Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finance Committee Meeting; Executive Committee Meeting

This evening, we held our regular Finance Committee Meeting,  followed by Executive,  at Clyde Road.

In the Finance meeting,  we reviewed our management accounts for February.   Revenues and costs to date are reasonably as expected,   with the sole exception of our membership revenue to date.   At this point,  it is causing a little concern,  since we are behind in this revenue against our expectations.   March will be an important month for us,  and we probably have yet to see the positive impact of the new and improved Membership Benefits scheme,  which should add as a further incentive for subscription renewals.

Regular readers of the Finance Committee posts to this blog will be aware that we have been reviewing the ground rent situation for Clyde Road for some time.   In the past few weeks,  this has thrown up a challenging situation which may have further cost expectations than we initially expected,  although ultimately clearly in the long term beneficial to the Institution.   The Finance Committee is investigating the situation in detail,  with outside professional advisors,   before being in a position to make a specific recommendation to the Executive and thence Council.

The sponsorship of the Annual Conference is off to a reasonable start,  but we have some way to go before reaching our target.

We followed the Finance meeting with Executive.  After minutes and a summary of key engagements,   John Power updated Executive on plans for the celebration of our 175th anniversary,  including a meeting in the Aras in the summer.

Brian Kavanagh reported to the Executive on behalf of the Finance Committee.

I then personally announced the name of the candidate whom we would like to propose at our next Council meeting as the incoming Junior Vice-President (and who would then be President in 2012-13).   Executive were enthusiastic about the candidate,   and his name will go forward to Council accordingly.

We then had a 25 minute presentation and discussion on our CPD strategy,  as a further update to the presentation and discussion on the topic at our last meeting.    As an outcome,   John Power is seeking volunteers to head up a CPD task force,  with a view to analysing and proposing a CPD strategy back to Executive (and thence Council) within a three month period.

John Power then updated Executive on the planning for the Annual Conference.

A number of items were raised under AOB.   In particular it was agreed to seek volunteers for a second new task force,  which would oversee the implementation of the recommendations in the recent report on Mathematics and Science teaching in our schools.


  1. Chris - re implementation of the recommendations in the recent report on Mathematics and Science teaching in our schools.
    While the IEI report is very welcome and is indeed impressive and comprehensive, IEI is very late to this party, which is called Project Maths. This major upgrade to our maths curriculum at second level seems to have been hijacked by the social "scientists" and business groups at third level, and now our students will be taught all sorts of soft stuff in maths class like hypothesis testing, how to design surveys, plot attribute data as stem and leaf plots etc. As a maths teacher with an engineering background it fills me with dread to see where we're going with this. Engineering and science requirements have been pushed to one side, and the net result seems to be a further dilution of the core skills and knowledge that future graduates need to be taught at second level.

    A focus on Applied Maths, rebranding as Engineering Maths and a modernisation of this curriculum would help the engineering agenda greatly, and more students should be encouraged to take this subject, as it provides an excellent foundation for science, technology and mathematics studies in third level.

    Inputs welcome, feedback guaranteed,


  2. Liam,

    A number of the Project Maths teachers were actually directly involved in helping us write our report.... The list of participants is in appendix.

    Applied Maths is also considered in the report: the re-branding as Engineering Maths is under consideration at the Dept Ed & Science I believe, but I believe there are views that that might also give an over-emphasis on engineering as opposed to other applications of maths.

    best wishes

  3. Chris, thanks for this reply. It's not clear from the roll out of the material to the schools that the engineering and technology influence in project maths is very strong, but I expect it's early days yet. Re applied maths - it's good that the IEI report considers how it could be modernised - this could help increase its attractiveness to students as a subject at LC level and would encourage more schools to offer it within their timetables.