UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA ACADEMIC SENATE
REPORT OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH POLICY ON THE UNIVERSITY'S RELATIONS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY LABORATORIES
MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH POLICY (UCORP)
Warren M. Gold, Chair Henry Becker Professor of Medicine Professor of Education UC San Francisco UC Irvine Bruce Rickborn, Vice-Chair S. James Press Professor of Chemistry Professor of Statistics UC Santa Barbara UC Riverside T. N. Narasimhan Linda Mitteness Professor of Material Science & Professor of Epidemiology & Mineral Engineering; and of Biostatistics Environmental Science, Policy, and UC San Francisco Management UC Berkeley John A. Marino Faculty Senior Scientist Assoc. Professor of History LBNL UC San Diego Carroll E. Cross Howard E. Haber Professor of Medicine Professor of Physics UC Davis UC Santa Cruz
Table of Contents
Public Service Appropriate to the University.............5
This report responds to the general charge from the Academic Council in 1994 "to provide an evaluation of the role of the University in managing the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratories under the current contract." This study does not involve the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), but rather is devoted to the Los Alamos (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL). The reasons for separating LBNL are clarified in detail below.
This report is divided into five sections: A. Introduction, B. Background, C. Public Service Appropriate to the University, D. Conclusions, and E. Recommendations.
UCORP determined that the University of California-DOE National Laboratory management contract was established on the principle that the University is a non-profit institution whose management of LLNL and LANL is a public service in the interests of the nation. UCORP adopted the same five general criteria for appropriate university public service developed previously by the Jendresen Committee (discussed below), namely:
(1) The activity should be supportive of the University's primary missions of teaching and research;
(2) The activity should be consistent with the University's essential commitment to freedom of expression;
(3) The activity can be performed at least as effectively by the University as by other institutions;
(4) The activity should have no serious adverse effects on the University; and
(5) The activity should contribute to human well-being.
The Committee finds that, even with the improvements made in the current contract, the University's management of the LANL and LLNL does not, on balance, fulfill these conditions of appropriate public service. UCORP's review showed that the issues involved are extremely complex and of great importance to the University of California and the citizens of the State. Because these issues have ramifications for all nine campuses and the three National Laboratories, UCORP recommends that this report and its associated documents be made available for review by all the faculty; that the issues be subjected to in-depth forums on each campus with active participation by the Laboratories, faculty, staff, students and the public; and finally, that the following resolution be voted on by a mail ballot of the UC Senate:
"The University of California will, in a timely and orderly manner, phase out responsibility for management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory."
The University of California has managed the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories at Los Alamos since it was founded during World War II and at Livermore since the Korean War. The history of this relationship is well described in the Jendresen Report (1989).
UCORP was asked in 1994 by the Academic Council "to provide an evaluation of the role of the University in managing the DOE Laboratories under the current contract." UCORP has spent eighteen months in its evaluation of University - DOE Laboratory relationships. The Committee reviewed all previous Academic Senate reports, various other evaluations and documents, and consulted with a variety of administrators, faculty, and scientists affiliated with and/or concerned with this relationship [See Appendix I for a list of consultants and Appendix II for a selected list of documents reviewed, Nos. 1 -34].
This report does not involve the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) which has long been an integral part of the Berkeley campus and is not involved in classified research or nuclear weapons research. The remainder of this report is devoted to the Los Alamos (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL).
After reviewing the contracts and testimony of diverse consultants, UCORP determined that the University of California-DOE National Laboratory management contract was established on the principle that the University is a non-profit institution whose management of LLNL and LANL is a public service in the interests of the nation.
"WHEREAS, The University of California (University), a state university in California, as a non-profit organization, has managed the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Laboratory) as a public service to the nation, for no loss or gain..."[Modif. No. M205, Suppl. Agreement to Contr. No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States of America and The Regents of the University of California, Effective October 1, 1992.]
There were three previous Academic Senate reports on the DOE Laboratories. The Zinner Report (1969) recommended that continuation of UC management "would be appropriate only with substantial modifications in the relationship with the Laboratories." The Committee wanted the University to exercise greater administrative control, to enlarge its role in policy formation, and to increase the educational benefits. In a lone dissent, geophysicist G. Wetherell argued that "the development of nuclear weapons is an unfit business for the University of California" and urged severance of the relationship. The impact of this report was modest: the Office of the President increased the openness of its searches for Laboratory Directors and established the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) to monitor the Laboratories and give advice regarding their operations.
