HomeVolume Fall 2008
Message from the Treasurer

Ron Dimock

Belt-Tightening Continues as Economy Worsens

Although SICB has enjoyed conservative management of its assets in the able hands of Matthew Tederick, the Society has not been immune to the financial difficulties facing the country and indeed the world. The portfolio managed by Mr. Tederick, with the supervision of the Finance Committee, has declined at the time of this writing by about 18.2% since June 30. While this is not pleasant news, the diversity of investments and the relatively low risks associated with these assets have resulted in far more preservation of capital than might otherwise have been the case. When the bottom is reached and recovery begins, Mr. Tederick has a sufficient cash reserve to take advantage of what should be some excellent buying opportunities. The Society remains fiscally sound.

Finance Committee Committed to Balancing the Budget

The Finance Committee has assumed a mandate to have a balanced budget for fiscal 2010. Fiscal 2008 ended with a deficit in the general operating budget of approximately $50,850. This occurred in spite having about $40,000 of Audio Visual expenses donated by the hotel/convention center in San Antonio. The budget that was approved for 2009 is projected to be about $57,800 in the red. Since the 2009 budget also includes a subsidy from the meeting site in Boston of at least $30,000 in AV expenses, and there is no subsidy for 2010 in Seattle, the budget for 2010 could be $80-90,000 in the red if changes are not implemented.

As a result of that projection, the Finance Committee, with the approval of the executive officers, has implemented several revenue generating and cost cutting actions.

  • New schedule of registration fees in place for the 2009 meeting in Boston

Registration for members has been increased by $75 to $300; however, a 'Loyal' member, one who has paid dues for the 3 years prior to the annual meeting, will be able to register for $250, an increase of only $25 over previous years. The non-member rate is $400, which should provide incentive for some attendees to join the Society. There are modest increases in the other registration categories as well.

  • Reimbursement of fees for presenting authors in symposia set at $100

Based on figures from the meeting in San Antonio, with 88 speakers in regular symposia and 13 in late-breaking symposia getting full reimbursement, this change would have saved the Society at least $12,600. The savings for the Boston meeting could be considerably more given the new registration fees.

It should be noted that Symposium authors receive up to 12 pages in ICB with no page charges, real expenses that are absorbed by the Society. With approximately 88 manuscripts published in ICB in 2008, this represents $142,560 assumed by the Society, or a further subsidy of $1620 to each presenting author. Furthermore, authors may qualify for 1 free color plate that costs the Society $600.

  • Budget to get supplement from the Unrestricted Endowment

Current policy is to use 4% of the previous 5 year average balance of the Charlotte Mangum Endowment toward funding of Student Support, approximately $10,000 per year. A similar policy generates about $7000 from the Grants-in Aid-of-Research Endowment as partial funding for GIAR and FGST expenses, and approximately $4000 from the new Symposium Fund for the Society Program Officer to use as a supplement to Divisional symposium allocations.

For 2010 the same formula will be applied to the Unrestricted Endowment, another portion of the investment portfolio, which will add approximately $36,000 into the budget. This money will help offset budgetary commitments and contribute to balancing the budget.

Development Committee Given a Charge

The Development Committee, under the guidance of Tom Daniel, has been given a 'shopping list' of potential cost elements of the Society's finances upon which to focus fund-raising activities. Some of these items are specific to the annual meeting in Seattle, while others are geared toward raising money to increase particular endowments or fund other on-going expenses that currently are funded from the general operating budget. Any new money that is brought into the Society will help improve the Society's long-term financial condition.