HomeVolume Spring 2006
Message from the Treasurer

Ron Dimock

Fiscal Year Finally to Make Sense!

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 matters.

Executive Committee 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.

Society financial health continues to be strong.

SICB's investment 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.