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#224 - ACS Council Meeting

The Council of the American Chemical Society met on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 during the Fall National Meeting of the Society held in Boston, Massachusetts.  The session ran from 8:00A.M. until approximately 12:10P.M.  This report provides some of the highlights of the Council activities.

Dr. John Crum, ACS Executive Director, Recovering from Heart Surgery

The Council meeting is traditionally opened with a resolution and minute of silence honoring Councilors and past-Presidents who may have passed away since the prior National Meeting of the Society.  At this meeting it was also announced that Dr. John Crum, Executive Director of the Society, is recovering from heart surgery, and therefore was unable to attend the Boston meeting.  Dr. Joseph Clark was appointed by the Board to serve as acting-Executive Director until Dr. Crum returns to work.

Elections 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 five of ten nominees to the Committee on Committees for the term 2003 through 2005:  William H. Breazeale, Jr., Peter K. Dorhout, Nancy B. Jackson, Mamie W. Moy, and Wanda W. Rauscher.  (CINF’s Carol Duane is currently a member through 2004).

Council also elected four of eight nominees to the Council Policy Committee for the term 2003 through 2005:  Eric C. Bigham, Martha L. Casey, Janan M. Hayes, and Sharon P. Shoemaker. (CINF’s Merle I. Eiss is currently a member through 2004).

And finally, Council elected five of ten nominees to the Committee on Nominations and Elections for the term 2003 through 2005:  Peter A. Christie, Valerie J. Kuck, Bonnie Lawlor (CINF), James W. Long, and Sara J. Risch.

Report from ACS President and President-Elect – Focus on Government and Communication
Eli M. Pierce, ACS President, mentioned that the partnering of ACS with other professional societies is a priority for him during his term of office, as is interaction with governmental agencies.  He reported that he is pleased with the increased cooperation that has developed between Divisions and Local Sections, and encourages everyone to continue in the spirit of joint activities.  He also noted that the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Women Chemists’ Committee is continuing at the Boston meeting.

Elsa Reichmanis, President-Elect, reported that she intends to be pro-active with Government agencies at the State and Federal level on all issues that may impact the chemical industry.  She has already had the opportunity to interact in this regard through participation in a legislative summit arranged for ACS leaders and through a presentation made at the National Research Council’s Chemical Sciences Roundtable on reducing the time from basic research to innovation.  The major focus during her Presidential year will be Communication – with the public, the media, government officials, sister societies, and ACS members. Planning is underway for a community outreach event at the aquarium in New Orleans (Spring national Meeting 2003) with both education and entertainment components.  In New York (Fall National Meeting 2003) the communication theme will continue through the combined celebration of C&EN’s 80th Anniversary and JACS’ 125th Volume.  She welcomes any suggestions on the theme of communication.

Report from Past-President – Dr. Pavlath thanked for his Dedication to the ACS

Dr. Attila Pavlath addressed Council for the last time as part of his Presidential succession, counting the days and hours until he will have to step aside.  He reported that he has been asked to address the Alaska Section on September 11, 2002 on the role of chemistry in national security.  He gave an overview of his accomplishments as ACS President, and thanked everyone for their support.  A member of Council, Dr. Mordecai Treblow, made a resolution to thank Dr. Pavlath for his 30 years of dedication to the Society and particularly for making it easier for members to become involved if they wish.  Council passed the resolution.

Report from The Chair of the ACS Board – Dr. John Crum to Retire

Dr. Nina McClelland, Chair of the ACS Board of Directors, was thanked for her dedication as well since today (August 21st) was her birthday – Council sang “Happy Birthday” before she presented her report. She noted that she was very pleased to see increased attendance at the open session of the ACS Board, and asked that more people attend.  She noted that Dr. John Crum, ACS Executive Director, will retire effective December 31, 2003, and that the Board is beginning to plan for his replacement.  Initial discussions on the recruitment activities will take place at the New Orleans meeting.  It was also reported that data is now being collected to serve as the basis for updating the ACS Strategic Plan.  The matching funds program has reached its cap for 2002, but the Board took stop-gap action to continue the program for the remainder of this year.  Despite economic conditions, the finances of the Society remain strong, primarily due to revenues from Chemical Abstracts Services and ACS Publications.  The Board is committed to developing the 2003 budget within the guidelines established last year; ie., the deficit will not exceed one million dollars.

Report of the Executive Director  - ACS Matching Gift Program May Continue is 2003
Joseph Clark, Acting Executive-Director, reported that Dr. Crum’s surgery was successful and that he is recovering nicely.  He reported that income from investments and advertising is below budget, but that the deficit is partially offset by strong revenues from Publications subscriptions and CAS. The Board is looking at re-authorizing the ACS matching gift program for 2003, and will continue it for the remainder of 2002 as long as the matching funds can be found within the approved ACS budget.

