SLUO Executive Committee Meeting

 May 18, 2001


Present: Tricia Rankin, Charlie Young, Fran Spiller, Ben Brau, Sridhara Dasu, Tom Glanzman, Phil Burrows, Janis McKenna, Ray Frey, Hartmut Sadrozinski


On Phone: Homer Neal for the afternoon


Report from Chair (Tricia Rankin):

·        SLUO Annual Meeting: Tricia summarized agenda plans so far for the SLUO Annual Meeting. Albrecht Wagner has confirmed that he will come. DOE Representatives Rosen and Eisenstein can't make it. SLUO plans to invite O'Fallon as  the DOE representative.

·        The Washington visits went well.  The budget for the lab looks OK, but budgets for the universities are bleak.

·        Minutes from the Feb.2/2001 meeting were ratified.

·        A panel will address the problem of attracting grad students/postdocs to HEP. Tricia has asked Usha Mallik to chair this panel.


HEPAP Subpanel Meeting Report (Sridhara Dasu):

Sridhara  summarized the tentative agenda for the May 23-24/2001 DOE/NSF  HEPAP Subpanel on Long-Range Planning for US HEP.  The SLUO organized town meeting part of the agenda will consist of 13 speakers, each given 10 minutes: Glen Crawford (DOE), Aaron Roodman (SLAC), David Kirkby (Stanford), Nima Arkani-Hamed (Harvard /Berkeley), Andreas Albrecht (Davis), Gerson Goldhaber (LBL),  Lawrence Wai  (Stanford), Yuri Kamyshkov (Tennessee), Uriel Nauenberg (Colorado), Bruce Schumm (Santa Cruz),  Jim Brau (Oregon), plus two TBA NLC talks (later determined to be M.Chertok and N.Graf).


Annual General Meeting Report

The SLUO Annual General Meeting will be June 29, 2001, just after the June 24-28 BaBar Collaboration meeting, and just before Snowmass 2001 begins. A breakfast reception would be preferable to an evening reception, as many people will be leaving for Snowmass Friday evening.  Albrecht Wagner is a confirmed speaker.  O'Fallon will be invited, Decker and Sugawara have not yet responded to our invitation. Rosen and Eisentstein were invited but are unable to attend.  Jonathan Dorfan (SLAC Director) will be asked to give a talk, as will Steve Williams (Acting Research Director). An NLC talk will be invited.

The program will include five morning talks, and in the afternoon Institutional Representatives will attend the SLUO Business Meeting.  Possible SLUO charter changes will be discussed at the Business Meeting.




Proposed Charter Changes (Tom Glanzman):

Tom Glanzman circulated a summary of the SLUO Mini-Taskforce Report on Charter Changes.  Representation on the SLUO Executive Board tends to be dominated by the largest experiments at SLAC.  Smaller experiments and startup experiments, graduate students and the accelerator physics community tend to be under-represented, or not at all represented.  It was agreed that SLUO should investigate voting procedures to improve the chances that some of the smaller users’ groups get SLUO representation, but not necessarily guarantee it.  It was decided to put in a cumulative procedure  test ballot attached as a supplemental test, in addition to the regular vote ballot this year. (The cumulative procedure allows voters to have the opportunity to cast votes for more than one candidate, or to cast multiple votes for one candidate, which may improve the diversity of the Executive Board).  If the new voting method increases the diversity of the SLUO Executive Board, we could consider putting in a proposal for a SLUO Charter Change concerning voting methods for next year.


Washington Trips (Tricia Rankin and Tom Glanzman):  

In March 2001, before budget details were released this year, a group of SLAC and FNAL users were part of a large visit to Washington.  A full schedule of visits  is available online. The event was seen as a success.


A second Washington visit for Congressional Visits Day occurred in April 2001.  Tom Glanzman attended as an APS member/representative and presented a detailed report on his trip. Approximately 200 representatives from a broad range of fields in science, engineering, and industry, including professional associations, attended the 2-day event.  This was the 6th Annual Congressional Visits Day, and the general message was that research is crucial to the economy, and that research is not only  R&D at the industrial level, but  that basic science research feeds into industry and the economy as well. Science funding at all levels, from fundamental to industrial research, is crucial for a healthy research program.


Tom summarized highlights of the presentation by Kai Koizumi, Director of AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program. The NSF and DOE suffer cutbacks in 2002 relative to 2001, while defense and NIH funding increase significantly.


