Monday, November 29, 2010

H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

Given the green light

The AIP Governing Board convened for its biannual meeting on November 9 at the American Center for Physics. This board has the ultimate responsibility of overseeing AIP's management and financial performance and approving plans for future operations. The principal agenda item for this fall meeting is the review and approval of the institute's budget for the coming year. I am pleased to report that after an extensive review by the Executive Committee during their meeting on November 8, the Governing Board unanimously approved the 2011 budget.

Constructing the 2011 budget was not a straightforward extrapolation of the current-year budget, but rather a detailed, complex process that reflected continuing budgetary pressures on revenues. The lingering effects of the global recession on AIP’s primary customers—research institutions subscribing to our journals—are affecting our current-year subscription income and factor into our projections for next year. The budgetary implications of realigning our publishing services business for our Member Societies and other publishing customers were largely anticipated but nonetheless challenging. AIP is about halfway through this transition process, which will make these essential services more cost effective, generating value for AIP's publications and external customers alike.

Despite the budgetary pressures, we—in the "royal" sense because staff from every business unit contributed—were able to put forward a 2011 budget that met the Governing Board's guidelines. Moreover, the newly approved budget supports continued expenditures in the Publishing Center to build core technologies, preserves all Physics Resources Center products and services that AIP offers to the physical science community, and enables modest additions to key programs.

I thank the AIP management team and all my colleagues on staff who began work on the budget back in June, and I thank the Governing Board members for their careful attention to the financial health of the institute.

Physics Resources Center Matters

Nobel laureates visit minority-serving institutions

On Wednesday, November 10, Nobel laureate Douglas D. Osheroff visited the physics department at Howard University in Washington, DC. He was participating in a program, sponsored by the AIP and funded by the Research Corporation, to bring Nobel laureates in physics and chemistry to minority-serving institutions (MSIs). While there, Osheroff met with faculty and administrators, and engaged about a dozen Howard graduate students in discussions of their research. He also gave a vibrant lunchtime seminar to a packed classroom on his involvement with the board that investigated the Columbia shuttle crash. After lunch and conversation, he presented a public lecture and answered questions for an appreciative audience about how scientific discoveries are made, highlighting his work with superfluid helium-3. Osheroff also visited the physics department at the University of Texas at El Paso on November 17-18.

Nobel Laureates visit Howard University
Douglas Osheroff (kneeling, center, tan slacks and white shirt) poses with program participants outside the Howard University Blackburn Center.

Other recent and upcoming visits include the following:

Since 2007, AIP has planned, or is in the midst of planning, 16 laureate visits, with more to come. The goal of the program is to raise the visibility of the science programs at the MSIs, establish contacts between the MSIs and the larger scientific community, and expose students to luminaries in science.

Another Nobel laureate, Roald Hoffmann, who visited Prairie View A&M University, commented, "I liked the students a lot; they were lively and interactive. Their interaction with their faculty was informal and impressive; the faculty in science was obviously committed to the educational process."

Around AIP

Caring for AIP's online image

One of Web Management's roles is to oversee the overall architecture, visual design, and effectiveness of aip.org and related sites. To assist staff, we maintain information about policies and best practices that should be followed to ensure our digital communications are consistent and professional.

AIP logoThose resources are now centralized in an AIP Communications site on InSite. Look for "AIP Communications" under the Workgroups tab in the top universal navigation.

Whether you need an AIP logo file, official Powerpoint template, information about the templates and cascading style sheets, best practices for search optimization, or the location of rights-free or AIP-owned photos, head to the AIP Communications site for answers. The site is an ongoing work-in-progress— everyone's input is essential to keeping it up-to-date and usable—so please give us your feedback.

Holiday drives

Toys for TotsThe Melville Publishing Center is taking part in the annual Toys for Tots campaign, operated by the US Marines of Alpha Company, 6th Communications Battalion. To make wishes come true for impoverished children in Suffolk County, NY, employees are invited to donate new toys through December 10. The Toys for Tots collection box is located in the lunchroom.

In College Park, the ACP Events Committee is working with the College Park Youth and Family Services (CPYFS) to organize donations of gifts and basic necessities to local families. Wish lists which will be placed in the pantries. Donations will be accepted through December 20.

What's happening this week

November 30 - December 2

 

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