Options to Update Unit BYLAWS

Divisions and Local Sections have 3 options to update their bylaws: 1) expedited bylaws; 2) bylaws Template; and 3) marked-up bylaws. International Chemical Sciences Chapters have the latter two options. Below are documents for the bylaws options, brief summaries of the various options, and NEXT STEPS for all options. Here's a PDF of this webpage in case you want to save or print this information.

The expedited bylaws and bylaws templates include language that permits your unit to conduct its elections electronically and that is legal and consistent with the ACS Governing Documents (Bulletin 5): www.acs.org/bulletin5. We suggest that you appoint one person to work with C&B in updating your unit's bylaws.

Documents for the bylaws options

     1. Expedited bylaws option

This is the least time consuming, easiest, and fastest option. This option is not available for any Division or Local Section that is incorporated.  For this option, the Executive Committee must agree on the responses in the questions document and that no other changes may be made to the expedited model bylaws. The Chair or Secretary would then submit the questions document to bylaws@acs.org. C&B will prepare the expedited bylaws, based on the questions document, and send this back to the officers within 1 - 2 weeks. See next steps below.

     2. BYLAWS Template option

This is the second easiest option and allows for changes. Refer to the BYLAWS Template for Chapters, Divisions, or Sections and note comments in the introductory paragraph; you may amend any text in GREEN font and add bylaw provisions as necessary; you might consider referring to your current bylaws to see if there is any language that you wish to maintain. In the Template, text in black font is required and consistent with the ACS Governing Documents (www.acs.org/bulletin5). After the Executive Committee agrees to the proposed changes that will suit your Chapter's, Division’s, or Section’s needs, please rename the Template with your Chapter, Division, or Section name and send this document to bylaws@acs.org for C&B's review.

If only minor changes have been made, C&B will contact the officers within 2 - 4 weeks with a bylaws document that may be voted by your members, to be conducted in accordance with the Chapter's, Division’s, or Section’s current bylaws. If C&B determines that the changes need review, a C&B Subcommittee will be assigned to review the changes; this review might take three months or more, after which the Chapter, Division, or Section will receive C&B’s Preliminary Report of required and recommended changes. See next steps below.

     3. Marked-up bylaws option

This is the old method where a Chapter, Division, or Section would mark up its CURRENT bylaws (using Track Changes) with proposed changes that are consistent with the ACS Governing Documents (Bulletin 5): www.acs.org/bulletin5. Be sure to refer to the appropriate BYLAWS Template for required text. The Chapter, Division, or Section members should not vote on proposed bylaw changes without C&B’s prior review because in many cases, the bylaws have not been consistent with the ACS Governing Documents and C&B has had to reject a number of bylaws. This option might take C&B two to four months to do an in-depth review of proposed bylaw changes. After C&B’s review, the Chapter, Division, or Section would receive C&B’s Preliminary Report of required and recommended changes, for which the Chapter, Division, or Section must make all required changes and should make the recommended changes. See next steps below.

NEXT STEPS for ALL options

After the Chapter, Division, or Section selects the option to update its bylaws and submits either the questions document for the expedited option, proposed changes on the template, or marked-up bylaws, C&B will then prepare bylaws for vote by the Chapter's, Division's, or Section's members, or do an in-depth review as mentioned above. The members must still VOTE on the proposed bylaw changes in accordance with the CURRENT bylaws. Within 18 months from the date that C&B sends the prepared bylaws, either the Chair or the Secretary would then send the vote results and other required information to C&B to complete the certification process and issue newly certified bylaws on behalf of Council.

TIMING

The entire process can take as little as a few months or up to a year or more, depending mostly on how long it takes the Division, Section, or Chapter to make changes, for the members to vote, and for the results and other required information to be sent back to C&B, which completes the certification process if everything is in order. C&B is ready to review bylaw proposals before they are voted on by members, so that you can avoid having your members vote again on proposed bylaw changes, which must be in accord with the ACS Governing Documents.

Contact C&B

If you have any questions, comments, or if you would like the current version of your unit's bylaws, contact us:

  • bylaws@acs.org for C&B's Staff Liaison, Barbara Polansky
  • 202-872-4071 or 800-227-5558, ext. 4071