Later, in response to pressure from the Brown Administration and the UC Nuclear Weapons Lab Conversion Project, President Saxon appointed the Gerberding Committee to advise him about the DOE contract. The Gerberding Committee report in 1978 unanimously recommended "continued management of the Laboratories by the University of California." But the majority endorsed "continuation only if significant changes were implemented." In particular, that the Regents should constitute a committee to serve as "a board of overseers with trusteeship functions." Although supported by the Office of the President (OP), this concept was opposed by the DOE, and after the Laboratories were named National Facilities, OP abandoned the idea of a Board of Overseers. A series of modest changes were initiated, including the establishment of a special Assistant for Laboratory affairs in OP. SAC and the Regents' Committee on Special Research Projects were reconstituted as the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Regents' Committee on oversight of the DOE Laboratories. These changes increased UC involvement in management, but did not produce the changes recommended by the Gerberding Committee.
The Jendresen Committee [Appendix II, No. 1] in 1989 was a result of a charge by the Academic Council "to provide a thoughtful and independent evaluation of the role of the University in managing the DOE Labs." In responding to the Academic Council's statement that "the public service function of the University is central to the argument justifying the University's role in managing the Labs," the Committee proposed five general criteria for public service appropriate to the University, as follows:
(1) The activity should be supportive of the University's primary missions of teaching and research;
(2) The activity should be consistent with the University's essential commitment to freedom of expression;
(3) The activity can be performed at least as effectively by the University as by other institutions;
(4) The activity should have no serious adverse effects on the University; and
(5) The activity should contribute to human well-being.
Of the eight members of the Jendresen Committee, all but one member found that the University management of the Laboratories failed to satisfy these criteria. Six members concluded that the University should, in a timely and orderly manner, phase out its responsibility for management of the Laboratories while maintaining its cooperative relationship with them in teaching and research. Two members felt that a contractual break was not required and suggested consideration of "a separate corporate body to operate the Laboratories within the University's legal structure."
The Jendresen Committee majority resolution was put to a mail ballot of the faculty. Nearly one-half (45%) of the faculty voted on that ballot question, one of the highest rates of faculty participation ever recorded. The vote was as follows: 64.4% of the 4,791 voters favored phasing out the contracts; 35.6% were against phasing out the contracts. Every campus voted for the resolution. Unfortunately, this vote was reported by the Chair of the Council to the Regents as 28% "for, " 15% "against," and 57% "other." [Appendix II, No. 2].
Immediately after the Senate vote, SAAC (the UC President's Advisory Committee that preceded the current Council) reviewed the situation and recommended renewal of the contract. This recommendation was forwarded to the Regents by President Gardner, and despite the faculty vote, the Regents approved the current contract [Appendix II, Nos. 3, 4, 5].
More recently, the DOE asked a special task force of experts, the Galvin Committee, to review and "to propose alternative futures" for the DOE National Laboratories[Appendix II, No. 6]. After review of the 1990 SAAC Report and the 1995 Galvin Report , as well as taking extensive testimony from many consultants, UCORP confirms the position taken by the Jendresen Committee and Academic Council in June 1989: namely, that University management of the National Laboratories can be justified only as a public service to the nation.
The nature of this public service function and its limitations must be completely understood. Furthermore, many of the conclusions of the Jendresen Committee were supported by the recent Galvin Committee Report (1995). Among other findings, the Galvin Committee concluded that government-ownership and contractor-operation of the Laboratories does not work well. "...the system has evolved to a virtual GOGO--Government-Owned, Government-Operated, but certainly strongly government-dominated system...[with] growing emphasis on DOE administration...and oversight....[and]....expanded DOE field office management oversight roles." There are too many review groups both internal and external, resulting in excessive micromanagement. The Galvin Committee recommended establishment of clear missions with lead laboratories and Centers of Excellence to foster basic science integrated with university research, as well as national security, energy, environment, and waste management. The Galvin Report also recommended much more public involvement in decision making, especially in matters related to the environment in order to reduce the bitterness, distrust and distress that continues to provide a troublesome element in DOE's conduct of its affairs. Much more controversial were the Galvin report's recommendations that weapons design, development and direct stockpile support be moved from LLNL to other laboratories; and that the Federal support for the national laboratories should be based on a private sector style --"corporatized"-- laboratory system.
C. Public Service Appropriate to the University.
1. Is the University's management of the Laboratories supportive of or consistent with its primary mission of teaching and research?
Comment: The Laboratories are major scientific units with a publication record equivalent to many academic institutions. As did our predecessors, we acknowledge this record and the obvious skill and dedication of Laboratory personnel [Appendix II, Nos. 7 - 12].
