Dayton Section Council Reports
carefully crafted by Steven Trohalaki from National Meetings of the ACS.
The ACS Meeting last April in New Orleans was great fun. We were there during the Women’s NCAA Basketball Final Four, so it sometimes felt like you were in an outtake from Amazon Women on the Moon. Then the specter of two drunks trying (unsuccessfully) to help each other get up off the pave-ment on Bourbon street brought us down to earth. The Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans wasn’t nearly grand enough for the traditional Council Breakfast, which resembled a 50%-off Christmas sale at Macy’s, with coffee and pastries thrown in.
As of the morning Council convened, the ACS spring national meeting had attracted 15,596 regis-trants, including 8,105 regular attendees and 5,793 students. The meeting had 11,232 papers pre-sented. The Career Fair had attracted 863 candidates vying for 131 jobs provided by 38 employers. Once again, I did not get a single interview.
The candidates for 2014 President Elect – G. Bryan Balazs, Charles E. Kolb, Jr., Carolyn Ribes, and Diane Grob Schmidt – answered questions (although, not mine) at the Town Hall Meeting the Sunday before Council. Using my patented four-point system, Carolyn Ribes came out way ahead. She was engaged, animated, and well prepared. And she had by far the cutest haircut! In second place came Bryan Balaz, with Charles Kolb and Diane Schmidt bringing up the rear. All four candidates addressed Council, and I almost switched one of my votes to Kolb because he’s the only person I’ve ever heard state publicly that the ACS’s lawsuit against Leadscope, Inc. was a huge mistake. He said (paraphrasing) that chemists are reasonable people, and that we could have easily – and much less expensively – settled the case out of court. I wholeheartedly agree. Council voted to selecte G. Bryan Balazs and Charles E. Kolb, Jr. as candidates for 2014 President-Elect, bringing to an end my remark-able 8-year streak of selecting both candidates with my scoring method. Some Councilors com-mented that Carolyn Ribes would have racked up a lot of travel expenses if she were elected because she lives in Europe. Schmidt (former District II Director), buoyed by the knowledge that the vote of Council was close, is currently trying to gain nomination by petition. I’m betting she’ll succeed.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) announced the results of the election to select candidates from the list of nominees to serve as District II Directors: George M. Bodner, Jed F. Fisher, Alan A. Hazari, and Robert A. Pribush.
The most interesting part of Council was the Petition to Amend National Election Procedures, which would have taken away from Council the power to select candidates for President-Elect and given it to N&E. Two Past Presidents of the ACS spoke against the petition’s passage. N&E came out against the petition, as did my new committee – the Committee on Ethics. The Petition died dramatically, with a vote of 85% against, 15% in favor.
In a special discussion, ACS President Marinda Li Wu presented and moderated a discussion on “What else should ACS do to help members to thrive in the global chemistry enterprise?” ACS has estab-lished a strategic goal to “empower an inclusive community of members with networks, opportunities, resources, and skills to thrive in the global economy.” In support of this goal, President Wu commis-sioned a task force entitled, “Vision 2025: Helping ACS Members Thrive in the Global Chemistry Enter-prise,” to identify globalization opportunities and engage members in advocacy for improving the busi-ness and job climate. Following the presentation, 29 Councilors engaged in robust discussion on what the Society currently offers or could offer to help members thrive in the global chemistry commu-nity.
The rest is kind of humdrum, so I’ll report it on the Section’s web page (http://DaytonACS.org) as pro-vided to me by the powers that be at ACS.
Your faithful Councilor,
Council at the 244th ACS National Meeting, held in Philadelphia, PA, was preceded by the usual continental-
breakfast mosh pit. The situation was exacerbated by Councilors who, after getting their coffee,
just stand around blocking others from getting theirs. Strategically bumping into these reprobates
to cause spillage seems reasonable, except when one of them turns out to be on the ACS Board of Directors.
The only recourse then is to nod accusingly toward an unsuspecting councilor.
There were reports of interest, even to regular members like you:
The ACS Climate Science Toolkit is now available at www.acs.org/climatescience. It will allow you
to familiarize yourself with climate science so that you can educate your friends, neighbors, and
family (well, maybe educating your family is too much to ask, especially your Rush-wanabee siblings)
about this important issue.
The ACS Chemists with Disabilities Committee presented their award-winning video. View it at
https://vimeo.com/39432635 (or search for “chemists with disabilities” on youtube.com).
The Career Fair had 999 ACS Members seeking jobs from 45 Employers offering 148 jobs. Unemployment
for chemistry professionals fell from an all-time high of 4.6% a few months ago to 4.2%.
Once again, I was not offered an interview by any of the employers present.
A Special Discussion Item concerned the major efforts that ACS should pursue to help alleviate water
and other global challenges. Again, several nut jobs went to the microphone to voice their opinions.
My favorite was, “all we need to do is boil sea water and distill it.” I suppose this Councilor
hasn’t used the Climate Science Toolkit yet.
The Petition to Amend National Election Procedures was up “for consideration.” The Nominations
and Elections Committee wants to nominate two candidates for ACS President whereas currently
N&E presents a slate of four candidates from which Council selects two nominees. IMO, it’s a huge
power grab by N&E. There’s no way I’ll vote for this when it comes up for action.
I was honored for completing my term limit (6 years) on the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws.
(It seemed much, much longer). I even got a certificate!
The candidates for the fall 2012 ACS national election (for 2013 President-Elect) just happen to
coincide with the two candidates I voted for at the previous Council Meeting:
Dr. Thomas J. Barton, Distinguished Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Dr. Luis A. Echegoyen, Robert A. Welch Professor, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
The Council passed a resolution to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Glenn T. Seaborg,
Chemistry Nobel Laureate and past ACS President.
Some of the more mundane events at the Council Meeting are recounted below.
N&E presented to the Council the following slate of candidates for membership on the Committee on
Committees beginning in 2013: Spiro D. Alexandratos, G. Bryan Balazs, Christopher J. Bannochie, Arindam
Bose, Dawn A. Brooks, Michelle V. Buchanan, Alan B. Cooper, Judith Currano, Warren D. Hull, Jr.,
David J. Lohse, Christopher J. Masi, Ingrid Montes, Jason E. Ritchie, and Ralph A. Wheeler. By electronic
ballot, the Council elected G. Bryan Balazs, Dawn A. Brooks, Michelle V. Buchanan, Alan B. Cooper,
and Ingrid Montes for the 2013-2015 term; and Spiro D. Alexandratos and Judith Currano for the
remainder of a two-year (2013-2014) term.
N&E presented the following slate of candidates for membership on the Council Policy Committee beginning
in 2013: Frank D. Blum, Mary K. Carroll, Joseph A. Heppert, Martha G. Hollomon, Lee H.
Latimer, Willem R. Leenstra, Carolyn Ribes, and Ellen B. Stechel. By electronic ballot, the Council
elected Frank D. Blum, Mary K. Carroll, Lee H. Latimer, and Carolyn Ribes for the 2013-2015 term.
The Council received two amendments (petitions) to the ACS Constitution and Bylaws for action: The
Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN, which sought to restrict candidates for election to the Board
of Directors from publishing comments in C&EN from May through the balloting period, and the Petition
on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds, which sought to allow the Board of Directors to
grant funds to international chapters for unspecified purposes. The Council voted not to approve both
The Council voted to establish a Joint Board-Council Committee on Senior Chemists whose mission is to
enrich the educational, technical, and cultural lives of the ACS Membership by ministering to and employing
the talents of senior ACS members by: sharing with ACS members of all ages a rich variety of
personal experiences and expertise gained over many years of professional service; fostering interest
and participation in the science of chemistry through community outreach, especially in grades K-12;
acting as science advisors/ambassadors for cultural exchange at home and abroad; providing senior
ACS members with challenging, diverse, and enjoyable professional experiences that enable them to
contribute to their communities; and recommending policies that address issues of interest to senior
chemists. Although the committee is aimed primarily at members over 60 years of age, the definition
of a senior chemist is a member age 50 or older. Many councilors, including this one, have a problem
with that. The Board of Directors must vote on whether or not to establish the committee.
One of the Society’s long-time concerns has been the decline in the number of domestic Regular Members,
that is, members paying full dues. The impact of this decline has been offset, as we have reached
record membership levels, by increases in the number of international Regular Members, and the 2009
addition of Student Member Undergraduates. While the number of regular domestic members paying
less than full dues has decreased from 33,000 to 29,000 in the last five years, this is still significantly
more than the number of student members added.
The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) has unveiled six new four-hour workshops,
as the ACS Career Pathways series. CEPA trained more than 40 volunteer facilitators and the workshops
are now available for regional meetings and local sections.
The Chair of the Board gave an update on the ACS vs. Leadscope litigation. As of this meeting, there
was still no opinion announced by the Ohio Supreme Count on ACS’s appeal in this case, despite the
fact that oral arguments were presented nearly a year ago. However, on 18 September, the following
statement was released by Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr., Chair, ACS Board of Directors:
“The Supreme Court of Ohio today issued its decision in the case of ACS v. Leadscope, Inc., originally filed in
2002. It is a complex decision and ACS needs to carefully review and assess the decision over the next several
Based upon initial review, the ACS Board of Directors is gratified that the Court, in a 5-2 vote, found that ACS did
not defame the defendants and vacated the lower court’s award of damages on that issue, which constituted
the majority of the damages award in this case.
As to the defendants’ claim of unfair competition, the Court acknowledged ACS’ First Amendment right to seek
judicial review of its original claims. Although the Court also agreed with ACS’ legal arguments that the trial court
had improperly instructed the jury on that claim, the Court, in a 4-3 vote, affirmed the lower courts’ decisions.
Today’s ruling will not impact ACS member dues; ACS products, programs or services; ACS staffing levels; or the
ability of ACS to achieve its mission.
ACS also appreciates and acknowledges the strong support it received from the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio
Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the Ohio Council
of Retail Merchants – all of which submitted briefs supporting ACS to the Supreme Court of Ohio.”
