COUNCIL TO FACE THREE PETITIONS | July 12, 2004 Issue - Vol. 82 Issue 28 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 82 Issue 28 | pp. 33-35
Issue Date: July 12, 2004

COUNCIL TO FACE THREE PETITIONS

Petitions could expand membership requirements to include precollege chemistry teachers, change division annual report deadlines, and affect society elections
Department: ACS News
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When the American Chemical Society Council meets next month in Philadelphia, it will act on three petitions to amend the society's bylaws.

The first petition for council action would expand society membership requirements to include career precollege teachers of chemistry or a related science. The petition proposes that anyone who is "fully certified, licensed, or otherwise qualified as a precollege teacher of chemistry or an allied science plus three years of employment as a chemistry teacher" qualifies an applicant to join ACS as a regular member. If an applicant does not have the requisite three years of employment but meets the other requirements, he or she could be admitted as an associate member.

The petitioners requesting this change believe that it will help the society encourage chemistry teachers, who may not otherwise fully meet the requirements of membership, to become members based on their status and experience. The phrase "fully certified, licensed, or otherwise qualified" recognizes the variations in educational and institutional requirements for precollege chemistry teachers.

Petitioners also believe that this petition will help fulfill the society's mission to advance the chemical enterprise by tapping into a large pool of potential new members.

The second petition for council action seeks to change the annual report deadline for divisions from March to February to be consistent with the local sections' annual report deadline. This change would also allow the Council Committee on Divisional Activities more time to evaluate division annual reports as part of the ChemLuminary Awards process.

According to the petitioners, divisions were historically allowed more time to file annual reports because of their nongeographic boundaries. Now that divisions can submit their reports electronically, geography no longer presents a challenge. Although some divisions object to an earlier submission date, revisions to annual reports are accepted until September, according to policy set by the Divisional Activities Committee.

The final petition up for action proposes to remove the requirement for balloting only by mail and allow, but not restrict balloting to, electronic ballots. This change would permit the society to issue electronic ballots for ACS national elections only. Local sections and divisions currently do not use electronic balloting--except when it is specifically approved by the Committee on Nominations & Elections and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws--because their governing documents must be consistent with the society's. But if this effort succeeds at the national level, then local sections and divisions will have the option to implement electronic balloting by amending their bylaws.

"Many of the constitution and bylaws provisions that govern society elections were written well before the advent of e-mail and the Internet," ACS Secretary Flint H. Lewis says. "References to mailing and enclosing ballots in those documents can actually hinder the society from conducting electronic balloting. The petitioners are seeking to give the society and its units a green light to use the electronic option."

Chemical & Engineering News generally publishes the full text of all petitions and their associated reports and is doing so for the first two petitions. The minor revisions needed in the constitution and bylaws to allow for electronic balloting require many small changes throughout both documents, so the petition is not included here. The associated reports of that petition are printed, but the full text of the petition is available on C&EN Online, as are both other petitions and associated reports.

As an example of the changes that would be made throughout the society's documents to allow electronic balloting, all instances of the word "mailed" would be changed to "distributed" or "sent"; "containing the signatures of" would be changed to "endorsed by."

Following are the text and associated reports of the petitions scheduled for consideration at the ACS Council meeting in Philadelphia. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 25, beginning at 8 AM, in the Wyndham Ballroom B of the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel.

Petition for Membership Requirements for Teachers

Bylaw I, Sec. 3,a,(6) and b<br > Petition

We, the undersigned councilors of the American Chemical Society, hereby petition to amend the bylaws as follows (additions underlined; deletions struck through):

Bylaw I, Membership, Sec. 3

a. The Admissions Committee may approve for Member a person who meets any of the following requirements for formal training and experience in a chemical science or in a science closely related to chemistry. Chemical science comprises chemistry, chemical engineering, and multiple disciplinary chemistry-centered sciences. In meeting experience requirements, graduate study in a chemical science should be considered as equivalent to employment in a chemical science. Significantly chemical employment involves the use of fundamental chemical principles as a major portion of the effort. (9-29-94)