On the other hand, those aspects of the Laboratories' work involved in classified research are inconsistent with the University's missions of teaching and research because the latter are built upon the primary academic values of open inquiry and freedom of expression, including freedom to publish.
The Laboratories do contribute to University activities through their non-classified activities. Important collaborative efforts have resulted from the special UC campus-laboratory collaborations (CLC programs) funded by the most recent contract and equally important collaborative efforts have resulted from funds available to universities in general. UCORP found it surprisingly difficult to obtain current and reliable statistics on Laboratory-University collaborative relationships based on University records (although, in response to our queries, a database has now been developed for future use that will be based on information supplied by the Laboratories) [Appendix II, Nos. 13 - 20].
The data for fiscal 1995 are reported in somewhat different forms by the two laboratories:
LLNL reported interactions with 223 UC faculty and 129 faculty from other universities; 97 UC researchers and 696 from other universities and research organizations.
LANL reported their scientists had joint publications with 333 UC faculty and 1,215 faculty from other universities; there were affiliation agreements with 176 UC personnel and 664 from other research organizations; and 49 research assistants from UC and 600 from other research institutions [Appendix II, No. 13].
It is not known how an "interaction" with a UC faculty member or with a faculty member from another university should be defined. In this context, it is not known what is meant by a university "researcher." Similarly, it is not known how many of these reported publications were internal, classified documents, and how many were external and published in unclassified peer-reviewed professional journals. A university-generated database would have helped to make such distinctions explicit.
With these caveats, we estimated from the data provided by the Laboratories that 34% of LLNL's interactions are with UC personnel and 8 - 22% of LANL's interactions are with UC personnel. Thus, UC-Laboratory collaborations appear to be important. Furthermore, UCORP does recognize the concerns of some of these UC faculty that severance of formal contracts with the DOE Laboratories may jeopardize their research funding, or access to unique scientific equipment. These concerns appear to be outweighed, however, by the fact that both LLNL and LANL support substantial research efforts with faculty from universities not contractually affiliated with the DOE.
Two principles appear clear regarding UC's mission of teaching and research: (1) because the relationship to the National Laboratories is for public service, UC should not receive preferential treatment with respect to access to Laboratory research facilities or funds; and (2) There is no identifiable reason why all existing collaborations, whether research or teaching, should not continue whether the Laboratories are managed by UC or another entity. While some UC-Laboratory collaborations are funded by management contract moneys, such as part of the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), and the current CLC grants, other laboratories which are managed by private corporations maintain extensive university collaborations.
Large government-funded laboratories, such as Argonne National Laboratory, also cooperate with universities. UCORP's study confirms reviews that indicate that there is a close and productive relationship between faculty and students at the University of Tennessee and scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), even though ORNL is managed by a private corporation. At the University of Tennessee, the Distinguished Scientist Program supports a dozen tenured faculty, comparable to UC University professors, who hold joint appointments at the University and ORNL. This program is considered a Center of Excellence by the State. A large fraction of University of Tennessee faculty have worked at ORNL through the Collaborative Scientist Program. In science departments such as physics, chemistry, geology, and computer science almost half the faculty have ORNL collaborations. Biology has weaker connections, although the entire graduate program in biomedical science at the University is run from ORNL. The collaboration between ORNL and the University of Tennessee appears to be close and still increasing although the National Laboratory has always been run by private corporations. In general, funding for University faculty in these collaborative programs is from the State and DOE; funding for the Laboratory scientists is from the DOE and private industry [Appendix II, No. 21].
This model appears comparable to the experience of UC Berkeley students and faculty at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL has contributed to the missions of DOE and its many predecessors through active, hands-on, intellectual participation of faculty and students, devoted to the development of research questions and their innovative resolution. Even today, the Director of LBNL and almost all Division Directors hold professorial positions at UC Berkeley. These, along with a few hundred faculty members, lead LBNL's research directions, geared to achieve the missions of DOE. If one looks at the active leadership role played by the faculty and students of the University, it is evident that the management aspect of the institution is merely an adjunct to the active intellectual contribution of a vibrant University to vital national needs. Thus, there is ample justification, both ethical and practical, for LBNL to be contractually-linked to DOE. With the new designation of LBNL as a National Laboratory, it will expand its scope, not only to serve the research needs of the UC system, but also other institutions of advanced learning, within and without California. LBNL is truly an Multi-campus Organized Research Unit of the UC system. It is known for its excellence and openness in research. There is no ambiguity about DOE being a customer of LBNL. LBNL accepts the responsibility to deliver scientific products of the highest quality, for which it is duly compensated.
