Section II provides the context for management activities at UCAR and NCAR. Section II C describes management's philosophy and objectives; these are aimed at ensuring that the center is one of excellence that accomplishes its objectives efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner. This section describes the functions of the many parts of the organization and individuals involved in the management and oversight of NCAR. Participants include the universities, NSF, the UCAR members' representatives, the Board of Trustees, the UCAR president, and the NCAR director, division directors, section heads, and scientists. Each of these contributes to the leadership, management and/or oversight of NCAR, defining and revising the UCAR and NCAR missions and priorities; developing, revising, and implementing policies and program plans; allocating resources; directing activities; and reviewing the results.
NSF has three primary roles: oversight of NCAR, allocation of foundation resources to NCAR, and review of NCAR and UCAR. These roles are carried out through a cooperative agreement with UCAR to manage and operate the center.
In addition to these primary roles, NSF approves certain UCAR policies, the annual NCAR program plan and certain specified changes to it (such as reprogramming at dollar amounts above certain thresholds), proposals to be funded by other agencies, and formal agreements and commitments entered into by UCAR. In the spirit of the cooperative agreement between UCAR and NSF, there is strong and regular interaction among UCAR and NCAR management and the NSF program office about such matters as the UCAR and NCAR missions, strategic plans and goals, and priorities. There is also very close coordination on special issues (such as the recent Climate Simulation Laboratory supercomputer procurement). Interactions occur at all levels and across the NSF directorates as appropriate. NSF officials regularly participate in all member and trustee meetings and discussions.
2. UCAR Members and the University Community
The UCAR members bring the interests and needs of the university community to bear through several governance responsibilities: they elect the UCAR Board of Trustees; review UCAR programs; consider criteria for UCAR membership and other formal affiliations, and admit and renew members and affiliates; advise the president regarding university-UCAR interactions; and amend bylaws to reflect governance and oversight activities. Perhaps most important, the faculty and scientists of the member institutions are a network of university scientists, educators, and administrators who serve as advisors, reviewers, collaborators, advocates, and colleagues.
Through various formal and informal mechanisms, the universities provide advice to NSF, the UCAR president, the NCAR director, and the NCAR scientific and technical staff. Representatives from the universities serve on advisory panels for the NCAR Scientific Computing Division and the Atmospheric Technology Division; these panels advise on the allocation of facilities, priorities, plans, and budgets for SCD and ATD. Many of NCAR's scientific divisions have advisory panels composed largely of university faculty. As indicated in the recent reviews of NCAR and in the material presented in earlier sections of this document, university faculty and students are involved in a large fraction of NCAR activities as collaborators and/or users of NCAR services, facilities, and models.
3. The UCAR Trustees
The UCAR Board of Trustees has fiduciary and legal responsibility for all UCAR activities and final authority to manage the programs and business of the corporation. The trustees recruit and appoint the president of UCAR, and advise on any issues involving NCAR, including but not limited to the development of program plans and allocation of resources.
In addition to their legal and fiduciary responsibilities, the trustees play a key role in determining the overall direction of the corporation. They discharge their responsibilities through a set of committees that deal with personnel, finance, and audit matters, and they review and approve certain policies before these are forwarded to NSF. Most importantly the trustees bring wisdom and a range of perspectives to board deliberations and provide guidance to UCAR management on policy positions, issues affecting the whole community (e.g., data availability), and political, financial, and advocacy matters. These responsibilities and roles are enacted at four regular meetings a year and in continuous informal consultations as needed.
4. The UCAR President's Office
The president (Richard Anthes) serves as ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and is the chief executive officer of the corporation. He shares with the NCAR director in the primary responsibility for the oversight of NCAR, defining and revising UCAR and NCAR missions and developing and revising policies. The president advises on and approves (as a trustee) NCAR program plans and may advise on the allocation of resources. The president provides oversight on the implementation of policies and plans and responds to reviews of NCAR and UCAR.
The president recruits, appoints, and reviews the performance of the UCAR vice-presidents, the NCAR director, and the director of the UCAR Office of Programs. He interacts regularly with each on matters related to programmatic strategies and planning, policy development and review, and a variety of personnel matters.
