For District I Director: Neil D. Jespersen | September 7, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 36 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 36 | p. 80
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

For District I Director: Neil D. Jespersen

Department: ACS News
Keywords: American Chemical Society, candidates, Election Statements

Neil D. Jespersen

New York Section. St. John's University, Jamaica, N.Y.

Born: 1946

Academic record: Washington & Lee University, B.S., 1967; Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D., 1971

Honors: Salute to Excellence Award, ACS New York Section, 2004; Outstanding Service Award, ACS New York Section, 1996; E. Emmet Reid Award, ACS Maryland Section, 1996; Outstanding Faculty Award, St. John's University, 1996; Sigma Xi

Professional positions (for past 10 years): St. John's University, chemistry department chair, 1997–2003; professor, 1994 to date

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Committees, 2003–09, 1999–2002, chair, 2005–07; Council Policy Committee (nonvoting), 2005–07; Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs, 2003; Committee on Meetings & Expositions, 1993–98, committee associate, 1992; Summit on ACS Committee Structure, cochair, 2007; Joint Board-Council Governance Review Task Force, 2005–06; Committee on Committees, Task Force on a Proposed Committee on Ethics, 2000; Council Policy Committee, Task Force on Ethics, 2001–02; Presidential Task Force on Support to Divisions & Local Sections, 2000; Committee on Committees, Task Force on Increasing Underrepresented Minority Participation in ACS Governance, 1999–2002; Task Force on Meeting Registration Fees, 1998–99

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1969. New York Section: councilor, 1991–2011; chair, 1991; chair-elect, 1990; treasurer, 1998–2000; section office manager, 1992–2009; Nichols Medal Jury, 1992–95, chair, 1995; Bylaws Committee, 1994–2009, chair 1997–2009; Chemistry Olympiad Committee, 2002–06; Membership Committee, chair, 2004–09; Student Affiliate Committee, 1983–2009; Site Selection Committee, 1992–2009; National Chemistry Week Committee, 1993–2009; Awards Committee, 1993–2009. Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting: Student Affiliate Program, chair, 2007–08; Long-Range Planning Committee, 2001–09, 1988–97; Environmental Chemistry Committee, 2001–09, 1986–94; exhibits chair, 1996–97; short course and workshop chair 1992–93; Nominations & Elections Committee, 1991–93; Membership Affairs Committee, chair, 1993; Public Relations Committee, 1990; Program Committee, chair, 1990; Industry Academe Committee, 1990–2009. Long Island Subsection: chair, 1989; chair-elect, 1988; Awards Committee, chair, 1990–2006; Analytical Chemistry Committee, chair, 1990–2009; Environmental Chemistry Committee, 1990–2009, chair, 1996–98; MetroChem Symposium, organizer and session presider, 1985. Central Texas Section: Education Committee, 1976–77. Division of Analytical Chemistry: Professional Statistics Committee, 1989–90

Member: American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Science, Sigma Xi. ACS Divisions: Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Education

Related activities: Governance Review Committee Summit, cochair, 2007; Eastern Analytical Symposium, publicity chair, 2001, Workshops Committee, chair, 1999, awards chair, 2004, 1997, program chair, 1995, chair, 1992, chair-elect, 1991, treasurer, 1990; Academic Careers in Chemistry Workshop, organizer, 1999–2005; University of Texas, assistant professor, 1971–77


Jespersen's Statement

In accepting the nomination to run for the ACS Board of Directors, representing District I, I expressed the belief that I can serve the members of our district, and ACS as a whole, because many of my interests are the same as yours. Specifically, I believe it is important to be vigilant about the financial health of ACS while recognizing the current economic conditions faced by our members. I am dedicated to the principle that ACS is a member-driven scientific and educational society focused on the interests of chemists and chemistry as a whole. ACS should continue to leverage intersociety relationships that influence science funding from Congress, private foundations, and industry. Finally, it is important that ACS develop as a "global" institution with interests that provide benefits for everyone.

With regard to the financial interests of ACS, I am a chemist, not a financial analyst. However, I have experience with managing the budgets of several organizations. Although those budgets were at least two orders of magnitude smaller than those of ACS's operations, the principles are similar. In addition, I have had the privilege of serving as a liaison to the committees involved with two major revenue sources for ACS: the Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service and the Publications Committee. The business acumen of the leaders of these groups is impressive. I agree with recent decisions by the board to provide services to members in distress and will support additional well-designed programs if economic conditions do not improve.

I am dedicated to the concept that ACS is a volunteer, member-driven society. To me, membership in ACS grants individuals the venue to express their interests, propose ideas and programs, and then work to bring them to fulfillment. Volunteers contribute their own ideas and interests. At the same time, ACS reaps the rewards of this volunteerism. It is not difficult to estimate that for every dollar ACS spends to support volunteers, it receives at least twice the value in volunteer time and creativity in return. We must continue to support our volunteers.

The leadership of ACS in chemical education is unquestioned. Yet there are challenges that must be met successfully. One of these is the concern regarding the quality of high school chemistry and mathematics preparation of college-bound students. Issues exist about the training of chemistry teachers at all levels, and ACS should have a voice in setting appropriate standards. Finally, I support educators developing modern teaching techniques as well as the educators who use research as a teaching tool.

ACS is dedicated to advancing science through encouragement and publication of the highest quality research. To do this we need to promote chemistry to those outside our society who hold the all-important purse strings. I fully support the Legislative Action Network and ask all the District I members to join LAN to help influence congressional decisions. In addition, I will be glad to join with other board members in visits to congressional offices to discuss current scientific issues and funding. There is also the need to reunify chemistry by bringing those who practice chemistry—but who do not recognize themselves as chemists—back into the fold.

One important ongoing initiative that I will support is the globalization of ACS. There is no question that ACS is the leader in many areas of chemistry. The society publishes the most respected journals, it has the best database search engines, and its volunteer organization is unmatched in the international arena. A global ACS must balance these assets with international interests and work with other societies to promote chemistry.

In the past, as chair of the Committee on Committees, I have had opportunities to work productively with the Board of Directors. With your support, this election will allow me the opportunity to continue this work.


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