During 1996 each of NCAR's divisions and programs (except for the Advanced Study Program) was reviewed both by anonymous mail reviewers and by an on-site panel, in keeping with the usual NSF practice. The positive results of this part of the cycle, and the recommendations for change, were reported to the UCAR Members at the annual meeting in October by Franco Einaudi (NASA), chairman of the member-elected Scientific Programs Evaluation Committee (SPEC).
This year's process began with preparation of a document which would provide reviewers with the information they needed to make judgments about the five review criteria, as specified in the current cooperative agreement:
The review panel was chaired by Charles Kennel (University of California, Los Angeles); other members included David Burridge (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), Jay Davis (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Timothy Killeen (University of Michigan), Ronald Prinn (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), James Rasmussen (NOAA), and Carol Roberts (NSF, retired). A subpanel chaired by Harold Orville (South Dakota School of Mines and Technololgy) was convened to review ASP; other members of this group were Dana Hartley (Georgia Institute of Technology), Barbara Mihalas (Syracuse University), Eugene Takle (University of Iowa), and John Wyngaard (Pennsylvania State University). Two SPEC members served as observers on behalf of UCAR for each of these panels: Einaudi and Joyce Penner (University of Michigan) for the overall panel, and Eric Barron (Pennsylvania State University) and William Cotton (Colorado State University) for the ASP subpanel.
We are all gratified with the results of the review, as presented in the panel reports just received (see sidebar). Against this positive backdrop, several recommendations for improvement are made, such as to achieve better integration of the ASP postdoctoral visitors with postdoctoral programs run in and by NCAR research divisions; to explicitly define a strategic plan for service and outreach programs; to develop a continuing strategy for optimum use of emerging information management technologies; and to communicate internally more effectively. Responses to both reports are under preparation and will be submitted to NSF by the end of May.
A debt of gratitude is owed to the many university and laboratory participants in this extensive review process.
In a reorganization, Jack Fellows will be in charge of UCAR Corporate Affairs and will also direct the UCAR Office of Programs. Since 1984 Jack has been branch chief, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of Management and Budget, Science and Space Program Branch, Washington, D.C. He has a Ph.D. in civil engineering (hydrology) from the University of Maryland.
The opportunity for the reorganization and the hiring of two exceptional people into senior UCAR leadership positions was made possible--following the identification and interview of the two candidates by the search committee--by Bill Pennell's decision to step down as director of UOP and Vice President Harriet Barker's plans to retire in the next two years. The appointments were thoroughly discussed with the UCAR Board of Trustees Executive Committee and strongly endorsed by them. A major objective in making these appointments is to build a new senior management team for UCAR that will lead the organization well into the next century.
Katy and Jack will be assuming their positions officially in late August or early September.
"NCAR's past, present, and future success depend upon the high quality of its scientific and technical staff, and its intelligent and effective management."
"The UCAR role, serving as the presence of the large outer community, represents a unique accomplishment in stewardship and management of a federally funded scientific and technological institution."
"The Advanced Study Program is flourishing and vital to both NCAR and the university community."