Minutes 17 January 2008

USLUEC meeting minutes 17 January 2008

Participants: Barnett, Clare, Dasu, Jacobs, Albrow, Liss, Huston, Proudfoot

(There might be some participants missing  – it was difficult to follow on the telephone – we should probably have a roll call part way through the meeting, as there is too much confusion at the start.)

The discussion was primarily about the funding situation.  We discussed the Omnibus disaster and the community reaction.  In particular we talked about the supplement and potential for that succeeding.  APS will be lobbying for the supplement.  It was mentioned that letter from Intel chairman Craig Barrett should be used in support of support for physical sciences.  We also discussed Orbach’s interview with Science magazine.

We also discussed the Washington visit and its importance.  As for funding of people going to Washington, we decided to try with our own institutions first.  Barnett will ask APS/DPF if they would be willing to support some of our USLUO-EC visiting Washington.

Clare, Jacobs and I reported about the Washington visit preparation meeting at SLAC on January 9th.  We relayed the concerns expressed by the lab directors, and the negligible hope they see in getting a supplement passed.  SLAC sees that this budget correction may be more permanent than a one shot.  Therefore, the lab is preparing for reducing HEP staff level to prepare for future.  FNAL on the other hand is going for furlough scheme, hoping for mid-course correction either with a supplement or with early passage of next year’s budgets at higher America Competes Act / American Competitiveness Initiative levels.  The agreement between SLAC-SLUO, FNAL-UEC and USLUO at the SLAC meeting is to make the primary request be, early passage of the DOE Office of Science and NSF appropriations bills at the level envisioned in the America Competes Act (i.e., doubling of the physical sciences budget in 7 to 10 years).  April Burke (FRA lobbyist) and Stanford lobbyist both thought that this years Omnibus process was difficult to understand.  They did not think that we will be able to find out whether the reduction in funding for HEP this year was a consequence of general reduction or was somehow targeted by some one in Congress.  There is no point in dwelling on that — we need to move on to future budgets.  The SLAC meeting went over the one-pager, particle physics in pictures booklet and also logistics of the visit.

Those who are able to go to Washington should quickly find out about their funding needs, and make arrangements for travel. Joey Huston will be coordinating the visit with UEC/SLUO people.