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Users Group: Board of Directors Minutes

Minutes of the meeting on November 10, 1999

BOD Attendees: Gary Adams, Werner Boeglin, Donal Day, Gail Dodge, Don Geesaman, Charles Glashausser, Karen Hokansson, and Rory Miskimen.

Status Reports:
G. Adams reported on PAC related issues, starting with the PAC workshops. Larry Cardman reminded us that the function served by these workshops was more like a Science Advisory Panel, so a name change might be appropriate, to something like PAC Program Review. Outside committees reviewing JLab view such activities very favorably.

The intent is to complete the full cycle through the Physics topics with two more meetings, and then discuss whether or not this form of review should be repeated. New guidelines on the "jeopardy" category accompanied the most recent request for proposals. Experiments updated before jeopardy is in force for a given hall will add 2/3 of the previously approved beam hours into the pool for that PAC. All experiments, new and updates, will compete for that time. When jeopardy is in force, this rate will be 1/2. The new PAC members were announced. The BOD is happy and grateful to note that its recommendations had a strong influence here. The full PAC list is posted on the Web.

W. Boeglin reported on computer issues. The new computer liaison committee seems to be working well. The lab is continuing its upgrade of the computing facilities and tape silos. He requested that the lab put together a set of recommended hardware and software specs for users to consult before purchasing their own equipment. A ROOT/C++ workshop was held during the Users meeting in June; Hall A has decided to adopt some of these software tools. There was some discussion of computer access for users. JLab policy is that users should supply their own x-terminals or other desktop devices. What the BOD strongly recommends, however, is that the JLab Internet be made much more accessible to new temporary devices, perhaps by using dynamic addressing. There is strong interest in making the data of JLab experiments broadly accessible. Cardman reported that the DNP has a committee on such things. It is expected to organize a meeting at JLab next spring or summer. Geesaman pointed out that the Nuclear Data Group now accepts "unevaluated data" for archiving.

D. Day reported on quality-of-life issues. Privacy of user information is becoming an important issue as the lab changes to a data-based security system and ID cards. Any users may find out what information on them is stored, and any wishing to withhold personal information may do so and the lab will accommodate them to some extent. For example an ID number can be substituted instead of a social-security number. However there may then be problems obtaining a radiation badge. Cardman informed the committee that the lab does not as a matter of policy check email and web traffic, but does on occasion monitor data stored on JLab computers. Also, although DOE is considering increased restrictions on network traffic, JLab probably will not be affected.

G. Dodge reported on graduate student issues. Discussion has begun with SURA on the possibility of a graduate student thesis prize. She will work with Bob Welch to propose the rules for the award and user representation. Graduate student surveys have been distributed to some students but these have not yet been read. Further surveys will be distributed by email. Formal requests have been made to both William and Mary and ODU to allow Jlab students to enroll for graduate courses at in-state rates. The target date for implementation is this fall. Health insurance for visiting students was discussed. Few students are now enrolled in the insurance plan now offered through the lab. The cost for this coverage is $48/month. The lab position is that users should make sure their students are adequately covered while they are on site. New student users should be asked at registration whether they have insurance, and the faculty adviser should be alerted if they do not have it.

D. Geesaman reported on experiment issues. The source of numerous cryotarget problems has been traced to some faulty fan motors. Some halls have reported radiation damage to electronics. Hall C is dealing with this by moving electronics away from the source. LHe supplies will improve after Jan. 1. The increased capacity will allow lab to continuously operate all normal equipment at beam energies up to 5.5 GeV. A preliminary version of an end-of-run questionnaire drafted by DG was shown. The purpose will be to get feedback from spokespersons on the conduct of the run that is not related to beam-time accounting so that problem areas can be investigated. DG will circulate a revised version among BOD members soon, so that it can go into use early next year. The completed reports will be distributed to Cardman, the BOD and the hall leaders.

R. Miskimen reported on EH&S issues. The BOD was pleased to note important progress in several areas previously discussed. After Jan. 1 there will be a permanent trailer setup for Rad Worker I practical exams, so that they can be taken at any time with an appointment. ODH and EH&S general training are now done on the computer. There is movement toward putting the Rad I written test on the computer as well. It requires resources which are not yet guaranteed. This test will still be required every two years but the practical exam will only have to be taken once. ODH certification will also be changed from one year to two.

