Biennial Conference Committee Report, Spring 2014


The purpose of the Biennial Conference Committee (BCC) is to provide guidance, oversight, and financial accountability to the General Chairs and Program Chairs of up-coming Biennial Conferences on Chemical Education (BCCE); to review evaluations and financial reports of past BCCEs; to solicit, evaluate bids, conduct site visits, decide on the location of future BCCEs and the General Chair for future BCCEs; to closely evaluate BCCE contracts/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU); and to provide fiduciary responsibility for the Division of Chemical Education’s BCCE enterprise.  At any point in time, the BCC is working with four BCCEs (immediate past BCCE, immediate up-coming BCCE, and two future BCCEs) representing a total financial footprint of $2.5 million.  One goal of the BCC is to have three General Chairs and three BCCE sites identified six years in advance of the current BCCE.  The BCC meets at every national ACS meeting and every BCCE.  BCC meetings are open to all ACS members, members of the BCCE committee, and individuals invited to attend the meetings. Portions of a BCC meeting may be closed during an Executive session for discussing specific financial issues in contracts/MoUs or personnel actions.

The Biennial Conference Committee Biennial Conference Governance

The Biennial Conference Committee request to the Executive Committee of DivCHED to consider a change in the governance structure for Biennial Conferences Committee was presented to ExComm at the ACS National meeting in Indianapolis, September 2013.   In essence the BCC is requesting ExComm to create a Board of Auctoris. As a result of this document, ExComm has appointed a Task Force to review the details of the proposal, to write an operations manual for the scope of Board, to write governance rules, and to write proposed changes to the DivCHED By-Laws to accommodate a new DivCHED Board and potentially a new member of ExComm.

Rotation of Committee Members

Dwaine Eubanks, Amina El-Ashmawy, Cheryl Frech have rotated off the BCC.  The Members of the BCC thank Dwaine, Amina, and Cheryl for their service.  Together they represent a wealth of knowledge about the BCCEs. They have provided guidance to three BCCEs. Their expertise will be missed.  The BCC welcomes new members Seth Anthony (Oregon Institute of Technology), Mark Freilich (University of Memphis) and Marian DeWane (Univeristy of California – Irvine).

The 22nd BCCE at Penn State University, University Park, PA July 29 - August 2, 2012

The BCC commends Dan Sykes General Chair and Co-Program Chairs Kent Crippen (University of Florida) and MaryKay Orgill (University of Nevada) for producing an outstanding BCCE.  Dan Sykes’ final report to the BCC was accepted.

The 23rd BCCE at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan August 3 - August 7, 2014

Scheduled workshops abstracts are due February 28, 2014.  Early registration opens March 3 and ends June 2, 2014.  The GVSU BCCE website is fully functional, and answers to common questions and FAQs are available. The website is  If one still has questions about how the organizers plan to “empower chemical educators for a greener tomorrow,” you can contact the Conference General Chair, Sherril Soman ( or the Program Chair, Julie Henderleiter (  Sherrill and Julie have been working with the BCC since August 2008.  Members of the BCC has faith the 23rd BCCE will be successful.

Plan Ahead for 24th BCCE at the University of Northern Colorado in 2016

Conference General Chair Richard Schwenz ( and Program Co-Chairs, Julie Smist ( and Matt Miller (, are hard at work planning for the best use of the facilities at Greeley and are planning an interesting conference.  The MOU to host the 22nd BCCE was signed by the Division of Chemical Education and by Richard Schwenz representing the University of Northern Colorado in March of 2012. Chemistry educators who plan to travel to Greeley, Colorado in 2016 should make special note of the weather in July.  Participants may need to reserve hotel rooms earlier than usual due to an increase in fracking in the area. It seems more people are fracking in Greeley than ever before. These frackers are overloading the available hotel rooms in Greeley.  UNC’s BCCE web site is undergoing development and will be going public with their plans and release of due dates for workshops proposals, abstracts, exhibitors, etc. shortly after the conclusion of the BCCE at Grand Valley State.

Letters of intent and bids for 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2024 BCCEs

The BCC is encouraging any and all interested or half-interested teams or individuals to submit a letter of intent to host a BCCE in 2018, 2020, or 2022.  The BCC has a package of information ready to be sent explaining what facilities are needed to host a BCCE and what experience is needed to serve as a BCCE General Chair or Program Chair. Anyone interested in hosting a BCCE should be in good physical and mental health.  Any member of the BCC is available for discussion about the parameters of a BCCE.  At the ACS National meeting in Dallas, the BCC is anticipating reviewing and evaluating letters of intent to host a future BCCE from chemical educators representing two Mid-west institutions, one institution in the Southeast, and one institution in the Pacific Northwest.  At the Dallas meeting, the BCC will review a MOU/Bid from a well-known chemistry educator representing a well-known University to host the 2018 BCCE. The BCC would like to receive a letter of intent from chemical educators at an institution in the Atlantic Northeast to host the 2020 or 2022 or 2024 BCCE.

Issues facing future BCCEs

If you have suggestions for improving the BCCEs, please let the BCC know.   The BCC will be discussing several issues of concern impacting future BCCEs.  The BCC believes each future BCCE should be able to host 2,000 chemical educators. We need strong programming. The BCC believes more can be done to promote the BCCEs to high school chemistry teachers.  BCCE program chairs have made strides in having appropriate programming at the BCCEs for high school chemistry teachers, but more needs to be done. With the economy currently stabilized, the BCC is concerned about the availability of travel funds for chemical educators to attend the BCCEs.  The BCC will be discussing using technology to allow for remote viewing of some BCCE sessions.  The BCC will be discussing ways to digitally store and then share presentations and content from each of the BCCEs. A new on-line abstraction submission system will be implemented at the 2014 BCCE.  If it works well, it may be deployed with the 2016 BCCE.

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