North Jersey Section
American Chemical Society

2005 ACS Spring Meeting in San Diego – Councilor Report

For the 2005 ACS Spring Meeting in San Diego, North Jersey had full representation at the Council meeting. Representing the section were the following Councilors and Alternate Councilors: Anita Brandolini, Maureen Chan, Alan Cooper, Jacqueline Erickson, Susan Fahrenholtz, Stan Hall, George Heinze, Bettyann Howson, Allene Johnson, Diane Krone, Valerie Kuck, Cecilia Marzabadi, Les McQuire, Bill Suits, and Stephen Waller.

Prior to the Council meeting, Councilors participate in various committees. Some of the Committees with North Jersey Councilors include are Budget and Finance, Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs, Local Section Activities Committee, Membership Affairs Committee, Nominations and Elections, SOCED, amongst others. Below are a few highlights from some committee meetings.

Maureen Chan participated in the Budget and Finance (B&F) Committee meeting and Communications Subcommittee of B&F. At the 2005 San Diego meeting, the B&F Committee reviewed the 2004 ACS financial performance. Results were good with a larger than expected net contribution from continuing operations. This resulted mainly from strong earnings from information services, strengthened investment gains and careful control of discretionary spending. The committee also reviewed the 2005 budget and the results of a financial planning conference held on January 24-26, 2005 (these are summarized by the chair of B&F, Judith Benham in C&EN, April 11, 2005, p.41).

The Communications subcommittee reviewed the B&F website (chemistry.org/committee/budget) and prepared for presentations made at the meeting to councilor caucuses. We are anxious to provide as much information as possible to ACS members on the finances of the Society and urge members to go to the web site. Specific questions on finances can be sent to b_ffeedback@acs.org.

Allene Johnson serves an Associate to the Society Committee on Education (SOCED), and has been asked to serve as a judge for Chemluminary Awards for Kids in Chemistry programs and HS programs, in addition to serving as a judge for the Best Minority Affairs Program. Also, SOCED was informed that the High School Club has been approved and also that there is a new Local Award for a HS teacher sponsored by the Division of Chem Ed.

George Heinze and Jacqueline Erickson participated in the Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) meeting and in their respective subcommittees. MAC spent much of the time discussing the subcommittee structure and a strategic plan for the committee. In addition, there was discussion on the membership categories for the ACS and whether or not student affiliates should be considered student members. Recruitment and retention of ACS members was another big topic of discussion, It was announced that Membership in the American Chemical Society was 158,127 as of year-end 2004. Compared to the previous year, this represents less than a 1% decrease. Based on this decrease, MAC would like to encourage all ACS members to participate in the 2005 Member-Get-A-Member program, 365 in 2005.

At the Council meeting, reports were given by the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Chair of the Board of Directors, and the Executive Director &CEO of the ACS. Reports were also given by committees.

The nominees for 2006 President-Elect were introduced to the councilors and each nominee gave a short talk about her/himself and position statement. The Council chose Catherine T. Hunt and John W. Kozarich as the two candidates for President-Elect. George Heinze, a North Jersey Councilor, will appear on the ballot as a petition candidate.

The Committee on Nominations and Elections also announced the results of the election of nominees for candidates to represent District III (which includes North Jersey) on the Board of Directors for the term 2006-2008. Nominees for District III included: Catherine C. Fenselau, Edward J. Grabowski, Madeleine M. Joullié, and Willie E. May. By written ballot the Council selected Catherine C. Fenselau and Madeleine M. Joullié as District III candidates Ballots will be mailed on or before October 10 to all members in District III for election of a Director.

The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for a 2006-2008 term: James D. Burke, Edwin A. Chandross, C. Gordon McCarty, and Frankie Wood-Black. The election of two Directors-at-Large will be conducted in the fall, with ballots mailed to the Council on or before October 10.

The Council voted to establish an Ethics Committee to coordinate the ethics-related activities of the Society and to serve as an educational resource and clearinghouse. The general consensus was that ACS should take a leadership role in ethics for chemists and the scientific community.

Council approved the recommendation from the Society Committee on Budget and Finance that 2006 dues be set at the fully escalated rate of $127.

Finally, a special discussion item was put on the Council agenda for this meeting. ACS President William F. Carroll presented an overview of Chemistry Enterprise 2015, posing the question, “Where will our students come from in the next ten years, and where will they go?” Councilors then participated in a lively discussion of this issue. The issue was framed as follows: Currently the U.S. has a strong university system and U.S. graduate education in science is widely recognized as the best in the world, but problems loom on the horizon. In addition, a variety of factors in the nation’s academic infrastructure are likely to produce change in the training and careers of new chemists. The discussion at Council intensified awareness of this issue and possibilities for solutions. Of special note to the North Jersey Section, was the discussion related to pre-college teachers. It appears that there are a number of chemists who are becoming pre-college educators. They need a strong mentoring program. Mentors should include both experienced teachers and experienced chemists. ACS needs to provide resources that explain the qualifications for becoming a certified teacher. We need to create teachers who are both enthusiastic and know their subject. At one point, Bill Suits asked Councilors who were high school teachers to stand. Half of those standing were from North Jersey, which indicates the strong support for High School teachers in this section.

If any North Jersey members would like more information on these topics or would like to provide feedback on this report, please contact the Chair at jacqueline.a.erickson@gsk.com.