ACS Council

The Council of the American Chemical Society met in Dallas, TX on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 8:00am until approximately 11:30am in the Dallas Ballroom A-C of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. There were several items for Council Action and they are summarized below. 

Nominations and Elections

President-Elect: The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) identified four nominees for the office of 2015 ACS President-Elect. They are as follows: Peter K. Dorhout, William A. Lester, Jr., Christopher K. Ober, and Henry F. Schaefer, III. The four nominees answered questions at the Town Hall meeting that was held on Sunday, March 16th, at 4:45pm in the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Council voted to select Peter Dourhout and William Lester as the final two candidates whose names will appear on the fall ballot.

Other Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the list of nominees to represent District III and District VI on the Board of Directors for the term 2015-2017. Nominees for District III include Dee Ann Casteel, Pat N. Confalone, Anne S. DeMasi, and Kathryn E. Uhrich. Nominees for District VI are Allison A. Campbell, Paul W. Jagodzinski, Lee H. Latimer, and Eleanor D. Siebert.  By mail ballot, the Councilors from these districts selected Pat N. Confalone and Anne S. DeMasi as District III candidates; and Paul W. Jagodzinski and Lee H. Latimer as District VI candidates. Ballots will be mailed on or before October 10, 2014 to all ACS members in District III and District VI 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 2015 - 2017: Dawn A. Brooks, William F. Carroll, Jr., Barbara A. Sawrey, and Ellen B. Stechel. 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, 2014

Continuation of Committees

Having completed their five-year review, the Committee on Committees was given unanimous approval by Council for the continuation of the following committees: Chemical Safety, Chemistry and Public Affairs, and Minority Affairs.

ACS Dues for 2015

Council voted to approve the recommendation from the Committee on Budget and Finance with regard to the 2015 membership dues (an increase of $4.00 from $154 to $158). The increases to ACS dues are based upon an escalator defined in the ACS Bylaws (Bylaw XIII, 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 2014:                                   $154.00

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

December 2013 CPI-W (Services):   $274.948

December 2012 CPI-W Services:      268.661

Change in CPI-W Index:                     2.34%

2015 Dues, fully escalated:                $154.00 x 1.0234 = $157.60

2015 Dues, Rounded:                         $158.00

Dues Allocations to Divisions

Every three years at a spring national meeting the Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) is required to bring to Council a formula for allocation of dues funds to Divisions. The one presented in Dallas was a slightly modified version of the current formula. There are four general buckets from which Divisions earn allocation funds. Base Allotment, the Per Member Allotment, the Innovative Projects Allotment, and Total Programming Allotment (the latter reflects a division’s activity at national meetings).

Two changes to the existing formula were proposed. One slightly increases the percentage of the Base Allotment that all divisions receive from 12.5% to 15%. The other calls for a slight decrease in the funds allocated to divisions for their Total Programming Allotment from 65% to 62.5%. The intent of the change is to provide small divisions (those with less than 2,000 members such as CINF) with a modest increase in funds in order to enhance their opportunity for success. The large divisions (those with more than 3,500 members) will lose no more than 2.5% of their funding.

After voting to postpone its implementation by one year, the Council voted to approve the revised formula.  It will be effective with allocations for 2015 division performance.

Change in Local Section Territory

Council approved the Committee on Local Section recommendation to expand the territory of the North Jersey Local Section to include the former Monmouth County Local Section territory. The latter section dissolved on 12/31/13 due to inactivity and is currently an unassigned territory.

Petitions for Vote

Petition to Charter an International Chemical Sciences Chapters

On recommendation of the Committee on International Activities and subject to the concurrence of the Board of Directors, the Council voted to approve petitions to charter the South Korea International Chemical Sciences Chapter and the Malaysia International Chemical Sciences Chapter.

Committee Oral Reports

Budget and Finance (B&F)

In 2013, ACS generated a Net from Operations of $15.1 million, which was $2.0 million favorable to the budget. This represents the Society’s tenth consecutive year of positive operating results. Total revenue was $490.5 million, which was $8.8 million (or 1.8%) lower than budget, and essentially flat when compared with 2012. Expenses totaled 475.4 million which was $10.8million (2.2%) favorable.  This result was largely attributable to cost-containment measures throughout the ACS. Unrestricted Net Assets rebounded in 2013, rising to $207 million, and more than doubling from the 2012 level.

Education (SOCED)

SOCED approved a pilot program to form ACS International Student Chapters.

Standing Committees

Membership Affairs (MAC)

For 2014, MAC authorized an individual member test for India to allow for a $52 full Member dues rate. At this meeting, MAC extended the test to include new and renewing members in India for three years.

Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA)

Findings from the ACS 2013 New Graduate Survey have been compiled and reveal troubling news: overall unemployment among new graduates rose from 12.6% in 2012 to 14.9% in 2013. This is primarily due to the high unemployment among recent Bachelors degree chemists. New graduates must be at the top of the Committee’s priority list for employment assistance in 2014. Median salary has also dropped from $40,000 to $39,560.

Meetings and Expositions (M&E)

As of the morning of March 19, 2014, the ACS spring national meeting had attracted 13,680 registrants, including 6,853 regular attendees, 5,140 students, 304 guests, 954 exhibitors, and 429 exposition-only registrants. The meeting had 10,050 papers presented. 

Spring meeting attendance since 2004 is as follows:

2004: Anaheim, CA:               14,141

2005:  San Diego, CA:            15,385

2006:  Atlanta, GA:                 12,546

2007:  Chicago. IL:                 14,520

2008:  New Orleans, LA:       13,454

2009:  Salt Lake City, UT:      10,668

2010:  San Francisco, CA:     18,076

2011:  Anaheim, CA:              14,047

2012:  San Diego, CA:            16,864 (as of Tuesday, March 27th)

2013:  New Orleans, LA:        15,596 (as of Wednesday morning, April 10th)

2014: Dallas, TX:                    13,680 (as of Wednesday morning, March 19th)

The new ACS Mobile Application had over 6,000 downloads by meeting attendees.

