November 21, 1989

TO: University of California Academic Senate Members

FROM: The Academic Council


This letter forwards a report on the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as received by the Academic Council. It is the work of a special committee of eight Senate members, started in 1986. The Council's goal in establishing the committee was to insure that background material would be available to faculty members to inform discussion about the University involvement with these laboratories. The detailed charge to the committee is included as an attachment to this letter. Timing of the committee's work was related to the fact that the Regents must decide in the fall of l990 whether to negotiate with DOE for continuation of our management of these units (and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory as well) for an additional period beyond the 1992 expiration of the existing contracts.

The committee had the full cooperation of University administrative officers, Laboratory personnel, and others, in assembling extensive background information about the two laboratories. Its report presents a distillation of that information and, in addition, sets forth and applies the members' own criteria for evaluating the appropriateness of the University's management of the laboratories as a public service.

The report has not been subjected to detailed review by the Council or any other body, but several Council members noted that some of the Committee's public service criteria are not in accord with current university practice. As originally intended, we forward the report to inform faculty discussion.

The Council appreciates the effort of the Committee and thanks its members for their work. Their task was complex, both in the area of information collection and in preparation of their resulting report.


At the request of the Academic Council, the Special Committee will have the following objectives:

To provide a thoughtful and independent evaluation of the role of the University in managing DOE Labs.

To provide continuing examination of the relationship between the mission of the Laboratories and the mission of the University.

To focus on the criteria by which the contractual arrangement between the University and the DOE Labs is assessed, especially on the criteria that establish limitations, if any, on the University's public service role.

To provide an independent assessment of the opportunities Laboratory staff have for freedom of expression and inquiry in their work.

To keep the Academic Senate informed and updated on the activities of the Laboratories, and to maintain an historical chronicle of the interaction between the Laboratories and the different UC campuses.

To provide the Academic Senate with an evaluation of the extent to which the association of the Laboratories with the University has contributed to improved performance at the Labs .

To ascertain the extent of the participation of University faculty in laboratory activities; the nature and extent of collaboration between UC faculty and the professional staff of the Laboratories; the extent to which open and productive exchanges are possible between the two groups; the extent and circumstances whereby access to Laboratory facilities by UC faculty is restricted.

To assess the terms of the contractual relationship and its provisions for University oversight .

To establish and maintain close communication with the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC).

The Academic Council intends that the Committee consist of at least seven members of the Academic Senate, including at least one member of the 1985-l986 Academic Council to provide continuity of purpose. The members are enjoined to serve for the period of the contract - that is, until l990 when the renewal decision is made. The Council requests that the Committee submit its

cumulative report to the Academic Council no later than October l, 1989, and asks that it make annual oral reports to the Council in the interim.


The contract between the University of California and the Department of Energy to manage the Los Alamos, Livermore, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is renewable at five-year intervals. The Regents of the University of California are required to make the decision on the University's continued management responsibilities two years in advance of expiration of the contract. The last time the Regents did so was in September 1985 when they voted to renew the contract for a further five years. m e contract will next come up for renewal in l990.

The Academic Senate has a continuing interest and responsibility to advise The Regents through the President on faculty assessment of the University's role in managing the Laboratories. Polling the faculty at the divisional level has been the most common mechanism for faculty to express opinion, and this will doubtless continue. However, polls in the form of mail ballots) are ad hoc and are generally prompted by an impending vote by The Regents on contract renewal. In 1985, debate on contract renewal appeared to generate little interest on any campus. The Regents were advised, through the Academic Council, that there is a spectrum of faculty opinion, some of which is extreme, but that the majority of the faculty, though perhaps concerned, are silent on the issues.

One reason for the apparent apathy of faculty is lack of information. The Academic Senate does not have in place a mechanism to review the performance of the Labs or the University's role in their management on a continuing basis - with the result that the Senate is not equipped to present informed positions when they are needed, specifically at the time when the contracts are up for renewal.

