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From the Director: DOE Report Card Gives SLAC Two "Thumbs Up"

(Photo - Persis Drell)

This week the Department of Energy Office of Science released annual performance assessments for the national labs, including SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, for the fiscal year 2008 (October 2007 through September 2008). SLAC's assessment is based on the goals set in the lab's FY08 Performance Evaluation and Management Plan, or PEMP.

This year's results are something we can all be proud of: Overall performance in science and technology received a grade of A-, while management and operations scored a B+. These grades represent notable improvements over the FY07 report, and reflect the fact that we as a lab are making real and measurable progress on our goals from last year. In our own self assessment last fall, the lab management agreed with the improvements noted by the DOE, although we tended to be somewhat less likely to assign grades of B+ (meets expectation) and above. This is totally appropriate as we have to be our own harshest critics!

In a February 3 letter announcing the grades, SLAC Site Office manager Paul Golan complimented the outstanding scientific leadership across the laboratory, excellent engagement and oversight by Stanford, and the drive and engagement of the management team. He noted:

The Department of Energy is very confident that SLAC is on the right track in providing the institutional framework to drive long-term mission success and a principle-based approach to overcome challenges at the laboratory.

The grades are available on the Office of Science Web site, in the FY2008 Report Card for SLAC.

Last year at this time we knew where we wanted to go, but had only taken a few baby steps toward our goal. At that time I wrote: "I look forward to this time next year, when I believe we will be able to see real improvements in our performance and see those improvements reflected in the performance assessments we receive at that time." Now we see the improvements and they are recognized by others.

Congratulations to everyone at the lab for improving and excelling in the face of many changes and challenges. And remember, while we are heading in the right direction, we still have a long way to go!!

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, February 6, 2009