Committee on Constitution and Bylaws

What We Do


Meeting the Society's Purposes and needs through the ACS Governing Documents and other documents under the purview of the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws (C&B).


Improving and monitoring the ACS Governing Documents, model bylaws, and unit bylaws for clarity and consistency.


  • Discuss petitions to update the ACS Governing Documents, meet with petitioners, and make changes for clarity and consistency when necessary.
  • Provide assistance to petitioners as requested or as needed to amend the ACS Governing Documents.
  • As requested by any Division(s), Local Section(s), and International Chemical Sciences Chapter(s), assist them in updating their bylaws. Certify the bylaws after their members vote in accordance with their current bylaws.
  • As necessary, make minor edits to the model bylaws.
  • Review as necessary and recommend to the respective committees, major amendments to the charter bylaws and model bylaws for Local Sections, Divisions, and International Chemical Sciences Chapters. Ensure that such documents are clearly worded, up-to-date, and not in conflict with the ACS Governing Documents.
  • Act for the Council in determining that the requirements are met for affiliation of a Local Section with a local technical organization or a Division with other technical organizations. The respective committees shall approve such affiliations, in collaboration with this committee.

Who We Are

Committee Structure

  • C&B has at least 12 members, several associates, one or two consultants, a staff liaison, and liaisons from other committees (e.g. CPC and ConC).
  • There are four subcommittees. Work of the committee is done either through the subcommittees or the full committee as needed.

Expertise Needed

  • Knowledge of (or a desire to learn about) ACS governance;
  • An interest in clarifying proposed bylaws and changes to other related documents;
  • Available to attend C&B's meetings all day Sunday at national meetings, or virtually as needed; and
  • Nice to have but not required: good editorial skills and attention to detail.


  • Meetings are held twice a year at the ACS National Meeting on Sundays from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. C&B meets virtually as needed, sometimes once a year in addition to the national meetings.

Time Commitment

  • 1-2 hours per month depending on petitions, guidelines, minutes, or other documents that need C&B's review.
  • C&B works year-round, mostly via email; conference calls or virtual meetings are held as needed.

Committee members must be Councilors and are appointed by the President of the Society for two-year terms. Although no special training is required for membership on the Committee, members are expected to become knowledgeable about the ACS Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules.

We welcome Councilors who are interested in joining this committee. Contact either the Committee on Committees (ConC) or Barbara Polansky, Staff Liaison, if you are interested and eligible for Committee membership.


Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about petitions, options to update bylaws for Divisions, Local Sections, or International Chemical Sciences Chapters, the ACS Governing Documents, or C&B, please contact us at 202-872-4071, or 800-227-5558, ext. 4071 or email