Message from the Treasurer
Fiscal Year Finally to
Ever since the annual
meeting was shifted from the post-Christmas pre-New Year time slot,
the Society's fiscal year, which has coincided with the calendar
year, actually began before a budget for it was approved. Formal
approval came at the end of the annual meeting for line items that
included most of the expenses associated with that meeting, and in
fact a considerable fraction of the annual budget.
All that will change in
2006 when the fiscal year is shifted to July 1-June 30. After an
awkward interim, during which budgets for 1.5 fiscal years will have
to be approved next January, the Society actually will have a
formalized budget 6 months prior to an annual meeting. That will
remove any rubber-stamping or post hoc issues regarding budget
declares two endowment funds as 'temporarily restricted'.
At the meeting in
Orlando, the Executive Committee voted to identify clearly that
portion of the 'unrestricted endowment' attributable to the
generous posthumous gift from Past President Charlotte Mangum for
student support, and to donations over the years to the Grants in Aid
of Research fund. These elements of the general endowment, although
not legally restricted in a formal accounting sense, will henceforth
be readily identifiable within Society monies. In January, the Mangum
fund had a balance of $291,152 and the GIAR, $201,738. A total of 4%
of the trailing 5 year average balance of each of these funds will be
applied toward student support and student research grants,
respectively. That money will be supplemented by about $40-60,000
from the general operating budget to continue funding student support
and GIAR at the level of recent years.
New, easy mechanism to
donate to Society funds.
The 'dues renewal'
web page now has 'check off' items for members to make additional
contributions to a number of the Society's specialized funds,
including, for example, the Mangum fund for student support and the
GIAR. There also is the opportunity to make an unrestricted
contribution to the Society. The latter may become increasingly
important as extramural support for Society symposia diminishes.
health continues to be strong.
portfolio continues to out-perform the S & P index by a
considerable margin. Unrealized capital gains continue to be a very
positive factor in the Society's overall fiscal strength. The
investment allocation model is currently under review by the Finance
Committee, the Executive Committee and the professional managers.
There is little interest in making any radical adjustments to what
has been a very successful investment paradigm.
New face of ICB
can only help.
Publication of the
first issue of Integrative & Comparative Biology - 46(1):
Feb, 2006 - under the auspices of Oxford University Press bodes well
for financial stability of the Society's journal. Timeliness of
publication, with a totally modernized format, coupled with the
continuing high caliber of science between the covers will help
restore the journal to the previously recognized stature of American
Zoologist. When ICB is once again listed with PubMed, the appeal
of ICB as a primary outlet for integrative and comparative
biology will be complete.