FRA New Initiatives
Committee on Hiring and Retention of Scientific Staff (Feb. 20, 2007)

  Recommendations and Implementation Status (Feb. 2008)

  • General and Recruitment
    • The existing Fermilab statement about diversity should be featured more prominently on the Fermilab web site. In particular, it should be placed where it may be seen by employees and users, as well as job seekers.
    • Fermilab should continue and expand efforts to recruit under-represented minorities into science.
      • Status: a few new initiatives created including FAST team.
    • We recommend that Fermilab develop a set of guidelines for conducting searches for scientist positions. Guidelines for university faculty searches are already widely available and could be modified for Fermilab. The guidelines should include consideration of diversity and a description of the exceptional circumstances when the usual search process may be waived, with a procedure to follow in the case of waived searches.
      • Status: We asked HR to review/check the process and consistency in all of our recruitment process guidelines.
    • We recommend that scientist search committees work with the Fermilab Employment Office to keep records for scientist searches in a consistent way in one location, as is done for other positions at Fermilab.
      • Status: We asked HR to keep records.
  • Climate and Mentoring
    • We recommend that Fermilab request a climate assessment team visit from the American Physical Society Committee on Minorities and Committee on the Status of Women in Physics. APS can organize a joint site visit including both of these.
      • Status: committee setup. Survey will get done March. Visiting committee will come 6 weeks after the survey.
    • Exit interviews should be carefully designed and conducted to identify possible problems for minorities and women. If issues of workplace climate are contributing factors to the departure of an employee, they should be addressed promptly.
      • Status: Done - we have been doing it routinely.
    • We recommend that Fermilab adopt a Respectful Workplace statement. This could be a fairly simple statement but it should be easy to find in the Fermilab web pages and employees and users should be made aware of it.
      • Status: covered by Director's general statement - website. Declined to make more specific statement.
    • Fermilab should continue the practice of monitoring compliance with respectful workplace behavior through its employee evaluation process.
      • Status: performance appraisal notes interpersonal skills and ability to work with others.
    • Line management should receive training on the creation and maintenance of a respectful workplace.
      • Status: There exists supervisor's training.
    • Mentoring for Associate Scientists should be formalized and improved. The first choice for an Associate Scientistís mentor should be the supervisor but there should be oversight at the Division level so an alternate mentor may be identified if needed.
      • Status: Now informal. Remain to be done.
    • Supervisors and others acting as mentors should be given training and access to resources about mentoring. Mentors should understand their roles and responsibilities.
      • Status: Study done, not implemented
    • Service work (committees, e.g.) should be explicitly considered in the performance review process.
      • Status: Done
    • Performance rankings and years to promotion for scientists should be reviewed for biases based on race, gender or ethnicity.
      • Status: Finished study. Possible corrections to our situation have been formulated.
  • Family-Friendliness
    • Institute a policy of paid leave of some duration for maternity that is comparable to other leading institutions. The policy should be clearly written and easily accessible.
      • Status: Alinged with other labs.
    • Implement a leave sharing program for serious illness and for maternity leave beyond that specified in the first recommendation.
      • Status: Done
    • Modify the Fermilab sick leave usage policy to allow usage of sick leave, within some limits, to care for ill relatives.
      • Status: Not done. Will consider in the future.
    • We recommend that Fermilab adopt a flexible part-time option for scientific staff that will allow them to shift between part-time and full-time as family and life needs arise.
      • Status: This is available by policy.
    • Join and actively participate in an Illinois dual-career network or Spousal Relocation Assistance Program.
      • Status: Done - we are one of five instituions who initiated GC HERC.
    • Indicate on the Fermilab Employment web page that assistance is available for spouses/partners seeking employment.
    • Create a policy or guidelines for the Director to facilitate the hiring of a spouse/partner in exceptional cases.
      • Status: Discussed. No explicit policy necessary
    • Fermilab should maintain the excellent on-site day care facility that has been in operation for 26 years. It is important to have enough day care slots to accommodate the demand.
      • Status: Done - Expanded.
    • The recent trial of child care for older children for holidays is commendable. This should be better publicized and continued.
      • Status: Done - Expanded, and will expand further.
    • The summer camp situation clearly could be improved by finding a way to increase the number of campers that could be accommodated.
      • Status: Done
    • If the summer camp capacity cannot be increased to meet demand, the lottery should take place before other summer camps in the neighboring communities have already filled up. Fermilab would do well to make their application schedule more similar to others in the area, which tend to start accepting applications in January.
      • Status: Done
    • Meetings and seminars should not be scheduled so late in the day that they conflict with the deadline for pick-up at the Childrenís Center or Day Camp. An extension of the current pick-up deadl
      • Status: A pilot program created - no one took advantage of this service.