FERMILAB Users Organization Executive Committee
P.O. Box 500 Batavia, Illinois 60510
Phone: (630) 840-3111
Fax: (630) 840-4343
Minutes of the Sept. 23th 2000 Meeting of the Fermilab
Users Executive Committee
Rick St. Denis(firstname.lastname@example.org),
GSA Attendees (1999-2000 GSA):
Florencia Canelli, Bonnie Fleming and Ben Kilminster
New GSA Reps (absent from this meeting): Chris Hays and Daniel Whiteson
Chip Brock, Ken Heller
The Chairman of the 1999-2000 UEC, Dan Amidei, called the meeting to order
at 10:00 am. The main topics of the meeting were introduction and
of the new UEC members, perspectives of departing Chair on the work and
mission of UEC, discussion among all of the UEC organization during the
2000-2001 year, election of new Chair, GSA report and subcommittee reports
on the activities of past year and discussion of a Letter to the Users
concerning Insurance for Postdocs and Students.
Election of new UEC Chair:
Larry Nodulman was elected as the new UEC chair for the year
Introduction of new UEC and GSA members:
The new UEC members are: Robin Erbacher, Sally Koutsoliotas, Jim Musser,
Roger Rusack, Rick St. Denis, Benn Tannenbaum and Gordon Watts.
The new GSA members are: Chris Hays and Daniel Whiteson.
We decided to keep the departing members of the 1999-2000 UEC in our
list so that we can benefit of any input they may have on the issues we
There is a procedural issue: Usually we elect six new UEC members every
year. This year we had to elect seven members because one of
continuing the members was unable to participate for a second year. We
discussed ways to now avoid a mode where we elect five members one
year and seven members the year after. After some attempts, we decided
to revisit this issue before the new UEC election.
The GSA has currently only two new members, both from the D0
experiment.The 1999-2000 GSA is trying very hard to find two more new
members, preferably from different experiments so that we have broader
representation. It is discouraging that more students are not
interested in serving on the GSA. Please encourage good students to
The all electronic election has raised comment and concern about the
completeness of our E-mail mailing lists. We will make it an action
item this fall to insure the completeness of the User E-mail
distribution. Robin and Benn volunteered to help with this effort.
Florencia Canelli gave the GSA report and discussed the activities
of the 1999-2000 GSA. These activities included the "New Perspectives"
Conference on June 27-29th, 2000, town meetings for students, the last of
which was on June 15th, 2000, the GSA Accelerator Class that started
on July 20, 2000 and lasts for 10 weeks, the GSA Summer Class that
involved six lectures on HEP subjects of current interest, and several
career workshops. Florencia announced the result of the
elections of the new GSA. We currently have two new members only.
There was a concern expressed that perhaps not all students receive
e-mail from GSA, especially if they are not visiting the Lab frequently.
The E-mail task force will work on the mailing list.
Another very important accomplishement of the GSA is their "Guide to
Life at Fermilab"
which is an impressive 80-page collection of valuable information for new
graduate students and visitors. It can be found at:
http://www.fnal.gov/orgs/gsa/guide2life/guide.html and contains
about Health Insurance, shopping, food stores, restaurants, movie
museums, schools etc. We discussed what is the best place for this
information to be located and who is going to maintain it up to date.
The different UEC subcommittees gave brief reports about their
activities in the past year.
The Outreach and Education subcommittee helped organize FNAL experiment
tours for the public. There were two tours at CDF, one at D0 and one most
recent at MINOS on September 9,2000. They were all succesful and the
feedback from the public very encouraging. There is also a new activity
along these lines organized by Fermilab staff. Every Sunday afternoon, 1
to 3 pm, a couple of scientists are meeting the public on the 15th floor
of Hi-Rise and are ready to answer questions the visitors may have.
The Users meeting was well organized but the participation was
relatively low. We have to find ways to increase participation.
The Washington trip in March was effective. We will coordinate with
Chris Quigg who is the incoming Head of the Division of Particles and
Fields to have a real critical combined mass of the UEC and the DPF
for Washington activities of this coming year. We should also try to
build trust in Congress by building bridges with the local offices of
the representatives of our University districts. It would be good as
well to involve University Officials into the picture and encourage
them to seek support for our field.
The Quality-of-Life subcommittee worked on gym memberships, day-care,
and other attempts to improve the local ambiance. There were efforts
from the "Younger Physicist Issues" subcommittee to help establish
"local" Health coverage for students and postdocs, see below.
Perspectives from the Chair of the 1999-2000 UEC and discussion of
all on the organization of the 2000-2001 UEC. (Dan Amidei-All)
.There is lack of "global community" of FNAL Users. For example
the User's meeting was poorly attended. Should we consider something
different from the one-big-meeting every year model?
.There are issues like housing, guest support, offices for Users,
communication via e-mails and User Web pages that need to be better
handled and in a more organized way.
.The future of the field is problematic. Our support is down during
boom times. We are perceived as another special interest group.
.We need to get together with DPF and invent a strategy that works in
There was a lot of discussion on how to organize ourselves along these
how to engage the community more, how to approach the congressional
representatives, how to decide on the future of the field and get support
for it etc.
Letter to Users concerning Insurance for Postdocs and Students (R. Brock)
Chip discussed the content of a letter that the "Younger Physicist
UEC subcommittee drafted. The letter concerns Health Insurance for
and Postdocs. It was triggered by a survey undertaken by the GSA which
established that a significant fraction of students and postdocs do not
satisfactory "local" Health Insurance. The letter suggests that Fermilab
ID's should be issued to students on a yearly basis and that as part of
ID process, advisors should be explicitly asked to certify coverage for
their students and postdocs in detail. The letter suggests that
health coverage" necessitates local coverage and that advisors should
either be sure there is local coverage, or make it possible for their
students and postdocs to purchase insurance privately. Fermilab
management and the Board of Overseers need to decide just how far to push
on this aspect of coverage and may be they could do some research to find
and may be help negotiate reasonable local insurance rates for Users.
This letter was sent already to Bruce Chrisman and will be sent to all
The next UEC Meeting is October 7, 2000 and the one after that on November
Vaia Papadimitriou -- UEC Secretary