|Posted by Ludivina on September 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM|
Councilor’s report for the 2013 ACS Fall National Meeting
The Council of the American Chemical Society met in Indianapolis on September 11, 2013. The following report includes a summary of items which most directly affect the South Texas Section and its members.
There are three candidates for President-Elect, who will be on the ballots sent to all members in this fall’s elections. They are Dr. G. Bryan Balasz, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Dr. Charles E. Kolb, Jr., Aerodyne Research, Inc., and Dr. Diane Grob Schmidt, Procter & Gamble. Members are encouraged to read the information which the candidates provide and vote accordingly.
Speaking of elections, the search for candidates this Fall’s local section elections has begun. As per the recently-revised local section by-laws, the offices to be filled are Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Contact any local section officer for more information or to suggest potential candidates. If you do nominate someone for an office, please be sure to check with them first to see if they’re interested in running for office.
Attendance at the meeting was low, with just under 11,000 registrants as of Wednesday morning. That was almost 10% less than budgeted. Overall membership in ACS decreased slightly from July last year, to just over 160,000 members, though membership has increased about 800 members in the last two months.
Member benefits continue to improve. Last year, members got free downloads of up to 25 current articles from any journals ACS publishes. Earlier this year, 25 free SciFinder searches were added to the list of member benefits. At this meeting, it was announced that Presentations on Demand (POD) (videos of presentations given at national meetings) will be free to members for 12 months after the meeting, then to the general public for an additional 6 months, after which they will be deleted to make room for more recent meeting presentations. While not all presentations are recorded and available, quite a number are. To get the viewpoint of actual members on the value of ACS membership, go to www.my.acs.org for videos and links to related information.
ACS finances continue to do well. Current projections for this year’s operating profit are $15 million, which was over $1 million better than budgeted. Unrestricted funds should increase from $102 million to $186 million, mainly due to a slight increase in interest rates which reduced the mandated pension fund reserve requirement by $55 million. An slight further increase should bring the total reserves to the $250 million minimum ACS seeks. For more information on ACS finances, go to the About Us link on the ACS website (www.acs.org) and then to About ACS.
A special discussion item “What can we - as the Society and as individuals - do to help create jobs or demand for chemists?” brought much response from councilors. The spirited discussion was allowed to go well the 30 minutes allotted in the agenda.
There was a lot of other business conducted at the meeting, but little if any is likely to be of great interest to members of the local section. If you’re curious, the Council agenda is available under the Governance link on the ACS website.
The next national meeting will be March 16-20, 2014, in Dallas. Check the ACS website and C&E News for further information.
Thomas R. Hays
Councilor, South Texas Section