The Office of Corporate Affairs (Harriet Barker, vice-president) directs a broad range of UCAR activities, including development of policies and programs; university liaison services; and management of all activities involving the UCAR trustees, members' representatives, and their committees, including the UCAR Scientific Programs Evaluation Committee and the recent UCAR governance examination. The office has responsibility for and oversight of development activities, which seek private funding for a variety of science, educational, and service programs; government relations including coordination of advocacy activities, information gathering, tracking of federal science budgets, and monitoring of legislation pertinent to the atmospheric sciences community; and communications, including media and public relations, publications, and outreach.
The Office of Finance and Administration (William Rawson, vice- president) is the chief business and financial office of the corporation. The office has responsibility for and oversight of the development and implementation of all policies and procedures involving business and financial management, administration, human resources, commercial and investment banking, tax-exempt financing, risk management, health and environmental services, and internal audit and legal services. It administers more than 100 cooperative agreements, grants, contracts and interagency agreements by which all corporate centers and programs are funded, plus the approximately 1,000 subcontracts awarded annually.
The two vice-presidents, the director and associate director of NCAR, and the director of the UCAR Office of Programs serve on the President's Council as advisors and consultants to the president on a wide range of strategic and planning issues.
5. The NCAR Director's Office
The director of NCAR (Robert Serafin) is responsible for the overall health and vitality of NCAR as a national center. He shares with the NCAR division directors responsibility for the development of long-range strategies and plans and programs and for allocating resources provided by NSF within NCAR after consideration of advice from the NCAR Directors' Committee, UCAR management, NSF, and the university community. The director leads in building consensus among the division directors for changes in programmatic emphasis and for the allocation of centralized funds in response to internal, NCAR-wide competition for the use of these funds.
The NCAR associate director (Walter Dabberdt) works closely with the NCAR director in developing long-range scientific, technical, and resource allocation strategies for NCAR. He is responsible for the development and preparation of planning documents through the NCAR Budget and Planning Office, which reports directly to him. The Budget and Planning Office prepares the annual NCAR program plan, monitors budgets and expenditures of NSF and other agency funds by NCAR programs, and advises the NCAR director and associate director on budget strategies and funding policy matters. The associate director also has responsibility for Facilities Support Services, which provide physical plant services to UCAR as a whole, and Information Support Services, including the NCAR Library and Image and Design Center, which provide scientific support services to UCAR as a whole and K-12 and informal education services to the public.
6. The NCAR Division Directors
NCAR division directors have responsibility for the development of scientific priorities and directions for their divisions, for presenting new initiatives, and for implementing divisional plans. They are responsible for allocating funds, hiring and retaining staff, ensuring overall quality of the work undertaken by the division, and fostering cross-divisional communication and collaboration.
Through the NCAR Directors' Committee, the division directors also play the key role of helping the director establish strategies and plans for NCAR as a whole, providing broad advice on the quality of NCAR's activities. The directors also formally and informally advise the UCAR president, the NCAR director, and the UCAR board on policies and practices of the corporation.
7. Scientific Appointments Policies and Procedures
Together NCAR management and the senior scientific staff play a critical leadership role in making scientific appointments that are of the very highest quality and relevance to the NCAR program. The scientific appointments process provides NCAR with the intellectual leadership necessary to identify, direct, and contribute to solving the most important and challenging problems in atmospheric science. The NCAR scientific staff is the center's most fundamental strength.
The scientific appointments ladder at NCAR has four levels: scientists I and II are term appointments made by the NCAR divisions and programs, while scientists III and senior scientists are appointments without term. The appointments policies and procedures are thorough and demanding, and are similar to those found in most universities. Appointments to scientist I and scientist II are made by the director of the home division or program, based upon advice of the senior scientific staff. New appointments normally involve national searches. Advancement from scientist I to scientist II requires an assessment after the third year at the division level of both the performance to date and the likelihood that the scientist will be successful in advancing to scientist III (required within four years). Advancement to scientist II and scientist III is an up-or-out decision.
Advancement or appointment to scientist III or senior scientist is based on a process of confidential review and recommendation that involves both the senior scientific staff and senior management through the Appointments Review Group (ARG). New appointments follow national or international searches (the latter being common practice for senior scientists). ARG voting members include the director and two senior scientists from each NCAR division and program; the NCAR director and associate director are nonvoting members. The ARG review process includes small investigative subcommittees, which undertake in-depth assessments of the candidate's qualifications; letters of reference from recognized leaders throughout the scientific community; and extensive discussion and review by the full membership of the ARG. The ARG votes on each nomination, with a two-thirds vote required for a favorable recommendation to the director of NCAR, who appoints scientists III and senior scientists. The UCAR Board of Trustees authorizes senior scientist appointments. All scientists III and senior scientists receive annual performance reviews and reviews every five years by the NCAR Directors' Committee.
