Kalamazoo Section of the American Chemical Society

We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry.  We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.

Election Results

By electronic ballot, the Council selected G. Bryan Balazs and Allison A. Campbell as candidates for 2016 President-Elect in the Fall National Election.

The results of the election to select candidates from the list of nominees to serve as Director from District V on the Board of Directors for the term 2016-2018 are John E. Adams and Kenneth V. Fivizzani. Ballots will be distributed on October 2, 2015 to all ACS members in District V (includes Kalamazoo Section).

2016 Member Dues

The Council voted to set the member dues for 2016 at the fully escalated rate of $162. This rate is established based on an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.

Committee Continuance

As part of a regular performance review, the Council voted unanimously to continue the Committees on Ethics and on Science.

New International Chemical Sciences Chapters

The Council voted to approve petitions to charter the India International Chemical Sciences Chapter and the Taiwan International Chemical Sciences Chapter.

Reports of Elected Committees (Highlights)

Council Policy (CPC)

As required by the Society’s Bylaws, CPC has set the divisors which will be used to determine how many Councilors each Local Section and Division is entitled for 2016-2019. Official notification will be sent to Local Sections and Divisions by April 15 in order to accommodate the conduct of their elections in 2015. CPC’s Long Range Planning Subcommittee is forming a task force to consider whether changes are in order for the calculations and policies, and to implement any recommendations in time for the 2020 election cycle.

Reports of Society Committees (Highlights)

Education (SOCED)

A subcommittee is working on developing “Learning Outcomes” for Chemistry I, by the Fall of 2016; 2015 chair of SOCED is Diane Krone.

SOCED reported that more than 1,900 individuals have joined the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) which launched last year, 88 percent of whom are K-12 teachers of chemistry. The Dow Chemical Company was announced as the Sole Founding Partner of AACT with a gift of $1 million.

Science (ComSci) ComSci has collaborated with several ACS

committees to develop five public policy statements which were approved by the Board in December 2014. More recently ComSci led the development of a new draft ACS policy statement on hydraulic fracturing, which will be considered by the Board. Current collaborations include revising ACS policy statements on energy, climate change and forensic science.

Reports of Standing Committees (Highlights)

Committee on Meetings and Expositions (M&E)

M&E recommends that the Early Member Registration Fee for 2016 national meetings be $415.

As part of the continuing ACS sustainability effort and to encourage the use of the ACS mobile app and online program, M&E has decided to discontinue free distribution of the hard copy program book starting in 2016. Those who pre-register for the meeting may purchase a copy of the program book for $10 (pick up on site), and copies will be available at the meeting for $20. The PDF version of the national meeting program will be more prominently displayed on the ACS website for those who would like to print portions for themselves.

M&E reported on the attendance as of Tuesday evening, March 24:

Expo only360

Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC)

National meeting attendees were recently surveyed for their views on the Society’s policy governing the use of devices to capture and/or disseminate content delivered at our meetings. While expressing support for the policy, the respondents also expressed interest in amending the current policy to permit presenters – at their discretion – to authorize audience members to capture and disseminate content. “Steps are being taken” to improve the MAPS, the Abstract Submission system.

Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC)

LSAC is continuing to offer a mini-grant to Local Sections that attended the 2015 Leadership Institute to partner with neighboring sections to host an activity that would bring value to all members in a specific region. The committee is also planning to fund 16 grants totaling $4000 for the Bridging the Gap: Teachers of Chemistry K-12 Nano-Grants. More information about all LSAC grants, and those of other committees, is available at www.acs.org/getinvolved. 146/185 Local Sections submitted their Annual Reports by the deadline of February 15.

Committee on Membership Affairs (MAC)

MAC approved a recommendation from staff to ask individuals who have been receiving the 50 percent Graduate Student Discount for four years or more if they are still graduate students, so they can receive the correct dues renewal. The current [honor system] process does not provide an opportunity for graduate students to change their status after graduation except by contacting ACS Member Services.

MAC has endorsed President Diane Schmidt’s campaign to invite faculty from PhD granting U.S. institutions to give ACS membership as an award to outstanding students in chemistry. Schmidt will match each gift by paying a student’s membership from her Presidential funds.

Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA)

CEPA reported the 2014 New Graduate Survey Results which show the unemployment rate for new graduate chemists has dropped from 14.9 percent in the 2013 survey to 12.4 percent as of 2014. The drop is principally due to more new bachelor’s degree chemists finding employment. ACS members experienced three successive years of lowered unemployment, which could hint at a positive outlook for chemists in coming years. While unemployment is down, salaries have been overall stagnant.

Reports of Other Committees (Highlights)

Professional Training (CPT)

There are currently 681 colleges and universities offering ACS-approved bachelor’s degree programs in chemistry.

The new 2015 ACS Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs were approved at CPT’s winter meeting and recently published on the ACS website.

Environmental Improvement (CEI)

At this meeting CEI awarded Local Section Sustainability Grants to three Local Sections: Cornell, Kalamazoo, and Midland.

The committee and the Division of Environmental Chemistry have jointly established a project to provide grant support for programming around climate change at regional meetings.

Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board’s Executive Session

On the recommendation of the Society Committee on Education (SOCED), the Board voted to approve a procedure for the establishment of the inaugural Governing Board for the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT).

Other Society Business

As part of its ongoing commitment to consider the most important strategic issues facing the Society, the Board held a discussion on improving governance agility.