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April 14, 2003
Volume 81, Number 15
CENEAR 81 15 p. 56-57
ISSN 0009-2347


GOVERNANCE ACTS
IN NEW ORLEANS

ACS Council votes to raise dues and funds, chooses candidates for fall election

LINDA R. RABER, C&EN WASHINGTON

8114news.council
PHOTO BY SUSAN MORRISSEY

At its meeting last month in New Orleans, the ACS Council approved a petition on division and local section funding, raised member dues, and heard a number of reports on society activities. It also selected candidates to stand in this fall's elections.

The petition on local section and division funding now has only one more hurdle before it goes into effect: As an amendment to the society's constitution, it must be approved by two-thirds of the society's members voting on the change. Ballots will be mailed to ACS voting members late this spring. If the petition is adopted, ACS local sections and especially divisions will receive increased funding from the society. The extra funds will be provided both by a temporary assessment levied on ACS member dues and by budget offsets.

The funding mechanism for this petition, which was approved by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2002, is a little complicated. By 2007, the cost of the extra local section and division funding will have risen to $9.00 per member per year. The board expects that $1.00 of this amount will be realized through cost savings within ACS operations. The remaining $8.00 per member per year will be phased in starting in 2004 as an assessment to be paid by each dues-paying ACS member. A $2.00 assessment will be tacked onto member dues in 2004; a $4.00 surcharge in $2005; $6.00 in 2006; and $8.00 in 2007. A person paying half dues would pay half of the assessment. ACS emeritus members and student affiliates would not pay. The assessment would be in addition to normal dues increases.

ACS governance will be tasked with determining a suitable mechanism for funding after 2007.

In addition to agreeing to the petition, on the recommendation of the Society Committee on Budget & Finance (B&F), the ACS Council voted that dues for 2004 be set at the fully escalated rate of $120.

B&F reported that ACS ended 2002 with a net deficit of $789,000. Excluding the favorable impact of the Member Insurance Program, operations and board appropriations produced a net deficit of $1.5 million, which was $482,000 favorable to the approved budget. Capital expenditures in 2002 totaled $22.2 million, which was almost $700,000 favorable to the approved budget.

According to the committee, the weak economy has had a significant impact on the society's advertising revenue and investment income. As a result, the society did not realize the budgeted level of net contributions from its Publications Division and the investments program. This shortfall was more than offset by strong performance from Chemical Abstracts Service and the national meetings, combined with meaningful cost reductions in staffing and travel in society programs and administrative activities.

INDEPENDENT OF the year-end operating results, the society was adversely affected by the poor performance of capital markets and falling interest rates. Although the society is still financially sound, its unrestricted net assets fell from $192 million at the end of 2001 to $136 million at the end of 2002. The downturn in equities led to investment losses of $29.4 million in 2002. The erosion in pension fund assets left the plan underfunded and required a noncash charge against the society's unrestricted net assets of $25.5 million.

Also at the meeting, the Committee on Nominations & Elections introduced its nominees for ACS president-elect for 2004. After hearing brief presentations, councilors selected William F. Carroll Jr., vice president of chlorovinyl issues at Occidental Chemical Corp., and Michael E. Strem, president, Strem Chemicals, Newburyport, Mass., as candidates from a field of four nominees. Carroll and Strem--along with any candidates who may be on the ballot by petition--will vie in this fall's election for the three-year presidential succession, 2004 to 2006. The other two nominees, chosen by the Committee on Nominations & Elections, were David F. Eaton, fellow, DuPont Corporate Ventures, Wilmington, Del.; and Kathleen C. Taylor, director (retired), Materials & Processes Laboratory, General Motors.

The council also heard the results of the District I and District V and at-large elections of candidates for positions on the ACS Board of Directors. For District I, there was a tie in second place, so three candidates will run. The candidates are Ronald D. Archer, professor of chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Anne T. O'Brien (incumbent), Wyeth Ayerst Research; and Dorothy J. Phillips, director, New Business Development, Waters Corp., Milford, Mass. For District V, the candidates are Judith L. Benham, business director, 3M Industrial Services & Solutions Division, St. Paul, Minn., and E. Ann Nalley (incumbent), professor of chemistry, Cameron University, Lawton, Okla. On or before Oct. 10, ballots will be mailed to all ACS members residing in Districts I and V for election of their directors. The term of those elected will be 2004­06.

The candidates for two seats on the board as director-at-large for 2004­06 are Dennis Chamot (incumbent), associate executive director at the National Research Council, Washington, D.C.; Nancy B. Jackson, technical manager, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque; Peter C. Jurs, professor of chemistry, Pennsylvania State University; and James P. Shoffner (incumbent), retired adjunct professor of science, Columbia College, Chicago. Ballots will be mailed to all voting councilors on or before Oct. 10.

