ETH Board, 04 April 2008

The new ETH Board, which was elected on 28 November 2007, constituted itself at its first meeting in the 2008-2011 term. It adopted several important agenda items such as the targets agreed with the institutions for 2008-2011 and the 2009 budget. In a relaxed atmosphere, the ETH Board, which is the strategic leadership body for the ETH Domain, discussed future refinements of performance evaluation and also debated its own goals and processes.

The ETH Board, newly elected by the Federal Council on 28 November 2007, met in Berne on 2 and 3 April 2008 under the chairmanship of its new president, former Member of the Council of States Dr. Fritz Schiesser, for the first time during its 2008-2011 term.

The draft target agreements for 2008-2011 were revised and adopted for the two Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne as well as for the four research institutes PSI, WSL, EMPA, and EAWAG. The Board noted the good quality of the target agreements with satisfaction, but intends to further strengthen the qualitative and qualitative assessment of target fulfilment in the future.

Budget decisions for the year 2009 and further development of criteria for future assessment of performance
For the 2008-2011 period, the ETH Domain has a total of CHF 8.2 billion at its disposal in federal resources plus "secondary resources" from institutions for the advancement of research that are close to the government (Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Innovation Promotion Agency (CTI), EU Framework Programmes for Research), as well as resources from private third parties. CHF 7.5 billion are used for basic funding, of which two thirds cover personnel costs.

For the year 2009, the ETH Board approved a total budget of CHF 2.016 billion. After thorough discussion, this budget was allocated as follows:

ETH Zurich CHF 988 million
EPF Lausanne CHF 487 million
PSI, WSL, EMPA, EAWAG CHF 421 million
Strategic projects (SUC* and BFI**) CHF 78 million
ETH Board (projects and administration) CHF 41 million

*Swiss University Conference       **Advancement of Education, Research and Innovation

For the current period 2008-2011, the resource allocation system adopted last year by the ETH Board applies.

With a view to the allocation of resources for 2012-2015, the Board decided to prepare a system of indicators, based on the Strategy and performance-related criteria, and to test the system using the data from the current performance period. For this purpose, it appointed a working group, in which the two Federal Institutes of Technology and the research institutes are represented.

Consensus on strengthening the foundations of the ETH
Upon reviewing its previous term, the Board concluded that its own processes, priorities, and cooperative culture should be further strengthened and defined more transparently. It decided to do this at a future closed meeting. This will create solid foundations not only for the daily business of the ETH Domain, but also for its positioning within the Swiss higher education landscape and for the elaboration of its performance mandate for 2012-2015.

As Dr. Fritz Schiesser said, "The meeting of the ETH Board took place in an extraordinarily constructive and future-oriented atmosphere. Cooperation within the ETH Domain and the joint impact of its six institutes is of the utmost concern for all members of the Board."