Spring 2022 Councilor Commentary

Author: Matt Grandbois, Councilor

The Spring 2022 ACS Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23rd at 8am PT. There are several items for action during this session that I believe are of particular interest to our PROF membership. I will briefly describe these items below and I encourage you to reach out to me if you would like to discuss. If you would like to learn more about these items, please note that the full ACS Council Agenda for the Spring 202 meeting is publicly available here.

The Spring ACS Council session is where Council learns of the nominees for ACS President-Elect for the following year. The ACS Committee on Nominations and Elections assembles a slate of four highly accomplished, dedicated leaders that are willing to serve in the ACS Presidential succession. The top two candidates, as determined by popular vote during the Spring ACS Council session, are then brought forward to the open election for all ACS members later in the year. The 2023 ACS President-Elect candidates are:

Frank Blum

Marry Carroll

Rigoberto Hernandez

Ingrid Montes

In addition to the ACS Presidential Election, the ACS Board of Directors will also have open positions in District II and District IV to be voted upon by constituents of those districts later in the year. The candidates for those positions are:

District II

Kimberly Agnew-Heard

Gerard Baillely

Mark Jones

Marcy Towns

District IV

Christopher J. Bannochie

Carmen Gauthier

Lisa Houston (incumbent)

Pamela M. Leggett-Robinson

There will also be 2 open Director-At-Large positions on the ACS Board of Directors that Councilors will be able to vote for later this year. The candidates for those two open positions are:

Milagros Delgado

Malika Jeffries-El

Will E. Lynch

Ellene Tratras Contis

Additional items up for Council action are brought as petitions from Society Committees. As PROF Councilor, I will be voting on these items based on my understanding of how they will impact our PROF membership and the professionalism of chemists across the ACS:

  1. The ACS Committee on Budget and Finance (B&F) has brought forth a petition for Council action that would amend the ACS Standing Rules to enable the ACS Board of Directors to establish a quasi-endowment that will be used to provide Local Sections and Divisions financial support based upon the endowment payout policy. This change is recommended because the current dues allocation creates a disparity in resourcing that disproportionately overfunds C&EN activities beyond historic spending and diminished funding available to Local Sections and Divisions because of decreasing dues revenue caused by decreasing membership. If adopted, this amendment would allow the earmarking of a subset of funds to provide stable revenue streams to all Local Sections and Divisions and allow for long-term programming and resource planning due to a more consistent projected allocation process.
  2. The ACS Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC) has brought forth a petition to officially change the ACS Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry (CARB) name to be the ACS Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry & Chemical Glycobiology (CARB) to be effective January 1, 2023. The change is recommended following multiple CARB membership surveys and a facilitated discussion with ACS Divisions that had initial concerns with this change. DAC facilitated a constructive dialogue between the relevant Divisions that resulted in resolution of the issues and full support going forward.
  3. The ACS Committee on International Activities (IAC) has brought forth a petition to charter a newly formed International Chemical Sciences Chapter in Switzerland. If approved, the Switzerland International Chemical Sciences Chapter will consist of members solely within the Swiss Confederation. This petition is supported by ACS members within the proposed territory and the application fully meets ACS requirements.
  4. The ACS Committee on Membership Affairs (MAC) has brought forth a petition to extend a market testing program that would discount ACS membership dues for international members based on the World Bank determined country income levels for their respective countries. This extension is requested due to many factors including the impact of the COVID-19 global health that is creating difficulties in properly evaluating the utility of this discounting on international membership rates. MAC requests a 3-year extension through August 2025 to provide sufficient experimental space to evaluate this program.
  5. MAC has brought forth an additional petition to amend the language of the 2023 Schedule of Membership to remove confusion surrounding terminology and benefits language for the newly established membership tiers. This includes more comprehensive description of the tiered benefits packages and differentiation between graduate students, students, Society Affiliates, Community Associates, retired members, and emeritus members. This change would also remove the “spouse discount” available to members.

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 March 23, 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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