It was also announced by the Committee on Nominations & Elections that Isiah M. Warner, professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University, has resigned from the Committee on Committees. Neil D. Jespersen, professor and chair of the chemistry department at St. John's University, Jamaica, N.Y., was chosen to fill the remainder of his term, which ends this year, plus an additional term, 2004­06.

The Local Section Activities Committee reported to council that the following local sections will be celebrating anniversaries this year: 25 years--Alaska, Ozark; 50--Corning, Southern Arizona; 75--Kansas State University, Montana, Washington-Idaho Border; and 100--Pittsburgh.

At the end of 2002, the total ACS membership number was 161,144. That represented a 1.4% decrease in membership from 2001. There was also a slight decrease in the overall retention rate. Much of the decline in the overall membership number and the retention rate is attributed to the less than favorable financial climate for the chemical enterprise.

The Committee on Meetings & Expositions reported that total meeting registration as of Wednesday morning was 14,576. Of these, 11,705 were regular registrations, 741 were guests, 629 were exposition only, and 1,501 were exhibitors. The exposition was also a big one, with 290 companies represented in 504 booths. Also, the committee reported a record number of papers presented in New Orleans: nearly 8,700.

Statistics from NECH, the ACS employment center, were reported by the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs. In New Orleans, NECH activity was down compared with last fall's meeting in Boston. For example, 1,151 job seekers registered with NECH in New Orleans (down 6% from Boston), as did 96 employers (down 38%), with 151 representatives. In New Orleans, 305 positions were posted (down 41%), and 1,751 interviews were scheduled (down 63%). *

Members of

VOTED ON
Council approves funding petition
PROPOSED AMENDMENT ARTICLE & BYLAW AFFECTED MAJOR PRO-VISIONS COUNCIL ACTION NEXT STEP
Petition for Division Constitution: Article XII, Sec. 7,a Increases funding for Passed Ratification by voting
and Local Section Constitution: Article XIII, Sec. 4,a,b,c ACS local sections members. A two-thirds
Funding Constitution: Article XV, Sec. 4 and 5 and divisions. vote is required for
Bylaw III, Sec. 3,d,(1),(c),(iv),(vi); (d),(i)­(vii) constitutional provisions.
Bylaw VII, Sec. 8; Sec. 9,a
Bylaw VIII, Sec. 6, Bylaw XII, Sec. 3

ACTIONS

Board Authorizes Continuation Of Scholars Program

Meeting in New Orleans, the ACS Board of Directors heard various reports from society committees and officers. It voted unanimously to authorize the continuation of the ACS Scholars Program until 2008. The Committee on Minority Affairs, which requested this authorization, stated that it wanted to make sure that students entering the program would be assured of the program's continuation for their four years of undergraduate work. Of the 436 program graduates, 357 have been tracked to date: 197 have entered graduate programs and 160 are in the chemical workforce. Of those who entered graduate school, 54 reported being in Ph.D. programs, with five having received their Ph.D.s.

The ACS Board approved the designation of the Polymer Research Institute of Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. It will be honored for its notable achievements in polymer science in conjunction with the ACS national meeting in September in New York City.

Acting under delegated authority, the ACS Committee on Grants & Awards accepted the recommendations of the ACS-Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) advisory board for funding grants totaling more than $7 million, contingent upon the determination that the distribution from ACS-PRF is sufficient to allow for such funding. The committee also accepted the recommendations of the advisory board for funding Alternative Energy Postdoctoral Fellowships and Undergraduate Faculty Sabbatical Grants totaling $1.2 million. Similarly, it accepted recommendations of the Green Chemistry Institute governing board for funding two grants totaling $84,500 from the GCI-ACS-PRF Programming Initiative allocation.

The International Activities Committee recommended, and the board approved, formation of a new International Chemical Sciences Chapter in Hungary; authorization of the organization of a third German-American Frontiers of Chemistry Symposium; selection of an Italian lecturer to visit the U.S.; and investigation of a U.S.-Australian exchange lectureship.

The board approved nominal cosponsorship of the International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences & Engineering that will be held Sept. 12­16 in Kastoria, Greece.

In other actions, the board established the ACS Award for Creative Research & Applications in Iodine Chemistry sponsored by SQM, S.A., and it selected Elias J. Corey as the Priestley Medalist and Valerie J. Kuck as the Volunteer Service Awardee for 2004.



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