To date, few scientists at either LLNL or LANL have received such joint appointments or spend significant time on UC campuses, although an increasing number of special programs are being offered to foster such activities. The success of both the ORNL and LBNL models in furthering the basic mission of the university suggests the following conclusion:
When programs requiring security classification are carefully and physically separated from the national laboratory facilities, close collaborations between university faculty and laboratory scientists are not only feasible but can be fostered. These may include joint appointments and major contributions both to research and teaching on the university campus. On the other hand, when classified research programs are closely integrated into the physical arrangement and programs of the National Laboratories, close collaborations between laboratory scientists and university faculty in research and teaching appear to become much more difficult.
Even with the best of intentions to maintain an atmosphere of academic freedom in non-classified activities and programs, very few programs and facilities appear to be "outside the fence" (i.e. free of the logistical hurdles imposed by security). Thus, it is not surprising that relatively few campus-laboratory collaborations have taken root at either LANL or LLNL. There are, of course, notable exceptions, including the IGPP, the IGCC, as well as the UC Davis programs at LLNL and LANL.
The Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) is a particularly important special case. It was funded as part of an overall bargain to win support of the faculty for renewing the contract [Appendix II, No. 24, Waugh, Five-Year Review, IGCC, 1995]. Currently, the IGCC has an overall annual budget of about $2 million, with approximately half of that derived from the DOE contract. The IGCC has developed into a major policy advisory organization, with the potential to contribute to national and international conversations regarding weapons and peacemaking policies. The IGCC appears to be the only UC organization that may be directly dependent upon the Laboratory management contract, although to the extent that its work is of value to the DOE beyond encouraging renewal of the contract, this funding could be maintained.
2. Is UC's management role consistent with the University's essential commitment to freedom of expression?
Comment: UCORP identified three areas of concern: classified work, program-driven research with little peer review, and UC's lack of support for internal Laboratory critics.
Classified research vs. open inquiry:
Secret or classified research appears to create a fundamental dilemma for the University. The University is committed to free and open inquiry, yet it appears to accept that it is appropriate to do secret work in some settings but not others within the University.
A substantial amount of the Laboratories' work is still classified and therefore does not permit free and open inquiry and is contrary to the essential academic commitment to freedom of expression.
UCORP does not question the ethics or morality of the Government's need to conduct classified work in the larger interest and welfare of the nation. Indeed, we can appreciate that unusual conditions of national emergency may occur when academic institutions may be called upon to serve the nation with their special talents under constraints of secrecy. Such was the case during World War II, when some of the greatest scientists of our times worked together under war-time secrecy. Today, however, there does not appear to be any dire national emergency to justify such a contractual agreement between the DOE weapons Laboratories and UC.
Program-driven vs. peer-reviewed research:
The unclassified work of the Laboratories is pursued with a large measure of freedom of expression, an issue emphasized by the faculty involved in the development of the current contract and by increased faculty input on the President's Council. There appear to be few restrictions on publication and dissemination of non-classified research done at the Laboratories, particularly for the many Laboratory scientists holding NIH or other peer-reviewed research grants. But these are not University campuses. The Laboratories are program-driven research centers in which policies, priorities, and basic job assignments are not established by professional staff, but rather are set by the DOE. In these circumstances, project decisions are made for a host of reasons, not all of which are based on scientific concerns, and include political agendas that may selectively ignore or selectively report the scientific data. LANL and LLNL are still relatively closed organizations. The commentaries of Gofman, Nader, and Pilisuk are highly relevant to the concept of a "Laboratory Culture" and its effect on these issues. [See Appendix II, Nos. 19, 32.]
A commitment to a value of free and open inquiry does raise concerns about many contemporary pressures to increase collaborations with private corporations and to increase research efforts that will produce technology transfer with private corporations. While we do not intend to suggest a blanket prohibition of such research, we wish to emphasize the centrality of free inquiry as setting boundaries for what is appropriate. A university is not the same as a private research institute or a corporate research development laboratory. Our central value of free and open inquiry creates demands for what is appropriate and, suggests that a review of current UC policy with respect to UC research relationships with private corporations may be in order.
Freedom of speech for lab personnel:
A review of the role played by the University in protecting Laboratory scientists acting as critics, or so-called "whistle blowers," prior to the current contract is disappointing (e.g., the Woodruff demotion for his criticism of Teller during the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star wars") debate is a well-known example [Appendix II, Nos. 2, 19]. Unfortunately, the role played by the University in protecting critics under the current contract still appears to leave much to be desired (e.g., DeWitt had his security clearance rescinded when accused of writing a review article based on classified materials--all of which had been previously reported publicly in the Congressional Record); [Appendix II, Nos. 19, 31]. There appears to be little evidence that the University insured that critics were free to express themselves, or were protected form harassment by their supervisors.