Your faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
Although it was somewhat surreal to leave the 80⁰ heat in Dayton for 60⁰ weather in San Diego, your Councilor much preferred the latter. However, judging by the plethora of chemists sporting winter coats, this view was not widely shared. Here are a couple of items you might find interesting: First, the ACS Powers that Be have seen fit for me to mentor a first-year Councilor. As you might have predicted, this came as quite a shock; Second, at the meeting of the Council Committee of Constitution and Bylaws (where I chair a subcommittee), I met a contingent of about a dozen Iraqi chemists seeking help in organizing an International Chapter of the ACS and in gaining technical expertise in repairing their environment suffering the aftermath of 10 years of war. Most of them earned their Ph.D.s in the UK, although one was schooled in Australia and another in Poland. At the Career fair, 943 job seekers vied for 85 jobs offered by 31 employees. As one of the job seekers, my streak of not being offered even a single interview has extended to 42 National ACS Meetings! That must be some sort of record.
Before Council, I attended a Town Hall Meeting where four nominees for 2013 ACS President-Elect — Thomas J. Barton (Iowa State University), Luis A. Echegoyen (University of Texas at El Paso), William A. Lester, Jr. (University of California), and Barry M. Trost (Stanford University) — answered questions from the audience. This is the second time Prof. Echegoyen has been nominated. Using my patented four-point system, Barton and Lester came out on top. However, after each candidate addressed Council, I took unprecedented action and changed both of my votes. I selected Echegoyen (partly due to his heritage and the effect he’ll have on diversity in the ACS, but mostly because of his sense of humor and rapport with Council) and Trost (because he was the only one who actually talked about chemistry in his address). The biggest shortfall for all four candidates, in my opinion, is that none of them have ever participated in their local sections. The Council selected Barton and Echegoyen as candidates who, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.
The most interesting part of Council was a special discussion item for the web-based ACS Climate Science Toolkit, developed by ACS President Shakhashiri’s working group on ACS Climate Science for use by ACS members to educate themselves. President Shakhashiri demonstrated the need for such a toolkit by giving Council a multiple choice pop quiz on greenhouse gases and climate change. The four choices for each question were typically selected by 40%, 40%, 10%, and 10% of the Council—evidence for Council’s ignorance on the subject. “How can we explain global climate change to our neighbors if we don’t understand it ourselves?” asked President Shakhashiri, adding, “Fellow Councilors, we need a Climate Science Toolkit.” President Shakhashiri then opened the floor for comment. The most amusing comments came from Councilors who had an obvious bias. Here are a couple of gems: “The temperature timeline you showed doesn’t include the Roman Empire, during which time it was much warmer than now.” “More CO2 is expelled from human beings than from fossil fuels.” (I wonder if this Councilor was suggesting that those of us who believe that human behavior results in global warming should just kill ourselves to save the planet).
As part of a regular performance review, the Council voted to continue the Committee on Project SEED. The Committee on Project SEED sets policy for all Project SEED programs, including review of Project SEED I and II program applications for student research projects, funding decisions, and Project SEED college scholarship applications.
The Council voted to set the member dues for 2013 at the fully escalated rate of $151. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.
The Council voted to approve the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct as submitted by the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. This document offers guidance for Society members in various professional dealings, especially those involving conflicts of interest.
The Council took action on two amendments (petitions) to the ACS Constitution and Bylaws: The Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure and the Petition on Market Data Collection. The Council voted overwhelmingly to approve both petitions. The Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure provides that a call for a recorded vote after a clicker vote has commenced will be out of order, as would a call for a recorded vote after the initial clicker voting has taken place. The Petition on Market Data Collection seeks to add a provision to allow for controlled market testing to collect data before the Society changes benefits, dues, or membership categories. The Board of Directors will vote within 90 days on whether to ratify the approved petitions.
The Council also received two petitions for consideration: The Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN and the Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds. The Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN seeks to restrict candidates for election to the Board of Directors from publishing comments in C&EN for a six-month period prior to the mailing of the election ballot. The Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds seeks to clarify that the Board of Directors may allocate funds to international chapters for specific purposes. The Council is expected to act on these two petitions at the fall Council meeting.
Despite the sluggish economy, ACS generated strong operating results in 2011. Total revenue was $472.0 million, up +1.8% over 2010. The Net from Operations was $20.9 million, or $7.7 million favorable to budget. This result was attributable to better-than-expected performance by the ACS Publications Division and careful expense management across the Society. While operating results were favorable, Unrestricted Net Assets declined from $130.5 million to $102 million. The decline was primarily due to a sizable accounting charge related to the Society’s closed postretirement benefit plans. ACS ended the year in compliance with four of the five Board-established financial guidelines.
Membership recruitment and retention efforts were very successful last year. The Society ended 2011 with 164,215 members – the highest number in Society history. 24,249 new members were elected into the Society – 16,092 Regular Members and 8,157 Undergraduate Members.
Regarding the ACS vs. Leadscope litigation, ACS has appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Court agreed to hear the case. Briefs have been filed in support of our position by several prestigious organizations, including the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the Ohio State Bar Association. On September 7, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case, and a link to the arguments can be found on acs.org. A ruling has not been issued but could come at any time. A more detailed report appears in the most recent edition of the Councilor Bulletin. Please contact the Office of the Secretary if you would like a copy.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2013-2015 term: Carol A. Duane, Valerie J. Kuck, Helen (Bonnie) A. Lawlor, and Ingrid Montes. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
In other news the ACS Board of Directors held a lively, well-attended open session that featured a special forum on “The Future of Graduate Education and Research in the Chemical Sciences.” Members attending this standing-room only session received an overview and update from the Chair and Executive Director of the ACS Presidential Commission on Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences. The commission addressed two major questions: “What are the purposes of graduate education in the chemical sciences?” and “What steps should be taken to ensure that important societal issues, as well as the needs and aspirations of students, are addressed in graduate school?” Members discussed how ACS might offer greater assistance on this very important and timely topic.
Until next time, your faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
I don’t know if it was the thin air or the plethora of medical marijuana clinics in Denver but Councilors
were feeling good when Council convened at the 242nd Meeting of the ACS last August. As usual,
there were only enough tables and chairs for one-tenth of the Councilors attending the complementary
breakfast but most Councilors were feeling especially mellow even if they did have the munchies.
There wasn’t much debate, at least not until Councilors got over their cotton-mouths. A summary of
what went on appears below.
As Council convened, the meeting had 10,076 registrants. Totals in select categories were as follows:
Regular attendees 6,088; Students 2,376; Guests 218; Exhibit Only 394; and Exhibitors 1,000.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following slate of candidates
for membership on the Committee on Committees beginning in 2012: Matthew K. Chan,
Richard S. Danchik, Rigoberto Hernandez, Roland F. Hirsch, James M. Landis, Jr., Helen (Bonnie) A.
Lawlor, Zaida C. Morales-Martinez, Howard M. Peters, Sara J. Risch and Jason E. Ritchie. By electronic
ballot, the Council elected Rigoberto Hernandez, Helen (Bonnie) A. Lawlor, Zaida C. Morales-
Martinez, Howard M. Peters and Sara J. Risch for the 2012-2014 term.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following slate of candidates
for membership on the Council Policy Committee beginning in 2012: Spiro D. Alexandratos,
Lawrence Barton, Michael J. Brownfield, John W. Finley, Mark D. Frishberg, Peter C. Jurs, Mamie
W. Moy, and Eleanor D. Siebert. By electronic ballot, the Council elected Lawrence Barton, Peter
C. Jurs, Mamie W. Moy, and Eleanor D. Siebert for the 2012-2014 term.
The Council Policy Committee presented to the Council the following slate of candidates for membership
on the Committee on Nominations and Elections beginning in 2012: R. Gerald Bass, Cherlynlavaughn
Bradley, William H. (Jack) Breazeale, Jr., Catherine C. Fenselau, Lydia E. M. Hines,
Robert L. Lichter, Anne T. O’Brien, Robert A. Pribush, Andrea B. Twiss-Brooks, and Steven W. Yates.
By electronic ballot, the Council elected William H. (Jack) Breazeale, Jr., Catherine C. Fenselau,
Lydia E. M. Hines, Anne T. O’Brien, and Andrea B. Twiss-Brooks for the 2012-2014 term.
Candidates for President-Elect, 2012:
Dr. Dennis Chamot, Associate Executive Director, Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences,
National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
Dr. Marinda Li Wu, Founder and President, Science is Fun!, Orinda, CA
Candidates for Directors-at-Large, 2012-2014:
Dr. Ken B. Anderson, Professor of Geochemistry, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL
and CEO, Thermaquatica Inc., Carbondale, IL
Dr. William F. Carroll, Jr., Vice President, Industry Issues, Occidental Chemical Corporation, Dallas,
Dr. Charles E. Kolb, President/CEO Aerodyne Research, Inc. Billerica, MA
Dr. Barbara A. Sawrey, Associate Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education, University of California,
San Diego, CA
Candidates for District III Director, 2012-2014:
Dr. Pat N. Confalone, DuPont, Vice President, Global R&D, Crop Protection, Wilmington, DE
Dr. David J. Lohse, Retired, Distinguished Research Associate, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
Co., Annandale, NJ
Candidates for District VI Director, 2012-2014:
Dr. Bonnie A. Charpentier, Vice President, Regulatory and Quality Metabolex, Inc., Oakland, CA
Dr. Carlos G. Gutierrez, Professor of Chemistry, California State University, Los Angeles, CA
The Council received for action one petition to amend the ACS Constitution and Bylaws: The Petition
on Position Statements. By a slim majority, the Council voted to approve the Petition on Position
Statements, which allows for clear and consistent position development for the Society. The petitioners
maintain that this amendment assures that the Board of Directors has sole authority in issuing position
statements that establish policy for the full Society; and that Society bodies other than the
Board may issue statements on issues that fall solely in their jurisdiction so long as they do not impair
other Society bodies’ ability to do the same. Critics claim that this amendment is a power grab, pure
and simple. The Board of Directors will vote within 90 days on whether to ratify the approved petition
but you can bet it’s a done deal.
The Council also received for consideration two petitions to amend the ACS Constitution and Bylaws:
Petition on Market Data Collection and Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure.
