#221 - ACS Council Meeting


The Council of the American Chemical Society met on Wednesday, April 4, 2001 during the Spring National Meeting of the Society held in San Diego, California. The session was relatively short (only three and a half hours as promised by ACS President, Attila Pavlath) and was virtually non-contentious. This report provides some of the highlights of the Council activities.

Elections and Nominations for ACS President-Elect, the Committee on Nominations and Elections, and the ACS Board of Directors

Four nominees, from which two would be elected by Council to run for President-Elect of the Society for the year 2002, presented their campaign statements. The four candidates were: James A. Bristol, William F. Carroll, Jr., E. Charles Galloway, and Elsa Reichmanis. The two candidates elected by Council were William F. Carroll, Jr. and Elsa Reichmanis. The election by ACS Members will take place in the Fall.

A vacancy on the Committee on Nominations and Elections was created when Stan Israel resigned to run (successfully) for the ACS Board of Directors. Three candidates were chosen to stand for election to fill the vacancy: Paul W. Jagodzinski, Robert A. Pribush, and Don Clarke (the latter was a write-in candidate). The successful candidate was Don Clarke.

Prior to the San Diego Meeting, a mail ballot to Councilors selected the candidates who will run for Directors from Districts II and IV in the Fall of 2000. CINF members should be aware that one of our own – Carol A. Duane – is one of two candidates chosen to run for the Board slot for District II!

Reports from ACS President, President-Elect, and Past President

Attila E. Pavlath, ACS President, Reported on his extensive travels for the Society (165,000 miles in the year 2000 as President-elect!) and noted that he is making every attempt to place Councilors who have expressed an interest in actively serving the Society on committees and task forces. Attila also plans to survey the more than 50,000 ACS members for whom the Society has e-mail addresses in order to obtain their opinion on what they would like ACS to do in the future. An outside firm will create the survey, conduct it, and interpret the results.

Eli M. Pearce, President-Elect, reported that he will devote his Presidency to working to support the ACS Strategic Plan, particularly in the areas of meeting the needs of members, increasing the utilization of the Internet for information technology and delivery, and increasing International collaboration. Dr. Pearce will focus on furthering collaboration among Councilors, ACS Members, ACS staff and the Board of Directors with the goal of increasing active participation in the Society. He also plans to focus on Regional ACS Meetings as a means of outreach to ACS industrial members.

Daryle H. Busch, Immediate Past-President, reported that the agreement between the ACS and the Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) has been completed, and that the first meeting of the GCI Board of Directors had just taken place at the San Diego meeting. Through this alliance, the ACS is committed to the principle that environmental protection must accompany the products of science. Dr. Busch also reported that two National Chemical Historic Landmarks were dedicated at the end of last year. The two sites were the Rockefeller Institute in New York for protein and DNA chemistry, and the Dupont Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE for the development of polymer chemistry by Wallace Caruthers.

Report from The Chair of the ACS Board

Dr. Nina McClelland, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, reported that a task force focusing on women and the chemical profession has been established. The goal of the task force is to develop ways (support mechanisms, training, etc.) in which the gender gap in executive level positions and tenure positions can be closed. She also reported that the ACS has been given control of the Petroleum Research Fund assets ($537.6 million) by the New York Supreme Court. A task force is now examining how the Society will handle these funds. In closing, she made a toast to the Board and Council in celebration of a close working relationship and for the 125th Anniversary of the Society being celebrated this year at both National meetings.

Report of the Executive Director – New Chemistry Web Site Launched

John Crum, Executive Director of the Society, reported that a new web site has been established – www.Chemistry.org - that will serve as the premier point of information on the chemical enterprise for media, legislators, the public, educators, and ACS members. He reported that a new journal, the Journal of Proteon Research, will be launched in 2002, with an editorial focus on the large-scale analysis of protein in cells. He also reported that the new Chemical Abstracts Data Center was completed on schedule and under budget during the weekend of March 31/April 1, 2001, and that 100 new SciFinder Scholar installations have been initiated so far this year.

