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Report of the General Board on the establishment of an N. M. Rothschild & Sons Professorship of Mathematical Sciences

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences was established by the University in 1992. The Institute, which is housed in a purpose-built building on the Clarkson Road site, runs intensive research programmes on selected themes in the mathematical sciences; these programmes are attended by visiting scholars and scientists from all parts of the world and last for periods of up to six months. By the end of 1997, twenty-three such programmes had been completed, encompassing a wide range of fields in pure and applied mathematics, theoretical physics and astrophysics, geophysical fluid dynamics, computer science, financial mathematics, statistics, and related fields. The programmes of the Institute are funded by rolling grants from the Research Councils (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council), together with special grants from a number of other sources, both national and international. The Institute's infrastructure costs have been met by generous grants from the Isaac Newton Trust and from St John's College, coupled with contributions in the form of overheads on the external grants. In October 1996 the University purchased from St John's College a 175-year lease on the building of the Newton Institute. The University also currently meets the cost of the office of Director of the Institute; this is held by Professor H.K. Moffatt, whose appointment runs until 30 September 2001. In order to secure the long-term future of the Institute, major efforts are being made to raise further funding, particularly in the form of endowment. In January 1997 the Isaac Newton Trust made a loan of £1m to the Institute, the loan to be convertible to endowment if within four years a matching contribution to endowment is raised from other external sources.

2. In 1992 the merchant bank N.M. Rothschild & Sons made a generous donation of £330,000 to the Institute to form a fund to support the appointment of Rothschild Visiting Professors (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 610). Twelve appointments of Rothschild Visiting Professors have been made since 1992, each for up to six months, enabling the holders to participate in the programmes of the Institute. The value of the capital of this fund is now approximately £500,000. N.M. Rothschild & Sons have now offered a further generous donation of £1.75m over five years, starting in 1998, towards the endowment of a new Professorship of Mathematical Sciences in the Faculty of Mathematics, the intention being that the Professor should ex officio be Director of the Newton Institute. The Management Committee of the Institute, in consultation with the donors, have agreed to supplement this benefaction by the transfer of £250,000 from the Rothschild Visiting Professorship Fund to make the total endowment for the new Professorship £2m.

3. The Management Committee of the Institute and the Faculty Board of Mathematics have welcomed this benefaction and the proposal to link the new Professorship with the Directorship. As well as offering a firm basis for the funding of the Directorship, the benefaction provides the matching contribution needed to enable the loan of £1m from the Isaac Newton Trust to become a grant which will form the basis of an endowment for the Institute and will thus secure its activities for the foreseeable future.

4. Appointments to the office of Director are currently made by the General Board for periods of up to five years at a time, on the recommendation of an advisory committee constituted in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 2 of the regulations for the staff of the Institute (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 609). The General Board have agreed, in order that appointments to the proposed new Professorship should be coterminous with appointments to the Directorship, that on first appointment the Professor should hold office for five years, with the possibility of reappointment, and that the special regulations for the Professorship should require the holder to be Director during his or her tenure of the Professorship. Amendments of the existing regulations for the Director are proposed in order to make this possible.

5. Under the provisions of Statute D, XV, 1(c)(iii) an appointment to a Professorship, the tenure of which is limited to a specified number of years, is made by the General Board. Subject to the approval of the recommendations of this Report, the General Board will constitute an Advisory Committee, as follows, to advise the Board on an appointment to the N.M. Rothschild & Sons Professorship:

(i) the Vice-Chancellor, as Chairman;
(ii) three members nominated by the Faculty Board of Mathematics;
(iii) five members appointed by the Board on their own nomination.

The Board will ensure that at least four members of the Committee (two in class (ii) and two in class (iii)) are not resident members of the University. In making one appointment to the Committee the General Board will consult the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

6. It is envisaged that the first appointment to the Professorship will be made from 1 October 2001, on the expiry of Professor Moffat's tenure as Director. The Board have agreed that on this occasion candidature for the Professorship should be open without limitation or preference to all persons working within the general field of the title of the office. The Board will recommend the assignment of the Professorship, for each tenure, to a Department within the Faculty of Mathematics, in the light of the interests of the successful candidate.

 7. The General Board recommend:

 I. That the generous offer of a benefaction of £1.75m from N.M. Rothschild & Sons towards the endowment of an N.M. Rothschild & Sons Professorship of Mathematical Sciences be gratefully accepted.

 II. That an N.M. Rothschild & Sons Professorship of Mathematical Sciences be established in the University from 1 October 2001 and that the Professorship be placed in Schedule B of the Statutes.

 III. That regulations for the Professorship, as set out in the Schedule to this Report, be approved.

 IV. That the regulations for the staff of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 609) be amended as follows:

 Regulation 2.

 By inserting at the beginning of the regulation the following words:

Except as may be otherwise provided by Statute or by Ordinances relating to a particular University office associated with the Isaac Newton Institute,

11 March 1998

N.M. Rothschild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences. 2001.

 1. The sums received from N.M. Rothschild & Sons for the endowment of a Professorship of Mathematical Sciences shall form a fund called the Rothschild Mathematical Sciences Fund.

 2. The Professor shall be appointed to hold office for five years in the first instance, and shall be eligible for reappointment for further periods of five years at a time, as determined by the General Board. The General Board shall exercise their power of appointment under Statute D, XV, 1(c)(iii), on the advice of a specially constituted Advisory Committee. The holder of the Professorship shall be Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and shall vacate the Professorship on ceasing to hold the office of Director.

 3. If and whenever the income of the Fund shall exceed the amount required for the payment of the stipend, national insurance, pension contributions, and associated indirect costs of the Professor payable by the University, the excess of the income over that amount may be applied in support of the work of the Professor in such manner as may be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Management Committee of the Isaac Newton Institute.

 4. Any unexpended income in a financial year may be either added to the capital of the Fund or accumulated for expenditure in future years in accordance with Regulation 3, as the General Board shall determine.

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Cambridge University Reporter, 18 March 1998
Copyright © 1998 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.