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In this issue:
People: Harry Shin Flies with the Eagles
You May Go Now: Partnering to Improve the Conference Attendance Approval Process
It's Time for Vacation Planning!

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 2, 2010

People: Harry Shin Flies with the Eagles

(Photo - Harry Shin and a student)
Harry Shin (right) and one of his flight companions in the Young Eagles program. (Photo courtesy Harry Shin.)

Once a month, SLAC mechanical engineer Harry Shin gives curious children a new perspective on the world—literally.

Shin is a volunteer pilot in the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program, which provides free plane trips for children aged 7 to 17. As a participant in his local EAA chapter's Young Eagles program, Shin takes children for a ride around the Bay Area in his personal airplane, in an effort to introduce a new generation to the world of aviation.

Shin credits his father, also a pilot, for taking him flying from a very young age and inspiring him to get his own license when he was 18. "Airports used to be a beehive of activity," Shin said, lamenting at the dwindling number of pilots and lack of replacements for retirees. While Shin spends his days at SLAC maintaining cooling towers and providing support to various research projects across the lab, he hopes that his involvement in the Young Eagles program will help influence youngsters to consider aviation careers , or flying as an avocation.  Read more...

You May Go Now: Partnering to Improve the Conference Attendance Approval Process

Notes from the input session for conference approval process flow. (Photo by Ruth McDunn.)

The lab receives funding to conduct research and create new knowledge. Information sharing at conferences, workshops and seminars is a vital part of that process. But getting to those meetings has sometimes been more difficult than it should be. In the past, many members of staff have been unsatisfied with the paper-based, repetitive and sometimes obscure process of obtaining approval to attend conferences and events.

On Tuesday afternoon, May 25, 20 administrators from all directorates gathered to review and refine a proposed electronic Conference Attendance Approval process flow. The intent of the project team tasked with automating the process: ensure that those who have to use a process are able to influence how it is designed, installed and operated.

After collecting feedback from many stakeholders and taking into account many comments and criticisms over time, conference approval staff drafted a new process flow and began setting up the systems needed to implement it all electronically. But recognizing that blindly imposing a process on the people who need it can be a serious problem, they sought more direct and detailed input from those who will use the approval system on a day-to-day basis, the directorate conference coordinators.  Read more...

It's Time for Vacation Planning!

As June gloom inspires daydreams of warmer climates, summer vacations can be just on the horizon. To make sure you get your full complement of earned vacation time, Human Resources has a public service message: check your vacation balance and plan to use vacation. To cut costs across the university, at the beginning of this year Stanford began a three-year process to lower the maximum vacation accrual cap from 60 days in 2009 to 30 days in 2012.

As of January 1, 2010, SLAC staff with vacation hours at or above the cap for their accrual rate stopped earning additional vacation hours. The cap will decrease each year on January 1, through January 1, 2012. So now is a great time to plan a vacation!

Here's how to get the most out of your time:

Q: Where is the cap now?
A: The cap varies, depending whether you are exempt or non-exempt staff, and based on your accrual rate, which increases with years of employment at SLAC. The largest cap, for exempt staff with more than two years of service (or non-exempt with 10 or more years), dropped from 60 days (480 hours) to 50 days (400 hours) in January 2010, and will drop to 40 days (320 hours) in January 2011 and again to 30 (240 hours) in January 2012, where it will remain constant. See the table below for accrual rates and caps for 2010.



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