Councilor’s Report – Spring 2017 ACS Meeting, San Francisco

As your Councilor, I attended the ACS meeting in San Francisco, working with the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA), the Graduate Education Advisory Group (GEAB), and of course, the ACS Council.

CEPA:  Most of the weekend was spent in a strategic planning meeting, with a short business meeting on Saturday morning.  The Subcommittee on Public Policy, of which I am the Chair, presented plans to renew the Retirement Security Policy Statement, with minor changes to update it.  The final statement will be presented to CEPA for approval at the Fall meeting, and will then go to the Board.

The Fall meeting will also be my final meeting as a member of CEPA, as I have termed out.  I have applied to several other committees for next year.  I have also been appointed to the ACS Work Visa and Immigration Working Group, which arose out of a presentation to CEPA last Fall.  Among other issues, this group will explore whether ACS should have a policy concerning H1B visas and other visas that non-citizen chemists use to gain employment in the US.

GEAB:  One of the more gratifying things about this group is hearing from the students that organize the Graduate Student Symposia at national meetings.  They filled up almost half the room, and gave reports from past, present, and future symposia.  These symposia attract excellent speakers, and are well attended.  And they are completely run by graduate students, with the assistance of an ACS liaison.  Almost makes me wish I were back in graduate school….

GEAB also discussed mentoring of undergraduates by grad students and postdocs, and how to support international grad students and postdocs  studying in the US.

Reminder:  the ACS publication “Graduate and Postdoctoral Chemist” is available in hard copy and online.

ACS Council:  The Council voted on candidates for 2018 President-Elect.  The candidates are Bonnie Charpentier, who is a member of the California Section, and Willie May.  You will see more information on these candidates as the election approaches.

The other big item was a petition on removal of Councilors, which stirred up a bit of controversy.  Although the procedure for removal was approved narrowly, the actual change in the bylaws was rejected.

I have a summary of all of the governance issues and actions for anyone who would like to see it.  It’s too long to put in this report, but I’d be happy to send it to any member.  Send me a request at, and if you have any other questions about this report, please let me know.

John Berg, Councilor, Sacramento Section

Author: John Berg

John Berg is a Councillor for the Sacramento Section of the American Chemical Society. He serves on the Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs and chairs the Subcommittee on Public Policy.

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