Committee on Committees - Size of Council Standing Committees Increased

Barbara A. Sawrey, Chair, reported that the Committee on Committees (ConC) completed its sunset review of the ACS Committees on International Activities and on Environmental Improvement and moved that these committees continue. Council concurred.

ConC also unanimously supported the proposed Bylaws change to incease the size of Council Standing Committees. (These committees are: Membership Affairs, Divisional Activities, Local Section Activities, Meetings and Expositions, Constitution and Bylaws, and Economic and Professional Affairs). However, ConC recommended that the size only increase from the current range of 6 to 15 to a new rage of 12 to 20 rather than to 12 to 24 as requested by the petitioners. The motion was amended, and passed by Council as amended. The question was then raised as to why the increase only impacted Council Standing Committees and not all ACS Committees. ACS President Attila Pavlath replied by saying that this represents a first step in increasing opportunities for member participation in ACS Governance. Other changes may be forthcoming.

Committee on Budget and Finance - ACS Dues Increased, Funding for Divisions and Local Sections Recommended

Dr. Paul S. Anderson, Committee Chair, reported that as of 12/31/2000 ACS core programs provided a net contribution of $8.3 million, approximately $4million favorable to the budget. The key factors were the unexpected increase in advertising (22% over 1999 versus a projected 5.2%) that provided the Publications Division with a $3.3 million favorable variance, and a favorable revenue increase from Chemical Abstracts Service’s electronic products. The overall favorable performance allowed the Society to defer the use of the funds appropriated for Information Technology development until 2001.

The committee voted to recommend the following items to the Board: 1) Funding of $100,000 to explore whether there is an appropriate role for the ACS in the area of international and domestic standards and conformity assessment. This is perceived to be a benefit to industrial members; 2) $105,000 to develop a technology milestones exhibit for the Chicago 2001 Fall meeting that will also be used at other venues to promote chemistry; and 3) $300,000 for stopgap funding for ACS Divisions and Local sections depending upon acceptance of the criteria established for fund distribution.

The year 2002 fully-escalated dues for ACS membership was recommended at $112 – a $4.00 increase over the current dues (there was no dues increase for 2001). This new dues amount was approved by Council vote with absolutely no discussion – a first!

Committee on Education

The Committee on Education is establishing a program for the professional development of high school chemistry teachers, and is also looking at a three year program for high school chemistry clubs.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

The Committee reported that 208 employers, representing 1,429 potential hires, attended the San Diego meeting. Approximately 4,000 interviews were scheduled. They also reported that JobSpectrum.org, a joint project of the Publications and Membership Divisions, will launch on June 1, 2001. This is planned to be the international web career resource and recruiting site, and revenue will be obtained from advertising. The committee has recommended that the site, available to anyone, provide clear additional value to ACS members. It was also noted that an online salary comparison for chemists will be made available.

The committee provided Council with a proposed 3rd edition of the ACS Academic Professional Guidelines and recommended that the guidelines be adopted. Council voted to adopt the guidelines
Committee on Local Section Activities – Anniversaries & Creation of a New Local Section

Kathleen Schulz, Chair, reported that three Local Sections are celebrating anniversaries in 2001: 50th - the Northern New Jersey and University of Kansas sections, and 100th – the California Local Section. 137 of the 188 Local sections have submitted their year 2000 Annual Reports, with 76% of them doing so online for the first time. The Committee has established four subcommittees: 1) The Future Local Section and Leaders subcommittee that will examine collaboration between Local sections and ACS Divisions; 2) Awards and Recognition subcommittee that will establish three new local section awards for innovation, involvement, and support of the ASC strategic plan; 3) Technology tools and Operations subcommittee that will focus on the use of modern technology for communication and services to Sections; and 4) the Assessment and Development Subcommittee.

It was also reported that the theme of National Chemistry Week this year will be Chemistry and Art. The date of National Chemistry Week may be moved from November to October, although one Councilor requested that the date actually be later than November in order to give academics more time to prepare (it is too early in the school year).