Council Policy Committee – Original Petition for Support to Divisions and Local sections Withdrawn

The Council Policy Committee (CPC) reported that the original petition to provide support to Divisions and Local Sections was withdrawn after the Orlando meeting.  CPC had recommended that this be done.  A new petition on this topic appeared in the Council Agenda book for consideration only at the Boston meeting.  There was no discussion on this issue during the Council meeting.
Committee on Committees – Petition to Increase the Size of Society Committees Passes amid Controversy

The Committee on Committees (ConC) reported that they had initiated a review of Committees and Committee structures in order to obtain Council input. The objective of the review is to increase member involvement in and communication from all ACS committees, and to develop a “Best Practices”  guide for Committee Associates and Consultants.  ConC opposed the petition to increase the size of Society Committees (increasing the minimum size from 9 to 12, and increasing the maximum size from 15 to 20) until they completed their study to see if such an increase is actually necessary.  There was considerable discussion on the Council floor on this issue before a hand vote was taken. In order for the petition to pass a two-thirds approval of Council was required.  The hand-vote resulted in a 67.6% approval – slightly more than necessary.  An opponent of the petition requested that a written vote be taken since the hand vote was so close.  ACS President, Eli Pearce, asked Council to vote on the request for a written ballot.  Council voted against the request so the petition passed.  This whole process took more than half an hour.

ConC completed its review of three Committees – Younger Chemists, Women Chemists, and the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols – and recommended that these Committees continue.  Council approved the recommendation. ConC also recommended approval of the request to change the charge for the Committee on Technician Affairs in order to provide a clearer description of focus.  Council voted to approve the request.

The names of Councilors who had completed milestones years of service were read, as were those of Committee members who completed their years of service. CINF’s Edlyn Simmons and Barbara Peterson were among those so honored.

Committee on Nominations & Elections – Nominee Town Meeting to Replace Multiple Presentations at Caucuses in New Orleans

The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) voted to hold a Nominee Town Meeting at the ACS National Meeting scheduled for New Orleans in the Spring of 2003. This meeting, moderated in a question-and-answer format, will replace the presentations given by nominees at the multiple Councilor Caucuses held during the National Meetings.  It will allow Caucuses to focus on their specific interests, and provide a less hectic venue for the nominees.  If successful, the format may be extended to future meetings.  N&E 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. The Task Force has completed a survey of all those who ran for ACS National Office during the past four years.  The results indicate that improvements can be made, and at this meeting N&E voted to approve three initial recommendations: 1) to establish an ACS Website for the use of candidates for ACS National Office during the campaign process; 2) to disseminate the ACS Guidelines on Communication and Campaign Procedures to all ACS members in order to increase awareness of approved campaign practices; and 3) to submit a recommendation to the Committee on Budget and Finance to consider funding all nominees for President-Elect who must appear before Council for the selection of the final two candidates if their attendance is not otherwise funded by the Society.  N&E also completed slates for President-Elect 2004, Directors from Districts I & V, 2004 –2006, and Director-at-Large, 2004 – 2006.

Committee on Budget and Finance - ACS Expects a Net-Deficit of $4.2 Million in 2002; B&F Looks at Alternatives to the Petition on Support to Divisions and Local Sections
Dr. James Burke, Committee Chair, reported on the Society’s probable financial performance for 2002   At this point, the year-end results will most likely be a deficit of $4.2 million dollars. The deficit comes from operations ($1.3 million), Board appropriations ($1.7 million), and the members’ insurance program ($1.2 million).  The operations deficit is primarily due to lower-than-expected investment income ($730K) deficit) and advertising revenue ($625K deficit). 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 600 schools, and new sales have averaged one per business day.  Publications subscription revenue is also expected to exceed budget.  Headquarters is attempting to control the deficit through vacancy management, travel reduction, and the elimination of unnecessary meetings.  In addition, no new programs will be initiated unless the costs are covered by the elimination of existing programs.

The Committee voted unanimously to oppose the petition on funding for Divisions and Local Sections as it is currently written.  However, the Committee also realizes that some Divisions and Local Sections do need additional support – financial and otherwise.  A joint CPC/B&F Task Force will address this issue no later than at the 2003 Spring National Meeting in New Orleans, so that if the petition does fail, immediate, alternate action can be taken.

In closing, it was noted that the Committee will have a website available by October 2002 so that all members can be kept abreast of the Society’s finances.

Committee on Education
Dr. Daryle Busch, Chair of the Society Committee on Education (SOCED), reported that the Committee is looking at restructuring chemical education with a focus on the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry.  An introductory manual – Introduction to Green Chemistry – is being developed with key Sister Societies.  Also, a new textbook, Chemistry, will be available next year.  

Committee on Science – 2003 Programs in New Orleans and New York
Dr. Margaret Cavanaugh, Chair of the Committee on Science (ComSci), announced several programs planned for 2003.  In New Orleans, the Committee will organize a program on the stability of long-term research.  In New York, the Committee will organize a program on federal funding for research projects.  Other programs call for a multidisciplinary look at the technical aspects and public policy implications of global warming.

