American Chemical Society, Chicago Section

Report of Council Meeting Held on August 21, 2002 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel

By Barbara Moriarty...

The 224nd National Meeting of the ACS was held in Boston, MA from August 18 - 22, 2002. Attendance at this meeting was reported to be 17,121 people, including 12,478 meeting attendees, 2664 exhibition only attendees and 1979 guests. The Chicago section was fully represented by eleven councilors and two alternate councilors. The councilors who attended for the section were: Dr. Roy H. Bible Jr. (1964-2002), Dr. Cherlyn Bradley (1993-2004), Dr. Charles E. Cannon (2001-2002), Mr. Nathaniel L. Gilham (1988-2002), Dr. Russell W. Johnson (2001-2004), Ms. Fran K. Kravitz (1992-2003), Dr. Thomas J. Kucera (1970-2002). Dr. Claude A. Lucchesi (1974-2003), Dr. Barbara E. Moriarty (1996-2004), Dr. Seymour H. Patinkin (1978-2004), and Ms. Marsha Anne Phillips (1998-2003). Marilyn Kouba (for David Crumrine) and Allison Aldridge (For Steve Sichak) attended as alternate councilors. Jim Shoffner was present at the meeting as a Director-at-Large, while Ellis Fields was present as a past president of the society. Both Jim and Ellis are exofficio councilors.

Two Chicago Section councilors, Nathaniel Gilham (15 years) and Seymour Patinkin (25 years) were recognized for their years on the ACS Council. Congratulations.

Officer Reports:  President Eli Pearce continued his emphasis on diversity at this meeting. He reported that 50% of new members are women and 25% of current members are women. There were a variety of programs and presidential events dealing with the diversity among ACS members. Past President Attila Pavlath gave his final report to Council after his 12 years on the Board of Directors, first as director - at - large and then as a member of the presidential succession. He received a standing ovation from Council for all his hard work.

Governance:  The three candidates for 2003 president-elect campaigned at caucuses and at SciMix. The three candidates are Charles P. Casey of the University of Wisconsin, Alvin L. Kwiram from the University of Washington and E. Ann Nalley from Cameron University. Ann Nalley was nominated by petition. Candidates for Director-at-Large also were introduced to Council. There is a special election to fill the director-at-large vacancy created when Joan Shields resigned from the Board to become a member of the Governing Board on Publications. In this election, which has already taken place, Dennis Chamot was elected to take the position.

One Chicago Section member, Sara J. Risch (Councilor for the Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) was elected to the Nominations and Elections Committee.

One of the issues that was raised recently was the size of the national committees. Last year the council voted to increase the size of standing committees. A vote on an amendment to increase the size of society committees was approved by a vote of 263 Yes, 126 No and 5 Abstentions.

Budget:   This continues to be a challenging year for the ACS in terms of its budget. To allow members to be more informed regarding the ACS finances, there will be a new Budget and Finance website, debuting in late October. The ACS has also started a process, called the Strategic Expense Management System (SEMS) to provide a closer connection between the strategic objectives of the society and how ACS spends its money.

ACS is looking very carefully at new programs and any request for funding for 2003. The immediate impact from this is on the Matching Gift Fund Program, which is now depleted. Twelve Society programs (including Project SEED, National Chemistry Week, and the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad) have benefited from the success of this fund-raising mechanism. At the time of the Boston meeting, the prospect of funding for 2003 to allow continuation of the Matching Gift Fund was uncertain. A consideration by the Board of Directors of ACS of a possible request for reauthorization was deferred until December 2002 when the details of the 2003 proposed budget are available. Until a new appropriation is authorized, no funds are available to match contributions to support Society programs such as Project SEED.

One of the other petitions to Council, that was subsequently withdrawn, dealt with ways to change the funding of local sections and divisions. This is an issue that has come up in part because 16 of the 33 divisions ran deficits for national meeting programming. Discussions on how to fund divisions and local sections will continue.

