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Council Will Face Three Petitions

Actions in Chicago could affect nominations and election procedures, allow multiyear dues payment

by Linda R. Raber
March 5, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 10

WHEN IT MEETS next month in Chicago, the ACS Council will have an agenda chock-full of items requiring action. In addition to hearing reports from society officers and committees, council will vote on three petitions to change the society's bylaws, narrow the field of nominees for 2008 president-elect, and be asked to approve a member dues hike for 2008 of $4.00 to $136.

The first petition seeks to disqualify any person either serving on the Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) or who is less than one year past completing service on that committee from being nominated by the committee for national office. Petitioners want to avoid the appearance of nepotism and the view that leadership in ACS is a "closed circle" among some ACS members. Petitioners believe a one-year waiting period will alleviate these concerns.

The "Petition on Election Procedures 2006" is lengthy and complicated. It deals with several issues; among the items it seeks to change is the procedure by which ACS members can petition to be included on the ballot for national office. The practical effect of this petition would be to increase substantially the number of signatures required for such a petition.

ACS bylaws currently specify that 300 signatures are required for candidates to be included on ballots for offices of president-elect and director-at-large. When they vote in Chicago, councilors will be asked to create a 1% requirement for president-elect and a 0.5% requirement for director-at-large petition candidates. The net effect of these changes, based on current membership numbers, would be to increase the signature requirement from 300 to approximately 1,500 for president-elect and from 300 to about 750 for director-at-large positions.

The proposed bylaws would further require that no more than one-sixth of the signatures of voting members required to put a candidate on the ballot for national office come from members of a single local section and no more than two-thirds from any one district of the society. The petition also specifies some changes in wording that will permit ballots to be sent electronically and that make deadlines in runoff elections more flexible.

The final petition for council action would allow ACS members who are not in special dues categories (emeritus, retired, unemployed, for example) to pay dues for a period of one, two, or three years at a time at a rate established for the first year of the period. Petitioners cite cost-savings and convenience as reasons to implement these bylaw changes.

The council will also narrow the field of candidates for president-elect 2008. The four nominees chosen by N&E are Pat N. Confalone, vice president of global research and development in agriculture and nutrition, DuPont, Wilmington, Del.; Thomas H. Lane, director of global science and technology outreach and research scientist at Dow Corning, Midland, Mich.; William A. Nugent, senior research fellow, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, N.J.; and Howard M. Peters, patent attorney and founding partner, Peters Verny LLP, Palo Alto, Calif.

Each of the nominees is scheduled to be introduced to the council and give a brief oral statement. Councilors then will choose two from the four by paper ballot. The two successful candidates, along with any candidates who may be on the ballot by petition, will vie in this fall's election for the three-year presidential succession 2008 to 2010.

Candidates for three director-at-large seats will also be presented to the council; they are Janan M. Hayes, professor emeritus, Merced College, in California; Helen A. (Bonnie) Lawlor, executive director, National Federation of Abstracting & Information Services, Philadelphia; Kent J. Voorhees, professor, Colorado School of Mines; and Frankie K. Wood-Black, director of consent decree coordination, ConocoPhillips, Houston. The two positions will be filled by vote of councilors this fall.

The council will also learn the names of the candidates chosen to compete for director seats in Districts II and IV in this fall's election. In February, councilors from the appropriate districts voted for candidates from a slate of four nominees in their respective districts.

Following are the text and associated reports of the petitions scheduled for action at the ACS Council meeting in Chicago. The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 28, beginning at 8 AM in the Sheraton Chicago Ballroom of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel.

Download Three Petitions

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