Council voted unanimously to support the request by the Savannah River Section to annex three counties currently in the Georgia Section (this was supported by the Georgia section as well). Council also passed the petition to charter a new Local Section – the Middle Georgia Section – in order to minimize the distance that some members had to drive to attend a Local Section Meeting. It is hoped that this will increase participation at the local level. This brings the number of Local Sections to 189.

Committee on Meetings and Expositions

George Heinz, Chair, reported that as of the morning of the Council meeting registration at the National Meeting was at 17,824. The Exhibit had 472 booths from 252 companies. These figures made this San Diego meeting the third largest in attendance and second largest in the number of booths (by the end of the week the meeting could actually be second in both categories!). It was reported that at this meeting LCD equipment was made available at no charge to Divisions for every technical session. This was a first and Technical Divisions will be asked to report on the success of the program. This support will continue at least through the Spring meeting of 2002. The committee reported that the Board voted to approve the policy on recording and broadcasting (including webcasting) of presentations at National Meetings. This policy is as follows: The use of any recording or broadcasting mechanism for the reproduction, transmission or any other use of a presentation, whether oral or poster, at a national meeting of the ACS is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the appropriate Division and/or organizing body, the Executive Director or his/her designee, and the prior written consent of the presenter. The presenter shall be fully informed of the intended use of the recorded material.

In closing, it was reported that there has been no negative impact on student attendance at National meetings as a result of increasing the student registration fee. Student attendance has remained in the 20%-22% range of total attendance.

Committee on Membership Affairs – Membership Campaign Successful

The committee reported that the 2001 membership campaign that has been in progress for the past 4 years has been very successful. The Society ended the year 2000 with a total of 163,016 members (2000 more that at the end of 1999) and a 94% retention rate (up from 91%). In addition, there has been an increase of 20,000 younger chemists in the Society, and student rate members have increased by 24% since 1996. The committee is looking at establishing a graduated dues program and will be polling non-member BS Chemists to see if such a program would encourage them to join ACS.

Committee on Divisional Activities

Frank Blum, Chair, reported that 25 of the 33 Divisions have filed their year 2000 Annual Reports, and that for the first time Secretariats have filed Annual Reports on their activities. He stated that 115,000 ACS members are members of at least one Division. Frank also congratulated several divisions on celebrating significant anniversaries this year: Geochemistry - 20 years, Computers in Chemistry - 25 years, Polymer Chemistry - 50 years ,and Colloid and Surface Chemistry – 75 years. Frank reported that the Presidential Task Force on support to Divisions and Local Sections filed their report, and recommended that everyone read their findings. The report can be located at: http://membership.acs.org/p/ptf/.

Committee On Publications

Joan Shields, Chair, reported that in the year 2000 Chemical & Engineering News had one of its best financial results due to advertising. She also reported that at the meeting of ACS editors it was agreed that preprints distributed electronically will be considered electronic publications and will not be eligible for publication by ACS. This does not apply to official ACS preprints that are distributed at National meetings of the Society.

Committee on Professional Training

Jeanne E. Pemberton, Chair, reported on a survey conducted by the committee in October of last year with regard to library holdings, access to chemical information by undergraduates, and library budget issues. The results to date indicate the use of chemical literature is insufficient in undergraduate programs, that access to electronic products from Chemical Abstracts is a problem for smaller institutions, and that small institutions also have less access to journals. A full report on this survey is forthcoming.


One Councilor asked that the Board reconsider its opt-in policy with regard to member directories. It is believed that this policy will significantly reduce the value of such directories. It was suggested that the Society return to an opt-out policy (people must request to be excluded) or add a question regarding directory participation on the ACS renewal form. ACS President Attila Pavlath said that a response to this request would be made no later than the Fall 2001 National meeting in Chicago.

In closing the San Diego Local Section was thanked for its assistance with the National Meeting, and a resolution was read re-affirming the Council’s commitment to the vision of the founders of the American Chemical Society in this year of the ACS’ 125th Anniversary.

Respectfully Submitted, April 12, 2001

Bonnie Lawlor, Councilor

Mike O’Hara, Alternate Councilor

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