Tom summarized the Congressional Visits Day as a very large and fruitful event in which the HEP community, and more specifically SLUO, should participate every year. It will help inform our community of what's going on in R&D across the whole government, rather than just in HEP. Also it gives the HEP community an opportunity to interact with politicians who could be influential in science policy.


Lunch Meeting with Directorate

Jonathan Dorfan, Steve Williams, Greg Leow and Richard Mount joined us for lunch.

We requested Jonathan contact Sugawara to reiterate our invitation to speak at the SLUO Annual Meeting. If Sugawara cannot come, Jonathan will encourage him to designate an alternate. 


We discussed the possible new SLUO Executive voting procedures.  Jonathan suggested that we circulate an informative position brief to the SLUO community elaborating that we feel that more diversity on the SLUO Executive would be beneficial, so that the community is aware of this issue before the next election.

Jonathan reported that the Budget is approximately flat, similar to last year’s budget.  The Speaker of House intervened on FNAL's behalf and got an extra $10M earmarked for FNAL.  An amendment was later made to take $5M out of HEP, but none of this cut would come from FNAL.  The result is a low budget, with the extra $5M taken out of rest of HEP in order for FNAL to keep its $10M extra allocation. University research groups suffered greatest cuts. (Compared to last year, FNAL is up $25M and SLAC is up $3.5M).   Witherell and Dorfan are encouraging users to write letters to Congress to the effect that if any extra money comes to HEP, that it should go to the universities, not the labs. When writing letters to Congress, users should also cc:OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Programs).


SLAC needs more materials to distribute for Congressional visits. Jonathan reported that SLAC has recently made an offer for the job of Director of Communications. The FNAL person in the similar job was on the search committee and would encourage joint cooperation between FNAL and SLAC in such publicity/lobbying materials. This cooperation should be very beneficial to both SLAC and FNAL.


Jonathan sees no reason why we cannot change the SLUO Charter to remove the clauses that the Chair and Secretary both be non-SLAC people.


Tricia has asked Usha Mallik to chair a committee to investigate the shortage of postdoc and grad students, which has been reported at BaBar and is believed to exist in the entire experimental HEP community. This should be an interesting issue for HEPAP subpanel to consider/address.


Jonathan sees a big problem in ten years for the future of HEP if the next generation of HEP new initiative projects is not sorted out soon with a new significant project. We need to invest some time in planning for the future. The HEPAP Subpanel has to rise above gloomy budget scenarios and plan for an optimistic future with a frontier machine. 


Computing Report:

Richard Mount reported that internal lab machines have been switched over to using Microsoft Outlook for reading email and that the system crashes periodically.  Dumps are being saved and sent to the Microsoft support crew.  An alternative system has been built and is currently being tested.


The GEANT4  Collaboration is organizing an external review of GEANT4 at CERN , June 18-22, 2001.  The community is encouraged to provide input to the review committee.


Office Report:

Fran showed plans for renovations to SLUO office space. She will lose about one-quarter of her working space. Sonia retired but can come to help with SLUO AGM.

The updating of the user database is continuing.



Outreach  (Homer Neal)

Homer reported that the Washington visit was successful.  Next year, we should encourage attendees from all across the country. The large number of student attendees pleased Homer.


The SLUO lecture series needs more advertising, so that people outside of SLAC would be better informed.  A link from the SLAC main web page to the SLUO Lectures could help with publicity.


We need more offsite universities to propose to participate in REU /summer student programs at SLAC.


A series of speakers has been invited to SLAC as a part of a pre-Snowmass series of seminars/discussions.



The twice daily Caltrain Shuttle Bus , which runs from the Caltrain station to/from SLAC, will stop at the Stanford West Apartments starting May 21,2001. If there is sufficient demonstrated interest, we could make a case for an expanded bus schedule on this route.


New On-Site User Lodging

The Training Center is to be torn down in July, and construction of new on-site lodging will commence.


Snowmass 2001

We need to encourage more young people, especially graduate students and postdocs to participate in the Snowmass 2001 planning of the future for particle physics.


We plan to meet with FNAL users' group to explore lobbying efforts, and graduate student issues.  We will look into possibility of a videoconference or phone-link to broadcast this meeting, which will likely take place during the first week of Snowmass.



The next meeting will be at the SLUO Annual General Meeting on June 29, 2001.

There will tentatively be a joint SLUO & FNAL User's Meeting at Snowmass. 2001. 


Submitted by Janis McKenna, May 28, 2001.