UCORP's review indicates that there are on-going allegations from the staff at LANL charging that the human resources policies of LANL are seriously out of line with University policy, that staff are routinely threatened with loss of employment, and that the Laboratory Administration Office is unable and/or unwilling to improve conditions for workers. Surveys conducted in 1992, 1994, and 1995 of employees at LANL reflect a lack of confidence in senior management. Regardless of the basis for these allegations, the fact that OP is apparently not interested in investigating these issues, raises questions about the University's stated concern for the academic freedom of LANL personnel [Appendix II, Nos. 25 - 29].
UCORP notes that these are not just allegations, but settled court cases in which LANL human resources policies were found to be unjust, with significant settlements made by the DOE. These court cases reflect serious problems in human resources management at LANL, problems not effectively addressed by OP oversight [Appendix II, No. 28].
UCORP has grave concern about UCOP's role in these matters, particularly with respect to administrative responses to potential whistle blowers. UCOP's lack of responsiveness is in distinct contradiction to UC campus policies which very specifically protect the rights of such individuals, as indicated in UCSF's statement of policy:
"All UC...faculty, staff and students, and trainees who have reason to question the integrity of the work of any research participant would inform a responsible superior, the Department Chair, Dean, or Academic Vice Chancellor. Anyone reporting questionable activities is afforded protection by the University. These contacts will be confidential and will be pursued in a manner that assures the due process rights of all parties."
"All researchers are obligated to uphold the highest standards of research integrity by...promoting open exchange of scientific findings by a thorough description of methods and data in published reports;...etc." [UCSF Office of V. Chan/Ac Aff. Oct. 1994] .
Unlike a university where faculty are evaluated by committees of peers, laboratory personnel are subject to review by division directors, leading to concerns by laboratory personnel that they may not always be fairly reviewed. True University management would work toward a scientific personnel review system that is more comparable to the academic review process used in the University of California.
3. Can the Laboratories be operated at least as competently by the University as by others?
Comment: Under the current contract, UC oversight gets good reviews by the DOE, the Directors and many others at the Laboratories, and some outside observers. Programmatic oversight is by the President's Council, Panels, and OP administrators [Appendix II, Nos. 8 - 11, 16, 20, 33]. The performance-based evaluation program developed under the current contract is probably unique to these National Laboratories. It involves a tremendous effort on the part of ad hoc outside reviewers, laboratory scientists and management, members of the Council's individual working panels and the Council itself. The Science and Technology panel assesses laboratory programs based on the quality of the science; the relevance to national needs and missions; the laboratory performance in constructing and operating major facilities; and the programmatic performance and planning. Factors evaluated include: campus interactions, the overall laboratory climate, core competencies, technology transfer reflected in the quality and extent of industrial cooperation, the strategic planning process, and the use of discretionary resources for future investment. A grade is given to each laboratory directorate and division as well as written commentary and advice. This grade and advice is based not only on the ad hoc reviews and the self-assessment by the laboratories, but also on the expertise of the Council and its working panel members. As pointed out by UC Council Chair Sidney Drell, in his report to the Regents on January 18, 1996, " Our final ratings for each of the three laboratories are "excellent to outstanding," which in part reflects our reluctance to rule out any room for improvement in the future....The reader will note that assigned ratings are not all in the highest possible category, that being outstanding. The Council has given relatively few outstanding ratings since it has applied very high standards in keeping with the academic research standards of the University of California."
UCORP's review indicates that this evaluation process represents a significant improvement from the program oversight described in previous reviews. We also agree, however, with Chair Drell's caution to the Regents that "the quantitative, numerical ratings that are assigned, as required by the U.C. contract, should be approached with an appropriate attitude of skepticism." And, furthermore, that "simplification, arbitrariness, and potential distortion..." may be introduced in arriving at such judgments [Appendix II, No. 33].
Despite these improvements noted above, UCORP's review of "UC management" of the Laboratories suggests that the University still takes too narrow a view of its role: (a.) "UC management" is actually management by UCOP and the Regents, with little formal faculty input and absent any recognition of the role of shared governance; (b.) Possible conflicts of interest among OP oversight personnel; (c.) UC (the Regents and the President) delegates too much authority to the Laboratory Directors; and (d.) Performance-based evaluation program may lack objectivity and incentives.
a. Definition of "UC management:" When people not familiar with the contracts hear that UC is managing the National Laboratories, most believe that the faculty has an active role. This is not the case. Although the University President does seek advice from the Academic Council in making appointments to the President's Council on the National Laboratories, only one UC faculty member is officially appointed to the Council (the Chair and Vice-chair of Academic Council serve ex-officio). "UC Management " in fact means management by the Office of the President (OP), and this, as suggested by the following discussion, is not management in the usual sense of the word. Nor does it seem to represent "shared governance" as usually practiced in the University because the Regents have done little formally to involve the Academic Senate in providing advice in the management of the Laboratories.
