August 5, 2005  


Director's Corner

By Jonathan Dorfan

Thank you all for coming to the All Hands talks last week. I enjoyed the opportunity to describe the direction that SLAC will be moving in the next few years. I hope the presentation conveyed my personal excitement, commitment and enthusiasm for the wonderful new scientific opportunities that lie ahead. Never before have we had the opportunity of making historic contributions over such a wide range of scientific disciplines. I greatly appreciate the very positive e-mail responses that I received after the talks.

Jonathan Dorfan, Director
(Photo by Diana Rogers)

As I discussed in my April 6th All Hands talk, we have a very exciting future. The breadth of the science we are doing is expanding, as are the distinct entities that provide us with financial support. Within the DOE Office of Science, the most striking change will be the very large increase in funding coming from the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) directorate. The High Energy Physics (HEP) funding will continue to be very substantial, but linac operations will increasingly be carried by the BES budget until, in 2009, BES will fully fund linac operations. In addition to DOE, we anticipate that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will continue to fund major activities at SLAC. I am hopeful that, in addition, we will develop partnerships with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The development of the Ultra Fast Science Center and the Kavli Institute means we will be sharing more support, such as personnel and other activities, with Stanford University. This includes the application of major gifts to the support of science at SLAC. We are also developing new partnerships with commercial companies, seeking opportunities for technology co-development.

We need to put the next few years of transition on a sound business basis by striving to achieve the ‘best in class’ business practices at SLAC. If we can indeed achieve that, we will all benefit in many ways. This June, toward that goal, I commissioned a working group, the Business Improvement and Transition Team (BITT), to explore business and related systems at SLAC. The BITT will develop a broad array of recommendations addressing financial and administrative topics during the transition years and beyond. I have challenged them to seek methods that streamline the way we do business, while retaining clear lines of responsibility and accountability. Clearly, there are some changes that are relatively urgent, like financials, that will need to be operational for the beginning of FY06. Other tasks will take longer. The BITT is expected to complete their agenda in time for FY07.

The BITT members are Stephanie Carlson (SSRL), Charlotte Chang (RD), Mimi Chang (BSD), Dave Dungan (SSRL)—chair, Chris Foundoulis (OPS), Wendy Sisson (LCLS) and Bob Strohecker (BSD), with Frank Topper (BSD) providing facilitation services. They have a challenging task and I ask you to provide them with your full support.


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Wednesday August 31, 2005 by Topher White