At their recent meetings in Anaheim, Calif., the ACS Council and Board of Directors heard reports of committees, raised dues, and selected people to run for national offices.
One of the most anticipated actions of the spring council meeting is the selection of candidates to stand for the coming fall's elections. In Anaheim, council members voted on candidates for the fall elections of society officials and also recognized candidates whose petitions had already been certified to run for those offices.
Four candidates for 2005 president-elect were put forward by the Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E): Edward M. Eyring, University of Utah; F. Sherwood Rowland, University of California, Irvine; Gary B. Schuster, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Isiah M. Warner, Louisiana State University. They were introduced and gave short presentations.
The council selected Rowland and Warner as candidates for 2005 president-elect. After announcing the results of the council election, N&E Chair Valerie J. Kuck announced that E. Ann Nalley, Cameron University, Lawton, Okla., had been certified as a petition candidate for 2005 president-elect.
Candidates for District II and District IV directors were chosen by the council from a slate of nominees prepared by N&E. The winners of these elections will serve on the ACS Board for a 2005–07 term. For District II, candidates are Thomas H. Lane and incumbent Diane Grob Schmidt. For District IV, candidates are Eric C. Bigham, incumbent Paul R. Jones, and Robert L. Lichter.
N&E announced its selection of David F. Eaton and Theodore E. Tabor to run for a seat as director-at-large. Kuck also announced that Judith Giordan has been certified as a petition candidate for this director's spot.
The council also chose Connie J. Murphy to fill the vacancy on the Committee on Committees that was created by the resignation of Nancy B. Jackson, who was elected to the board of directors as a director-at-large. Murphy will serve the remainder of a 2003–05 term.
And Roger A. Parker was the council's pick to fill a vacancy on N&E created by the resignation of James W. Long. Parker will serve the remainder of a 2003–05 term.
THE COUNCIL also received a report that since its last meeting, Merle I. Eiss was reelected as vice chair of the Council Policy Committee for 2004.
The Committee on Budget & Finance's (B&F) chair, Judith L. Benham, reported that ACS's overall financial performance for 2003 was favorable, despite serious financial challenges during the year. The society ended the year with a net deficit from ACS operations of $64,000. This year-end financial performance was $811,000 favorable to the 2003 approved budget. And for the first time in three years, the society's financial performance, including investment gains, resulted in an increase to unrestricted net assets.
On the recommendation of B&F, the ACS Council voted to raise dues for 2005 to the fully escalated rate of $123.
R. Gerald Bass, chair of the Committee on Membership Affairs, reported that year-end 2003 membership in ACS, at 159,332, was essentially unchanged from year-end 2002. The good year-end news is that the number of student members increased by nearly 4%, and the number of recent graduates who enrolled as members increased by 50%.
Committee on Divisional Activities Chair Ruth A. Hathaway announced that the probationary interval of the Division of Laboratory Automation has ended. The committee voted unanimously to recommend to the council that the division be formally dissolved as of June 30, and the council voted to do so.
She also reported that several divisions will be celebrating anniversaries in 2004: 10th--Division of Chemical Technicians, 30th--Division of Professional Relations, 50th--Division of Business Development & Management, 85th--the Rubber Division, 90th--Division of Chemical Education, and 95th--Division of Medicinal Chemistry.
Yorke E. Rhodes, chair of the Local Section Activities Committee (LSAC), reported that 29 sections applied for funding through the Local Section Innovative Projects Grant Program last fall. LSAC awarded $38,000 in funding to 18 local sections.
Several local sections will be celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2004: 50th--Eastern North Carolina, Indiana-Kentucky Border, and Santa Clara Valley; 75th--Wichita; and 100th--Georgia.
Saundra Y. McGuire, chair of the Committee on Minority Affairs, reported on the ACS Scholars Program. Now in its ninth year, the program has awarded scholarships to more than 1,350 underrepresented minority students. Of the 508 program graduates, 195 have entered the chemical workforce and 221 have gone on to graduate school. Seventy-eight of these graduate students are in Ph.D. programs, and seven have received Ph.D. degrees.
