For this month’s ESR News interview, we spoke to Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger, from Graz, Austria, who serves on the ESR Executive Council as chair of the ESR Finance & Internal Affairs Committee. He gave us an insight into the workings and recent achievements of his committee, as well as his own background within the ESR.
ESR Office: What is the overall purpose of the ESR FIA Committee and how does it operate?
Prof. Michael Fuchsjäger: The Finance and Internal Affairs Committee is responsible for monitoring the ESR’s investments and preparing the society’s annual budget. It presents regular updates to the Executive Council for discussion and final approval. To set a good example and save both time and resources, most of the committee’s meetings are held as part of the Executive Council meetings rather than on separate occasions. Aside from budgetary questions, the committee is also responsible for membership issues. The ESR reached a record of 60,000 members in June last year, finally peaking at 62,934 individual members from 156 countries. Despite this huge number, which makes the ESR the world’s biggest radiological society, the ESR attaches great importance to maintaining a high professional standard of its member community. The FIA Committee receives reports from the ESR Office’s Membership Department at regular intervals, which is part of the mechanism to ensure that the application criteria for the various membership categories are met. Membership subscription for 2015 is still open until August 27, 2015. Before this deadline, there will be increased promotion especially among those who have not yet seized the opportunity to benefit from the numerous related benefits. I invite all of you to visit the ESR website for more information.
ESR: What are the main issues currently on the committee’s agenda, and how are they being tackled?
MF: The ESR’s budget is constantly monitored with the ultimate goal of achieving the best possible efficiency for the benefit of the society’s members. Each project proposed by any of the ESR’s numerous committees, subcommittees and other entities has an impact on the budget. When evaluating potential new activities in terms of cost efficiency, the ESR focuses on meeting the demands of its membership and the radiological scientific community. The evaluation is of course a constant process and continues for all established activities. The ESR committees and their sub-entities are structured in such a way as to create and permanently monitor synergies, for example by cross-representation of their members. The committee chairs, who attend all meetings of their sub-entities and coordinate their activities, regularly report to the Executive Council. This allows for quick decision making processes, also in terms of potential budgetary implications.