Biennial Conference Committee Report, Spring 2015


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 a BCCE committee and individuals invited to attend the meetings. Portions of the BCC may be closed when the committee meets in Executive session for discussing specific financial issues in contracts/MoUs or personnel actions.

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

23rd BCCE Conference General Chair, Sherril Soman (, Program Chair, Julie Henderleiter ( and members of their program committee delivered an outstanding and successful BCCE.  Sherrill and Julie have been working with the BCC since August 2008.  The BCC appreciated their long-term commitment to organizing a BCCE.  Sherril Soman submitted a final report of the 23rd BCCE which will be reviewed by the BCC at the ACS meeting in Denver.  The BCC thanks the 23rd BCCE team and recommends DivCHED send a formal letter of thank you and a certificate or plaque to Sherril Soman and Julie Henderleiter.

Plan Ahead for 24th BCCE at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO July 31- August 4, 2016

Conference General Chair Richard Schwenz ( and Program Co-Chairs, Julie Smist ( and Matt Miller (, are hard at work planning for the use of the facilities at Greeley, and planning for an interesting conference. UNC’s BCCE web site is up and running. Due dates for workshops, symposia, abstracts, exhibitors, etc. are on the 24th BCCE’s web site.  Of note, the Call of Workshops opens June 3, 2015, the Call for Symposia opens August 1, 2015, the call for abstract opens January 1, 2016 and closes February 28, 2016. The BCC will receive an up-date and status report from UNC at the ACS meeting in Denver during a meeting of the Biennial Conference Committee.

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

The BCC is encouraging any and all interested teams or individuals to submit a letter of intent to host a BCCE in 2020, 2022, or 2024.  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 and serving as a General Chair 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 Denver meeting, the BCC is anticipating reviewing and evaluating letters of intent to host a future BCCE from chemical educators from an institution in the Pacific Northwest and one from institution on the Southeast to host either the 2020 or 2022 BCCEs.  The BCC would like to receive a letter of intent from a chemical educator at an institution in the Atlantic Northeast to host a BCCE.

Site Visit

On February 11 and 12, 2015 two members of the BCC committee conducted a site visit at a university in the middle of the USA. The BCC will receive a report from the site visit team at the ACS meeting in Denver.  The BCC has a bid from this institution and the proposed General Chair to host the 2018 BCCE.  Pending a positive report from the site visit team, the BCC will most likely vote on accepting the bid or rejecting the bid at the ACS meeting in Denver.

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.  Our 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 stabilized, the BCC is concerned about the available travel funds for chemical educators to attend the BCCEs.  The BCC is concerned with the relative lack of recognition and awareness of the BCCE among secondary school educators and higher education faculty involved in teaching chemistry.  The BCC will be discussing using technology to allow for streaming of some BCCE sessions.  The BCC will be discussing ways to digitally store and then share presentations and content from each of the BCCEs. 

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