The Petition on Market Data Collection seeks to add a provision to allow for controlled market testing
to collect data before the Society changes benefits, dues, or membership categories. The Petition to
Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure provides that a call for a recorded vote after clicker voting
has commenced will be out of order, as would a call for a recorded vote after the initial clicker voting
has taken place. Both the Petition on Market Data Collection and the Petition to Amend Recorded
Vote Request Procedure will be on the Council agenda for action at the 2012 spring meeting.
A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President Nancy
Jackson presented and moderated a discussion on how ACS can best cultivate a culture of safety in
US universities and colleges. At the 2011 ACS national meeting in Anaheim, the Committee on Chemical
Safety launched an effort to identify ways to assist academia in strengthening and building strong
safety cultures. Devastating incidents in academic laboratories and observations by many that graduates
do not have strong safety skills have elevated concerns about the safety culture in academia. Following
Dr. Jackson’s presentation, Councilors engaged in robust discussion on this very timely topic,
with numerous suggestions by 42 different Councilors.
Changes in Technical Divisions
The Council voted to grant full division status to the previously probationary Division of Catalysis
Science and Technology, and to approve the proposed bylaws of this division.
After a lively discussion, the Council voted 53% - 47% to dissolve the Division of Petroleum Chemistry
and to combine its assets and members with those of the Division of Fuel Chemistry under the new
name of the Division of Energy and Fuels, effective December 31, 2011. The discussion centered
largely around the inclusion of “energy” in the name, which critics thought too inclusive.
Employment, Economic, and Professional Activities
The Presidential Task Force on Innovation and Job Creation released their report, entitled
“Innovation, Chemistry & Jobs.” The report contained four recommendations to stimulate innovation
and job creation in the US chemical industry. The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs
(CEPA) and Corporation Associates co-sponsored a new program funding request to establish an entrepreneurial
initiative, which would implement two of the four recommendations. First, it establishes
an educational program to guide budding entrepreneurs through the creation of new chemical businesses.
Second, it supports the formation of new chemical companies by providing access to the unparalleled
informational resources of the Society, as well as other professional resources.
Your faithful Councilor,
Report from Council at the 241st Meeting of the ACS
I don’t know about you, but Anaheim isn’t my idea of the best city for an ACS Meeting. Especially in the Disney Hotels, where you have to battle through hoards of whiney, bratty kids — not to mention their middle-aged, overweight parents in bathing suits a size or two too small — to find the Conference Center. In addition, whenever I went to the Men’s Room in a Disney Hotel, playing on the sound system was, “It’s a Small World.” I sure hope that was just a coincidence. The worst part was when I mistakenly opened a door marked, “Cast Members Only;” what I saw confirmed suspicions I’ve had since childhood about Captain Hook — not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Council started off with the usual breakfast. The bagels were so plain that Councilors from the Great Plains states thought that they were bread-flavored donuts. There were 3 or 4 tables with 10 seats each for several hundred Councilors. I didn’t even see the tables until Council started to convene. Unseated Councilors used any level surface to place their coffee and/or plate of pastries while they ate. Occasionally the hotel staff would take away half a dozen Councilor breakfasts because they mistook the large, circular trays in the corners for abandoned cups and dishes. With German being the typical second language for these old-school chemists, there was a significant language barrier with the hotel waiters.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2012: Judith L. Benham, Dennis Chamot, Diane Grob Schmidt, and Marinda Li Wu. The reaction to this slate of candidates ranged from, “I’ve never seen a more outstanding set of candidates,” to, “I’ve never seen all four candidates who are Members of the ACS Board of Directors,” or, somewhat less politely, “what a bunch of bureaucrats!” (The first was a quote from a District Director; the latter two were typical of everyone else I talked to.)
I attended the Town Hall Meeting where the candidates answered questions. I was dumbfounded by some of their remarks. When asked what would be the theme of their presidency, one candidate said, “I haven’t thought that far ahead.” When asked what makes them unique among the other candidates, one said, “I really like people.” Another said, “I’ve walked in other members’ shoes.” (Now, these are candidates who have had stellar careers, which makes me believe that this might not be true.) Turning to the economy, one candidate said, “I will be an advocate for a better business climate.” Geez, I’d hope so! Here’s another pearl: “ACS has the wonderful ability to convene.” Another candidate said, “This is the time to stop analyzing and start implementing.” I guess it’s not possible to do both. None of these quotes are attributed to Dennis Chamot. Not surprisingly, using my patented four-point system, I ranked them with Dr. Chamot way ahead of the other three, with Diane. Grob Schmidt second. However, at Council, I changed my vote after hearing the candidates’ statements; I thought that Marinda Li Wu was much more enthusiastic. So, my incredible streak of choosing the two candidates who received the nomination has been extended! I’m sure you’re proud.
In other doings:
x The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2012-2014 term: Ken B. Anderson, William F. Carroll, Jr., Charles E. Kolb, and Barbara A. Sawrey. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
x The Council voted to amend the charter of the Committee on Technician Affairs to include updated terminology.
x The Council voted to set the member dues for 2012 at the fully escalated rate of $148. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.
x The Council voted to authorize the formation of the following two new international chemical sciences chapters: the Shanghai International Chemical Sciences Chapter and the Thailand International Chemical Sciences Chapter.
x The Council voted to change the name of the Northeast Oklahoma Section to the Northern Oklahoma Section. This name change is due to the recent merger of the North Central Oklahoma Section and its territories into the Northeast Oklahoma Section. The proposed name change more closely reflects the combined territories of the two Sections.
x The Council voted to continue for 3 years the current formula for determining division allotments.
x Petitions to Amend the Constitution and Bylaws — for Consideration Only
The Petition on Position Statements seeks to assure that the Board of Directors has primacy in issuing position statements that establish policy for the full Society and that Society bodies other than the Board may issue statements on issues that fall solely in their jurisdiction so long as they do not impair other Society bodies’ ability to do the same. Action is expected on this petition at the fall Council meeting.
Your Faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
Report from Council at the 238th Meeting of the ACS
Although the technical program at the Boston ACS Meeting took place at the new convention center
near the waterfront, Council was held at the Sheraton Hotel in the Back Bay. Plenty of Sam Adams
was made available at SciMix, evening poster sessions, and awards programs in order to alleviate the
frustration of the delays caused by having to take the ACS Shuttle back and forth from the Back Bay to
the convention center, except if you're like me and a few beers only serve to enhance your grudge.
My fellow Councilors and I did a lot of voting at Council, that's for sure. We elected Janet L. Bryant, H.
N. Cheng, Amber S. Hinkle, V. Michael Mautino, and Yorke E. Rhodes for the 2011-2013 term of the
Committee on Committees. We elected John E. Adams, Alan M. Ehrlich, Mary Virginia Orna, and
Dorothy J. Phillips for the 2011-2013 term of the Council Policy Committee (this totally amazed me
because both Adams and Ehrlich are members of my Committee — Constitution and Bylaws (C&B),
which is said to be the most unpopular committee in ACS (it's members typically do not fare well in
Committee elections). We elected Jeannette E. Brown, Martha L. Casey, D. Richard Cobb, Lissa
Dulany, and Angela K. Wilson for the 2011-2013 term of the Committee on Nominations and
Elections. Council voted to continue the Committee on Science.
The Council voted to approve the Petition on Recorded Votes, which provides for additional voting
methods, e.g., electronic clickers that have been recently used at Council meetings, when conducting
recorded votes. The Board of Directors will vote within 90 days on whether to ratify the approved
petition. Issues related to this petition were discussed ad nauseum in C&B's meeting. With the new
clickers, all votes are actually recorded, so should we re-vote when a recorded vote is approved or
should we just publish in C&EN the results of the original vote? Should calls for a recorded vote be
accepted after a vote is taken? If so, how long a period should take place before it is denied?
Needless to say, these intricacies were not discussed on the floor of Council.
By far, most controversial was a "special discussion item" — something that I am sure you could not
care less about but here it is anyway. ACS President Joseph Francisco invited the Council Policy
Committee Vice Chair to present a proposal to move Council meetings from Wednesdays to Tuesdays.
The proposal included survey results from Councilors and other stakeholders followed by a robust
discussion on the pros and cons of a move. Councilors who wanted the move to Tuesdays wanted to
get back to work and their families a day sooner, although one mother of toddlers was opposed to the
move; she appreciated the days of relative sanity an ACS meeting offers her. Those who were
opposed to the move claimed that the meeting would effectively end one day sooner; you think
Thursday is a ghost town, move Council to Tuesdays and Wednesday will be, too. A small minority (me
included) want Council to move to Thursday. Councilors concluded their discussion with a straw poll
that showed 128 are supportive of the proposed move of Council to Tuesdays, 225 oppose the move,
and 56 namby-pambies are undecided. The Council Policy Committee and the Board of Directors will
decide by spring 2011 whether the Council should move from Wednesday to Tuesday.
The Council voted to change the territory of the Northeast Oklahoma Local Section to include all
members residing in the North Central Oklahoma Local Section territory. The North Central
Oklahoma Local Section will be dissolving because its membership has fallen below the minimum
requirement. And I thought that Dayton was a cultural wasteland. Just watch, in the next life, I'll find
myself in the former North Central Oklahoma Section. Similarly, the Norwich Local Section's
membership has fallen below the minimum requirement, so Council voted for its territory to be
absorbed by the Binghamton Local Section. Now, I've been to Norwich, NY (several times), and IMHO
it has at least two advantages over North Central OK — it's not nearly as hot and it's within a 4-hour's
drive of New York City. And the beach! I'll bet the pizza is a lot better, too.