8. The NCAR Staff
NCAR scientific, technical, and administrative staff play a primary and essential role in providing input to the development and implementation of NCAR's plans and directing activities of the NCAR program. Through various formal and informal advisory mechanisms, they play an important role in advising upper-level NCAR and UCAR management on priorities, plans, policies, and allocation of resources.
The present management system is multifaceted and has evolved over many years, based on experience. Many systematic examinations of management, oversight, and governance have been conducted by visiting committees. The most recent of these was a 1996 examination by the trustees and a university-based committee of the university governance practices and structure; this resulted in actions by the members in October 1996 to adopt a number of bylaw revisions. Another recent example was the 1995 trustee- and management-guided mid-course review of UCAR's strategic plan, UCAR 2001. The resulting assessment documents the progress toward goals set five years ago and suggests changes in approach that may enable even further progress to be made. A final example is the management committee established in 1991 by the trustees to consider whether UCAR's management structure at the time was conducive to realizing the mission and goals laid out in UCAR 2001. Valuable organizational changes resulted, the most significant of which was the establishment of the UCAR Office of Programs, which reduced the president's span of direct control to a more manageable level. Also important was the committee's recognition of the need for a significant corporate reserve fund.
UCAR has shown the ability to change in response to the external environment and community needs and will remain open to changes in management structure or practices in order to remain efficient and to best serve the universities, NSF, and NCAR.
Institutional Equity and Staff Development
UCAR and NCAR management and senior scientific staff proactively ensure institutional equity at UCAR and create an environment conducive to full development of UCAR's employees. Since 1992, a UCAR-wide Institutional Equity Committee (IEC) and nine Divisional Equity Committees (DECs), have considered ways to make UCAR more equitable and fair and to foster the full development and creativity of all staff.
The IEC, in its report in March 1994, made recommendations to management in seven areas: communication, flexible work arrangements, human resources, recruitment, staff and career development, performance evaluation, and measures of success. UCAR and NCAR management have responded positively to these recommendations. For example, in FY 1997, under the guidance of the IEC and the DECs, UCAR is offering to all staff 24 free courses in subjects ranging from computer programming to mentoring skills for supervisors.
The Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) helps raise awareness of environmental issues and fosters environmentally sound practices and policies. ESP deals with alternative transportation, recycling, and energy efficiency.
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a voluntary employee effort to encourage the use of alternative transportation to and from UCAR/NCAR facilities. Through TAP, UCAR provides all employees with a regional bus pass, an emergency ride home program for those who use alternative transportation, a database to facilitate car pooling, and a shuttle system among the various UCAR sites, the University of Colorado, and the regional bus depot. In 1996, NCAR was awarded the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Clean Air "Partner of the Year" Award for its employee travel reduction program.
A comprehensive program to "reduce, reuse, and recycle" has the goal of reducing the landfill-bound solid waste generated at UCAR to as near zero as possible. The program researches available sources of recycled and energy-efficient supplies and materials as well as providing information on "green" products to UCAR staff. Energy saving and efficient heating, cooling, and lighting control systems have been installed in the UCAR owned buildings at the Foothills campus. These systems received an EPA "Green Lights Program" award for efficient lighting in 1993.
UCAR has been a leader in innovative financing of major equipment and facilities such as supercomputers and buildings. For example, in 1989 UCAR financed the acquisition of a CRAY X-MP/48 using tax- exempt bonds and the next year, 1990, extended this financing to make possible the acquisition of a CRAY Y-MP8 system that served over 1,000 users. Tax-exempt financing was used to acquire the 16- acre, three-building Foothills Laboratory in 1990, solving a decades-old space problem at NCAR in a cost-effective way. Most recently (January 1997), tax exempt financing was used to acquire the UCAR North facility, which will save UCAR and NCAR about $180,000 per year and several million dollars over the next decade. Without such creative financing, acquisition of these supercomputers and buildings would not have happened.
Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science is described in detail on page 40. This program came into being through the combined leadership of UCAR and NCAR. It grew from the Summer Employment Program, in existence at NCAR since 1981, which targeted undergraduate women and minorities. The more ambitious SOARS program is intended to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups who have Ph.D. degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences. Management took the lead in identifying the need for such a program, recognizing the opportunity for its creation, developing the proposal, and promoting it with sponsors.