Report from ACS Meeting in San Francisco
Local Sections Activity Committee (LSAC) meets on Saturday (all day), Sunday (half day) and on Tuesday afternoon. Prior to the national meeting, I reviewed a large number of Innovative Project Grants (IPGs) and made my recommendations as to who should get awards. The amount of these awards varies from $1500 to $3500. The committee had rather a long agenda. Our subcommittee on Grants and Awards finalized the list of awardees after a short lunch break. I am presently reviewing the following grants:
My recommendations are due on April 24. Our Section should consider applying for some of these grants. In addition, the Younger Chemist Committee and Senior Chemists Committee are encouraging local sections to start their own committees. The latter even offers a grant to encourage local sections.
Here is a summary of information from the Council meeting (over18, 000 people attended this Spring ACS meeting).
Selection of Candidates for President-Elect Position in 2018
§ The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2018: Bonnie A. Charpentier, Mark D. Frishberg, Anne M. Gaffney, and Willie E. May. By electronic ballot, the Council selected Bonnie A. Charpentier and Willie E. May as candidates for 2018 President-Elect. These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the fall national election.
*Bonnie A. Charpentier
Mark D. Frishberg
Anne M. Gaffney
*Willie E. May
aFour-hundred and thirty-one valid electronic ballots were cast, with 216 being the majority. The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the first-round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures approved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Those marked with an asterisk (*) were declared candidates.
Other Council Actions
Amendments to the ACS Bylaws
§ A recommendation by the Council Policy Committee to approve the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors (Bylaw III, Sec. 1, i; Bylaw VII, Sec. 1, c; Bylaw VIII, Sec. 4, d) failed.
§ The Council approved the Petition on the Rights of Affiliates [Bylaw II, Sec. 1, a, 2, a, 3, b, (3) and (4)].
Procedures for Removal of a Councilor or Alternate Councilor
§ The Council voted to approve the Procedures for Removal of a Councilor or Alternate Councilor, contingent upon approval of the Petition for the Removal of Officers and Councilors. As the petition subsequently failed, given the interdependence of the petition and related procedures, the procedures will not take effect.
2018 Member Dues
§ The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance to set the member dues for 2018 at the fully escalated rate of $171. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.
Distribution Formula for Division Funding
§ On the recommendation of the Committee on Divisional Activities, the Council approved a formula for allocating funds from the dues to the divisions, effective with allocations for the 2017 division performance.
Extension of Market Data Collection Test: International Chemical Sciences Chapters
§ On the recommendation of the Committee on Membership Affairs, the Council voted to extend the provision of $15 commissions to International Chemical Sciences Chapters that recruit new members.
Continuation of Committees
§ The Council approved the recommendation of the Committee on Committees that the Committee on Project SEED be continued; and that the committees on Chemists with Disabilities, on Public Relations and Communications, and on Women Chemists be continued, contingent on approval of the Board of Directors.
Change in Local Section Name
§ On the recommendation of the Committee on Local Section Activities, the Council approved a petition from the Santa Clara Valley Local Section in California to change the name of the section to the Silicon Valley Local Section.
§ The Council passed resolutions in memory of deceased Councilors; in gratitude for the officers and members of the California and Santa Clara Local Sections, hosts for the 253rd National Meeting; the divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff, for the planning and execution of the meeting.
The Council conducted a special discussion, “ACS Yesterday and Today: Paving the Way to Tomorrow,” to gather input for the Joint Board–CPC Task Force on Governance Design. Forty Councilors approached the floor microphones to share observations, comments, and suggestions to assist the task force in identifying opportunities and issues for governance improvement. The task force offered three questions to guide the discussion: What should the Society and its governance do differently to achieve its objects? If you could change one thing about ACS governance, what would it be? What should the task force leave “as is”? A poll conducted at the conclusion of the discussion revealed that 57% (222) of the Councilors disagreed that the current governance structure, processes and procedures are already optimal to achieving the objectives of ACS in the 21st century, 16% (54) agreed, and 27% (104) needed more information. Three-hundred and six (84%) said they would be willing to provide additional input and feedback to the task force. They will be contacted by the task force in the coming weeks.
Budget and Finance
In 2016, ACS generated a Net from Operations of $23.8 million, which was $7.2 million higher than 2015. Total revenues were $526.8 million, increasing 2.9% or $15 million over 2015. Expenses ended the year at $503 million, which was $7.8 million or 1.6% higher than prior year. This was attributable to a continued emphasis on expense management across the organization. The Society’s financial position strengthened in 2016, with Unrestricted Net Assets, or reserves, increasing from $163.3 million at December 31, 2015 to $206.5 million at year-end 2016.
Additional information can be found at www.acs.org. At the bottom, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information’. There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.
As of December 31, 2016, the ACS membership was 156,129, which is 0.5% less than on the same date in 2015. The number of new members who joined in 2016 is 23,700. The Society’s overall retention rate is 83.5%. The Committee on Membership Affairs also reported that the number of international members has increased to 27,388, exceeding the committee’s target by 5%. The retention rate of graduate students increased by 2%, to 76.2%.
Please feel free to contact me in case you need further information.
Sut Ahuja, Councilor