MONTANA SECTION - AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
April 2001 Councilor's Report
Doug Coe dcoe@mtech.edu


The American Chemical Society celebrated its 125th Anniversary at the 221st National Meeting in San Diego. At the time of the Council meeting there were 17,824 meeting attendees (3rd largest), 252 companies exhibiting at 472 booths (2nd largest), 879 candidates participating in 4000 interviews for 897 positions, and 700 student research posters presented at this meeting. 11 Montana Tech students attended the meeting. No negative impact of increased student registration fees has been observed on student attendance.

The American Chemical Society has just recently finished a 3-year strategic plan which defines three thrusts, the three I’s:

  1. Individual needs of the members, with enhanced and affordable services for their professional growth;
  2. Using the Internet to become leaders in electronic communication and maintaining leadership in information technology and delivery;
  3. International collaboration and delivery of services.

The President-Elect, Eli Pearce, went on record in his report that he strongly supports Regional Meeting and I suggest that we do not hesitate in asking for his support in hosting the Regional Meeting in Bozeman in 2003, if we need it.

I’m not sure what was behind this, but it was reported that the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of the American Chemical Society in a dispute over control of the Petroleum Research Funds.

It was noted in the minutes of the Report of the President, Attila E. Pavlath, that he visited along with the Chair of the Committee Minority Affairs four tribal colleges in Montana (see Chemical and Engineering News, October 23, 2000, pp 124-126).

Based on a viewpoint held by most Society journal editors, preprints of papers are considered a form of electronic publication and will preclude these papers from subsequently being published in Society journals. ACS meeting preprints are an exception to this.

The American Chemical Society plans to launch an expanded version of its ChemCenter web site, i.e. a web portal, Chemistry.org. The site will allow members to tailor the site to their individual needs and will allow for gated, i.e., password protected, access to portions of the site.

The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs announced that the American Chemical Society has developed JobCenter.com (June launch) an electronic version of the Society’s career services, an employment CD-ROM to assist Society members seeking jobs and a web site, JobSpectrum.org, that generates salary comparisons. Your Councilor voted for the adoption of the Academic Professional Guidelines developed by the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs

The Committee on Committees recommended that the size of committees be increased from a range of 6-15 to 12-20 to allow for greater participation in Society business by Council members. This is a compromise from a petition requesting that the range be increased to 12-24. The Council voted to expand the membership to 12-20 with your Councilor voting for these changes.

The Committee on Budget and Finance reported that despite $2.2M in investment losses the Society remains in good financial shape with a net gain in the Society’s coffers of $8.3M. The Society has approved spending $100K on an assessment process, $105K on an exhibit at the Chicago meeting recognizing technological milestones in chemistry, and $300K on local sections and divisions (we should make use of some of this money). Your Councilor voted along with other Council members to apply the dues escalator and increase members dues to $112 in the 2002 calendar year:

($108 current dues) x (194.5 CPI for year 2000 / 187.2 CPI for year 1999) = $112

Chemical Abstracts Services continues to exceed budget and financial targets with net revenues of $175M and a net contribution to the Society of $12.7M. 85% of CAS revenues accrue from electronic sources. The new Data Center building on the Columbus campus is now completed. SciFinder Scholar continues to be a success, but a way needs to be found to make this product financially accessible to small schools and businesses.

The Committee on Education indicated that it plans to examine high school teacher education and a pilot program for high school chemistry clubs. The committee also referenced a successful Ohio program to clean up high school chemistry stockrooms (we may want to find out more about this program).

The Committee on Local Section Activities is sponsoring a Fall Leadership Conference for section chair-elects to allow them to hit the ground running. Perhaps we should consider sending our chair-elect to this fall’s conference? The committee also announced that the theme of National Chemistry Week this fall will be Chemistry and Art. There is some discussion of changing the scheduled date for NCW from election day where it is currently scheduled. Your Councilor voted to allow the Savannah River Section to annex three adjacent counties and for the formation of the Middle Georgia Section.

Your Councilor is now an associate member of the Membership Affairs Committee and its Virtual Members Sub-Committee. This committee considered a proposal to offer graduated dues to new ("younger") members, but has initially rejected this idea based on data indicating that the intended benefit (more new members) is uncertain, while the financial risks to the Society are large. In addition to membership recognition at 15, 25, 35, and 50 years of service the committee is considering recognition after 40 and 60 years of service.

Based on the recommendation of the Committee on Committees, the Council voted to continue both the Committee on Environmental Improvement and the Committee on International Activities. Your Councilor voted for these continuations.

William F. Carroll Jr. and Elsa Reichmanis were elected as candidates for 2002 President-Elect (your councilor voted for Reichmanis and James A. Bristol).

Robert Clark was elected to fill the a vacancy on the Committee on Nominations and Elections (your councilor voted for Robert A. Pribush).

At the Chicago meeting in the fall the Society will act on a petition to allow candidates with:

a two year degree in a chemical science or chemical technology and five years of employment in a chemical science

to be considered for membership in the Society.