Committee on Meetings and Expositions – ACS Meeting the Largest Event Held in Boston Since September 11th
Dr. George Heinze, Chair of the Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E), reported that total attendance at the Boston meeting as of Tuesday, August 20, was 17,121.  This included 12,478 attendees, 2,664 exhibitors and exhibit-only attendees, and 1,979 guests.  There were 409 booths (the 3rd largest at national meetings) and 309 companies (the 2nd largest).  This meeting was the largest event held in Boston since the tragic happenings of 9/11/01.

A Task Force on National Meetings has concluded that while Divisions have primary responsibility for programming at National Meetings, fair treatment must be given to all programming entities.  Guidelines on this issue will be available by the 2003 Spring meeting in New Orleans.  

A Task Force on Meeting Finances has recommended that the 2003 advance registration fee be increased by $10.00 to $275.00, and that guest registration be re-instated at 10% of that amount.  In 2003, the standard equipment for technical presentations will be:  overhead projector/screen, LCD equipment, podium & microphone, lapel microphone, and laser pointer.  35mm slide projectors will only be made available upon request.

The 2008 Spring National Meeting scheduled for San Antonio will be moved to either New Orleans or San Diego.
Committee on Membership Affairs – Increase in Unemployment

Dr. Gerald Bass, Chair of the Committee on Membership Affairs (MAC), reported that as of July 31, 2002, there were 1,200 members requesting dues waiver as a result of unemployment – an increase of 300 in the past year. The petition for approval of non-U.S. applicants as Society Affiliates was approved by a voice vote of Council.  This will allow non-U.S. applicants to become affiliates of ACS.

Committee on Divisional Activities – DAC Approves Petition for Support to Divisions and Local Sections

Dr. Frank Blum, Chair of the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC), reported that the Committee had reviewed 2001 Annual Reports from 33 Divisions and 4 Secretariats.  Eight out of eleven proposals submitted by Divisions were accepted for support from the Innovative Project Fund.  Five Divisions were recognized at the ChemLuminary Awards – Fuel, Geochemistry, Nuclear, ChemTech, and Medicinal.  The Program Coordination meeting will be held in Chicago from November 1 – 3, 2002.  And the next Division Leadership meeting will be held in Washington, DC from February 7-9, 2003.  It was reported that as of June 30, 2002 there were 113,000 dues-paying Division members (this includes multiple Division memberships).  It was also reported that 16 out of 33 Divisions ran deficits, although there was no explanation as to where the deficits arose.   DAC approves the proposed petition for support to Divisions and Local Sections.  While details on how the funds will be distributed were not provided, it was reported that there will be an increase in the base allotment, a modest amount for membership, an allotment for National Meetings, and an allotment for innovative projects.
Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs
Dr. Dennis Chamot, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA), reported that 154 employers looking to fill 512 positions held interviews in Boston.  As of Tuesday, August 20, 4,667 interviews had been held.

Committee on Local Section Activities –Section Awards Announced

Dr. Yorke Rhodes, Chair of the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC), announced the recipients of the awards given to Local Sections based upon the performance noted in their Annual Reports:  Very Large Section – Northeastern; Large Section  - Detroit; Medium-Large Section – Midland; Medium Section – Northern Tennessee; Medium-Small Section – Peoria; Small Section – Central Utah.

Special awards also were noted:  The Section who did the most for recruiting/retaining membership – Cincinnati; the Section with the most Innovations – Washington/Idaho Border; the Section who did the most in support of the ACS Strategic Thrusts – St. Louis; and the Section with the most innovative use of technology – New Jersey.

It was announced that LSAC has software available to assist Local Sections in tracking their finances.  Also, it was noted that 30 Local Sections have been invited to submit proposals for stop-gap funding.  Also LSAC voted unanimously to approve the petition for support to Divisions and Local Sections.  LSAC recommended that Council approve the petition from the Boulder Dam Section to change their name to Southern Nevada Section.  Council approved the recommendation.

Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service – CAS Continues Double-Digit Revenue Growth

Barbara Peterson, Chair of the Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service, reported that CAS continues its double-digit revenue growth.  SciFinder Scholar has increased from the 400 subscribers reported in Orlando (Spring 2002) to 615 as of July 31st. Also, CAS is linked to the full-text of Publications, increasing its overall utility.

Committee On Publications – New Journal Announced
Dr. Joan Shields, Publications Committee Chair, reported that a new journal covering bibliometric analysis will be released within the next year.  She also reported the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Science will be reviewed during the coming year. The Committee plans to have information on Copyright available soon on its website.  C&EN will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2003, and JACS will publish its 125th Volume in that year as well.

In closing, a resolution was read thanking ACS President, Eli Pearce, for his leadership, and the Northeastern Local Section was thanked for its assistance with the National Meeting.

Respectfully Submitted, August 27, 2002

Bonnie Lawlor, Councilor
Gary Wiggins, Councilor