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From the Director: The SLAC Agenda

(Photo - Persis Drell)Earlier this year, we developed the 10-year scientific vision for the laboratory. Articulating the scientific goals that define where the laboratory is going over the next decade sets the distant beacon that we will use to steer our ship. We now must sail the ship to get there.

How is SLAC going to achieve these ambitious goals? How do we make the 10-year vision a reality? We must set goals in the near term, mid term and long term to guide us along our way. We must set those goals for both the scientific programs and the operations functions. At the highest level, we are using the SLAC Agenda as our guide.

In the near term of 02 years, the SLAC agenda calls for tactical actions that must be accomplished. The science actions are familiar. On the operations side (the mission support functions) we have a lot to do in the next two years to bring laboratory operations up to modern standards for a multi-program lab. We will then have the foundation to build upon in order to deliver our strategic goals on the five-year time frame.

Five years ahead may seem distant in this uncertain time, but even in setting those strategic objectives, we need to keep in mind the long range vision that defines the critical outcomes on the 10-year timescale.

The SLAC agenda is a valuable tool to help ensure the alignment of the laboratory to a common set of goals. We have a lot to do in the next few years. To use a metaphor that I first heard from one of the "Oak Ridge Boys" who visited here last month, we need to "flow like a river," all moving in the same direction, moving coherently to our common future.

Persis Drell, SLAC Today, September 19, 2008