The phrase "UC management of the Laboratories" is frequently used to describe the contractual arrangement, but it over-simplifies a highly detailed and complex set of relationships between UC and the government. UC shares responsibility with the DOE for operation of the Labs, where the land and equipment are owned by the government. The contracts involve at least four kinds of relationships: a co-equal partnership in administration of program; superior-subordinate roles in matters of security and safety; "dynamic tension" in administrative areas; and UC acceptance of National Statutory and Executive Order requirements covering equal opportunity, small business, and the like.
The University recognizes that the DOE is responsible for the conduct of the program and for assuring that government funds are properly and effectively utilized.
"Government-owned facilities must be utilized to further national interests and to perform DOE's statutory mission in the areas of national defense, energy research and development, health and safety and safeguards and security. The conduct of the work under this contract is substantially separate from the University's other business....It is the responsibility of DOE to formulate an overall program, taking into consideration the proposals submitted by the Laboratory, consistent with funds appropriated by the Congress and all its other program needs....Upon DOE approval, it is the University's responsibility to conduct its operations as closely as possible within the limits established by these approvals..."[Modif. No. M205, Suppl. Agreement to Contr. No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States of America and The Regents of the University of California, Effective October 1, 1992.]
b. Possible conflicts of interest of UC Laboratory Management Oversight Personnel. It seems clear that OP missed an important oversight opportunity when it decided to hire, as its chief OP administrators for the DOE Laboratories, individuals who come from the Laboratories and who return to them when their OP tenure is completed. This problem has been compounded because 30 - 35 additional personnel have been hired from the DOE Laboratories to serve as members of the Laboratory Oversight section of the OP Business and Finance Office. Furthermore, senior members of the President's Council may also not be free from conflicts of interest.
c. OP delegates too much management and oversight authority to the Laboratory Directors. UC "oversight" of the National Laboratories may be as effective as any that could be provided by other corporations, and perhaps better, as believed by the personnel in the OP responsible for the work. But who can provide this objective review? More important, the actual role of the University in "management" of the Laboratories raises fundamental questions about the nature of the contracts. From UCORP's review, it is clear that UC does not actually manage the Laboratories. UC has never assumed authority or responsibility for management of the Laboratories in the usual sense of the word. The University does not define or shape the scientific or programmatic goals of the Laboratories, nor does it have authority or responsibility for the budget involved in these programs. Instead, UC (the Regents and the President) delegates to the Laboratory Directors the authority to define programs and negotiate their costs and scope with DOE.
The management functions conducted by OP include:
On the other hand, management functions not conducted by OP, but which are delegated to LAB/DOE include:
UCORP review indicates that serious concerns have been raised about Human Resource Management at LANL. Personnel policies at LANL appear to differ markedly from UC policies. There appear to be significant differences at LLNL as well. It is not clear whether the differences have been granted as specific exceptions after review by OP, or whether they reflect lack of oversight by OP. Regardless of the origin of the differences, they appear to be of increasing concern to workers at the Laboratories as well as UC faculty [Appendix II, No. 34].
Inadequate OP oversight of the Laboratories is fostered by the fact that the University and Laboratory management are protected from the cost of any legal fees associated with their management responsibilities. For example, when an employee who is terminated unjustly at LANL, takes the case to court, wins the case and is rehired, $1 million may be spent in defending the case. Under the current contract, DOE pays all legal fees involved. This situation results in a lack of fiscal incentive for improved behavior by either Laboratory management or OP oversight.
d. Lack of objectivity in performance-based evaluation of Laboratory Science/Technology programs. UCORP recognizes that the performance-based evaluation program does involve UC much more directly in the evaluation of Science/Technology programs than in previous contracts. Performance-based evaluation appears to involve objective outside ad hoc reviews of both science and administrative functions. Nevertheless, UCORP's review raises concerns about certain aspects of the conduct of this evaluation program:
Incentives for senior management to achieve its goals appear questionable because the incentives are not objective (i.e., uncoupled from performance, as it is alleged that senior management receives a pay raise whether no goals are achieved, or if all goals are achieved with "outstanding" scores).
