Minutes 16 November 2007

USLUEC meeting minutes from 16 November 2007.

Meeting 16 November 2007

Attendees: Albrow, Barnett, Clare, Dasu, Huston, Green, Landsberg, Limon, Liss, Newman, Proudfoot, Jacobs

Joey Huston was confirmed as our chair of DC and local visits to policymakers.

The continuing resolutions and the lack of a budget provide an immediate concern for LHC users like all others in our field.  The solutions that may occur range from a long-term continuing resolution to a 3% across-the-board cut, to cuts to specific budget items.  Some solutions are much more to our liking, and would be impacted by visits to policymakers while they are at home during the holidays.  NUFO is organizing this currently (NUFO= National Users Facilities Organization).

Email exchange using gmail accounts for lobbying issues.  We can collect the gmail account names of all the USLUO staff and make a gmail group. There was talk about setting up gmail server with all USLUO membership.

Fermilab USLUO meeting summary.  20-30 participants (mostly senior people, some postdocs and few students).  People liked the idea of LHC users meeting.  Fermilab/Argnonne hosting the first meeting was well received.  We discussed funding for the meeting.  Asking NSF/DOE and possibly the projects was agreed as a reasonable way to proceed.  How would young people stationed at CERN be involved in this meeting.

Perhaps this could be attached to an LHC meeting at Fermilab (what date?).  Time is of essence.  (See action items) There was a discussion of lab vs university representation.  The consensus was that the issue is not lab vs university within LHC program.  We need to advocate for LHC vs other HEP program interests of the labs.  We need some advocacy at HEPAP etc.  We need to work with lab LUOs regarding visits to Washington.  There was lot of discussion about how to get funds for Washington trip — no easy answer yet.  Large amount of time was spent on support of US visitors (long and short term) to CERN.  This was also a major topic of discussion at CERN USLUO meeting.

There are currently staff in both ATLAS and CMS to assist people coming to CERN.  However, the existing help is often not sufficient.

There was discussion of using existing staff or adding new staff to help and/or provide advice to people coming to CERN for long-term stays with visas, housing, medical care, drivers licenses, buying a car, shipping, etc.  There was discussion about trying to combine ATLAS and CMS services into an LHC wide support staff. There was discussion about whether the help people need to be located at CERN or not. Some thought that the helper staff need not be in CERN, for instance to get better overlap of time with those planning long term moves to CERN, whereas others thought that the helper person needs to be at CERN.

There is a desire to collate information about the variety of forms/amounts of compensation for long-term visitors to CERN.  This would be put on the USLUO website to give people insight to the options.  There will not be any recommendations.  Way too difficult to decide a common procedure.  Argonne decided with HR to do it case-by-case.  There was also discussion about compensation for cost-of-living due to the falling dollar.

There was discussion of making the best use of the USLUO website including by linking to important resources (we don’t wish to duplicate).  Link to user experiences (blogs), existing stuff from CMS, ATLAS and beyond.  Links to English community in Geneva.

Funding for DC visit program (especially to cover travel costs of younger folks): Could inquire with URA, DPF, local universities, etc.

The trip is expected to be sometime around 2nd week of March.  There will be a January meeting (perhaps first week) to organize these DC visits (and to create a one-pager).

The next USLUEC meeting will be organized soon for early December.


Joey Huston to make contact with SLAC and Fermilab Users Organizations as well as NUFO.

Tony Liss will collate information and experiences about coming to CERN to be posted on (or linked from) the USLUO website.  Some information has come from Fred Olness and Joe Incandela.

Dan Green will collect information from ATLAS and CMS about the forms of and amounts of compensation for long-term visitors to CERN.  The webmaster will post this information.

A plea was made to visit congressmen locally during the Holiday season breaks. This is to mitigate potential losses in the conference committees.  Argue for support for physical sciences in general, specially mentioning support for physical sciences locally at the universities.

Addendum (P. Jacobs):

Please add to the minutes the item I raised again yesterday, namely fixing the date for the User’s Meeting soon. My recollection is that someone (Greg?) agreed on the phone conference to circulate candidate dates but I haven’t seen that. My email yesterday (sent after a brief discussion with Michael Barnett at lunch in the LBNL cafeteria) was an attempt to re-start that discussion.