Member-at-Large, Jimmy Reeves, Spring 2014

Let me begin by thanking all of you who voted for me in the last ACS election, returning me as At Large Member for another three year term.   I am honored to serve as your representative to both the Board of Trustees of the ACS Examinations  Institute and the Executive Committee of the Division. 

The Board of Trustees is currently working on the language of contracts for both the Director and Assistant Director of the Examinations Institute that more fully reflect their roles and compensation.  Although we currently enjoy a cooperative and extremely productive relationship with both Tom Holm, the current director, and Kristen Murphy, our current Assistant Director, we want to be sure that are working under the terms of a legally binding document.  There is agreement that the responsibilities be stipulated in the Operations Manual and that any changes that substantively alter them be mutually agreeable and reflected by revisions of the Manual.  However, the Board does sometimes pass resolutions, typically with the support of the Director, that impact those responsibilities, and this practice will continue.  We are also considering issues like the pending requirement, precipitated by recent actions by the Courts, that we collect sales tax at our e-commerce sight.  This is a complicated issue which has to be dealt with on a state by state basis, and we are considering hiring a service to help.   Finally, a position description for a business manager is being prepared as we consider moving the business portion of the Institute to a private location that would not be subject to the (sometimes volatile) rules of the hosting University and could be permanently located and thus independent of the home institution of the Director. 

At the Executive Committee Meeting in Indianapolis, a particularly important issue was raised by members of the Biennial Conference in Chemical Education (BCCE) organizing committee.   A victim of its own success, the BCCE is growing in both size and stature, and the task of securing a location and program chair, and dealing with the monumental logistics associated with the event likely require a more formalized structure, possibly modeled after the Exams Institute.  Recent conference profits have created opportunities to, for example, resource future Program Chairs and/or their departments, but the organizing committee does not currently have the authority to do so.   Members of the organizing committee have expressed their concerns that the current situation is not sustainable, and the Executive Committee Chair agreed to consult with the Chair Elect and the most recent past Chair and consider the issue again at the Dallas meeting.

I remain very impressed with the way the business of the Division of Chemical Education is conducted, thanks to the great volunteers who staff our committees and boards.  Nevertheless, the need for new faces with fresh idea remains.  I hope you will consider volunteering your time on one of them.  If you are interested in serving or have questions about the business of the Division, please contact me or any other member of the Executive Committee and we’ll be happy to help you.

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