Dr Jan Falkowski has issued a Treasurer’s report, having performed the important College role for five years, including through the extremely challenging period of the pandemic.
Dr Falkowski stepped down last Wednesday (23 June) at the College’s AGM, started his report by reflecting on the circumstances under which he became Treasurer in 2016.
His report covers a range of changes made during his time in the role, and he pays tribute to College colleagues who supported him during the period. The report reads:
“I have now finished my five years’ term of office as Treasurer. I have been very fortunate that my predecessor Professor Nick Craddock handed over a College with a strong financial basis. I am also very fortunate to have had the support of my fellow Officers, College staff, members and trustees.
“During my term of Office, we have ensured the College has met the requirements of the Charity Commission and provided value for money for our members while striving to achieve our Charitable aims and the ever increasing activities of the College.
“We have maintained fee increased in line with inflation. I will highlight a few of the changes that have taken place.
“In 2017 we started a Publishing Partnership with Cambridge University Press for our Academic Journal Publications and Books. This has been a great success and goes from strength to strength.
“In 2018 we decided to make a substantial investment in our IT to improve the quality of the services we offered and to future proof our IT by changing our platform and moving much of our activity to the cloud.
“This work was a critical step in ensuring we had the capability and resilience to quickly switch from face to face to online activities when the pandemic hit.
“In 2019 we reviewed the funding for the Facilities, Divisions Devolved Nations and Special interest groups. We agreed a new model of funding for them after a detailed consultation. We have also supported their work throughout the pandemic even though the events that normally funded these had been cancelled
“In 2020 we reviewed our investment strategy and not only disinvested from fossil fuels but invested positively in companies whose activities supported the UN Sustainable Development goals, the first Royal Medical College to do so.
“This resulted in strong growth in our portfolio, had we not moved our investment we would have seen the value of our investments fall.
“The pandemic resulted in substantial changes in the way the College worked and supported Members. We had to cancel all our live events. We invested in our IT and virtual events, and made substantial investment to move all our exams to a virtual format.
“Through exceptionally hard work of all the staff and members in 2020 and 2021 we continued support all our worthy activities and reduced the deficit the College experienced as a result of COVID.
“I am pleased the College continues to be sound financially and will emerge from the Pandemic in good financial health. We continue to have six months’ reserves and should be able to set a budget with a small surplus forecast for next year.”
The College’s new Treasurer, Professor John Crichton, paid tribute to his predecessor and cast an eye on the future. Professor Crichton said:
“It is a great privilege to take on the role of Treasurer of the College at this pivotal moment.
“The prudence of Jan and the finance team have seen us safely through the worst of Covid and now the challenge is to respond to our changed world of Zoom meetings and home working.
“Using the strength of our diversity there is a great opportunity to reach out globally whilst avoiding the environmental impact of travel. In five years’ time my aim is a greener, inclusive and more international College."
Back to our June 2021 eNewsletter.