Your faithful Councilor,
Report from Council at the 237th Meeting of the ACS
approached Council at the “Fall” Meeting in Washington, DC, with
trepidation; if any Council meeting could produce “blood on the floor”
(figuratively speaking), this was it. Pitted against each
other were two factions. The first, which I dub the Candidate
Vettors, want petition candidates for ACS President to be vetted by
Council. The second faction, which I call Member-Rights Activists,
want to preserve the right of ordinary ACS members to nominate by
petition candidates for ACS President.
include, as one might expect, Past ACS Presidents who were
nominated by petition. They note that in recent years the CVs have put
forth Bylaw Amendments that have sought to make it increasingly
difficult for petition candidates, including 1) increasing substantially
the number of member signatures required for nomination; 2) decreasing
substantially the time during which member signatures can be obtained;
and 3) requiring that only a certain number of member signatures can be
obtained from any single region.
insist for several reasons that all candidates for ACS President must
come before Council: 1) Public speaking is such a large part of being
ACS President, yet Petition Candidates are not required to address
Council, almost all of whom vote in presidential elections; 2) The
timing of nomination by petition allows petition candidates to view
candidate statements put forth by candidates nominated by the the
Council Committee for Nominations & Elections (N&E); 3) Candidates put
forth by N&E are vetted using a variety of criteria, yet, because they
face substantial disadvantages when running against petition candidates,
it is increasingly difficult for N&E to recruit qualified candidates; 3)
N&E follows an unwritten rule alternately nominating candidates from
industry and academia but petition candidates don’t observe this rule so
that academic candidates run against candidates from industry, which, in
many councilors’ view, is inherently unfair.
their ends, the CVs put forth the Petition on Election Timelines and
Procedures 2009 for action (it was put forth for “Consideration Only”
previously at the Salt Lake City Council, which is the usual course for
petition proposals). The MRAs countered with their own petition —
The Petition on Candidate Selection by Member Petition, which was
considered for “Urgent Action” because, if passed, would make moot the
CVs petition. The necessity for “Urgent Action” was discussed in
details; it requires passage by a three-fourths vote but only 50% of
Council voted for it. The Petition on Candidate Selection will
therefore be up for action at the next Council Meeting at the Spring ACS
detailed discussion of the Petition on Election Timelines and Procedures
2009, a request for a recorded vote (each Councilor’s vote would appear
in C&E News) was defeated. The Council then voted to recommit the
petition to N&E with instructions. Following this action, N&E
sought input through a nonbinding survey to help guide their revisions.
A revised petition will likely be up for action at Council during the
2010 Spring Meeting. One would think that a compromise could be
attained; the timeline for petition candidates should coincide with
N&E’s candidate-selection process. This would remove the
unfairness charged by the CVs and would allow petition candidates to
address Council. Membership should be guaranteed the right to
nominate by petition candidates for ACS President. Is such a
compromise really so difficult? Can’t we all just get along?
received one other petition for consideration — The Petition on
Admissions Committee, which removes the Admissions Committee from the
Bylaws and transfers its functions to the Council Committee on
Membership Affairs. Action is expected on the petition at the 2010
A report on the
rest of the Council meeting in DC is given below (as prepared by the
nice folks at ACS).
Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the
following slate of candidates for membership on the Committee on
Committees beginning in 2010: G. Bryan Balazs, Dawn A. Brooks,
Victoria L. Finkenstadt, Wayne E. Jones, Jr., John M. Long, Les W.
McQuire, Ingrid Montes, Douglas J. Raber, Frankie K. Wood-Black, and
Steven W. Yates. By electronic ballot, the Council elected G.
Bryan Balazs, Dawn A. Brooks, Les W. McQuire, Ingrid Montes, and Frankie
K. Wood-Black for the 2010-2012 term.
Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the
following slate of candidates for membership on the Council Policy
Committee beginning in 2010: R. Gerald Bass, Alan B. Cooper, M.
Elizabeth Derrick, Thomas R. Gilbert, Lydia E. M. Hines, Willem R.
Leenstra, Sally B. Peters, and Carolyn Ribes. By electronic
ballot, the Council elected M. Elizabeth Derrick, Thomas R. Gilbert,
Willem R. Leenstra, and Carolyn Ribes for the 2010-2012 term.
Council Policy Committee presented to the Council the following slate of
candidates for membership on the Committee on Nominations and Elections:
Roger F. Bartholomew, Dwight W. Chasar, Milagros Delgado, Kevin J.
Edgar, John W. Finley, Martin L. Gorbaty, Sharon P. Shoemaker, Walter O.
Siegl, Herbert B. Silber, and Ellen B. Stechel. By electronic
ballot, the Council elected Dwight W. Chasar, Milagros Delgado, Kevin J.
Edgar, Sharon P. Shoemaker, and Ellen B. Stechel for the 2010-2012 term.
Candidates for President-Elect and Board of Directors for the fall 2009
ACS national election
· Nancy B. Jackson,
International Chemical Threat Reduction Department, Manager, Sandia
· Cheryl A. Martin, Currently
on sabbatical; former Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Rohm
· Mary Virginia Orna, Professor
of Chemistry, College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY
Directors-at-Large - 2010-2012
· Dennis Chamot, Associate
Executive Director, Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences,
National Research Council, Washington, DC
· H. N. Cheng, Research
Chemist, US Department of Agriculture, New Orleans, LA
· Ray A. Dickie, Retired, Ford
Motor Company, Efland, NC
· Valerie J. Kuck, Retired,
Lucent Technologies, Montclair, NJ
· Howard M. Peters, Retired,
Peters, Verny, LLP, Palo Alto, CA
District I - 2010-2012
· D. Richard Cobb, Senior
Research Associate, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY
· Neil D. Jespersen, Professor
of Chemistry, St. Johns University, Jamaica, NY
District V - 2010-2012
· Judith L. Benham, Retired, 3M
Company, St. Paul, MN
· Peter K. Dorhout, Vice
Provost, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
As part of a
regular performance review, the Council VOTED to continue the Committees
on Chemical Safety, Minority Affairs, Chemical Abstracts Service,
Technician Affairs, and Analytical Reagents. Continuing the first
three committees requires Board of Directors concurrence.
Registration Report and 2010 National Meeting Registration Fee
As of August 19, 2009, the ACS fall national meeting had attracted
14,319 registrants — the largest Washington meeting in history.
Totals in select categories are as follows: Regular attendees
8,575; Students 3,159; Guests 462; Exhibit Only 676; and Exhibitors
1,447. In keeping with the objective of the National Meeting Long
Range Financial Plan, previously approved by the Board of Directors and
Council, the Meetings and Expositions Committee recommended to the Board
an increase of $10 for the 2010 national meeting registration fee.
The Board will act on this recommendation shortly.
The provisions of the Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements
were fully implemented this past June with the transfer of former
Student Affiliates to Student Member status, and Associate Members to
regular Member status. As of July 31, the Society had 9,732
Student Members – 6,500 of them former Student Affiliates and more than
3,000 of them new Student Members.
Dissolution of the Division of Chemical Technicians
At the 2009 spring Council meeting, the Divisional Activities Committee
(DAC) reported that it had voted to accept a recommendation from the
Division of Chemical Technicians (TECH) that the division disband and to
recommend this action to Council in the fall. On recommendation of
DAC, as recommended by TECH, the Council VOTED to disband the Division
of Chemical Technicians effective December 31, 2009. DAC agreed
that TECH has accomplished its mission of enhancing the status of
technicians in the American Chemical Society, and now they are
integrated into the other technical divisions.
to Charter Bylaws for New Local Sections and International Chemical
Sciences Chapters and Bylaws for Divisions in Probationary Status
The Council VOTED to accept changes to charter bylaws for new local
sections and international chemical sciences chapters, and bylaws for
divisions in probationary status. These changes, which were
developed in cooperation with the Committees on Divisional Activities,
Local Section Activities, and International Activities, are a result of
changes to the Constitution and Bylaws made as a result of the Petition
on Membership Categories and Requirements, which became effective on
Report from Council at the 236th Meeting of the ACS
Salt Lake City, just like I pictured it; snow squalls and everything! Continuing on this allegory to Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City would find your Councilor doing 10 years hard labor for violating SLC’s strict open-container laws. I was hoping to run into Marie during my stay so that I could ask her whether her fainting spell on Dancing with the Stars was due to her rapid, NutriSystem-induced weight loss but the only Osmond I ran into was Donny, who can usually be found outside the Salt Lake Temple gates singing “I’m a Little Bit Country …” for quarters. It’s very sad but once a week or so Steve Young comes by to take Donny out to lunch. OK, enough LDS jokes. Too bad I don’t have enough room to tell you about all the waitress tattoos.
Speaking of food, it was the usual fare at the Council Breakfast. There were even a few tables, although too few. My big gripe — and if you know me, you know that I always have at least one — was that they ran out of cream, half-and-half, and milk for the coffee. How can we poor, decrepit, sour-stomached Councilors be expected to drink black coffee? I’m sure the ACS Board had cream for their coffee! The little quiz below demonstrates just how unpredictable Council can be:
A Councilor became publicly verklempt during:
A) The reading of the names of Councilors who have died since the last meeting of Council.
B) The memorial for deceased Past President of the ACS, Dr. Ernest Eliel.
C) The discussion about setting the member dues for 2010 at the fully escalated rate of $145.
The answer, of course, is C. A Councilor at the microphone pleaded for 2008 member dues of $140 and got all choked up as he apparently felt the anguish of all the recently unemployed chemists in the US. During one painfully long pause, several Councilors murmured, “I think he’s crying!” One Councilor in my row wasn’t empathetic; he took $5 out of his wallet and told me to pass it down to the Councilor at the mike. And I’m the one who got dirty looks for laughing.
Previously, at the Town Hall Meeting, I once again used my patented 4-point system to select the two candidates who would go on to win the nominations for 2010 President Elect—Nancy B. Jackson and Cheryl A. Martin. I later saw an excited Nancy Jackson talking animatedly to a friend of hers. If she were more like this onstage, she might have place first instead of second in my ratings.
Below is a more traditional summary of Council Actions:
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2010: Berkeley W. Cue, Jr., Nancy B. Jackson, Cheryl A. Martin, and Dorothy J. Phillips. By electronic ballot, the Council selected Nancy B. Jackson and Cheryl A. Martin as candidates for 2010 President-Elect. These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the results of the election to select candidates from the list of nominees to represent District I and District V on the Board of Directors for the term 2010-2012. Nominees for District I included: D. Richard Cobb, Neil D. Jespersen, Wayne E. Jones, and James L. Kallmerten. Nominees for District V included Thomas J. Barton, Judith L. Benham, Peter K. Dorhout, and John W. Moore. By mail ballot, the Councilors from these districts selected D. Richard Cobb and Neil D. Jespersen as District I candidates; and as District V candidates, Judith L. Benham and Peter K. Dorhout. Ballots will be mailed on or before October 10 to all members in District I and District V for election of a Director from each District.