(1) A bachelor's degree in a chemical science certified to the Society by a department approved by the Society for its undergraduate professional training. (9-29-94)

(2) A bachelor's degree in a chemical science not certified to the Society and three years of employment in a chemical science. (1-1-82)

(3) An earned doctor's or master's degree in a chemical science. (1-1-82)

(4) An associate degree or equivalent in a chemical science or chemical technology and five years of employment in a chemical science. (10-16-01)

(5) An earned degree at any level that includes the concepts and knowledge of a bachelor's degree in a chemical science plus three years of significantly chemical employment. (9-29-92)

(6) Full certification, licensure, or other qualification as a pre-college teacher of chemical science and three years of employment as a teacher of chemical science.

(7) (6) Less formal training than indicated above or a degree in a field other than a chemical science but having significant achievement in a chemical science, provided that the application is supported by documentary evidence. (9-29-94)

b. The Admissions Committee may approve for Associate Member a person (1) who has completed the academic training specified in this section but who lacks the experience requirements; or (2) who is a fully certified, licensed, or otherwise qualified pre-college teacher of chemical science. (9-29-94)

An Associate Member shall retain such status until the requirements for Member have been met, the Admissions Committee has been petitioned for reclassification, and such petition has been approved by that Committee for advancement to Member status. An Associate Member shall be entitled to all privileges of membership except that of holding an elective position of the Society, its local sections, or its divisions, and the privilege of serving as temporary substitute councilor; however, if the bylaws of the local section or division so permit, an Associate Member may hold an elective position of the local section or division, other than councilor or alternate councilor. (6-8-91)

EXPLANATION

The society has frequently expressed a desire to reach out to career precollege chemistry teachers. The petition allows experienced, qualified chemistry teachers who may not otherwise fully meet the requirements to become members based on their status and experience. The petition also allows a precollege chemistry or allied science teacher to become an associate member.

The objective of this petition is to help fulfill the society's mission, which is "to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner the advancement of the chemical enterprise and its practitioners." Precollege chemistry teachers are an important part of the chemical enterprise, and it is in the society's best interest to tap into the huge potential numbers of new ACS members. The petition will make fully certified, licensed, or otherwise qualified precollege teachers of chemistry eligible for ACS membership after three years of employment as a chemistry teacher. The petition will also make those precollege chemistry or allied science teachers who lack the teaching requirements but are otherwise qualified eligible for Associate Membership.

The petitioners included the phrase "fully certified, licensed, or otherwise qualified," recognizing that there are broad variations in educational and institutional requirements for precollege chemistry teachers. The requirement of three years of employment as a chemistry teacher with a baccalaureate degree is comparable to the five years of experience in chemical technology with an associate degree as detailed in Bylaw I, Sec.3,a(5). The suggested modification establishes a degree and experience combination that the Admissions Committee considers acceptable to admit a precollege chemistry teacher to the society as a regular member without requiring additional information.

SIGNED:

R. Gerald Bass, John K. Borchardt, Donna G. Friedman, Frank A. Guthrie, Pamela D. Kistler, Larry K. Krannich, R.. W. Morrison Jr., Joseph R. Peterson, Robert A. Pribush, Steven M. Schildcrout, James O. Schreck, Walter O. Siegl, Paul H. Terry, Charles E. Thomas, Jane V. Thomas, John A. Whittle

This petition has been referred to the Committee on Membership Affairs (the committee having primary substantive responsibility), the Council Policy Committee, the Society Committee on Education, the Society Committee on Budget & Finance, and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws.

FINAL STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL IMPACT

The Budget & Finance Subcommittee on the Financial Impact of Constitution & Bylaw Changes has examined this petition and makes the preliminary finding that it will have a minor positive impact on the finances of the society ($0&#150;$100,000).

FINAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS

The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, in discussion with the Committee on Membership Affairs, has prepared a revised version of the petition. The revised petition maintains the substance and intent of the original petition. The changes make the language parallel with that used elsewhere in this section of the bylaws. Although the committee finds both versions of the petition to be legal and consistent with other provisions of the society's documents, it has recommended the preferred language of the revised petition as a substitute petition to the petitioners. A two-thirds vote of council is required for adoption of a bylaw amendment. If adopted, the bylaw amendments become effective after confirmation by the board of directors.--M. ELIZABETH DERRICK, CHAIR

Petition To Change Division Annual Report Deadline

Bylaw VIII, Sec. 7,a<br > Petition

We, the undersigned councilors of the American Chemical Society, hereby petition to amend the bylaws as follows (additions underlined; deletions struck through):

Bylaw VIII, Divisions, Sec. 7,a

The annual report of each division, including an itemized statement of receipts and expenditures and investment of its funds, shall be submitted each year to the Council Committee on Divisional Activities through the executive director of the Society not later than March February 15 of each year and shall cover the period of January 1 to December 31 preceding. The committee each year shall prepare and submit to the Council Policy Committee a summary of the division annual reports. (11-12-79)

EXPLANATION

The proposed bylaw change is necessary to make the annual report deadline consistent with that of the local sections. This will also allow the Council Committee on Divisional Activities more time to evaluate division annual reports for making selections for the ChemLuminary Awards program.

Historically, the divisions were given more time because of geographical limitations. However, with electronic submission, this is no longer a challenge.

Although some divisions have objections to an earlier submission date, financial institutions usually publish financial reports by the end of January. Divisions are reminded that revisions to their annual reports are accepted until September.

SIGNED:

V. Dean Adams, Christopher J. Bannochie, Suzanne D. Blackburn, Arindam Bose, Theodore M. Brown, Carol J. Bruner, James D. Burke, Dennis Chamot, Dwight W. Chasar, Ben B. Chastain, William H. Daly, Peter K. Dorhout, Roger A. Egolf, Victoria L. Finkenstadt, John W. Finley, Michelle M. Francl, Ruth A. Hathaway, Roland F. Hirsch, Warren D. Hull Jr., Melanie J. Lesko, John M. Long, Barbara E. Moriarty, Marsha A. Phillips, Joseph R. Peterson, Stanley H. Pine, Theodore Provder, Nancy N. Ragsdale, John T. Riley, Richard C. Sheridan, Donald C. Songstad, Charles L. Wilkins

This petition has been referred to the Divisional Activities Committee (committee having primary substantive responsibility), the Local Section Activities Committee, the Council Policy Committee, the Society Committee on Budget & Finance, and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws.

FINAL STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL IMPACT

The Budget & Finance Subcommittee on the Financial Impact of Constitution & Bylaw Changes has examined this petition and makes the preliminary finding that it will have a minor negative impact on the finances of the society ($0&#150;$100,000).

FINAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS

The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws has examined the petition and finds it to be legal and consistent with other provisions of the society's documents.

A two-thirds vote of council is required for adoption of a bylaw amendment. If adopted, the bylaw amendments become effective after confirmation by the board of directors.--M. ELIZABETH DERRICK, CHAIR

Petition for Electronic Balloting

Constitution: Article X, Sec. 4; Article XVII, Sec. 2,f

Bylaw III, Sec. 1,e,(3) and h,(2); Sec. 5,b,c, and d

Bylaw V, Sec. 2,c and d; Sec. 3,b and c; Sec. 4,d,e, and f; Sec. 7,b; Sec. 8,c and e; Sec. 10,b and c; Sec. 11; Sec. 13,c,d, and e

A synopsis of the petition is on page 33. The petition is available at http://www.cen-online.org/acsnews/pdf/E-Ballot.pdf.

EXPLANATION

The Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws have for several years authorized, on an experimental basis, divisions that applied for permission to participate to conduct their elections using electronic balloting. The positive results of these pilot implementations, in terms of reduced cost and increased participation, have convinced N&E that the time has come to make electronic balloting an option in national ACS elections.

