to Employees of University of California-managed National
August 5, 2004
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
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.
at Berkeley Lab"