twonew Delphi coordinators
UCAR president Rick Anthes found out that the runoff election
for Delphi Service coordinator had ended in a dead heat between
HRs Nancy Norris Wade and ACDs Teresa Rivas, he thought
about ways to break the tie, such as holding another election
or flipping a coin. But then he turned to a plan voiced by his
assistant, Susan Montgomery-Hodge: inviting the two popular candidates
to share the Delphi position.
After all, an equal number of people liked
the two candidates, so everybody should be happy with this solution,
explains Rick, who announced the election results on 25 July.
Sharing the workload will also make it easier on each coordinator.
The joint election of Nancy and Teresa to a four-year
term as Delphi Service coordinator capped an unusually dramatic
staffwide election. It was touched off when Janet Evans, who had
served as coordinator since 1999, stepped down in the spring to
focus on her new position as manager of budget operations in the
NCAR Budget and Planning Office. Three employees were nominated
to replace her: Nancy, Teresa, and IT systems administrator Diane
The first surprise came in early July, when none
of the three candidates received a majority of votes. This led
to a runoff between the top two vote getters, Teresa and Nancy.
Then came the announcement that the runoff had culminated in a
When Nancy got the news from Rick about the tie
vote, she immediately welcomed his plan to share the position.
I think thats perfect, she says.
Teresas first thought when Rick told her
about the tie was, Oh, no, not another runoff! But
when Rick suggested a sharing arrangement, she thought it was
a great solution.
How it works
The Delphi Service coordinator is a volunteer position
designed to foster communication between staff and management.
Any employee can write to the Delphi Service on a confidential
basis about a UCAR, NCAR, or UOP policy and be assured that the
appropriate person in management will answer the question. Most
Delphi questions and answers are printed in SN Monthly and archived
on the Delphi Service Web site (www.ucar.edu/delphi).
The Delphi Service, named after the site of the
famous oracle in Greek mythology, began in 1974 as a way for staff
to raise questions about institution policies. Over the years,
hundreds of Delphi questions have been submitted, providing
a unique perspective on our organization. Topics
have ranged from recycling and snow removal to drug testing, radiation
from desktop monitors, and (more recently) the use of water during
times of drought.
All Delphi questions are submitted to management
without any names or identifying information. The questions and
the questioners identities are kept in a locked file. Once
a question is satisfactorily resolved, the name of the questioner
With Nancy and Teresa sharing the Delphi duties,
staffers may submit questions to either one, or to both simultaneously.
Directions for submitting questions are given on the Delphi Web
site. Nancy and Teresa will discuss the questions with each other,
but the one who receives the question wont reveal the name
of the questioner to the other, thereby further cementing the
confidentiality of the process.
Nancy stresses that staff should take advantage
of the Delphi Service by submitting questions. UCAR is rare among
large organizations in having such a confidential process for
staff to question management. We both want to encourage
people to use the service, Nancy says. Its a
really important thing that the organization values employees
enough to give them this venue.
Adds Teresa: Its kind of humbling to
feel that people trust you that much, and Im certainly going
to do everything I can to make sure thats not going to be
misplaced. David Hosansky
Also in this issue...
NCAR Library offers a potpourri of products
new buildings: UCAR purchases Center Green
UCAR/NCAR leads Boulders Bike-to-Work Day
new version of CCSM aids in climate analysis
Profile: Terri Cantrell
studies daycare options: Can the institution open its own center?
a family tradition
phone line available to staff