Candidates for Directors-at-Large
The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2010-2012 term: Dennis Chamot, H. N. Cheng, Ray A. Dickie, and Valerie J. Kuck. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented Roger F. Bartholomew and Roland F. Hirsch to Council as candidates for election to the Committee on Committees (ConC) to fill a vacancy created by a committee member’s resignation. By written ballot, the Council elected Roland F. Hirsch.
Candidates Carol B. Libby and Robert A. Pribush were presented to Council for election to the Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E) to fill a vacancy created by a committee member’s resignation. By written ballot, the Council elected Robert A. Pribush.
Petition to Amend Bylaws (For Consideration)
The Council received one petition for consideration: the Petition on Election Timelines 2009. According to the proposing committee, this petition presents election procedure refinements that are intended to provide a fair, consistent, and equitable process, which balances the concerns and needs of participants, as requested by Councilors and candidates. Action is expected on the petition at the fall Council meeting.
Change in Committee Charge
The Council VOTED to permit the Committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs to amend a portion of its charge from: “a. Identify and analyze legislative, regulatory, research and other science policy issues that impact upon the chemical sciences and technologies” to “a. Identify and analyze legislative; regulatory; research; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education funding; and other science policy issues that impact upon the chemical sciences and technologies.”
The Society’s Finances
The Council and Board of Directors received extensive briefings on the Society’s finances, which showed that in spite of the economic challenges faced in 2008, the Society’s operating performance held up well. Total revenue was approximately $450 million, up just over 3% from 2007. The Society’s Net from Operations was $9.7 million, and $560,000 favorable to budget. This is the fifth consecutive year of positive operating results.
However, in 2008 ACS was adversely impacted by the historic collapse in the capital markets, which resulted in a sharp decline in the Society’s unrestricted net assets from $212 million at December 31, 2007, to $60 million at December 31, 2008. There were two factors driving this decrease, both related to the poor performance in the capital markets. These are substantial investment losses and a sizable increase in pension liability from the Society’s Defined Benefit Pension Plan. For this and other reasons, action was taken in 2007 to close the Defined Benefit Pension Plan, and, in 2008, to freeze benefit accruals for all Defined Benefit Pension Plan participants in 2009.
It is in this context that the Board received a detailed briefing from management at this meeting on the framework of the 2009 Contingency Plan. In 2006, the Society had the foresight to develop a robust Contingency Plan that contemplated potential threats from many different sources, their probability of occurrence, likely duration and financial impact. The updated 2009 Plan covers all operating and administrative units as well as member programs, and identifies new and emerging threats. ACS management has also updated the mitigation strategies to respond to the threats and ensure the Society’s long-term financial sustainability.
Society management and the Board of Directors are closely monitoring financial performance versus the budget. In addition, significant reductions in discretionary spending have already been implemented and additional cost control measures are under consideration. However, despite the adverse impact of the economic downturn, the Society remains highly liquid with more than $275 million in cash and investments, and limited debt of $30 million.
2010 Member Dues
After a lengthy discussion and rejection of two amendments, the Council VOTED to set the member dues for 2010 at the fully escalated rate of $145. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws. The vote was 348 to 70.
At the close of 2008, Society membership totaled 154,024, compared to 160,052 for year-end 2007. In 2008, ACS completed the transition of its 15 year-old membership fulfillment system to a new, more robust system. The year-end 2008 membership numbers reflect a drop in membership of approximately 2% due to the economy and a correction to the counts of 2,589 Emeritus members whom ACS has not been able to reach for many years. Compared to its sister societies, ACS experienced a smaller loss of members in 2008.
Special Discussion Item
A special discussion item was again put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President Thomas H. Lane invited the Chair of the Committee on Membership Affairs to present the results of a Councilor survey as a preface to the discussion on what can ACS do to attract new members while better serving our membership during these challenging economic times. Following the presentation, President Lane led Councilors in a lively discussion that focused on the value of ACS membership and on growth opportunities among students, international scientists, high school teachers, technicians, diverse ethnic groups and others.
As of March 25, 2009, the ACS spring national meeting had attracted 10,668 registrants as follows: Regular attendees 5,781; Students 3,439; Exhibitors 780; Exposition only 411; and Guests 257.
Professional Employment Guidelines
The Council VOTED to approve the Professional Employment Guidelines, as submitted by the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. These guidelines offer a broad spectrum of recommended practices in employment for professional scientists and their employers.
Report from Council at the 235th Meeting of the ACS
As I report to you on the goings on at Council at the 235th Meeting of the ACS, I note that some things never change. For example, there were again no tables at the Council breakfast and no Councilor sprouted a third hand with which to stuff pastry into his mouth while the other two held a plate and cup of coffee. Another example is that I again picked the two candidates for ACS president — Joseph S. Francisco and Josef Michl — from the slate of four nominees. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, one of the nominees in his address to Council promised that if he is elected there will be tables at the Council breakfast! The most noteworthy news, IMHO, is that Council passed by a two-thirds, recorded vote a petition that will have a large impact on the ACS; it will allow undergraduates to become full members, although they will not be allowed to hold national office. Because it involves changes in the ACS Constitution, it’s passage will require approval of two-thirds of membership. On a personal note, I was named one of several subcommittee chairs in the Constitution & Bylaws Committee. My relentless climb towards the apex of ACS governance continues unabated. There’s more, but I’m tired from all the eating, drinking, and carousing that go along with an ACS meeting in New Orleans. Thankfully, a proper summary, appended below, was provided by the nice staff at ACS. My comments are in italics.
Election Results: The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2009: Thomas J. Barton, R. Stephen Berry, Joseph S. Francisco, and Josef Michl. By written ballot, the Council selected Joseph S. Francisco and Josef Michl as candidates for 2009 President-Elect. These two candidates will stand for election in the Fall National Election.
Candidates for Directors-at-Large: The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2009-2011 term: William F. Carroll, Jr. (currently the odds on favorite), Richard L. Deming, Thomas R. Gilbert, and Marinda Li Wu. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
Petitions (For Action)
The Council received three amendments to the ACS Bylaws (Petitions) for action: the Petition on Election Procedures for President-Elect and District Director, the Petition on Election Procedures 2006, Part 2, and the Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements.
- The Council VOTED to approve the Petition on Election Procedures for President Elect and District Director. This petition seeks to make the balloting procedure more uniform and to avoid the complications and expense of run-off elections.
- The Council engaged in a lively debate on the Petition on Election Procedures 2006, Part 2, and entertained two motions: to recommit and for a recorded voted. Both motions failed. The Council ultimately VOTED by a show of hands to approve the Petition on Election Procedures 2006, Part 2, which standardizes election processes for President-Elect and all Director positions based on percentages of voting members, and increases the number of required signatures.
- The Council also debated the merits of the Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements and ultimately VOTED to approve this petition via a recorded vote. This petition broadens qualifications for membership and creates a new category of student membership. The Board of Directors will vote within 90 days on whether to ratify the approved petitions. The Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements contains changes to the ACS Constitution, and not just the Bylaws. Therefore, these changes must be approved by ACS members in the fall to be valid.
Petitions (For Consideration)
The Council received one petition for consideration: the Petition on Society Affiliate Dues. This petition sets Society Affiliate dues equal to the (full) membership dues, and not subject to any of the discounts otherwise applicable to membership dues. Action is expected on the petition at the fall national meeting.
The Petition on Local Section and Division Election Procedures was withdrawn. This petition offers resolutions for handling tie votes in Councilor or Alternate Councilor elections in a local section or division.
2009 Member Dues: The Council VOTED to set the member dues for 2009 at the fully escalated rate of $140. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.
The Society’s Finances: The Society ended 2007 with a net from operations of $9.6 million, which was $2.2 million favorable to the approved budget. This was based on total revenues of $444.2 million and total expenses of $434.6 million. The Society ended the year in full compliance with the Board established financial guidelines.
Attendance Report: As of April 9, 2008, the ACS spring national meeting had attracted 13,302 registrants as follows: Regular attendees 6,681; Students 4,659; Exhibitors 1,156; Exposition only 374; and Guests 432.
Revision of the Division Funding Formula: After considerable discussion, the Council VOTED to recommit the revised division funding formula, as presented by the Divisional Activities Committee, to the committee for further action at the fall national meeting.
Local Section Name Change: The Council VOTED to change the name of the University of Kansas Local Section to the Wakarusa Valley Local Section. Although many of the section’s members work for the University of Kansas, supporters said that the geographically and occupationally diverse interests of the members would be much better represented under the name Wakarusa Valley Local Section.
Member Statistics: At the close of 2007, Society membership totaled 160,052, despite a net loss of 439 members at the end of the year. Also, 2007 recorded the second highest number of new applications – 16,533.
Academic Professional Guidelines: The Council VOTED to approve the Academic Professional Guidelines as submitted by the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. These guidelines apply to those members of the academic community whose job function impacts directly or indirectly on scientists practicing the profession of chemistry.
Report from Council at the 234th Meeting of the ACS
Sadly, the Boston Meeting took the worst aspect of the Chicago meeting and made it its own. In Chicago, the McCormick Center is far from downtown with nothing much surrounding it but a hotel or two. One has to wait for a bus (the service reportedly costs the ASC on the order of a million bucks) and endure a ride through city traffic. In Boston, instead of being able to walk a block or two to the Hynes Convention Center as in years past, attendees had to take buses to the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center near the waterfront. In his attempt to explain getting lost, my first bus driver – a Boston native – said that “there was nothing here when I was a kid.” Even now, there’s not too much there, save for a hotel and the convention center. Apparently, the meeting experience of ACS members takes a back seat to exhibition space; at the previous Boston ACS meeting, there was a waiting list for exhibitors, which translates to lost revenue for the ACS (I wonder if this was more or less than ACS had to pay for bus service). Fortunately, Council met at a Back Bay hotel (while the waterfront is nice, this councilor prefers an urban setting).
