Today at Berkeley Lab nameplate Berkeley Lab
Friday, August 6, 2004

















Letter to Employees of University of California-managed National Labs:

August 5, 2004

Dear Colleagues:

On Wednesday, UC Regents Chairman Gerald Parsky and I went to Los Alamos National Laboratory for a briefing on the actions being taken to address recent security and safety incidents there. Afterward, Regent Parsky and I held an all-hands meeting with lab employees.

While we both wish we were at the lab under different circumstances, the all-hands meeting provided us with the opportunity to have a frank and honest discussion about the importance of following all safety and security procedures.

Although this meeting was held at Los Alamos, I strongly believe that the message we conveyed is important for employees at the Berkeley and Livermore laboratories as well: the University of California will not tolerate employees who do not follow safety and security procedures – no exceptions. I have included below highlights of our remarks, and hope you will take them to heart.

Please know that the University greatly respects and appreciates the tremendous work that you do on behalf of our nation and recognizes the tremendous scientific and technological contributions you are making. We believe that a resounding commitment by all of our laboratory employees to following safety and security procedures will ensure that the valuable work and important relationship between the University of California and the national laboratories will continue into the future.


Robert C. Dynes


Excerpts of Remarks

Regent Gerald L. Parsky:

I am here today to bring to you in-person a message from the regents. They have expressed their pride and appreciation for the hard work and wonderful research being done here. The work you do and have done is invaluable both to the University and to the nation.

But the regents also have grave concerns about safety and security issues at the lab. Very simply, the future is in your hands. The ability to retain the contract and continue to do the work at hand will depend on how you gather an understanding of these concerns and how you respond. A better appreciation for procedures and safety needs to be undertaken by all of you.

The regents will be left with no choice about the contract competition if we do not feel confident that you understand the importance of security, procedures and safety at the lab. If we feel that you understand this and that steps are being taken to address these issues, the regents will not only endorse competing for this contract – we will compete to win.

We need your help in this process. We don’t have much time left. The regents can’t get behind this effort unless we are confident that the mistakes of the past are in the past. We can look forward to a future if you are willing to work with us.

President Robert C. Dynes:

I have been involved with Los Alamos National Laboratory in one way or another for over three decades. I am in awe of the science and technology accomplished in this laboratory. I’m here today in my role as president of the University of California, and because of my concern about the future of this nation and where science and technology is going for the nation’s security. That concern comes from recent incidents here and from the jeopardy that I feel we are in together. The safety and security incidents – which reflect sloppiness and lack of care – have put us in jeopardy. There is no place for this, especially not in such a unique and special laboratory as Los Alamos.

The one message that I want to deliver today: I need you – to help me – help you.

As a scientist and as president of the University of California, I want to continue the enormously successful association we have had for many years. And as we look to the future, the University’s primary concern will be how to maintain and nurture the quality of science – because I believe that is what drives everything else at the lab.

In many ways, the future is in your hands. We don’t have a lot of time. You and I must restore the nation’s confidence in this laboratory. And we do that through the science, through the technology, and through safety and security. Together, let’s make this lab even better.

Back to "Today at Berkeley Lab"

DOE logo Office of Science logo UC logo