Councilor’s Report: 255th National Meeting Spring 2018

The 255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was held in New Orleans, LA  March 18 – 22 and was attended by 16,585 registered individuals. The Council meeting was held on March 21.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2019

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2019: Harmon B. Abrahamson, Luis A. Echegoyen, Thomas R. Gilbert, and Mary Virginia Orna.  By electronic ballot, the Council selected Luis A. Echegoyen and Thomas R. Gilbert as candidates for 2019 President-Elect.  These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

  • The Council approved Petition on the Composition of Society Committees [Bylaw III, Sec. 3, e, (3), (4), and (8)], which will change the requirement for Councilors on Society Committees from at least two thirds (2/3) to a majority, and remove the requirement that the Chair and Vice-Chair of a Society Committee must be Councilors.
  • The Petition for Election of Committee Chairs [Bylaw III, Sec. 3, c, (1); d, 3, (3), (8); e, (3), (8); g, (3); i (3)], which would allow the voting members of all ACS committees to select their own Chairs, failed to gain the approval of Council.

2019 Member Dues

  • The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance to set the member dues for 2019 at the fully escalated rate of $175. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.  While the dues increase was approved, for the first time, the proposal generated much debate and ultimately a recorded vote was requested.  Approximately 25% of the Council opposed increasing dues.

Distribution Formula for Division Funding

  • The proposed formula for allocating dues funds to divisions, recommended by the Committee on Divisional Activities, was recommitted to the committee.

Budget and Finance

In 2017, ACS generated a Net from Operations of $28.6 million, which was $4.8 million higher than 2016.  Total revenues were $553.1 million, increasing 5.0% or $26.4 million over 2016.  Expenses ended the year at $524.5 million, which was $21.6 million or 4.3% higher than prior year.  This was attributable to strong performance from the Society’s Information Service units (CAS and ACS Publications) and a continued emphasis on expense management across the ACS. 

Additional information can be found at  At bottom, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information’.  There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.


The ACS ended 2017 with over 150,000 members. While this means that ACS remains the world’s largest scientific society, this number represents a continuing decline in overall membership for the sixth year in a row.  The Committee on Membership Affairs is committed to working with Council, the Board of Directors, the Committee on Budget and Finance, ACS staff, and other stakeholders to halt this trend and return ACS to a growing and engaged membership.

As a side note, your Councilor is now a member of the Membership Affairs Committee and is assigned to the Categories, Dues and Process Subcommittee.  This subcommittee is looking at various potential ways to increase and retain members.  A major question continues to be, do members feel that the membership benefits justify the dues?  Are you aware of the benefits available to you?  Please see

If you have any comments or questions regarding membership or benefits, please contact your Councilor, Darlene Slattery at or call her at 321-632-2535.

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