The proposed changes to the society's constitution and bylaws allow the option to use electronic balloting by not specifying a particular balloting procedure. Additionally, the option of using any form of balloting is available to all members, as long as it provides security against unauthorized balloting and that it allows timely reporting and archiving of the election results.

If the proposed changes are passed, the first society implementation will be Internet-based. The balloting process will be similar to those currently used by several divisions, by sister societies, and by other organizations, such as public corporations polling their shareholders prior to annual meetings. Information on how ballots will be distributed, filled out, returned, and counted will be provided at the council meeting in Philadelphia. Future changes to balloting procedures will be formulated by N&E and submitted to the Council Policy Committee for their approval. People familiar with the design and implementation of electronic balloting systems will be available to answer questions at the council meeting.

SIGNED:

Rita R. Boggs, Jeannette E. Brown, Peter A. Christie, Michael P. Doyle, Valerie J. Kuck, Helen A. (Bonnie) Lawlor, James W. Long, Barbara J. Peterson, Sara J. Risch, Kathleen M. Schulz, H. David Wohlers

This petition has been referred to the Committee on Nominations & Elections (committee having primary substantive responsibility), the Local Section Activities Committee, the Divisional Activities Committee, the Council Policy Committee, the Society Committee on Budget & Finance, and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws.

FINAL STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL IMPACT

The Budget & Finance Subcommittee on the Financial Impact of Constitution & Bylaw Changes has examined this petition and makes the preliminary finding that it will have a minor negative impact on the finances of the society ($0&#150;$100,000).

FINAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS

The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, in collaboration with the Committee on Nominations & Elections, has prepared a revised version of the petition. The revised petition maintains the substance and intent of the original petition while responding to several questions raised by the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws in its initial review. Although the Committee finds both versions of the petition to be legal and consistent with other provisions of the society's documents, it has recommended the preferred language of the revised petition as a substitute petition to the petitioners.

Over recent years the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws has participated in discussions with the Committee on Nominations & Elections concerning how best to modify society documents to allow for the possibility for electronic balloting. The general language proposed in this petition will remove the requirement for mail ballots and allow, but not restrict balloting to, electronic balloting.

Specific changes from the original petition found in the substitute petition address the following: (1) Changes have been made in Constitution Article X,4 and Bylaw V,11 in order to clarify how the proposed changes affect the election of local section and division councilors and alternate councilors; (2) Bylaw V,2,d and 4,f have been modified so that run-off elections are conducted in the manner of the original election; (3) The language in Bylaw V,2,c has been modified for clarity. Parallel language has been introduced into Bylaw V,3,b and 4,e; (4) Bylaw V,10,c has been modified by changing "mail ballot" to "ballot" in parallel with language throughout the petition; (5) Bylaw V,13,c has been added to the petition with modifications in current language to address alternative methods of campaign material distribution and how the costs will be borne. In d and e in this bylaw, the word "convey" has been substituted for the originally proposed language.

Several other changes suggested by the Committee on Nominations & Elections at the spring 2004 meeting of the committee were viewed as significant, substantive changes to the petition. The Committee on Constitution & Bylaws has recommended that those changes be brought forward in a separate petition at another time. The committee has noted previously that, because this petition will remove details about balloting from the bylaws and charge the Committee on Nominations & Elections with establishing these procedures, consideration should be given to explicitly including this obligation in Bylaw III,3,b along with the other Committee on Nominations & Election duties.

Adoption of the constitutional amendment requires a majority vote of council. If adopted, the constitutional amendment shall become effective upon ratification by the membership.

A two-thirds vote of council is required for adoption of a bylaw amendment. If adopted, the bylaw amendments become effective after confirmation by the board of directors and upon ratification of the respective constitutional amendment by the membership.--M. ELIZABETH DERRICK, CHAIR

 
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