4. Does UC's management role of the Laboratories have significant adverse effects on the University?
Comment: There are three principle costs to the University in management of the Laboratories: (a.) The attention the Laboratories require from OP, and potentially from faculty as well. Here, UCORP refers both to current actual costs as well as potential costs if the extent of oversight actually required if true management were being performed; (b.) The potential large financial responsibility the University would incur if there were a major environmental disaster related to nuclear energy or any other potentially hazardous Laboratory research; and (c.) The damage to UC's public image.
a. Current and potential costs to the University of proper management and oversight of the Laboratories [Appendix II, No. 17]. The management fee of $25 million is certainly not large for these multibillion dollar facilities. A portion goes into the UC general fund and provides salaries to administrators in OP in both research and business management. Another part of the management fee is used to support campus-Laboratory research collaborations. To the extent that this kind of financial reward increases, the greater the possible conflict of interest because of the problem it creates for faculty and administration trying to provide a "public service". Another portion of the fee is for lease of the land associated with LBNL (but the fee is spread among all three Laboratory contracts). And finally, a portion of the fee is used for "unspecified costs and contingencies" not covered in the contract. (Thus far, these costs have proved to be small and the unexpended funds are returned to the Laboratory Directors for their discretionary uses, which include funding some special research programs that benefit individual UC faculty. Again, to the extent that these are collaborations with UC faculty, the greater the conflict of interest with respect to "public service.")
The real administrative costs are not those that have been spent, but those that would be required if the operation of the Laboratories by the University were to be expanded to include a mechanism to ensure proper and objective management and oversight. UCORP accepts the fact that the DOE ultimately must be responsible for setting the scope of the programs and assuring Congress that the moneys were spent on programs for which they were appropriated. But this does not mean that UC (President and Regents) must delegate all authority and responsibility to the Laboratory Directors. OP can provide input into all aspects of how these goals are developed and the methods by which they are achieved, as well as providing input into the estimates of costs involved and mechanisms to validate the appropriateness of expenditures. OP must not delegate, but rather it must establish its own mechanisms to provide objective oversight of this enormous and complex program, to fulfill a true management role.
Some specific examples include:
b. Potential UC responsibility for costs of environmental disasters.
Because of federal policies, there is a rising risk that in the future UC, like other federal contractors, may be held responsible for an increasing portion of liabilities associated with clean-up costs related to the environmental impact of the Laboratories.
c. UC's public image. The adverse effect of the UC-Laboratories relationship upon the image or reputation of the University is difficult to measure objectively. It is certainly true that in the past the connections with the nuclear weapons work at the Laboratories caused deep divisions among faculty and students and tarnished the UC public image. It is also true that UC's lack of action to protect critics of the Laboratories (e.g., Woodruff, DeWitt) has also hurt the public image of the University. Lack of OP oversight of senior management's application of human resource policies at the Laboratories has also led to criticism of the University. While the current contract indemnifies the University in the case of environmental damage, the public perception in the case of major environmental impact is likely to be that UC is responsible for the damage because UC was the contractor. Adverse public opinion can be extremely damaging to the fortunes of the University, regardless of any indemnification language in the contract.
UCORP's review suggests that management of the Laboratories by the University has had serious adverse effects on the University in the past, and may continue to do so in the future.
5. Does UC's management of weapons-related activities contribute to human well-being?
Comment: There appears to be no debate about the relevance of this criterion of public service. If UC involvement with Laboratories, which are responsible for work on weapons of mass destruction, does not contribute to human well-being, then the activity is clearly not appropriate for the University.
President Clinton has determined that the United States will participate in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty if, and only if, the Science Based Stockpile Stewardship (SBSS) program can maintain the nation's nuclear weapons safely and reliably-- based on above-ground laboratory testing, without actual detonation of nuclear weapons. Contrary to the suggestion of the Galvin Report to phase out weapons-related activities at LLNL and consolidate them elsewhere, President Clinton has also determined that weapons-related activities in direct support of this mission will continue at LLNL as well as LANL. Thus, while the weapons mission is smaller than it was at the end of the Cold War, the weapons mission remains a primary goal of these two Laboratories [Appendix II, Nos. 5, 14, 22, 23, 30].