On a related note, however, it was reported at Council that the number of complaints (and the degree of their zealousness) persuaded the Committee on Meetings and Expositions to perform a survey, the results of which persuaded them to change the location of the 242nd ACS meeting from Chicago to Denver. Needless to say, the delegation from Chicago didn’t like this decision one bit. Of course, none of these tidbits found their way into the “official” talking points provided to me by ACS. On a brighter note, though, Councilors did have tables and chairs for breakfast, unlike in meetings past at which councilors had to juggle coffee in one hand, a small plate of pastry in the other, and had to figure out how to eat the pastry without mimicking a cow at a trough. In addition, Madeleine Jacobs (Executive Director & CEO) even came over to my table, although she wanted to talk to one of the other councilors, not to me. I am unpopular.
Below is the white-bread report from Council provided by ACS. I’ve added in italics my personal actions (like votes) and snide remarks, where appropriate. The biggest issue coming down the pike, IMHO, is the amendment on Membership Categories and Requirements, presented for consideration only but which will be up for vote at the next council meeting. Essentially, student affiliates will become student members. They’ll be able to vote in elections and even hold office in their local section but may not hold national offices like councilor or alternate councilor. Student members will have reduced dues (as Student Affiliate Members now have) and will have electronic access to C&EN, unless they want to pay extra for the print edition. In effect, the Associate Member category will be supplanted by the Student Member category. Our section will have to revise our Bylaws accordingly.
ACTIONS OF THE COUNCIL
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Committee on Committees beginning in 2008: Gary D. Anderson, Ken B. Anderson, Lawrence Barton, Lissa A. Dulany, Alan M. Ehrlich, Jurgen H. Exner, Roland F. Hirsch, Pamela D. Kistler, Larry K. Krannich, Will E. Lynch, Ean Warren, and Mark W. Wicholas. By written ballot the Council elected Ken B. Anderson, Lawrence Barton, Lissa A. Dulany, Larry K. Krannich, and Will E. Lynch for the 2008-2010 term; and Roland F. Hirsch for the remainder of a 2006-2008 term. I voted for Ken Anderson and Alan Ehrlich, both of whom I know from the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, Will Lynch (even though he’s responsible, at least in part, for our latest debacle with the Chemluminary Awards), Lissa Dulany, and Larry Krannich.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Council Policy Committee beginning in 2008: Rita R. Boggs, Dwight W. Chasar, Joseph A. Heppert, William R. Oliver, Mary V. Orna, Dorothy J. Phillips, Yorke E. Rhodes, Kathleen M. Schulz, Peter J. Stang, and H. David Wohlers. By written ballot the Council elected Mary V. Orna, Dorothy J. Phillips, Yorke E. Rhodes, Kathleen M. Schulz for the 2008-2010 term; and Peter J. Stang for the remainder of a 2006-2008 term. I voted for Rita Boggs, Dwight Chasar, Dorothy Phillips, Yorke Rhodes, and David Wohlers.
The Council Policy Committee presented to the Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Committee on Nominations and Elections for the 2008-2010 term: V. Dean Adams, David E. Bergbreiter, Frank D. Blum, William H. Daly, Carol A. Duane, Ruth A. Hathaway, Cynthia K. McClure, Scott D. Rychnovsky, Arlyne M. Sarquis, and Pamela J. Shapiro. By written ballot the Council elected Frank D. Blum, Carol A. Duane, Ruth A. Hathaway, Arlene M. Sarquis and Pamela J. Shapiro. I voted for Frank Blum, Carol Duane, Ruth Hathaway, Arlyne Sarquis, and Pamela Shapiro.
Candidates for President-Elect and Board of Directors
The candidates for the fall 2007 ACS national election were announced as follows:
Thomas H. Lane, Dow Corning Corporation, Midland, MI
Howard M. Peters, Peters, Verny, LLP, Palo Alto, CA
Directors-at-Large – 2008-2010
Janan M. Hayes, (Retired) Merced College, Merced, CA
Bonnie A. Lawlor, NFAIS, Philadelphia, PA
Kent J. Voorhees, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Frankie K. Wood-Black, Trihydro Corporation, Ponca City, OK
Director, District II 2008-2010
Joseph R. (Joe) Peterson, (Retired) University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Diane Grob Schmidt, The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH
Director, District IV 2008-2010
Eric C. Bigham, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC
Gregory H. Robinson, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The Council VOTED to accept the Petition on Local Section Affiliations. The petition addresses a difference in current Society bylaws regarding the responsibilities of the Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) and the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) in oversight of the establishment of affiliations by local sections and divisions respectively. Responsibilities for LSAC in approving local section affiliations will now parallel those currently established for DAC. To be valid, the petition next must be confirmed by the Board of Directors in 90 days. (I voted yea. It sounded unanimous.)
The Council received three Petitions for consideration: Petition on Election Procedures for President-Elect and District Director, Petition on Local Section and Division Election Procedures, and the Petition on Membership Categories and Requirements. The Petition on Election Procedures for President-Elect and District Director seeks to move toward a preferential ballot, both to make the balloting procedure more uniform and to avoid the complications and expense of run-off elections. The Petition on Local Section and Division Election Procedures provides options other than run-off elections to local sections and division for resolving tie votes. The Petition on Membership Categories represents a comprehensive revision of the qualifications required for membership and for affiliate status in the Society. Action is expected on these three petitions at the 2008 spring national meeting.
Committee Review and Other Committee Changes
As part of a regular review, the Council VOTED to continue the Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols (I voted yea. It sounded unanimous.). The Council also VOTED to support the request of the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities that its status be changed from an “other committee” of the Board to a joint Board-Council Committee (I voted yea. It sounded unanimous.).
The Council VOTED to amend the acronym of the Committee on Project SEED and update the committee’s charge (I voted yea. It sounded unanimous.). The acronym will be changed from “Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged” to “Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged.”
Governance Review – Committee Summit
The Council Policy Committee (CPC) received a report on the activities of the Governance Review Task Force, specifically those related to the Summit on ACS Committee Structure held in July 2007. As a follow-up to this review, CPC was informed of several recommendations to be directed to the Committee on Committees, the Board of Directors, the Council Policy Committee, and to other specific committees. Recognizing its work as completed, the Council Policy Committee voted to discharge the Governance Review Task Force, with thanks, subject to the concurrence of the Board of Directors.
Registration Report and 2008 National Meeting Registration Fee
As of August 21, 2007, the ACS fall national meeting had attracted 15,344 registrants. Totals in select categories are as follows: Regular attendees 8,792; Students 3,518; Guests 574; Exhibit Only 784; and Exhibitors 1,676. In keeping with the objective of the National Meeting Long Range Financial Plan, previously approved by the Board of Directors and Council, the Meetings and Expositions Committee approved an increase of ten dollars for the 2008 national meetings advanced registration fee.
The Society’s Membership
The Committee on Membership Affairs reported that as of July 2007, the ACS total membership is 1,100 ahead of that at the same date last year, and the number of unpaid members is 295 less than that at the same date last year.
Review of the Academic Professional Guidelines
The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs submitted its latest version of the Academic Professional Guidelines for consideration. These guidelines apply to those members of the academic community whose job function impacts directly or indirectly on scientists practicing the profession of chemistry. The Council will vote on the Academic Professional Guidelines at the 2008 spring meeting in New Orleans.
Special Discussion Item
A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda. The discussion focused on ACS policy development and advocacy efforts. ACS President Catherine (Katie) T. Hunt framed the discussion by posing three questions: 1) How can ACS encourage more members to participate by bringing their expertise to the development of more targeted policy positions? 2) What can ACS do to increase member involvement in public policy advocacy? 3) How can ACS be a more effective leader in policy activities in the broader science and technology communities? Councilors entered into a robust exchange, offering several useful comments and suggestions. As a follow-up, President Hunt invited councilors to visit her website at www.acspresident.org for additional information.
ACTIONS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Long Planning and Sustainability
The Board of Directors voted to approve a revised draft of the ACS Strategic Plan with the addition of specific strategies to be executed in 2008. The Board also approved a proposal for next steps in its contingency plan. The ACS contingency plan provides a set of actions that could be undertaken if certain threats or opportunities became realities for the Society.
The Committees of the Board
The Board received reports from its Committee on Grants and Awards, the Committee on Executive Compensation, and the Committee on Budget and Finance. On the recommendation of the Committee on Grants and Awards, the Board voted to approve Society nominees for the 2008 Perkin Medal and the 2008 Othmer Gold Medal. On the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance, the Board voted to approve the Pacifichem 2010 proposed budget; to include funding for a State Government Affairs Program in the budgets for 2008-2010; to defer funding for the Committee on Professional Training Workshops with Hispanic and Native American-serving Institutions from 2007 to 2008 to take full advantage of an NSF workshop to be held in September 2007; and to accept the recommendations of the Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) subject, in some instances, to further refinements.
The Executive Director/CEO Report
The Executive Director/CEO, along with several of her direct reports, updated the Board on the following issues: the proposed 2008 merit guideline and inflation assumption for building the 2008 budget; possible amendments to the ACS Retirement and Employee Savings Plans as recommended by the Committee on Pensions and Investments; and the activities of the Publications Division, Chemical Abstracts Service, and the Society’s General Counsel. As a follow-up, the Board voted to approve the 2008 merit guideline and the inflation assumption, amendments to the ACS Retirement and Employee Savings Plans, a continuation of service for several Society journal editors, and an approval of a policy for mergers and acquisitions.
Other Society Business
The Board received reports from its international guests and then discussed with them how their Society goals intersect with goals of the American Chemical Society. Our international guests represented the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the German Chemical Society, the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, the Mexican Chemical Society, and FIZ Karlsruhe (Chemical Abstracts Service’s STN partner).
At its June meeting, the Board of Directors identified several strategic “mega” issues important to the future and success of the American Chemical Society and agreed to review these issues at its future meetings. At this meeting, the Board dedicated a portion of its agenda to the “mega” issue “Infrastructure” and combined its discussion with a review of the recommendations from the Summit on ACS Committee Structure, as presented by the Governance Review Task Force. After a presentation on ACS committees and their history, the Board engaged in a discussion of its role, and the role of those committees dedicated to Board initiatives needed to execute the Strategic Plan.
