Fall 2022 PROF Councilor Commentary

Author: Matt Grandbois, Councilor

The Fall 2022 ACS Council meeting is scheduled to be held as a hybrid session on  Wednesday, August 24th. The Council meeting will be hosted at Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk Hotel, in Sheraton Chicago Ballroom IV-VII starting at 10:00am CT. There are several items that will be up for action that I believe are of particular interest to PROF members and will expand upon below. If you would like to learn more about them, please note that the full ACS Council Agenda for the Fall 2022 meeting is publicly available here. Also note that if you are interested in attending Council as an observer, please reach out to me and I will provide you attendance/viewing details.

During the Fall ACS Council Sessions, candidates for the elected Council Committees are voted upon to begin their terms during the following year. This includes elections for the ACS Committee on Council Policy, the ACS Committee on Committees, and the ACS Committee on Nominations & Elections. 

The ACS Committee on Council Policy (CPC) is responsible for maintaining and supporting the activities of Council, developing long-term strategies for the functioning of Council, and making recommendations for changes in the governance documents that define the activity of Council. Five candidates will be elected to begin service to this committee starting in 2023. The candidates up for election to CPC are (the 3 current PROF members are highlighted in BOLD):

  • Raychelle Burks
  • James Carver
  • Deborah Cook
  • John Engelman
  • Greg Ferrence
  • Anne Gaffney
  • Lydia Hines
  • Will Lynch
  • Barbara Sitzman
  • Frankie Wood-Black

The ACS Committee on Committees (ConC) is responsible for assisting Committees and advising the appointment of Chairs and Members of Committees to the ACS Board and President. Members of ConC must be voting Councilors for the duration of their term. Five candidates will be elected to begin service to this committee starting in 2023. The candidates up for election for ConC are (the 3 current PROF members are highlighted in BOLD):

  • Rodney Bennett
  • Bill Carroll
  • Ella Davis
  • Carmen Gauthier
  • William Greenlee
  • Alan Hazari
  • Tom Lane
  • Donivan Porterfield
  • Daniel Rabinovich
  • Jason Ritchie

The ACS Committee on Nominations & Elections (N&E) is responsible for reviewing and populating election ballots for President-Elect, District Director, and Director-At-Large. The Committee is also responsible for supervising and conducting elections across the Society. Five candidates will be elected to begin service to this committee starting in 2023. The candidates up for election for N&E are (the only current PROF member is highlighted in BOLD):

  • Mark Benvenuto
  • Michelle Buchanan
  • Alan Cooper
  • Debbie Crans
  • Kelly Elkins
  • Harry Elston
  • Martin Perry
  • Robert Pribush
  • Ellene Tratas Contis
  • Kathryn Uhrich

In addition to the elections described above, four petitions are being presented to Council for action (i.e. to be discussed and voted upon). These include:

  1. Petition to move of description of duties of N&E to the ACS Standing Rules. No substantial changes are being sought, but instead this petition is aimed at providing clarity to existing language. Given this cosmetic change, I support this petition. 
  2. Petition to amend the duties of the ACS Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) to formally empower this Committee to take action in the event that an interim Executive Committee must be appointed, or an election needs to be facilitated due to inactivity by an Executive Committee. This petition would also formally empower DAC to provide recommendations to Council regarding the combination or dissolution of an ACS Technical Division. These proposed formal duties are consistent with the current operations of DAC, but they are a significant change to the duties as described in the ACS Governing Documents and I expect this to incite much debate. 
  3. Petition to rename the ACS Northeast Tennessee Local Section to instead be the ACS Tenness-Virginia Highlands Local Section. This proposal is supported by Local Section leaders and by 95% of their members based on a recent vote, so I support this petition. 
  4. Petition to change the application process and dues for the ACS Committee on Corporate Associates (CA). Currently, corporations must submit dues payment in advance of being admitted to joining CA. This petition proposes to change payment to occur after invoice upon admittance to the Committee. Also, corporate dues are currently based upon the number of scientists employed the member corporation, but this petition proposes changing this to be based upon a more easily defined metric: the company’s annual revenue. Finally, this petition also proposes to change the process for addressing corporate members that have not paid their dues by empowering CA to provide recommendation to the ACS Board of Directors to remove the corporate members to only be reinstated upon approval by the Committee. Collectively, these changes are aimed at providing a net improvement in the governance of this ACS Committee, yet there are aspects of these changes that I expect will cause significant discussion leading up to Council. 

As your Councilor, I am very interested in hearing from you and hearing your thoughts, perspectives, and preference on any of the above items up for action. Feel free to contact me at councilor@acsprof.org prior August 22, 2022 so that I can take your input into account prior to my vote on these items. Stay safe and take care!

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