MONTANA SECTION - AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Your Councilor lead the Western Regional Councilor's Caucus on Sunday and represented the Montana Section at the Council Meeting on Wednesday morning at the 220th National ACS Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Several petitions were considered by the Council:
A petition "for urgent action" (meaning that it could have been approved at first reading), which would have increased the limit on the number of councilors who serve on standing committees of the council from 15 to 24, was postponed by a vote of the Council (with your Councilor voting for postponement) and will be considered at the next Council Meeting in San Diego in May. Petitioners believed that by increasing the size of committees they could increase councilor involvement in the governance of ACS.
A petition to change the terms "Region" to "District" and "Regional Director" to "District Director" was passed by the Council, with your Concilor voting for the petition. This change will avoid confusion between ACS "Regions" and the areas that elect "Regional Directors" (now District Directors), whose boundaries are not the same.
The Council voted for (and your Councilor voted for) a $255 registration fee for national meetings in 2001. An amendment to hold the fees constant in light of the health of the Society's finances at last year's level failed (your Councilor voted against this amendment). The increase in fees is consistent with a carefully thought out and deliberate plan to make the national meetings solvent.
A petition to hange the classifications of membership in the Society to delete distinctions between United States and foreign members and to add "Student Affiliate" was recommitted (with your Councilor voting for recommittment) to the Committee on Meetings and Expositions pending the results of the McClelland Report on reciprocal agreements with foreign societies. The original petition was controversial pitting memberships benefits and value against encouraging foreign scientists to participate in ACS meeting.
The details of the actions of the Council in Washington were reported in the September 18th Chemical and Engineering News. Some of the highlights of these actions that may be of interest to members of the Montana Section are listed below.
The Committee on Professional & Member Relations reported that, as of July 31, the total membership number is 157,656, which is 2.7% higher than in July 1999.
The American Chemical Society is in excellent financial shape. According to the ACS Committee on Budget & Finance, ACS core programs are projected to end the year with a net contribution to reserves of $8.5 million.
The ACS Executive Board approved $2 million over the next five years to fund an alliance with the Green Chemistry Institute, which is expected to further the knowledge, development, implementation, and appreciation of environmentally benign chemistry in the science and industrial communities as well as among the general public.
The board approved $40,000 to provide noncompetitive programming grants for each ACS regional meeting. These grants are expected to help improve and enhance the quality of programming at these meetings.
The ACS Executive Board approved allocation of $35,600 to plan a graduate-level program leading to a master's degree in molecular sciences for high school science teachers.
The ACS Department of Minority Affairs received an additional $116,000 per year to provide staffing to consolidate its activities, expand interaction with other organizations, widen pathways of the Ph.D. student, and strengthen the two-year community college-university bridge. In addition, these funds may be used to subsidize ACS short courses, to serve underrepresented minorities, to enhance the eminent scientists series, and to develop networking programs for graduate students.
To reach and maintain a 94% member retention rate, the ACS Membership Division's budget will be increased by $450,000 per year for 5 years. This money will make permanent existing member recognition programs, enhance local section and division programs, and facilitate telemarketing study and improved Web presence.
The Society Committee on Education (SOCED) reported that the new staff Office of Graduate Education is now up and running with the appointment of Marjorie Caserio, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, to head the office.
SOCED also reported that a survey of 700 high school teachers selected from ACS membership rolls indicated interest in establishing high school chemistry clubs--like undergraduate student affiliate chapters. A SOCED task force will be established to consider a pilot program.
SOCED recommended, and the board endorsed, the following statement on scholarship in the chemical sciences and engineering: "In addition to discovery research, scholarship in the chemical sciences and engineering includes the integration, application, and teaching of chemical sciences and engineering principles and practices."