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In this issue:
From the Director: Decision Making at SLAC
LCLS and Facilities Car Show, BBQ Today
One-on-One Investment Counseling Sessions
Word of the Week: Core Dump
Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

SLAC Today

Friday - May 9, 2008

From the Director: Decision Making at SLAC

(Photo - Persis Drell)

The foundations of effective management include making decisions in a timely fashion, managing risk, and establishing and balancing priorities. Those are the major requirements of any manager's job. As our organization becomes more complex, it becomes more difficult to make decisions efficiently and effectively—but doing this is essential if we are to keep the organization moving forward.

As laboratory director, I have to make decisions on the strategic issues that are critical to accomplishing the lab's vision and mission. While I make the decisions and take responsibility for them, I need input and advice to ensure that I have adequate information to make a good decision in a timely fashion. The Executive Council of the laboratory—which includes the Chief Operating Officer and the Associate Laboratory Directors—is responsible for providing me with the advice I need to make the best choices for the lab.

In a similar way, many other informed decisions must be made throughout the entire organization. Decision making always benefits from close proximity to the facts and I believe decisions should be pushed down into the organization to empower the manager most familiar with the pertinent information and details. For any decision, there should always be one line manager who is the decision maker. That individual is responsible for considering the totality of input and analysis to make the best choices within the scope of his or her responsibilities and authorities. That means that this person is responsible for obtaining perspectives and technical advice as needed and appropriate.

To facilitate the decision process and to advise key line managers on policy and operational issues that cross cut directorates, sub councils are being set up within the laboratory to advise key line managers. Read more...

LCLS and Facilities Car Show, BBQ Today

Don't forget! The Linac Coherent Light Source project and SLAC Facilities will host the second annual Classic Rides Show and BBQ this afternoon at 12:00 p.m. under the oak trees outside Building 280B. It's not too late to get your tickets for the lunch, so come on over to eat, mingle and view the classic and unusual cars on display. See you there!


One-on-One Investment Counseling Sessions

Have you checked your retirement savings lately?

Make sure your contributions to the Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) or the Stanford Contributory Retirement Plan (SCRP) are working for you. Make an individual appointment with an investment counselor from Fidelity, TIAA-CREF or Vanguard for a retirement check-up. The counseling sessions are free and usually last an hour.

A representative from each investment company visits SLAC once a month. To see dates and learn how to make an appointment, click here.

Word of the Week:
Core Dump

Photograph of a magnetic core memory plane, magnified 50 times. (Image courtesy of H.J. Sommer III, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Penn State University)

The term "core dump" relates to an old type of computer memory, in use before the advent of silicon chips, which used grids of tiny magnetized rings to store information. When a computer program in such a system crashed, a record was created about the state of the memory. "Core dump" has come variously to mean any fatal error in a program, as well as slang for getting the long version of a story from someone.


Building the LCLS: Weekly Update

Construction highlights from the Linac Coherent Light Source this week include:

- Light fixtures and electrical outlets are being installed inside the Central Utilities Plant.

- Crews are grading the road covering the Beam Dump, reconnecting the north-south leg of PEP Ring Road.

- Service elevator installation inside the Near Experimental Hall is progressing.


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