30 September 2013

DrSandyMagnusDear AIAA Members,

We were asked to share the attached correspondence from Frank Kendall, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.  It contains information about the potential government shutdown for those of you who work with the Department of Defense.  Feel free to share it with your coworkers or whoever you feel would benefit from reading it.

As you know, the environment remains uncertain.  Here we are, on the eve of a new fiscal year, without a federal budget and with no clear indication of when we may have one – let alone what it might contain. 

At AIAA we are doing our best to prepare for another difficult year.  The Finance Committee met in August, prior to the Board of Directors meeting, and after lengthy conversations and difficult decisions, constructed a balanced, but reduced, budget for FY 2014.  Facing the committee was the fact that we had two major conferences deleted from FY 2013:  the MDA conference was cancelled, and the Ballistic Missile Defense conference was moved from September (FY13) into October (FY14). 

Coupled with an average 20% decrease in conference attendance during the past year, this led the committee to budget rather conservatively for next year, reducing the amount of operating funds available.  Difficult cuts were made in all areas of the Institute, including services to members, some programs, and expenses and overhead related to AIAA HQ.  The good news is that, in the end, a balanced, reasonable budget for FY14 was adopted. 

Even though we are going through some tough times, I am excited about the future!  We are continuing to position the Institute so that we will emerge from this situation in a good posture – poised for growth.  In August, we held a retreat with the members of the Institute Development Committee and the Executive Committee to brainstorm and discuss what actions AIAA can continue to pursue for a stronger future.  Several great ideas were presented, and staff is investigating them further to report back to the group with another level of analysis.  I am sure I will be communicating more on this subject as things are fleshed out.

As always, send any comments and thoughts!


Sandra H. Magnus
Executive Director