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Proposed Changes to ACS Division Funding

Proposed Changes to ACS Division Funding The spring 2021 ACS Councilors’ meeting will include a vote on changes to the formula used to allocate a portion of ACS dues out to the 32 technical divisions, including the Division of Chemical Education. We encourage you to read the summary below of the proposed changes and reach out to not only our CHED Councilors (Roxie Allen, Sally Mitchell) and Alternate Councilors (Laura Anna, Rachel Morgan Theall, Steven Fleming, Marty Perry), but also to your Local Section Councilors to let them know whether or not you support the proposed changes to the allocation formula. The DivCHED Executive Committee (“ExComm”) will be discussing this proposed change at the Open Session of our meeting on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:30 pm CST. 

What has been the historical allocation formula for technical divisions?

  • 20% of ACS dues (for the second preceding year) are provided to support Local Sections and Technical Divisions. 55% for Local Sections and 45% of Technical Divisions. Therefore, Technical Divisions receive, in total, 0.20 *0.45 = 9% of ACS dues.
  • These 9% of ACS dues are distributed as follows:
    • 15% allocated equally to each of the 32 technical divisions (this is referred to as the "base allocation”) 
    • 12.5% allocated based on number of members, (ACS divides its technical divisions into three “Classes” based on size. We are in the largest “Class III” with ~5K members, along with 10 other divisions).
    • 10% is allocated for Innovative Grants and Special Programs (IPG/SP)
    • 62.5% is allocated based on Programming at National Meetings (25% of the 62.5% is for member registration, 25% for poster presenters, & 50% for oral session attendees) 

Why are changes being made to the formula?

  • The current allocation formula depends heavily on programming at national meetings (62.5%), including division member registrations and the number of attendees at oral presentations. (For anyone who has presided over an oral session, this is why you are asked to count and report how many people are in attendance.)
  • During the pandemic, the traditional metrics of registration and attendance no longer properly function with virtual and/or hybrid national meetings during which some sessions are synchronous and some are asynchronous.
  • Therefore, the Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) has proposed making ’transitional’ changes to how funds are allocated to technical divisions until a more permanent structure to ACS National Meetings is re-established in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

What changes are proposed?

  • For 2021, the allocation will be a three-year historical average of our previous allocations.
  • For 2022 allocations, the new formula must be aimed to:
    • be easy to calculate, transparent, and immediately implementable.
    • avoid dramatic swings in year-to-year allocation amounts.
    • encourage National Meeting attendance (despite likely continued smaller meeting footprints)
  • DAC held multiple listening sessions with Division representatives, including Division Chairs and Program Chairs. In response to this formative feedback, they made multiple rounds of revisions to the proposal.
  • Ultimately, the proposed, transitional allocation formula that will be voted on by Councilors is detailed in the table below, along with a summary of the expected impact and rationale. In summary:
    • Base allocation to each division increases from 15% to 17.5%
    • Membership allocation increases from 12.5% to 17.5%
    • IPG/SP allocation increases from 10% to 15%
    • National meeting programming allocation decreases from 62.5% to 50% AND 100% of this programming allocation will be determined by Division member registration at national ACS meetings

Proposed Transitional Formula


Expected Impact and Rationale

How will the new transitional allocation formula affect CHED?

  • Based on our previous 3-year average allocation amounts, we expect to receive an annual allocation reduction of approximately 40% (~$35K).
  • DAC is aware that our division (and a few others) will see reduced allocations, and to mitigate the impact for divisions who will be negatively impacted (most divisions will be positively impacted by the transitional formula), DAC is also proposing a 7.5% cap on year-to-year gains/losses for all Divisions. 
  • Furthermore, CHED organizes the Undergraduate Poster Sessions at National Meetings, but many of those students are neither members of ACS nor CHED, so their meeting registration will not count toward our allocation (registrations count only for ACS members). Therefore, this new transitional allocation will undercount our contributions to national ACS meetings.
  • Please note: For 2021 only, the ACS Board of Directors has elected to provide an additional one-time sum equal to the annual allocation for 2021 to all technical divisions.

What are the key takeaways for CHED?

  • The 7.5% annual cap is immensely helpful and should definitely be supported.
  • The loss of support/compensation for from the undergraduate poster session is quite discrediting. This is a service that DivCHED provides to the entirety of the National Organization and involves a substantial time commitment. We advocate for some sort of compensation or recognition for our contributions to the event.
  • DAC has emphasized that this is a "transitional" allocation formula, and that conceivably it will change again. However, we must prepared for the possibility that once in place, DAC may decide this transitional formula works well and is more equitable, and it could become permanent.
  • On the whole, the Division Chair succession, Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee prefer to not receive a smaller allocation. However, we also recognize the need to revise the formula as the metrics of meeting registrations and attendance are no longer plausible. We believe the 7.5% cap on annual losses is feasible for the immediate future. However, we very much look forward to engaging in continuing conversations with DAC regarding the development of a more permanent allocation distribution and how CHED's continued support of the Undergraduate Poster sessions at national meetings can be recognized within the allocation.