The Board also received updates from two Society initiatives: the Web Presence Initiative and the ACS Leadership Development System (LDS). The newly re-invented ACS website, scheduled to launch September 30, will feature a unifying global navigation and dramatically improved user experience. The new URL is www.acs.org; users who have bookmarked www.chemistry.org will be forwarded to the new site. The LDS envisions offering a full pipeline of skilled and effective ACS members ready, willing, and able to step into leadership roles in their volunteer and professional lives.
Report from Council at the 233rd Meeting of the ACS
The Council meeting at the spring ACS meeting in Chicago was, in a word, contentious.
The Region II Caucus on Sunday afternoon provided a hint of what was to come when Councilors debated the faults and merits of a petition that would require members of the Nominations and Elections Committee (N&E) to wait one year after leaving the committee until they were eligible for nomination for District Director, President-Elect or Director-at-Large. Petition proponents’ argument was the avoidance of the appearance of impropriety and, besides, N&E members could always be nominated by petition, thereby bypassing the waiting period. Petition opponents argued that we shouldn't make it more difficult for members to volunteer and, because of the election cycle, the waiting period is more like two or three years, not one.
At Council, it was argued that committee rules bar N&E members under consideration for nomination are barred from the nominating process and the ballots are secret. Furthermore, only a few candidates have come from N&E with less than a one-year waiting period. In addition, several members of N&E made it clear that they found insulting the petition in question because it questioned their ethics. Councilor Ken Anderson, in a preface to calling for a recorded vote, said that where he comes from (somewhere in Britain, I’d guess) people don’t make charges unless they are willing to make them to their face (although, I’ve known a couple of Brits who were quite the gossips). The recorded vote was approved (I voted for it just for the experience) and we proceeded to fill out ballots with our printed names, signatures, and affiliation (these will be printed in C&EN, I’ve been told). I voted with the majority to defeat the petition (15 wimpy councilors abstained).
Action on another petition that would have normally set the Council aquiver was by comparison rather pedestrian. The Council voted to split consideration and action on the Petition on Election Procedures 2006 into two parts: Part 1 changes the timing of runoff elections and specifies an election process for situations in which only one Director-at-Large position is open. Part 2 addresses consistency in national election procedures by proposing changes to standardize the petition and election processes for President-Elect and all Director positions based on percentages of voting members. It replaces language specifying a required absolute number of petition signatures for nomination of candidates for President-Elect, and Director-at-Large with language specifying a higher requirement for petition signatures as a percentage of the membership for nomination of candidates for these offices. Petition critics said that these increases — by a factor of 7 or 8 — are much too large; the required number of signatures for nomination by petition would be larger than that typically received in the general election by the winner! Petition advocates pointed out that the last election had two petition candidates (in addition to the two selected by N&E), requiring a runoff election and a large monetary cost to the Society. Furthermore, the two candidates in the runoff were the ones chosen by N&E! The Council voted to accept Part 1. For Part 2, the Council voted to recommit this petition back to N&E and ask that they reconsider the signature requirements, procedures for processing electronic signatures, and those suggestions arising from the Governance Review Task Force pertinent to election procedures.
N&E presented to the Council the four nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2008 — Pat N. Confalone, Thomas H. Lane, Howard M. Peters, and William A. Nugent, who formerly taught chemistry at Kettering’s Alter High School. Nugent said that, if elected ACS president, he’d be the first bench chemist to do so. In a town-hall meeting the previous Sunday, Lane made it clear that he didn’t agree that human activity caused global warming or that global warming has even been established. In contrast, Nugent said that industry cannot continue to use the atmosphere as a garbage dump. Peters and Confalone were somewhere between these two viewpoints. Peters proclaimed that he’s not the best public speaker and he was quite the cold fish. Confalone was low key but presented himself well.
I voted for Confalone and Nugent but Council elected Confalone and Lane, ruining my perfect record.
N&E announced the results of the election to select candidates from the list of nominees to represent District II and District IV on the Board of Directors for the term 2008-2010. Nominees for District II included: Robin J. Hood, Joseph R. Peterson, Diane Grob Schmidt, and Steven W. Yates. Nominees for District IV included Paul F. Barbara, Eric C. Bigham, John P. Fackler, Jr., and Gregory H. Robinson. By mail ballot, the councilors from these districts selected Joseph R. Peterson and Diane Grob Schmidt as District II candidates; and as District IV candidates, Eric C. Bigham and Gregory H. Robinson. Ballots will be mailed on or before October 10 to all members in District II and District IV for election of a Director from each District.
Candidates for Directors-at-Large
The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2008-2010 term: Janan M. Hayes, Helen A. Lawlor, Kent J. Voorhees, and Frankie K. Wood-Black. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
Committee Performance Reviews
As part of a regular review, the Council voted to continue the Committee on Science, the Women Chemists Committee, and the Younger Chemists Committee - subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors. The Committee on Science provides an organizational framework to facilitate policy formulation, actions, and planning in several areas of ACS activity directly related to the science of chemistry. The Women Chemists Committee was established to recognize women chemists and to encourage them to take an active interest in Society activities; and the Younger Chemists Committee facilitates communication of ideas and attitudes between the governing bodies of the Society and younger chemists.
Future National Meetings
The Council VOTED to approve dates and sites for 2017 national meetings as follows: April 2-6, San Francisco, California; and September 10-14, St. Louis, Missouri.
New Local Section
The Council VOTED to establish the Snake River Local Section with headquarters in Boise, ID. This brings the total number of local sections to 190.
ACS closed 2006 with 160,491 members, the highest year-end membership since 2002. Of the 17,857 applications processed in 2006, more than 1,000 came from the Member-Get-A-Member campaign, in which many councilors participated.
The Council received a report on the recent activities of the Governance Review Task Force. Councilors were informed that since the last Council meeting, the task force has met twice and action teams have been actively addressing those areas under the “Advance” category. Councilors also learned that the Council Policy Committee and the Board of Directors VOTED, as recommended by the Governance Review Task Force, to accept four recommendations under the “Refine” category.
Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct
The Council VOTED to approve the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct as submitted by the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs. This document offers guidance for Society members in various professional dealings, especially those involving conflicts of interest.
Resolutions: The Council adopted resolutions in memory of deceased councilors and ACS Past Presidents Robert Parry (1982), and Fred Basolo (1983).
Your faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
Report from Council at the 232th Meeting of the ACS
At the traditional continental breakfast before Council a couple of weeks ago at the Fall Meeting of the ACS in San Francisco, there were actually tables for Councilors to sit at, unlike previous meetings. President Nalley had a pretty good idea — to have a Member of the ACS Board of Directors sit at each of the tables and engage Councilors in dialog. The problem was that the Board Member at my table wasn’t exactly Mr. Talkative. However, he did have on a very nice suit and his table manners were impeccable. Council itself was substantially more eventful than the breakfast. Immediate Past Presidient Bill Carroll gave yet another memorable address — his last to Council — bringing Council to their feet and tears to President Nalley. Hoping to set a precedence for the maximum number of terms served on the Board, Jim Burke chose not to run for a fourth term and gave his last address to Council. He, too, got a standing ovation, although it was somewhat less spontaneous than Bill Carroll’s. The Big news, though (at least to me), was that two petition candidates — Yorke E. Rhodes and James A. Walsh — will be on the ballot in addition to the two candidates for president who were nominated by the Committee on Nominations and Elections (CNE) and chosen by vote of Council (Bruce E. Bursten and Bassam Z. Shakhashiri,). Not coincidentally, the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (where I am an Associate Member), worked on a petition prepared by CNE that would substantially increase the number of signatures a petition candidate must obtain to be on the national ballot. At the District II Caucus, many Councilors voiced opposition to this petition, even though it was only presented at Council for consideration. I will likely vote against this petition when it comes up for vote at Council because it is designed to take power to nominate away from membership and consolidate it within CNE. Kent J. Eistentraut was mentioned along with the other, recently deceased councilors. It is comforting that my own death will at least be acknowledged somewhere.
The following is a white-bread summary provided by ACS staff.
ACTIONS OF THE COUNCIL
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Committee on Committees for the 2007-2009 term: Theodore M. Brown, H. N. Cheng, Milagros Delgado, Alan M. Ehrlich, Roland F. Hirsch, Neil D. Jespersen, Melanie J. Lesko, Vincent M. Mautino, Les W. McQuire and Charles F. Rowell. By written ballot the Council elected H. N. Cheng, Milagros Delgado, Neil D. Jespersen, Les W. McQuire and Charles F. Rowell.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Council Policy Committee for the 2007-2009 term: Martha L. Casey, Dwight W. Chasar, M. Elizabeth Derrick, Thomas R. Gilbert, Joe W. Hightower, Barbara J. Peterson, Robert A. Pribush, and H. David Wohlers. By written ballot the Council elected Martha L. Casey, M. Elizabeth Derrick, Thomas R. Gilbert and Joe W. Hightower.
The Council Policy Committee presented to the Council the following slate of nominees for membership on the Committee on Nominations and Elections: V. Dean Adams, G. Bryan Balazs, Merle I. Eiss, Marie G. Hankins, Charles P. Rader, Barbara A. Sawrey, Sharon P. Shoemaker, Herbert B. Silber, Ellen B. Stechel and Don B. Weser. By written ballot the Council elected Merle I. Eiss, Barbara A. Sawrey, Sharon P. Shoemaker, Herbert B. Silber and Ellen B. Stechel.
Candidates for President-Elect and Board of Directors for the Fall 2007 National Election
Bruce E. Bursten, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Yorke E. Rhodes, Retired - New York University, New York
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, University of Wisconsin, Madison
James A. Walsh, Retired - John Carroll University, Florida
Directors-at-Large – 2007-2009
William H. (Jack) Breazeale, Jr. College of Charleston, South Carolina
Dennis Chamot, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.
