An interview with Katy Schmoll
This is the second in a series of Staff
Notes Monthly updates
to keep staff apprised of the competition for the management
of NCAR. As most people are probably aware, NSF has issued
a request for proposals, and UCAR is in the process of preparing
its submission. In this column, Katy Schmoll, vice president
for finance and administration, talks to Lucy Warner about
the process and how it might affect staff. They also welcome
individual questions, which can be emailed to Katy.
Lucy: Tell us a little about what’s going on. Who
is preparing the response and what will it say?
Katy: There is a small group—including the President’s
Council and a handful of key staff members—drafting
a preliminary proposal in response to the NSF request for
proposals. For those who are curious, the solicitation is
posted on the NSF Web site (see “On the Web”).
Our response is due on April 13.
Lucy: Will staff be able to see the proposal?
Katy: No. Because there may be competitors, our proposal
will be confidential and proprietary.
Lucy: I know you’ve already sent a memo to staff about
this, but explain again how competitors get their information
and how staff should respond if they are contacted.
Katy: All requests for information about UCAR and NCAR operations
should be directed to Kristin Spencer at NSF (firstname.lastname@example.org).
She’s in the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative
Support, and it’s her job to relay questions to me
if she needs UCAR support in developing answers. There are
strict rules governing this kind of bidding and it is important
to follow the protocols. The answers to any questions received
are provided to all potential bidders.
Lucy: So what are staff supposed to do if they get a call
they suspect is related to the competition?
Katy: It’s possible that staff might be contacted directly
for information about things like our salary ranges or our
policies. Those questions should be directed to NSF and staff
should absolutely not answer them.
Lucy: So are you saying staff can’t help with any competing
Katy: No. Staff are free to help with a competing proposal
under certain conditions. They can’t disclose proprietary
information like indirect rates or salary ranges. However,
they can work on the other aspects of management proposals.
Since we are all UCAR employees, working on a proposal that
competes with UCAR’s falls under the Conflict of Interest
Policy (1-1-4). In accordance with policy, anyone in this
situation has to notify me by submitting a written disclosure
through his or her supervisor up the chain of command to
the relevant member of the President’s Council. Any
work done with a competitor must be done on the employee’s
own time, either outside of work hours or using PTO or vacation
time. Any activity of this kind cannot involve the use of
UCAR or government resources, including computers.
Lucy: Doesn’t that give UCAR an unfair advantage?
Katy: It shouldn’t. Those of us who are working on
the UCAR proposal can’t use government funds either.
Lucy: So have you been notified of anyone other than UCAR
preparing a proposal?
Lucy: Will we know?
Katy: Actually we may never officially know unless the competition
comes down to a contest between official finalists.
Lucy: And when would that be?
Katy: Well, as I said, the preliminary proposals are due
April 13. A full proposal will be due August 31. At that
point, only submitters who have successfully completed the
first phase will be considered.
Lucy: And when will we know the outcome?
Katy: Probably in late spring of 2008. The new management
period starts October 1, 2008.
Lucy: Rick [UCAR president Rick Anthes] has said he’s
taking this process seriously but that staff shouldn’t
be worried. Would you agree with that?
Katy: Absolutely. We’ve laid a lot of groundwork for
this proposal in the last year and we’ve got a strong
record on which to base our plans for the coming five years.
We’re in a very strong position. But, as Rick said,
we are not taking this for granted.•
On the Web
for the Management and Operation of the National Center
for Atmospheric Research
In this issue...
Polar Year kicks off this month
BudBurst to debut
Stephenson Hawk joins SERE
interview with Katy Schmoll
Lab a medieval castle?
Just One Look
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