M&E voted to eliminate the author index in the hard program meeting program book beginning with the spring 2015 meeting, The searchable author index is now available via the mobile application and other electronic means. M&E reported that the Spring 2023 meeting will be held in Indianapolis, IN.

Divisional Activities (DAC)

Operating as a DAC subcommittee, the Multidisciplinary Planning Group is proposing the following 2017 national meeting themes to the divisions for their consideration:

Spring, San Francisco: Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems and Processes

Fall, Washington, DC: Chemistry’s Impact on the Global Economy

Local Section Activities (LSAC)

LSAC will initiate the process to dissolve the Ocean County (New Jersey) Section as a result of the group’s failure to meet the criteria to remain an active section. The committee also announced special Local Section anniversaries: Maryland (100th), South Plains (50th), and the 75th anniversary for Sioux Valley, Penn-York, Memphis, Baton Rouge, Green Mountain and Illinois Heartland.

Constitution and Bylaws (C&B)

In Fall 2013, C&B announced a new optional process for expedited bylaw reviews, offering limited customization but faster than the current three month turnaround. C&B has now created a new, easier way for local sections and divisions to prepare bylaw revisions for C&B review. They are not as restrictive as those permitted through the expedited process. After a unit indicates its willingness to update its bylaws, C&B would then offer to create a first draft of proposed bylaws changes for consideration by the unit. Alternatively, the unit may still propose its own draft changes for C&B review. There are currently no petitions for action at the 2015 Spring ACS meeting.

Other Committees

Chemical Safety (CCS)

CCS has published its first-ever Safety Alert concerning the Rainbow Demonstration, in Chemical and Engineering News, March 17, 2014. Copies were distributed to Councilors.

Chemists with Disabilities (CWD)

The committee has updated and digitized its publication “Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities.” It will be available in April 2014 and linked to the CWD website.

Community Activities (CCA)

Copies of the publication Celebrating Chemistry, a product of the ACS Department of Volunteer Support in conjunction with CCA, were distributed to Councilors. Local Sections can order up to 750 copies of this publication for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day.

Minority Affairs (CMA)

The committee reminded Councilors that the ACS Scholars Program is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2015. The program has enabled 1,400 students to achieve university degrees in the chemical sciences. CMA will highlight accomplishments and successes of the Scholars Program throughout 2015.

Special Discussion Item

A special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President Tom Barton presented and moderated a discussion on “What can ACS do to increase the quality of science education in grades K-12? Following the presentation, 39 Councilors engaged in a robust discussion on the factors impacting the quality of K-12 science education in the United States.  


At this meeting, the ACS Board of Directors considered a number of key strategic issues and responded with several actions. 

The Board’s Committees and Working Groups

The Board of Directors received reports from its Committees on Grants and Awards (G&A), and Executive Compensation.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Grants and Awards, the Board voted to approve a Society nomination for the National Medal of Science, which is bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. 

The Board received an extensive briefing and approved several recommendations from its Committee on Executive Compensation. The compensation of the Society’s executive staff receives regular review from the Board. 

The working group on Society Program Portfolio Management briefed the Board on its activities.The working group was charged with delivering a process for portfolio management of Society programs in the divisions of Membership and Scientific Advancement, Education, and the Office of the Secretary and General Counsel (Office of Public Affairs).

The Board held a discussion on operational issues relating to virtual versus face-to-face committee meetings, the appropriate detail and format of information presented to the Board and committee members, and the proper length of committee meetings.

The Executive Director/CEO Report

The Executive Director/CEO and her direct reports updated the Board on the following: ACS financial trends and near term outlook; the launch of the recently approved American Association of Chemistry Teachers, which will support K-12 teachers of chemistry by providing them with a professional home that addresses and is responsive to their needs; and the activities and plans of CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) and the ACS Publications Division.  As a follow-up to the Publications report, the Board voted to approve three journal editor re-appointments. The Board also VOTED to approve one appointment to the ACS Green Chemistry Institute Governing Board and one reappointment to the ACS Governing Board for Publishing.

Other Society Business

The Board also:

Expressed its gratitude and thanks to Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, who on March 6 announced her plan to retire at the end of the year. The Board then began a discussion of the process and logistics of identifying and hiring her successor.

Received reports from the Presidential Succession on their current and planned activities for the remainder of 2014 and 2015.

Approved a resolution congratulating Robert Massie on his retirement at the end of this month for twenty-one years of successful leadership of the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS).

The Board’s Open Session

The Board held a lively, well-attended open session which featured a special forum focused on the question: “What is the one thing you like that ACS does, and why?” Members attending the session also received a brief review of the questions posed at the spring 2013 Board Open Session in New Orleans and the follow-ups undertaken by governance and staff. Board members continue to be pleased by the new format, turnout and quality of the discussions.


The following is a list of the email addresses and URLs presented on slides at the Council meeting., email address for ACS President-Elect Diane Grob Schmidt email address for ACS Immediate Past President Marinda Wu email address for the Committee on Nominations and Elections and to submit questions to Town Hall Meetings ACS Directory (member number required) Society’s audited finances and IRS Form 990 filings (click on “About Us” and scroll down to “ACS Financial Information”) ACS governing documents including petitions and certified bylaws

Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities digitized version will be published in April 2014 Conversations with Celebrated Chemists Information for local sections and divisions, community outreach.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks and Bonnie Lawlor, CINF Councilors