The Academic Council's decision in October 1985 to create a Special Committee on the Academic Senate to examine on a continuing basis the University's relations with the Labs represents an effort to correct past practice of providing faculty input on the matter only once every five years. The Academic Senate attaches particular importance to the degree of openness and freedom of expression which the University association injects into the Laboratories' operation.

The Academic Council understands that the public service function of the University is central to the argument justifying the University's role in managing the Labs. It is therefore essential that the nature of the public service function which the University seeks to perform, and the limitations of this function, be completely understood. The extent to which it is successful in this regard should be broadly disseminated. Such information should be available to the Academic Senate prior to the time when the present contract expires, so that the Senate can, at that time, make informal judgments regarding the public service aspects of the University's management role.

The Academic Council recognizes the far-reaching nature of the task it proposes for the Special Committee of the Academic Senate. The committee should not duplicate the efforts of other advisory committees, notably the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC), but should act more as the Academic Senate liaison with SAAC. The SAAC advises the President, The Regents, and the Director of the Labs on: (a) the scientific and technical quality of work undertaken at the Laboratories; (b) policies and procedures governing classification of information; (c) policies and procedures affecting the freedom of expression of professional opinion consistent with requirements of national security; and (d) cooperation in research, teaching, and public service between the Laboratories and the balance of the University.

For the special committee to function effectively, appropriate resources (staff support, travel expenses, released time, and research assistance) may be required. The Academic Senate, through the Chair of the Assembly and Academic Council, will negotiate with the President for appropriate support.

The Academic Council also notes that, if members of the Special Committee choose to obtain security clearances in anticipation of visits to the Laboratories, applications for clearances should be made well in advance. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Academic Council, as Faculty Representatives to the Board of Regents, are invited to apply for clearance as part of a Lab visitation program for The Regents, and we are informed that it takes about twelve months to obtain clearance.

June 1986



Malcolm D. Jendresen, Chair, Professor of Dentistry, UC San Francisco

Eugene G Lee, Vice Chair Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

Paul Craig, Professor of Applied Science, UC Davis

Werner Hirsch, Professor of Economics, UC Los Angeles

Karl Hufbauer, Professor of History, UC Irvine

Oliver Johnson, Professor of Philosophy, UC Riverside

Anne Kernan, Professor of Physics, UC Riverside,

Walter Kohn, Professor of Physics, UC Santa Barbara

Secretary: Patricia Seawell, Academic Senate Office, UC Berkeley

Table of Contents









This report responds to the general charge from the Academic Council "To provide a thoughtful and independent evaluation of the role of the University in managing DOE Labs," as well as to several more specific charges The report which is devoted to the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories is divided into seven sections: I. Introduction II History of the University -Laboratory Relationship III The Laboratories Current Activities IV The Contracts V Public Service Appropriate to the University VI Summary and VII Conclusion. 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 proposes five general criteria for public service appropriate to the University: (1) The activity is supportive of the University's primary missions of teaching and research (2) The activity is 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 has no serious adverse effects on the University. (5) The activity contributes to human well-being. All but one member of the Committee find that the University's operation of the Laboratories fails to satisfy these criteria. Six members of the Committee conclude that the University should, in a timely and orderly manner, phase out its responsibility for operating the Laboratories while maintaining its cooperative relationship with them in teaching and research . Two members believe that it is not yet clear that a total contractual break is required and suggest that consideration should be given to a separate corporate body to operate the Laboratories within the University's legal structure.

(The complete Charge to the Committee is given in Appendix A.)


The University of California has operated the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories at Los Alamos and Livermore since they were founded during World War II and the Korean war, respectively. Since the late 1960's the appropriateness of this relationship has repeatedly become an issue of concern if not controversy. This is the third University report to address this issue.