Committee on Committees Chair Carol A. Duane announced that the committee will bring a specific recommendation to the council in Philadelphia that the council approve the establishment of an Ethics Committee as an Other Committee of the Council, with the following charge: "To coordinate the ethics-related activities of the society; serve as an educational resource and clearinghouse, but not as an adjudication body, for ACS members seeking guidance on ethics issues; raise awareness of ethics issues through meeting programming and columns/editorials; review recognition opportunities for acknowledging ethical behavior; and develop and oversee such other ethics-related activities as will serve ACS members and increase the standards of ethical conduct within the profession of chemistry and its related disciplines."
Margaret A. Cavanaugh, chair of the Committee on Science, announced that it is planning the following multidisciplinary sessions for the national meeting in Philadelphia: "Strategic Responses to Changing Needs in Doctoral Education," "Viruses as Chemical Entities," "Designing Materials for Product Success," "Fuels for the Future: Leading the Way with Chemistry," and a lunch box forum on "Open Access & Peer Review." The committee will also cosponsor a presidential symposium in Philadelphia that will commemorate two significant anniversaries of the ACS Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF): 60 years since its founding and 50 years since it awarded its first grant-in-aid.
Some actions are delegated specifically by the board of directors. Under authority delegated by the board, the ACS Board Committee on Grants & Awards (G&A) voted to accept the recommendations of the ACS-PRF Advisory Board for funding grants totaling $6.2 million. This is the first group of awards for 2004.
G&A Chair C. Gordon McCarty reported that the committee voted to fund the ACS-PRF Alternative Energy Postdoctoral Fellowships pilot program for $600,000 and to establish a pilot program of grant supplements for underrepresented minority research. G&A funded one grant totaling $20,000 from the Green Chemistry Institute/ACS-PRF Programming Initiative Allocation. It also capped the administrative fee for the Ralph Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories.
Council Discusses Partnering With AIChE
After a year of negotiation, discussion, and speculation, ACS President Charles P. Casey and Board of Directors Chair James D. Burke announced in Anaheim that ACS is considering neither a merger with nor an acquisition of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Rather, the organizations are proposing a three-part alliance where the two organizations would remain separate and work collectively and cooperatively.
The boards of the organizations have agreed to explore potential programmatic, membership, and operational partnerships. Working groups have identified the areas where cooperative programs could be implemented readily. These include government relations; efforts in areas of mutual interest, such as sustainability, green chemistry, biological engineering, separations science, catalysis, and chemical safety and health; and meeting programming.
Casey scheduled 30 minutes at the ACS Council meeting to gather input on what the future partnership could look like. Casey's vision is that the joining of the societies should be done slowly "by zippering the organizations up, one notch at a time."
While councilors' assessments of the potential of such an alliance were generally positive, there were some caveats and concerns, which were presented up front.
ACS Director-at-Large Dennis Chamot was one of the first to speak: "All of this is tentative. The only firm decision at this time is to embark on a programmatic alliance." Chamot stated that he saw "no evidence that the AIChE membership was interested in zippering with ACS."
Deborah E. Leckband, Colloid & Surface Chemistry Division councilor and a member of AIChE, said that more openness was needed. "Most AIChE members don't even know about this." She also said that AIChE "members are not monolithic in their viewpoint." She said she was not sure how ACS would handle the needs of chemical engineers.
Jurgen H. Exner, councilor from the Environmental Chemistry Division, noted that the two societies are already working together. He stated that the Committee on Environmental Improvement, which he chairs, "has been having a constructive dialogue with AIChE on regulatory issues for the past three years."
North Jersey Section Councilor George E. Heinze believes that the steps the society is taking in the direction of partnerships "are in the right direction. The future of ACS lies in such alliances. We need to construct a larger tent for ACS, not smaller," he said.
Christopher J. Bannochie of the ACS Savannah River Section told councilors that the AIChE chapter in his area is very vigorous and that he is "anxious for closer ties."
Charlene A. Hayden of the Detroit Section said she was "worried." She was concerned that AIChE was suffering severe financial difficulties, had to cut its staff by two-thirds, and no longer had sufficient resources to serve its members. She said that partnerships must not overtax current ACS staff. "It must be a solid management decision," she said.
ACS, which was founded in 1876, has more than 159,000 members. Founded in 1908, AIChE represents nearly 50,000 chemical engineers working in industry, academia, and government. About 8,000 people are members of both organizations. The boards of the societies are currently seeking input from their members on additional areas for cooperation.