JLab Director's Message at Year's End

JLab Director's Message at Year's End

Dear Colleagues,

In the year 2007 Jefferson Lab performed in an outstanding manner. The 12 GeV Upgrade emerged as the first recommendation from the NSAC reconciliation meeting and obtained CD-2 approval by the DOE, i.e. an approved, established baseline for technical scope, cost, and schedule. The laboratory and its users produced outstanding science and earned the scientific community.s recognition for its achievements. In addition to CD-2 for the Upgrade, the laboratory obtained CD-0 for a significant infrastructure improvement building project, and all of you contributed to an outstanding safety record. Furthermore, we are very glad and thankful for the Virginia Governor's including $ 7.5 M for the 12 GeV Upgrade in his budget. These are just a few of the most important highlights.

The funding outlook for the current fiscal year is not as good. Based on the President's budget request and Congressional action earlier in the year, we expected a significant increase in operations funding, but in the end Congress did not pass all the individual spending bills and we were operating under a so called continuing resolution (CR) at last year's funding level - hence the hiring freeze. As many of you may know from the news, Congress now has sent an "Omnibus" spending package, a single, global, all-encompassing spending bill to the President for signature.

In this bill the DOE's Office of Science, of which Nuclear Physics is a part, is funded significantly below the request level, with some of its programs faring worse, some faring better than others. Nuclear Physics funding is increased by 2.3%, less than requested, but it contains construction funding including the 12 GeV Upgrade at the full request level. We don't know the operations funding level for JLab yet, but if this bill is signed into law, it will be approximately the same as last year.

Where will this leave us? First and foremost, we will forge ahead with the 12 GeV Upgrade, our highest priority and our path into the future, and meet all its milestones. Second, while the hiring freeze will remain in force, we will most likely be able to maintain our workforce. Third, while the running program undoubtedly will be impacted, we will make every effort to run the highest impact experiment as expeditiously as possible. This situation is not as good as we had hoped for, but we have been spared the serious impacts suffered by some other fields. For those interested in numbers, I attach a spreadsheet that gives you a sense of the relative distributions.

With that I thank you for your great effort and success, wish you a happy holiday, and look forward to us tackling together the future next year - a future that may be challenging, but in the end will be very bright.


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