The Committee had its origins in September 1985 when the Regents -- in a split vote -- instructed the administration to negotiate new five-year contracts with the Department of Energy. Lacking a sufficient basis for representing faculty opinion, the Academic Council did not participate in the discussions leading to this decision. Subsequently, the Council resolved to prepare the ground so that five years hence the faculty could, if it chose to do so, play a role in deliberations over contract renewal. It appointed a special committee "to examine on a continuing basis the University's relations with the Labs.

The following report responds to the Academic Council's charge "to provide a thoughtful and independent evaluation of the role of the University in managing DOE Labs." In addition , several specific issues were posed by the Council, including:

While their salaries are federally funded, the 16,000 staff members of the two Laboratories are University of California employees. However, to address meaningfully the charge from the Academic Council, this report consistently discusses relationships between "the University and the Laboratories.

Background to the Charge (See Appendix A) . Although the original charge included consideration of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, this report concerns only Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

An appraisal of the opportunities at the Laboratories for freedom of expression and inquiry.

An evaluation of the extent to which University operation of the Laboratories contributes to their performance.

An evaluation of the extent of participation of University faculty and graduate students in Laboratory activities.

The Committee was asked to give special attention to "...criteria that establish limitations, if any, on the University's public service role. Five general criteria of public service are used in this report to assess the appropriateness of the University's involvement and to illuminate the discussion of the other questions posed by the Academic Council. The conclusions of the Committee are reported below following a brief historical description of the Laboratories and their current activities, an analysis of the contracts, a discussion of the issue of appropriate public service, and a summary of the Committee's response to the charge from the Academic Council.


Fifty years ago physicists around the world -- including UC's Ernest 0. Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron and the brilliant theorist J Robert Oppenheimer -- rushed into research on the newly discovered phenomenon of nuclear fission. They soon concluded that fission might be used to create bombs of unprecedented destructive capacity. Several nations explored this possibility during World War II.

When the American bomb project was established after Pearl Harbor, Lawrence was given responsibility for work on electromagnetic separation of uranium-235 and on plutonium and Oppenheimer was recruited to the bomb-theory group They were consequently strategically placed to counsel General Leslie Groves as he took charge of the Manhattan project during the Fall of 1942 In particular it was on Oppenheimer's advice that Groves selected remote Los Alamos New Mexico as the laboratory site for bomb research and production. Early in 1943, Groves and Oppenheimer, who would be directing Los Alamos, persuaded UC Treasurer Robert Underhill to arrange for the University to operate the Laboratory. This arrangement became public in August 1945 shortly after Los Alamos s uranium-235 and plutonium bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively.

Following Japan's surrender, UC Regents and administrators tried to disengage from Los Alamos. The original contract contained -- at the Insistence of Underhill who was concerned about the University's control over purchasing and exposure to liability claims -- a clause specifying termination 90 days after hostilities ended. UC agreed to two or three short-term extensions on the grounds that doing so would facilitate an orderly transition to postwar management. In 1947, however, Lawrence's group threw its support behind regularization of the Los Alamos contract in hopes of improving the chances that the newly established Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) would fund Berkeley's Bevatron. UC President Robert Gordon Sproul soon ordered the negotiation of what turned out to be the first of an ongoing string of multi-year contracts for University operation of the Laboratory. Over the next five years a second nuclear-weapons laboratory was established at Livermore California. The key figures here were Lawrence and the nuclear theorist Edward Teller, then on the University of Chicago's faculty. In the fall of 1949, Lawrence and Teller led the way in arguing that the best American response to the first Soviet test of a fission bomb would be the fusion bomb. Despite opposition from the AEC's General Advisory Committee and a majority of the Commissioners, President Harry Truman decided early in 195O to order the development of this vastly more powerful weapon. Soon spy scandals and the Korean war intensified the sense of urgency that many felt about the program. In Berkeley, Lawrence eventually secured some AEC funding for a giant accelerator at Livermore to produce the requisite isotopes. Meanwhile, Teller was campaigning for the creation of a second laboratory that would focus exclusively on the fusion bomb. In early 1952, once it was clear that the accelerator project at Livermore was dying, Lawrence decided that the Livermore site would be ideal for Teller's second laboratory. The idea soon won approval from the AEC and the Regents. By September, arrangements were complete for the University to operate Livermore as well as Los Alamos. For thirty years, beginning in the early 1950's, both Laboratories experienced rapid staff and budget growth. Much of this growth was motivated by Soviet-American


