Saturday, April 09, 2005

A lot of people still don't seem to recognize

A comment from the

post, reposted by request:

A lot of people still don't seem to recognize how badly UC has blown their chances to win the next contract. Do you really think UC's complete inaction regarding Director Nanos' mismanagement of LANL has gone unnoticed?

UC, by leaving Nanos in charge of LANL long after it became apparent that he was not capable of making appropriate management decisions, in particular with regards to last July's shutdown, has pretty much proven that the next contract belongs to another organization.

What I know, I only know by rumor, but I have been told by "reliable sources" that UC was unable to find a Nanos replacement -- all candidates turned the job down. This happened before when John Browne became the Director. He was the only finalist who would take the job -- and look what happened to him.
All things considered, LANL is a very difficult to manage.
Consider, the opinionated ( not a bad thing) employees, the constant interference of various Senators and CongressPersons. Consider the constantly changing agenda of the country and the constant pressure to turn LANL into a manufacturing site and to use up all those experimental facilities for manufacturing, that are now used for science. Consider the fact that most political figures haven't a clue as to the kind of things that need to be investigated to insure that the stockpile is both usable and not likely to do something unpleasant all by itself due to decay of numerous parts.
Given human nature and the size of the problem, it takes guts and knowledge to face the problems at LANL. Humans are big on denial -- at all levels of society. The level of denial is frightening, but not unpredictable.
When I reflect on the reasons I came to LANL in the first place, I find myself looking forward to another company running this Lab. I want to be able to get my job done and be proud of my accomplishments. I can't now. Hopefully, a new company will come in with fully functioning business processes, scrap the junk we are currently using, train the very competent staff on-board, and get on with business. When the support functions are streamlined, LOTS of funding will be available for Science and the Lab will be able to do what it does best. I am optimistic about the future and the changes that loom on the horizon.
Oh, isn't it time to realize that UC is not the problem here? It wasn't UC that fouled up the situation in June 2004--it was an overreactive, new, and incompetent vice admiral who thought he was running a ship. The UC has been made impotent by DOE, whose political agenda has kept Nanos at the helm for their own gain in attempting to ensure UC doesn't run for the bid, or if they do, they won't get it. The real culprit here behind the scenes is DOE who has had its own agenda going since over 15 years ago when they decided under the table that they wanted to turn LANL into a prduction facility and throw science to the wind. Nanos was simply part of their plan--not UC's. UC has treated their employees fairly for the most part, except in 2000. Yes, there are risks, but what LANL does for its country takes a lot of risk. But, it is at the beck and call of DOE and others who seem to choose to use it as a political football whenever the wind blows in DC. I hold DOE accountable for this mess, and more specifically Nanos whom they have stated has their utmost support. UC wouldn't dare fire Nanos when DOE has made it clear they are happy with him--that would be certain suicide. Unfortunately for all of us, the wheels of non-justice and the political machinery will play out and we'll be left picking up the pieces years from now.
To 1:44 AM -

Nanos is employed by UC, was hired by UC. UC is to be held responsible for not having managed Nanos when he proceeded on his course to destroy LANL (with or without the complicit help of his buddy Linton Brooks at NNSA).

If, as the conspiracists would have, it was the concerted efforts of Brooks, Foley, and Nanos that has led us to where we now are, then it is clearly time for another organization less prone to poor management guidance to take over. UC has proven to be a weak, incapable contractor, and I for one will be happy to see their backsides.
To 1:44.

If things are truly that bad.. then it would be better to head for the door now versus another day here. Spending more time here is just going to make you more bitter, and the more bitter you are the less efective you are going to be as a scientist. Head to Canada or Europe where you can do open science without the DOE breathing down your neck.
I agree 12:43. Do it today, why wait. Canada or Europe would be a good fit for the malcontents.
For the info of the last two non-malcontents:

In Canada and in Europe, they have spell-checkers when they don't know how to spell.

But they're not real big on nukes. -Sigh...
Wuz thare a misspeled wurd? If so, so what? Does it make you feel good to point it out?
To 11:23 PM:
You may be right but if UC can't find an interim director it's because they haven't looked. It's amazing that several of the other bidders have found potential directors and deputy directors here on the mesa and I'm not talking about the Boatman of the Styx and his crew of rowers.
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