ChemLuminary Awards:  Several councilors and the Section chair, Susan Shih, attended the 4th Annual ChemLuminary Awards ceremony on Tuesday, August 20. We were finalists for three awards, but came away without any of the awards. The Peoria local section won the award for the best medium small section for the third year in a row. Congratulations.

Membership Affairs:  The number of members in 2002 has declined compared to the 2001 membership. In addition, as of July 31, there were 12,000 members who had asked for a dues waiver due to unemployment, an increase of 300 over the same time period in 2001. One new enhanced feature is that in 2003 online dues and subscription renewals will be possible. In 2002 approximately 70% of dues paying members were members of at least one division.

Economic and Professional Affairs:  At this meeting, a new computerized system was used at the National Employment Clearinghouse (NECH) for the first time. Even though there was no onsite registration for NECH at this meeting, there were 1242 candidates, vying for 512 job postings from 154 companies. As of the Wednesday morning, there were 4667 interviews scheduled, a new high for interviews at NECH. Work to revise the Professional Employment Guidelines (PEG) has started. If you have any ideas for possible revisions, please contact Fran Kravitz.

Outreach:  The theme for this year's National Chemistry Week (NCW) is "Chemistry Keeps us Clean." The Soap and Detergent Association and the American Council on Chemistry have asked their members to support NCW. In 2003 the NCW theme will be "Earth's Atmosphere and Beyond".

Chemical Safety:  There is an online conference on Teaching Safety in High Schools, Colleges and Universities coming up. It begins on Sept. 30, and continues through Nov. 21, 2002. Information on the conference and participating in it can be found at: The conference is sponsored by the ACS DivCHED. The 7th edition of Safety in Academic Laboratories (SACL) is scheduled for publication by year's end. The new edition consists of a volume for students and one for faculty/administrators. Also, coming shortly, is a quick-reference student's pocket guide of SACL, originally drafted by Steve Sichak. There will also be revisions to the Small Business Safety Manual.

Project Seed:  Project SEED celebrates its 35th anniversary next year and planned events include having 40 SEED posters presented at the Presidential Event at the New Orleans Spring meeting. This year there were 295 Summer I students at 86 institutions and 88 Summer II students at 45 institutions participating in research programs. This included 3 Summer I students that completed research projects at FUHS/The Chicago Medical School and at UIC in the Chicago Section.

Eighty students presented posters of their summer research at SciMix. Two students, Delliah Redd and Jesus Ruiz, from the Chicago Section were among those that gave posters. Applications for the 2003 Summer research program will be available online. A letter addressed to high school science teachers to precruit them as coordinators was finalized and is scheduled to be sent out in the Fall.

Project SEED and Minority Affairs Committees co-sponsored a workshop entitled "Hearing from the Experts: What Makes for Successful Mentoring?". Past SEED mentors and recent ACS Scholars were involved in the panel discussion.

As part of the committee's strategic plan, there is a task force with the assignment of identifying geographic areas that don't have SEED programs. This task force reported that there are currently 51 local sections that are large enough to have, but don't have, a SEED program. These sections will be contacted in the Fall by mail and follow-up phone calls by the committee members to provide more detailed advice on just how to become involved in SEED and to provide encouragement.

Constitution and Bylaws:  The ACS counsel and the Constitution and Bylaws (C & B) committee had some issues with the bylaws that were voted on last Spring. Tom Kucera discussed the proposed Section Bylaws with the Head of C&B committee and the ACS counsel. The wording on the Dissolution articles was agreed upon that was satisfactory to the National C&B and legal and answers to the concerns regarding the status of the restricted funds in the event of the Section being dissolved (extremely unlikely!) were given. The wording used would not require resubmission to the Section membership for approval. This was last remaining question on the revised Bylaws. We are currently awaiting written confirmation of all this from Washington.

If you have any questions and/or comments about the above actions, please contact me (W 630 305-2224, or by email or one of the other councilors.

      --- Barbara Moriarty with help from Tom Kucera and Cherlyn Bradley.