ACS Board Shifts $1 Million From Lower Priority To Higher Priority Programs | September 21, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 38 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 38 | p. 47
Issue Date: September 21, 2009

ACS Board Shifts $1 Million From Lower Priority To Higher Priority Programs

Department: ACS News | Collection: Climate Change

The American Chemical Society announced last week that its board of directors, during their meeting in August in Washington, D.C., voted to redeploy resources to several higher priority programs.

ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Madeleine Jacobs says that the board decided that $1.04 million of additional funding is needed for a number of society programs to make them more effective. They include education programs to expand services for student members, graduate students, high school chemistry teachers, and two-year colleges; increased support for electronic and Web-based communications; supporting a Science Policy Fellow in the Office of Public Affairs; support for carrying out programs related to the International Year of Chemistry 2011; and expanding electronic dissemination of meeting content.

Redeployed funds will come from $1.16 million saved by concluding special funding for the ACS communications strategic plan, terminating the technician education program, and redesigning several programs in the Membership & Scientific Advancement Division and the Office of Public Affairs.

To put the redeployment in context, the 2009 ACS approved budget contains more than $19.4 million in direct costs for society programs. The changes approved by the board will be implemented for fiscal 2010.

"In the past," Jacobs says, "the ACS Board has routinely approved new programs and added resources to existing programs. On a few occasions, the board has also eliminated programs. However, this is the first time the board has sought to optimize resource allocation by redeploying funding from lower priority/lower impact programs to higher priority/higher impact programs."

In making its decisions, the ACS Board drew on the work of the Program Review Advisory Group (PRAG), an advisory group to the Society Committee on Budget & Finance. For the past four years, PRAG has been engaged in a process to review ACS programs on the basis of their effectiveness, costs, and alignment with the ACS mission and strategic plan. In 2009, PRAG completed its first four-year cycle of reviewing all society programs.

In addition, Jacobs says, since the economic downturn began in 2008, the board has had ongoing discussions about financial sustainability and managing the society's limited resources to provide optimal value to members, the profession, and the public.

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