation with regard to Divisions and Local Sections. Beginning next year, the report for 1999 and future reports can be done online. The first electronic distribution of Division News took place in July. The divisional officers training will be held in Clearwater, Florida in January 2000.

Valerie J. Kuck, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs, told of the mature chemists survey that was sent to 5000 members over 50 years of age. An early chemists survey will take place in 2001. This will help identify the demands placed on chemists and the things that the ACS can do to help them. The chemistry census 2000 will cover salary and other matters. A new brochure dealing with what a chemist should consider before becoming a consultant has been developed. The committee has noted a trend in academic institutions shifting from tenure-track appointments to the hiring of temporary instructors. At the interview sessions in New Orleans, 134 employers with 954 openings conducted interviews.

Dean W. Cooke, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, stated that they are reviewing 26 local sections and divisions. This committee recommends that they review amendments before an actual vote is taken. Electronic versions of bylaws are available from the ACS office. Terminology will change soon, with district replacing the word region in bylaws.

Chair John Verkade reported for the Chemical Abstracts Service Committee that the purpose of the committee was the topic of discussion in New Orleans. CAS accomplishments were reviewed, including the growth in acceptance of SciFiinder Scholar (now up to 70 universities). All CAS services have a ChemPort connection now, and 21 publishers, with 700 journals, are now ChemPort participants. He announced jointly with the Publications Division, CAS has succeeded in linking all references in ACS journals to the corresponding CAS abstracts. Citation information is to be included starting next year, and citation searching will be a feature of the database at that time. 1999 marks the 7th consecutive year of profit for CAS. The average annual cost increases have been 5% or less. Patents and Related Matters (Howard Peters) Key issue: A bill that has been drafted that will enact changes to the US Patent law. There is some concern about a "first inventor Defense. That would introduce a significant limitation on US patent rights that has not existed to date. They also expressed concern about the application of the Freedom of Information Act to scientific research data which allow public access to such information.

Chemistry and Public Affairs reported that Dr. Mary Good has been nominated for the National Science Board's Vannevar Bush Award and that Dr. Neal Lane, President Clinton's Science Advisor, has been nominated for the ACS Public Service Award. Dr. Lane will receive the award on 9/29/99 at a Capitol Hill Ceremony

Project Seed reported that this year's program placed 266 students at 77 institutions participating in the Summer I program and 83 students at 40 institutions participating in Summer II. Also 27 Project Seed students have been awarded scholarships totaling $135,000 to attend college in the 1999-2000 college year.

Public Relations has changed its name to the Committee on Public Relations and Communications. They reported that as of mid-1999 newspaper and magazine coverage of many ACS units had moved past the levels achieved last year. A comparison of the first 6 months of this year with the same time period last year, overall coverage of ACS and its programs had jumped 54%. Younger Chemists Continued to celebrate its 25th anniversary

Women Chemists announced a new award - The WCC Overcoming Challenges Award - to be presented at the Washington, DC meeting in the fall of 2000. It is to recognize a woman from a 2 or 4-year non-graduate degree granting institution for her efforts in overcoming hardship to achieve success in chemistry.

Copyright reported that a "Learning Module: What Chemists Need to Know about Copyright" is now posted on the ACS Publications Web Site. It was announced that this committee was discontinued at this meeting and will be a subcommittee of the Joint Board Council Committee on Publications.

Minority Affairsreported that minority membership in ACS has grown by 50% in the past 4 years.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary Wiggins and Bonnie Lawlor
CINF Councilors

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