Many members of the University community hope that the major changes in the world (e.g., end of the Cold War, disintegration of the Soviet Union, possibility of a Non-Proliferation Treaty, possibility of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) means that the DOE National Laboratories will have decreased responsibilities for nuclear weapons, will no longer be involved with development of these weapons, and will be able to focus on other national goals. The purpose of UCORP's review is not to analyze the nuclear strategy of our nation, or the implications of stockpile stewardship or international nuclear weapons treaties on the Laboratories or the University. Suffice it to say that the President has gone on record requesting DOE to use the National Laboratories to maintain the nuclear weapons arsenal. Billions of dollars are being invested in above-ground testing facilities and programs, not only to assess safety and reliability of existing weapons, but also to test new designs if necessary. Furthermore, the President has declared that resumption of underground nuclear tests, will be ordered, if necessary.
UCORP's review indicates that it is not feasible to separate physically and administratively work on weapons-related and other classified activities from non-classified work at LLNL and LANL.
In the case of the work at LLNL and LANL on nuclear weapons, there appear to be at least three different positions regarding its effects on human well-being:
Some believe that nuclear weapons function as a deterrent to war and hence weapons work at the Laboratories promotes human well-being.
Others believe that nuclear weapons increase the hazards of war and thus weapons work at the Laboratories jeopardizes human well-being.
Still others may believe that the effects of nuclear weapons on the likelihood of war are not clearly known and may be unknowable.
To the extent that one believes that work on nuclear weapons at the Laboratories has clear consequences, this criterion is likely to dominate all others in individual calculations of merit. The Committee was very careful not to let this be the sole or dominant criterion for its final position, that we, in fact, evaluated carefully all five criteria for the appropriateness of public service.
Neither UCORP nor any outside authority can answer this question. Faculty of the University of California must decide this issue themselves.
The non-classified research activities of LLNL and LANL provide important opportunities for UC-Laboratory collaborations and cooperation. The most recent contract has built some funds for such collaborations into the "management fee." Because these are National Laboratories, faculty and students from many universities, not just UC, engage in beneficial collaborations with scientists at these Laboratories. At the same time, the classified research activities of these Laboratories are not consistent with central university values of free and open inquiry. This essential commitment to freedom of expression raises difficulty for University management in three areas: classified research, program-driven research that receives little peer review, and lack of "whistle-blower" protection for Laboratory personnel. The lack of truly independent management personnel in the Laboratory Administration Office and the on-going concerns about human resources management issues, especially at LANL, suggest that OP management is not as effective as it should be in management and oversight of the Laboratories. This "hands-off" management also leads to potentially very significant costs to the University, especially in terms of the public image of the University. The final criterion, whether UC management of weapons-related activities contributes to human well-being, is complex and requires careful analysis by UC faculty. It is clear from UCORP's review, that optimistic hopes that weapons research will dwindle to minor importance is overstated--weapons research, in whatever form, is still a primary function of both of these Laboratories.
The issues involved in the Laboratory management contracts are extremely complex and of great importance to the faculty and students of the University of California and the citizens of the State of California. As a result, it is vital that the University and citizens' communities become educated about this relationship.
Thus, UCORP strongly recommends:
"The University of California will, in a timely and orderly manner, phase out responsibility for management of the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories."
W. Gold, UCSF, Chair
B. Rickborn, UCSB, Vice Chair
H. Becker, UCI
C. Cross, UCD
H. Haber, UCSC
J. Marino, UCSD
L. Mittness, UCSF
T. Narasimhan, UCB
J. Press, UCR
Charles Alcock, LLNL
Hugh DeWitt, staff physicist, LLNL
Roger Falcone, UCB
John Foley, LANL, retired
William R. Frazer, Vice Chair President's Council
John W. Goffman, UCB, LLNL, retired
Laura Gundel, staff scientist, LBNL
John Holzrichter, LLNL
Karl Hufbauer, UCI
Robert Kuckuck, Deputy Dir. Ops. LLNL
V. Wayne Kennedy, Senior Vice Pres. for Business & Finance
Anne Kernan, UCR
C. Judson King, Interim Provost
Walter Kohn, UCSB
Arnold Leiman, Chair Academic Council
Rulon K. Linford, University Coordinator, LANL
Claire Max, Dir. Univ. Relations, LLNL
Chris Mechels, LANL, retired
Duncan A, Mellichamp, Vice Chair Academic Council
Keith Miller, UCB
Mark Pilisuk, UCD
Carl H. Poppe, Assoc. Vice Provost for Research & Laboratory
Laura Nader, UCB
Piermaria J. Oddone, LBL
Malcolm Jendresen, UCSF
Daniel L. Simmons, Professor of Law, UCD
A selected list of documents reviewed by the Committee during this study. This list includes excerpts from the transcripts of discussions with consultants as well as the documents provided by the consultants. The transcripts have been reviewed for accuracy and approved by each consultant.