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CEF Gets New Name, New Vision Statement

There is an old adage that states, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This cliché holds true for Liam Robinson and the department he leads. Although the department is undergoing some changes—including its name—its purpose, goals and excellent service remain the same.

What was the Conventional and Experimental Facilities (CEF) Department has been renamed simply the Facilities Department. According to Robinson, the new name—commonly used in industry to describe the department's functions—represents the integration of conventional and experimental functions into a department that provides a variety of expert services to support scientific programs.

Although the name has changed, the department will continue to provide the high level of service to which SLAC employees are accustomed. The goals of the department were recently outlined by Robinson in a vision statement that has been very well received among department employees.

"The Facilities Department Vision Statement was wonderfully crafted," said George Kuraitis. "It plainly states values that are very encouraging. Clearly this was not done overnight."

When Robinson first set out to draft a vision statement, he found the task daunting. The leaders of the Facilities Department have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Crafting an all-encompassing, cohesive statement that includes a variety of topics such as values, capabilities and purpose took a long time. But it was time well spent.

"We discovered that we had shared a valuable experience while creating the statement," said Robinson. "Two months later the statement is starting to shape the social architecture of the department."

According to Robinson, the vision statement has provided stability and clarity of direction for the department as it goes through internal changes due to program-based staff reductions and external changes due to leadership changes at the directorate level, a potential restructuring of the management and operations functionality and the continuing shift of the scientific program toward photon science. While the external changes are beyond the department's control, the vision statement will enable them to anticipate future needs.

So what is this vision statement? It is not a long, complicated document. Instead, it is a well-structured, succinct sentence just 14 words long that reads: Deliver expert facility services to support scientific programs in a safe and professional manner.

Ken Kingery, SLAC Today, September 19, 2007

Above image: The Facilities Leadership Team. (Click on image for larger version.)