Los Alamos National Laboratory

Founded in 1943 as the Manhattan Engineering District's laboratory for wartime research, development, testing, and production of atomic bombs. Its funding was taken over in 1947 by the Atomic Energy Commission, the forerunner of the Department of Energy. In Sept. 1949, 13 different LANL-designed nuclear weapons were in the U. S. arsenal - B28, W33, B43, W50, B53, B57, B61, W69, W76, W78, W80, W85, and W88.

               1960           1970            1980           1988            

Total FTE's*   3278           4314            6936           7788            

% Prof. staff  34             39              41             43              

Budget in      300            454             958            882             
Millions 1988                                                                

% Budget for   59             68              52             78              

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Founded in 1952 as the Atomic Energy Commission's second nuclear-weapons laboratory. In Sept. 1989, 11 different LLNL-designed nuclear weapons were in the U. S. arsenal-W48, W55, W56, W62, W68, W70, W71, W79, B83, W84, and W87.

               1960           1970            1980           1988            

Total FTE's*   4158           5745            7017           8219            

% Prof. staff  40             30              36             38              

Budget in      347            561             945            896             
Millions 1988                                                                

% Budget for   85             86              69             76              

*These figures do not include employees of contractors. LANL has traditionally done more on-site contracting than LLNL.

rivalry. But a good deal of the growth -- especially in the I970's -- was also motivated by the energy crisis. Since 1980, the Laboratories have been affected by drastic cuts in energy programs and increases in non-nuclear weapons programs. They have had continued growth in their staffs, but not in their constant-dollar budgets.

While World War II, the Korean war, and the Cold war provided favorable political contexts for the establishment and subsequent growth of the Los Alamos and Livermore laboratories, the Vietnam War engendered numerous questions concerning the United States military policies and posture. At the meeting of the Assembly of UC's Academic Senate in May 1969, UCB Professor Andrew Imbrie secured unanimous consent to present, under new business, a motion calling on the Academic Council to create a committee to consider "the appropriateness of the present relationship between the University and the research laboratories at Livermore and Los Alamos." After discussion, the motion passed. In just two weeks Council Chair Randolph Wedding appointed the Special Committee on University Research at Livermore and Los Alamos," with UCD political scientist Paul Zinner as chair. The Zinner Committee completed its report in March 1970. It 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 formulation, and to increase the educational benefits .A lone dissent came from UCLA geophysicist George Wetherell who argued that "the development of nuclear weapons is an unfit business for the University of California" and urged severance of the relationship. Later that year, UC's faculty endorsed the Zinner Committee's report. It voted against severance by 2,278 (57%) to 1,712(43%) and for the recommended contract modifications by 2,8I0 (74%) to 984 (26%).

The impact of the Zinner Committee's report and the faculty's subsequent vote was modest. In particular, the 1972 contract was not modified in any substantial way. The President's office did use its existing discretion to make various changes -- most notably, it increased the openness of the searches for Laboratory Directors and established the Scientific Advisory Committee to monitor the Laboratories and give advice regarding their operations. But the next major review committee would find that there was "very little difference between the current relationship of the University to the Laboratories and that which obtained when the Zinner Committee was appointed.

In July 1975, UCLA's David Saxon succeeded Charles Hitch as the University's President. At least two forces soon impelled him to seek a fresh review of the Laboratory relationship . First , California's new governor Jerry Brown was frequently articulating doubts about the appropriateness of University management . And second, ~ new organization in Berkeley -- the U. C. Nuclear weapons Lab Conversion Project -- was advocating the complete conversion of the Laboratories to non-military research. As early as December 1976, President Saxon promised that he would appoint a committee to make recommendations for the 1982 contract. Six months later, he created the Committee to Examine the University's Relationship with the Los Alamos and Livermore Laboratories, naming UCLA Senior Vice Chancellor and political scientist William Gerberding as chair.

