Message from the Treasurer
audit for 2004 is complete, and the Society finished the year with a
modest increase in net assets (about $44,000). However, this figure
incorporates unrealized capital gains from our mutual funds and REIT
investments; the actual annual budget was about $20,000 in the red.
This deficit was about $13,000 greater than had been projected.
There was no single part of the budget that was responsible for this
overage, but rather actual expenses exceeded budgeted figures by a
few 100 or an occasional 1000 dollars here and there. One bright
spot in the budget was the Annual Meeting, which finished with a
modest positive net balance of $1900, the 3rd consecutive
year that the meeting has been in the black.
Our invested funds continue to be a highlight of the overall
financial picture. After the down market for much of 2004, at the
end of the 3rd quarter 2005, the Year-To-Date return on
all investments was 9.5%. Overall the portfolio has increased 19%
since April 2002 while the S&P 500 has increased 5%. With money
market funds and CDs only now approaching 2-3% after hovering at of
below 1% for much of 2004, these YTD and overall figures are
These are exciting times for the Society, and when you read President
Woodin's report, you'll see that much of the recent focus
concerns the journal. Beginning in January 2006, Integrative and
Comparative Biology will be published by Oxford University Press.
This new association between SICB and OUP will bring professional
marketing to ICB, and should in the long term reverse the
steadily declining income from the journal that the Society has
experienced. One area where there is particular optimism for growth
is with international institutional subscribers, a sphere in which
ICB has not been well represented. However, in the short
term, the profit sharing arrangement with OUP will result in further
erosion of the net income from ICB. Therefore, the budget is
going to be further constrained.
Another area of fiscal concern is the very real prospect for
diminishing support from NSF for Society symposia at the annual
meeting. Some retrenchment by NSF has already occurred, and the
Society must anticipate further difficulty in securing extramural
support. Providing financial assistance to international speakers is
an especially difficult issue. It seems obvious that the Society
will have to increase its current level of approximately $20,000 per
year in direct support of symposia (through the Program Officer) plus
subsidizing nearly all registration fees for symposia participants,
and will have to seek creative ways to fund these sessions in the
future. Since ICB depends upon a steady influx of high
quality manuscripts from symposia presented at the annual meetings,
sustaining those symposia is vital to the Society not only for the
quality of science at the meetings but also for the very survival of
President Woodin, following the efforts initiated by Past-President
Wingfield, intends to reconstitute the long-dormant Development
Committee whose charge it will be to explore other avenues for
generating financial support for SICB. However, further cost-cutting
and revenue-producing adjustments to the annual budget also will have
to be considered carefully.
The pre-meeting figures in respect to abstract submittals indicate
that the upcoming meeting in Orlando will be another success.
Program Officer Kate Loudon and the DPOs have assembled an
outstanding program. Each of us should encourage colleagues to
attend, and more importantly, recruit new (and old) colleagues to
become members of our unique society.