Councilor’s Report: 257th National Meeting Spring 2019

The 257th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was held in Orlando, Florida  March 31 to April 4, 2019 and was attended by 15,605 registered individuals. The Council meeting was held on April 3.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2020

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2020: Magid Abou-Gharbia, H.N. Cheng, Carol A. Duane, and Christopher J. Welch..  By electronic ballot, the Council selected H.N. Cheng and Carol A. Duane as candidates for 2020 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 Constitution and Bylaws

  • The Council approved the Petition to Streamline the ACS Governing Documents [Constitution Articles I-XIX, Bylaws I-XIV, and Standing Rules I-IX], which will reorganize the fundamental governing documents of the Society: the Constitution and Bylaws, and create a third document: Standing Rules. These three documents will function as a hierarchy. The Constitution should define; the Bylaws should authorize; and the Standing Rules should operationalize. Additionally, an Amendment was voted upon, and passed by recorded vote:
    • That language proposed as Standing Rule II, Sections 2 a, 2 b, and 2 g be moved to the Bylaws as new Sections 2 a, 2 b, and 2 c of proposed Bylaw III with appropriate renumbering of the other sections of Bylaw III and Standing Rule II.
  • The Petition will become effective if and when the proposed changes to the Constitution are approved by the Membership of the Society, and if and when the Board of Directors approves the Petition. Because the changes to the ACS Governing Documents are substantial, the Council authorized the ACS Secretary and General Counsel and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws to correct minor technical mistakes in the Petition.

2020 Member Dues

  • The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance (B&F) to set the member dues for 2020 at the 2019 rate of $175.

Council Special Discussion

  • ACS President Bonnie Charpentier led a special discussion on ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities. Councilors had been asked prior to Orlando to discuss the ACS value proposition with their local sections or divisions and bring that input to Council. Councilors provided many recommendations and suggestions including increased support for local sections and industry members, helping student members transition into their professional careers, and implementing a monthly payment tool for ACS dues.  These, and all the other ideas and input submitted, will be shared with the Committee on Membership Affairs and the ACS Membership Division for further research or implementation. 

Highlights from Committee Reports

Councilor Divisor

As required by the Society’s Bylaws, the Council Policy Committee has set the divisors for allocation of Councilor seats among Local Sections and Divisions for 2020 to 2023.  Official notification of the Councilor divisors and the number of Councilors permitted for each Local Section and Division will be sent to the respective Local Sections and Divisions prior to May 1st as required in the Bylaws.

Budget and Finance

In 2018, ACS generated a net from operations of $41.1 million, which was $13.3 million higher than 2017.  Total revenues were $571.6 million, increasing 6.4% – or $34.2 million – over 2017.  Expenses ended the year at $530.5 million, which was $20.8 million or 4.1% higher than the prior year.  These results were 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 the bottom of the page, 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 2018 with 151,012 members, a net membership growth of one-tenth-of-one-percent. This is the first membership growth ACS has recorded in the better part of a decade. Of the 25,000 new members who joined in 2018, about 20% were incentivized by market testing initiatives. Without these new members, ACS would have seen continued declines.

Council voted to extend the provision of the international dues discount test based on World Bank country income levels for an additional three years (August 2019 – August 2022).

As a side note, your Councilor is  a member of the Membership Affairs Committee and is assigned to the Benefits and Engagement Subcommittee.  The discussion is continuing on whether a “one size fits all” approach best serves the membership.  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


  • The Council passed several resolutions:
    • in memory of deceased Councilors;
    • in gratitude for the officers and members of the Orlando Section, host for the 257th National Meeting, the divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff for the planning and execution of the meeting.

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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