The Gerberding Committee submitted its report in February 1978. It unanimously recommended "continued management of the Laboratories by the University of California." But the majority endorsed "continuation only if significant changes were implemented (emphasis in the original). The committee's most important recommendation was that within a year, the Regents should constitute a committee to serve as "a board of overseers with trusteeship functions. " Consisting of Regents, faculty, and others, this board would "...continually survey all aspects of the Laboratories' programs and policies so as to discharge the University's obligations to itself and the public by ensuring that the Laboratories' participation in the formulation and conduct of their programs be of the highest quality and greatest objectivity and that the laboratories not be isolated from the larger world of thought and action.

In short , Gerberding and his colleagues believed that UC, by taking on a new and much more active role in the relationship could play a part that was constructive and in the public interest. "

The Gerberding Committee was only slightly more successful than the Zinner Committee. The President's office seems to have had some liking for the proposed board of overseers. But the Department of Energy (DOE) was opposed. DOE Secretary James Schlesinger instructed the Energy Research Advisory Board chaired by Solomon J . Buchsbaum, to review the agency's management options. Congress backed the DOE's view that the Laboratories were national facilities by changing their names to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Faced with this opposition the President's office abandoned the idea of a board of overseers. Instead, it responded to the concerns expressed by the Gerberding Committee with a series

of more limited measures. For instance, the position of Special Assistant for Laboratory Affairs was established in the President's office. The Scientific Advisory Committee and the Regents Committee on Special Research Projects were reconstituted as the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee and the Regents Committee on Oversight of the DOE Laboratories. These and related measures have resulted in some increase in UC's involvement in managing Los Alamos and Livermore. But they have not wrought the sort of transformation recommended by the Gerberding Committee.


As the Zinner and Gerberding Committees found, the University is taking on a great deal in serving as the Department of Energy's contractor for the Laboratories. Their combined staffs number over 16,000. Their combined budgets exceed $1.85 billion (See Table 2). A succinct account of the Laboratories' current activities--though it is necessarily incomplete--suffices to reveal their character and significance.


               LANL           LLNL            

Total Budget   930            951             
in Millions                                   
of $                                          

% Budget for   78             76              

% Budget for   25             24              
a Classified                                  

% Budget for   75             55              
Work In                                       
Facilities *                                  

*Visitors to secure facilities must be escorted at all times and, depending on the facility, may also need a security clearance. While visitors to LANL may enter the general site without being badged, those to LLNL--even if they are not going to a secure facility--must obtain an access badge by giving their social security number.

The Laboratories' primary assignment is to maintain the United States' technological lead in the role of nuclear weaponry. they have developed--invented, designed, and tested--24 different warheads on the bombs and missiles that presently comprise the nations' nuclear arsenal (See Table I). They are still very much engaged in this activity (See Table 3).

Table 3


Jan. 1985-July 1989

Entry Date&Phase*  Warhead/Bomb#      Lab.               Program            

4/86:phase 5       W87                LLNL               Warhead for MX     

5/86:phase 4       W82                LLNL               Warhead for 155    
                                                         mm art. shell      

8/86:phase 6       W87                LLNL               Warhead for MX     

11/86: phase 2A    ...                LLNL               Warhead for        
                                                         attack missile II  

11/86: phase 2A    ...                LLNL               Warhead for the    

2/87: phase 2      ...                Both               Warhead for        
                                                         Lance's successor  

11/87: phase 2     ....               Both               warhead for the    
                                                         Earth Penetrator   

11/87: phase 3     W87-l              LLNL               Modif. MX Warhead  
                                                         for midgetman      

1/88: phase 3      W89                LLNL               Warhead for        
                                                         attack Missile II  

6/88: phase2A      ...                LANL               Warhead for        
                                                         interim earth      