Most Hall leaders and representatives reported no pressing problems in their halls. Mecking (and GD) reported a strong concern about the ability of the target group to handle the various cryotargets and also make sure that the Hall B polarized target is ready next fall for the EG1 run. A new position for the group has been approved, but it has not yet been filled. Mecking also noted that Hall B data analysis rates have slowed as the codes have been "improved", so that they are now taking data 3x faster than they can analyze it. Hall B has developed a policy for sharing data within the collaboration.

R. Whitney reported that a Visiting Researcher Agreement is being prepared. The present version is much improved and simpler than an earlier draft that the BOD commented on, and seems almost ready. JLab has enthusiastically adopted a suggestion of the BOD to publish all theses on JLab research as internal reports, including all those previously approved by the universities. Users should submit the documents, in a form to be specified, to the User Liaison. By March at the very latest, users should be able to submit all publications to the Lab via the web. Whitney also summarized the plans for several upcoming research conferences. He requested that the BOD have representation on the ones that JLab is organizing. The residence facility average occupancy rate is 66%, and it is often full. There are plans to upgrade some of the rooms and to increase the rental rate in order to cover the cost of operations. The new prices will be $36.50 (base), $41.00 (premium), and $32.00 (extended).

Karen Hokansson reported that the new badge and data-base system will be ready in January. Magnetic cards will replace most key entries in several buildings and allow easier off-hours entry. Some time was given to discussing the possibility of providing increased videoconferencing capability on-site. Gary Adams will report on this next time. We also discussed ways to make it easier to pay the users-group membership fee; it is paid only by a relatively small percentage of users who attend the June Users meeting. CG and KH will think about ways to improve this. Similarly the rate at which members vote in BOD elections is low. The BOD decided to advise the nominating committee to put five slots (instead of the normal three to account for directors departing) on the ballot next time, and to suggest including two graduate students and two postdocs on the ballot. The BOD would thus be increased by two members.

Herman Grunder reported on the laboratory status. JLAB has a new five-year management contract. The DOE S&T review is done. The lab is getting involved in the design and prototyping for the RIA and the Spallation Neutron Source. The lab is planning to switch completely to polarized beam sources for all experiments. A cryo-module tested at the FEL will be added to the accelerator. This will allow for stable operation and better performance up to E> 5.5 GeV. The FEL will be building new cryomodules in FY2000. The plans and funding for the FEL upgrade were summarized. The CEBAF energy upgrade did not make it into the DOE five-year plan. The new lab upgrade plan is likely to include a continuous upgrade funding over a number of years plus a one time proposal to fund the remainder (about $40M) in about 2004. This will still get the project done around 2007. During the next few years we will need to defend the upgrade to the physics community, particularly NSAC. Grunder also discussed the national funding profile for the physical sciences (constant) vs. the life sciences (up x3 over 30 years). There was some discussion of the reasons, including the fact that the AAAS pushes the life sciences.

Nathan Isgur reiterated some of Grunder's points and pointed out the "good news" part of the 12 GeV funding story is that R&D money should be available earlier in the project. Kovar is expected to commission a new long range plan at the NSAC meeting in October, 2000. Town meetings will presumably take place over that winter and spring. Users will be expected to support the upgrade at these meetings. In preparation for this we will need a solid white-paper finished by the summer of 2000 before the town meetings start.

Rolf Ent presented the time-line for developing the upgrade plan for Halls A, B and C, starting with the 13-15 Jan. Workshop. This will be followed by topical workshops, then a final selection of the critical experiments. These will be discussed at the next Users Group Meeting. The committee decided on 21-23 June as the date for that meeting. The BOD reviewed the tentative agenda for the January workshop prepared by Ent in collaboration with CG and Nathan Isgur.

Executive Session:
In the Executive Session the committee assigned members to be contact persons to help organize the Jan. workshop and the succeeding mini workshops which will follow : Adams (valence quarks), Boeglin (Hadrons in the Medium), Day (threshold charm), Miskimen (partons), Dodge (exclusive reactions). For the DNP 2000 meeting, in response to Roy Whitney's request, RM will work on the physics at 12 GeV workshop, and GD will be the representative on the instrumentation at 12 GeV workshop. CG will work on the invited plenary speakers. The BOD considered whether to initiate letter writing to the White House in response to Grunder's comments about funding. After consultation with Grunder, it was decided not to pursue this at this time.

The date for the next BOD meeting was set for 3 March, 2000. Some suggestions were made for who should be asked to serve on the BOD nominating committee.

If you have any questions or comments, please send them to They will be forwarded to the board. If you wish to contact board members directly, their contact information is available on line at