Report on the Council Agenda for March 28, 2012

The Council of the American Chemical Society will meet in San Diego, CA, on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, from 8:00am until approximately 12:00pm in the Marriott Hall of the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina Hotel  All ACS members are welcome to attend, although only Councilors are permitted to vote.  A continental breakfast is usually available at 7:00am for all attendees.

There are a number of items for Council Action, but the majority is routine and not major.  The action items are summarized below. 

Nominations and Elections


The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) has identified four nominees for the office of 2013 ACS President-Elect.  They are as follows: Thomas J. Barton, Luis A. Echegoyen, William A.  Lester, Jr., and Barry M. Trost.  The four nominees will answer questions at the Town Hall meeting that will be held on Sunday, March 25th, at 4:45pm in the San Diego Ballroom Salon A at the Marriott Marquis & Marina Hotel, and each will give a three minute presentation at the Council meeting.  Council  will select the final two candidates whose names will appear on the fall ballot.

District I and District V Directors

The Committee on Nominations and Elections has announced the list of nominees to represent District I and District V on the Board of Directors for the term 2013-2015.  Nominees for District I include Barbara J. Garrison, Thomas R. Gilbert, Neil D. Jespersen, and Julianne M. D. Smist. Nominees for District V are John E. Adams, Frank D. Blum, Peter K. Dorhout, and Frankie K. Wood-Black. Ballots have been mailed to Councilors in the two districts and the results will be announced in San Diego.  The final ballots with two candidates for each district 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.


The Committee on Nominations and Elections also announced the selection of the following candidates for Director-at-Large for a 2013-2015 term: Carol A. Duane, Valerie J. Kuck, Bonnie 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, 2012.

Town Hall Meeting

A Town Hall meeting organized by the Committee on Nominations and Elections is scheduled for Sunday, March 25, 2012 in the Marriott Marquis & Marina Hotel, Marriott Hall, from 4:45pm - 5:45pm. It will highlight a Q&A session with the candidates for President-Elect.  All ACS members are encouraged to attend.  It is a great way to gather first-hand information and decide for whom you might want to vote in the fall election

ACS Dues for 2013

Council will vote on the recommendation from the Committee on Budget and Finance with regard to the 2013 membership dues (an increase of $3.00 - from $148 to $151).  The increases to ACS dues are based upon an escalator defined in the ACS Bylaws (Bylaw XII, Section 3,a).  The dues are calculated by multiplying the base (current) rate “by a factor which is the ratio of the revised Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (Service Category) for the second year previous to the dues year to the value of the index for the third year previous to the dues year, as published by the United States Department of Labor, with the fractional dollar amounts rounded to the nearest whole dollar”.

Base rate 2012: $148.00

Change in the Consumer Price Index, Urban Wage Earners, Services Category:

                December 2011 CPI-W Services:      262.954

                December 2010 CPI-W Services:      257.382

                Change in CPI-W Index:                    2.16%


2013 Dues, fully escalated:$148.00 x 1.0216 = $151.20

2013 Dues, Rounded:                                             $151.00


Change in Committees

The Committee on Committees (ConC) will put forth a recommendation for the continuation of the committees that have been reviewed as required by the Committee Sunset Laws.  The committees were not named in the Agenda Book.

Approval of Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct

Council will vote to accept the newest edition of the Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct (last revision was in 2007).  The changes are minor.   A statement that says “comply with safety policies and procedures” has been added to the section on the responsibilities of chemical professionals to their employers.  In the section on responsibilities of chemical professionals to their employees, the wording now reads “… respect the professionalism of their subordinates and have concern for their well-being…”  Other minor changes address the environment and respect for colleagues despite their level of education and whether they come from government, academia or industry or from other scientific and engineering disciplines.

Petition on Market Data Collection

On occasion, an ACS President will request that a special discussion item be placed on the Council agenda. In Denver, the topic "How can ACS best cultivate a culture of safety in U.S. universities and colleges?" will be discussed in response to devastating incidents in academic laboratories and observations by many that graduates do not have strong safety skills.

In June 2011, the Safety Culture Task Force (SCTF) held a retreat to discuss and begin efforts to prepare publications that might assist academia in strengthening its safety cultures. Specifically, SCTF seeks to identify the best elements and best practices of a good safety culture, identify academic institutions that are currently using these best practices, identify specific recommendations that could be used by universities and colleges to strengthen their safety culture, and identify tools and resources that could be beneficial in these efforts.

Elements that SCTF believe to be critical to strengthening safety cultures are: leadership; teaching basic laboratory and chemical safety; safety ethic/attitude/safety awareness; learning lessons from laboratory incidents; collaborative interactions; promoting and communicating safety; and encouraging institutional support of safety by budgeting for safety programs and supplies.

SCTF seeks: 1) input, suggestions, and recommendations for strengthening the safety culture in academia; 2) "bright spots" – those places within academia that provide exemplary examples of one or more of the above mentioned safety culture elements; and 3) good resources and instructional materials that can be used to build strong safety cultures.  Send your comments and suggestions to Marta Gmurczyk, ACS Staff Liaison to the Committee on Chemical Safety at


Bylaw Changes for Council Vote

Petition on Market Data Collection
Council is being asked to vote on a petition related to market tests for data collection. This petition seeks to add a provision to allow for recommended controlled market testing to collect data before the Society changes benefits, dues or membership categories.  The Committee on Budget and Finance cannot assess with reasonable accuracy the range of potential costs that would result from the implementation of this petition as they have no idea how many market tests may ultimately be conducted. The petitioners have thus added additional wording that will impose limits on the size and length of tests.  The wording is as follows:

“The Committee on Membership Affairs may conduct membership recruitment and retention market testing of SOCIETY memberships, services, and benefits, including special dues categories, to provide data as the basis for recommendations to the Council. The number of individuals included in any test related to dues discount shall not exceed a number equal to 10% of the total membership.  Each test shall be limited to three years’ duration unless granted prior approval by Council.  All test results will be reported to Council at least once a year.”

Petition to Amend Recorded Vote Request Procedure

Council will vote on a change in wording to BYLAW III, Section 4, regarding recorded votes taken at Council meetings. The wording is as follows:

“Any member of Council may call for a recorded vote on the current action before the Council, other than an election, at any time before voting using a method from which it can be determined how each Councilor voted has commenced.”

This wording has been introduced as Council now uses “clickers” for voting.  The computer that totals the votes can list votes by clicker number from which it can be determined how each Councilor voted.

The petition has no impact on the finances of the Society.


Bylaw Changes for Consideration Only

Petition on Candidate Comment in C&EN
The wording to BYLAW V, Section13 is recommended to have the following added:

“A candidate for election to the Board of Directors may not publish an ACS Comment in C&EN six monts before the ballots are mailed for the corresponding election.”

This is to avoid an unfair campaign advantage to incumbents who may choose to make official statements on their task force or committee activities prior to elections.

Petition on International Chemical Sciences Chapters Funds

The proposed revised wording of BYLAW IX, Section 4, is as follows:

“An International Chemical Sciences Chapter shall receive no allotment of funds from the SOCIETY and shall not be entitled to elected representatives on the Council.  However, the Board of Directors may allocate funds to a Chapter for a specific SOCIETY activity in which participation of the Chapter is deemed necessary for carrying out that SOCIETY activity effectively.”

The financial implications of this petition are still being assessed.


Respectfully submitted March 2, 2012

CINF Councilors

Bonnie Lawlor
National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS)

Andrea Twiss-Brooks
University of Chicago