2 December 2013
The first meeting of the IOP’s Council under Frances Saunders’ presidency was held on 21 November.
Other newly elected members also joined the meeting for the first time: president-elect Prof. Roy Sambles, vice-president for membership Mike Worboys, and ordinary members Barbara Gabrys, Michael Duncan and Prof. John Zarnecki.
A key focus of their discussion was the budget for 2014 and how the IOP responds to uncertainty in future income.
As a result, Council has adopted a prudent approach in targeting a reduction in next year’s budget and introducing a new prioritisation process to the Institute to decide on which projects deliver greatest benefit. Savings will be achieved through a mix of staff reductions and some prioritisation of the Institute’s current activities. A small number of voluntary redundancies are currently being sought. More information will be given on the outcome of the prioritisation review when decisions are finalised around the end of the calendar year.
Council also received a report on the progress made with the sale of the leases on IOP’s current headquarters in Portland Place and the purchase of a new freehold building in Balfe Street. Council members were enthusiastic about the potential of the new building, following refurbishment, to serve as a hub for UK physics and to be a valuable long-term asset for the Institute (see story above).
Other items on the Council’s agenda were the introduction of an at-a-glance performance reporting framework for IOP activities, milestones and targets, an interim report on the international pilots in India and sub-Saharan Africa, and an update on the fundraising campaign. A number of donations totalling just over £200,000 have already been received in recent months towards specific Institute activities.