Peter K. Dorhout, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins
Paul R. Jones, University of North Texas, Denton
Valerie J. Kuck, Retired - Bell Labs, New Jersey
Dorothy J. Phillips, Waters Corporation, Massachusetts
Marinda L. Wu, Science is Fun! Company, California
Petitions for Consideration
The Council received three petitions for consideration: Petition on Election Procedures 2006; Petition on Multi-Year Dues; and a Petition on Rules for Nominating Members of Nominations and Elections for National Offices. A brief discussion ensued on the Petition on Rules for Nominating Members of Nominations and Elections for National Offices. Action is expected on these petitions at the 2007 spring national meeting in Chicago.
Committee Review and Committee Change in Status
As part of a regular review, the Council VOTED to continue the Committee on Public Relations and Communication, the Committee on Environmental Improvement, and the Committee on International Activities subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors. The Council also VOTED to support the request of the Committee on Community Activities that its status be changed from an “other committee” of the Board to a joint Board-Council Committee. The purpose of the Committee on Community Activities is to improve the public perception of chemistry by providing programs to connect chemists with their communities.
The Council received a report from the Council Policy Committee on activities related to Governance Review. The Board-CPC Governance Review Task Force generated 23 ideas following initial interaction with the Board, Council, Committees and other interested members. A joint meeting of the Board of Directors and CPC was held at this meeting to prioritize the 23 ideas into three categories: to advance the idea as worthy of further consideration by the cognizant committee and/or interested groups; to refine the idea which will be sent back to the Governance Review Task Force for further consideration; or to place the idea in a “stop” category as an idea that will receive no further consideration as part of the governance review. Councilors received a listing of the 23 ideas organized into the three categories as prioritized jointly by the Board and CPC.
Registration Report and 2007 National Meeting Registration Fee
As of September 12, 2006, the ACS fall national meeting had attracted 15,603 registrants. Totals in select categories are as follows: Regular attendees 9,373; Students 3,350; Guests 510; Exhibit Only 504; and Exhibitors 1,666. The Committee on Meetings and Expositions reported that national meeting financial targets continue to be met, and therefore recommended to the Board of Directors that there be no increase in national meeting registration fees for 2007.
The Society’s Membership
The Committee on Membership Affairs reported that through August 2006, a record 12,137 new applicants have been added to the Society’s membership, and that the Member-Get-A-Member campaign is well on its way to the goal of 1,000 new members in this year.
Special Discussion Item
A special discussion item was again put on the Council agenda. The discussion focused on ensuring the American Chemical Society’s future by engaging younger members throughout the Society’s volunteer leadership. ACS President E. Ann Nalley framed the discussion by presenting the results of a councilor survey on the topic and many councilors offered useful comments and suggestions.
Review of the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct
The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs submitted its latest version of the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct for Council review. It offers guidance for Society members in various professional dealings, especially those involving conflicts of interest.
ACTIONS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board’s Committees and Task Forces
The Board of Directors voted to recommend a nominee for both the 2007 Perkin Medal and the 2007 Othmer Gold Medal. The Perkin Medal, the highest award of the Society of Chemical Industry, is awarded for outstanding contributions to American industrial chemistry. The Othmer Gold Medal recognizes a chemical scientist of multiple talents and achievements and is awarded by the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The Board also received a report from the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has been charged with developing a set of focusing proposals that will be important to the future success of the Fund.
On the recommendation of the Board Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the Board voted the following:
To approve revisions to the Guidelines for Society Cosponsorships with other organizations;
To proceed with “phase one” plans to arrange the 2008 ACS/AIChE joint meeting, which involves working within the framework of the cosponsorship guidelines, engaging the support of the relevant technical divisions, and developing a suitable budget;
To approve the request for cooperative cosponsorship of Pacifichem 2010, to be held December 14-19, 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii, contingent upon approval of an acceptable budget for the conference.
The Board received and expressed support for a report presented by its Contingency Planning Working Group. The Contingency Planning Working Group was charged with developing a set of actions that could be undertaken if risks became reality for the Society. The Board’s Task Force on the Timing of Committee Appointments also presented a report. This task force was asked to review the timing of committee appointments and seek opportunities to engage the Board Chair and President earlier in the appointment process. The Board also discussed plans for a third conference in Malta entitled, Frontiers of Chemistry III: Research and Education in the Middle East and agreed to recommend inclusion of $50,000 for this meeting in the 2007 budget. The conference will take place in December 2007.
The Society’s Mission
On the recommendation of the Committee on Planning, the Board voted to adopt a revised ACS mission statement: “To advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.”
Your faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
Report from Council at the 231th Meeting of the ACS
At the 231st Meeting of the ACS, I represented the Dayton Section for the third time at Council. Shortly after 7 AM on Wednesday, March 29, councilors were herded into a room for a continental breakfast, although there were no tables, much less chairs, for councilors to place their beverages on while they ate with plate in hand. Several councilors commandeered for their personal use the small table holding the half-and-half, contributing to the testiness of other councilors before their first cup of the day. Perhaps at next Council, we’ll be provided bibs and troughs so that we can all dine hands free.
I am happy to report that I am 2-for-2 in selecting presidential candidates; the majority once again agreed with my selections for candidates for President-Elect, 2007: Bruce E. Bursten and Bassam Z. Shakhashiri (the losers, make that non-winners, were Richard Eisenberg and Matthew V. Tirrell). Before I became Councilor, I voted for ACS President by counting the number of times, if any, that the candidate mentioned unemployment issues or whether or not a candidate was from New York. Now, however, I read carefully the nominees’ written statements, note their past service to ACS, and grade each nominee on their answers at the Town Hall Meeting. Finally, there are the nominees’ oral statements at Council just before the vote is called for. Matthew V. Tirrell flubbed his answer to a question on open access journals and his past service to ACS was scant. By my count, Shakhashiri came out slightly ahead of Eisenberg at the Town Hall Meeting but Shakhashiri’s speaking style struck me as harsh. However, Shakhashiri won me over at Council, where he was animated, humorous, and came across as strictly pro-member. Rumor has it, though, that not one but two petition candidates for ACS President may be in the offing. I hope that they will be invited to address Council in San Francisco if, indeed, they meet petition requirements. Candidates will stand for election in the Fall National Election.
The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2007-2009 term: William H. (Jack) Breazeale, Jr., Dennis Chamot, Peter K. Dorhout, Paul R. Jones, Valerie J. Kuck, and Dorothy J. Phillips. The election of three Directors- at-Large will be conducted in the fall. Two candidates will fill the 2007-2009 term, and one will fill a two-year vacancy for 2007-2008 created by the resignation of Director-at-Large James D. Burke (effective December 31, 2006). Ballots will be mailed to the Council on or before October 10.
As part of a regular review, the Council VOTED to continue the Committee on Admissions and the Committee on Professional Training. The Committee on Admissions has the power to interpret and apply the requirements for membership, including determining status of applicants educated in foreign countries. The Committee on Professional Training promotes and assists in the development of high standards of excellence in all aspects of post-secondary chemical education, and undertakes studies important to their maintenance.
The Society’s Finances
The Society ended 2005 with a net contribution from operations of $11.6 million, which was $9.1 million favorable to the approved budget. The favorable variance was primarily attributable to higherthan- budgeted print and electronic information services revenue and investment income, as well as expense savings from staff vacancies and reductions in information technology spending. The Society also realized $21.0 million in investment gains. In total, unrestricted net assets increased just over $26 million in 2005 to $211 million, and the Society ended 2005 in full compliance with the Boardestablished financial guidelines.
As of March 28, 2006, the ACS spring national meeting had attracted 12,546 registrants as follows: Regular attendees 6,323; Students 4,158; Exhibitors 1,288; Exposition only 413; and Guests 364.
ACS committees and councilor caucuses provided input into three key Society initiatives:
1. The Society’s new vision statement: “Improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry,” which resulted from the input of several thousand ACS members, was unveiled and discussed at this meeting. At the District II Caucus, which I attended, a large majority of Councilors made it clear their dissatisfaction with the new vision statement. Criticisms include the fact that it is not a complete sentence, that it does not even mention the society, and that it would have been a lot cheaper to license from Dupont their old slogan, “better living through chemistry.” I, for one, am nonplussed with the new vision statement. An alternative, which, however, does not quell the above criticisms is, “Transforming people’s lives through the power of chemistry.”
2. The Board-Council Policy Committee Governance Review Task Force was charged with reviewing the Society’s governance, and Constitution and Bylaws, to ensure that the Society has a governing framework to enable it to best fulfill its mission, meet member needs, and remain a world-class organization. The task force developed a framework that emphasized five key elements of the Society’s governance, which are: membership, geographical organization, disciplinary organization, governance structure, and governance operations.
3. A Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG) has been established to assist the Committee on Budget and Finance in reviewing all programs of the Society (with some exemptions) on a periodic and regular basis. The PRAG consists of councilors, members of the Board of Directors, members of the Committee on Budget and Finance, and representatives from the committees with oversight over the programs under review in a given year.
ACS closed 2005 with 158,422 members, reversing a 4-year downward trend in Society membership. Of the 15,532 applications processed in 2005, nearly 900 came from the Member-Get-AMember campaign, in which many councilors participated. The membership retention number remained stable at 92.4%.
A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. The discussion focused on membership – specifically, the requirements for ACS membership, and whether they should be made more or less restrictive, or kept the same. ACS President E. Ann Nalley invited the co-chairs of the Board-Council Policy Committee Governance Review Task Force, James D. Burke and William F. Carroll, to help frame the discussion by presenting the results of a councilor survey on ACS membership requirements.
2006 Member Dues
The Council VOTED to set the member dues for 2007 at the fully escalated rate of $132.
Future National Meetings
The Council voted to recommend to the Board of Directors that the spring meeting for 2015 be held in Denver, Colorado, March 22-26; and that the fall meeting be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 16-20. The Council also voted to recommend locations and dates for the 2016 meeting as follows: the spring meeting to be held on March 13-17, in San Diego, California; and the fall meeting to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 21-25.
Your faithful Councilor, Steve Trohalaki
Dayton Section Council Report.
written by Steven Trohalaki.