Users' Executive Committee
Users' Executive Committee
Fermi Research Alliance, LLC

Meetings and Minutes

Minutes of the 7 March 2008 UEC Meeting

UEC Attending:


GSA Attending:


Meeting Summary

Most of this meeting was devoted to preparation for the UEC trip to Washington D.C.

Users' Meeting

Invitees: We will ask Senator Durbin to attend in lieu of Obama, Alexander. Will also send invite to winner of special election for Hastert's old seat (Update: which would be Foster). Plan to invite someone from International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) (Natalie Roe, Oddone, Wagner) Should we have an LHC Machine talk? Status report seems very timely.

BBQ - The GSA is typically in charge of organizing a BBQ. Will try and find out who from the GSA will handle this. The BBQ may or may not happen depending on desire. Needs big venue, such as near the Users' Center.

Poster session - Does the GSA typically organize prizes? Will investigate.... Reminder should be sent out to all experiments. Will probably take several announcements to get a good turnout.

Official Users' meeting poster is not done yet. Currently the poster will include topic list instead of speakers since speakers list is still in progress.

Webpage shell is in place, but waiting for details to add. http://www.fnal.gov/orgs/fermilab_users_org/users_mtg/2008/index.shtml

Users' meeting will once again include several talks by graduate students. Talk submission deadline of Apr. 15. Need to advertise to all of Fermilab.

Users' meeting will once again feature a talk by winner of thesis prize. Rick Tesarek is contact on graduate thesis committee.

Future meeting - The Users' Meeting committee will meet in two weeks (after D.C. trip)...Tue. afternoon.

DC Trip and GR

Kevin's summary of April Burke's talk:
April Burke is partner in Lewis-Burke, the lobbying firm for FRA. The following are highlights of a talk she recently gave to the FRA Board of Directors.

Congress is not necessarily forward looking. They are more of a reactive body.
Authorization of funding != Appropriation of funding.
Congress cares more that science trains people and has an impact on the economy. They don't care so much about the mass of the Higgs or the more esoteric details of our field.
Congress prefers short-term, as opposed to long-term, investment options.
Our funding is part of "Non-Defense Discretionary" (which comprises 16% of a 3-trillion dollar budget)
HEP must make compelling case to get more money.
We're strong on tactics and weak on strategy.
In our lobbying efforts, we shouldn't try to explain science, but rather try and frame the benefits (e.g. - how people from physics go on to help other fields).

As part of organizing the trip to D.C., the UEC has started to reach out to former colleagues who have left physics for other jobs. We should follow up on people who have left HEP for other fields and keep a list for future lobbying efforts.

For the D.C. trip, the main message (or "ask") is increased funding in FY09 and beyond....not so much to ask for money in a supplemental bill this year. APS handout is relevant to supplemental. Speculation is that any additional funding in supplemental beyond war funding would be for ITER.

Peter W. report:
"Dear Colleague" letter in play for NSF (both) and DOE (senate) while the UEC will be in D.C.
Current feeling in D.C. is that a supplemental funding bill is still a long shot.
The UEC and company has approximately 115 primaries so far for the D.C. trip. Number may go up as trip date approaches and last minutes meetings are set up.

During visits with Congressional offices, they want to know:
1.) What do you want and why did you come?
2.) How much money comes to their district as a result of your cause? - (Note from Breese - check state funding sheets on D.C. trip Wiki for some of this information.)

Jean - Is there a score sheet or something detailing how Congressional members have voted on science in the past?
Peter - Dear Colleague letters are a good place to look.
Kevin - Voting record on America Competes Act are another good place to look.

During D.C. visits, specific bills to request support for are: Energy & Water (DOE), and Commerce & Science (NSF) Don't necessarily ask for support "President's" budget since this has partisan overtones that might not play as well.

Dates for Future UEC Meetings

Apr 11, May 9

Submitted by: Mitch Soderberg