6/88: phase 3      B90                LANL               Naval depth &      
                                                         strike bomb        

ca.7/88: phase 2A  ...                LLNL               Warhead for        
                                                         stand-off missile  

10/88: phase 5     W88                LANL               Warhead for        
                                                         trident II D-5     

11/88: phase 2     ...                Both               Warhead for        

7/89: phase 6      W88                LANL               Warhead for        
                                                         trident II D-5     

*phase 2 = competitive feasibility study; phase 2A = design definition and cost study by the lab to which DOE awarded the project; phase 3 = development engineering (at beginning of this phase warhead is assigned a #); phase 4 = production engineering; phase 5 = first production; phase 6 = quantity production and stockpiling. Note: Projects entering phase 1 (concept study) and phase 7 (=retirement) have not been included.

For example, during the last five years, the Laboratories received authorization for phase-2 competitive feasibility studies of three new warheads -- the successor to the Lance missile, the tactical air-to-surface missile, and the Earth Penetrator.

In connection with their warhead work, the Laboratories have been conducting somewhat more than a dozen nuclear tests annually in recent years. The chief rationale for testing is its role in the design of new warheads and the maintenance of staff capability. In addition, Laboratory representatives insist that testing assures stockpile reliability and enables safety and security improvements. The Laboratories also engage in research and development on production methods for the fissionable and fusionable isotopes used in warheads. Livermore, with its Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation process for obtaining weapons-grade materials from plutonium stockpiles, currently has the larger program in this area. Both Laboratories are likely to become deeply involved in the Department of Energy's efforts to modernize facilities for producing the isotopes used in nuclear weapons.

Besides their warhead work, the Laboratories have participated actively in Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) research and development Livermore's programs here have been the nuclear-pumped X-ray laser, the ground-based induction free-electron laser, and "brilliant pebbles" (a new scheme requiring permanent deployment of many thousands of armed satellites). The X-ray laser program has, as the Chronology indicates, engendered a good deal of controversy. Los Alamos, meanwhile, has been investigating the nuclear-pumped optical laser, the ground-based radio-frequency free-electron laser, and neutral particle beams. This Laboratory has recently reported the first neutral-particle-beam experiment above the atmosphere.

The Laboratories have complemented their work on warheads, SDI programs, and miscellaneous Department of Defense projects with diverse activities in the realms of national security and arms control. Both have continued major treaty verification programs; Livermore emphasizes seismic methods and Los Alamos, space techniques. Within the last five years, both have established centers for the study of security issues -- Los Alamos in 1986 and Livermore two years later. Both have hosted conferences on the future of nuclear weapons. Most importantly, both have played active roles in the Joint Verification Experiment in which American and Soviet nuclear-testing experts have attempted to reach agreement on means for monitoring a lower threshold on underground nuclear tests.

In addition to their military (including arms-control) activities, the Laboratories still pursue -- despite substantial cuts since 1980 -- sizable energy programs. Livermore has major DOE support for the development of the atomic-vapor laser isotope separation process as the future method of uranium enrichment for the nuclear power industry. Both Laboratories conduct substantial fusion programs with competitive teams pursuing both magnetic confinement and inertial-confinement approaches.' At Livermore most research on inertial confinement is now done at the very large Nova Laser Facility (operational since early 1985) and at Los Alamos most is done at the smaller Aurora Laser System (operational since late 1988).

Finally, the Laboratories house a wide array of basic research programs. Both have branches of UC's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. In addition, Livermore houses the Program for Analytical Cytology (joint with UCSF), the Institute for Scientific Computing Research, the Tandem Accelerator Laboratory with its Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, the Plasma Physics Research Institute (joint with UCD), and most of UCD's Department of Applied Science. Los Alamos has the Meson Physics Facility with its new Neutron Scattering Center, the Center for Materials Science, the Human Genome Project , the Space Science Laboratory and the Center for Nonlinear Studies. While many of these programs , institutes, centers, and laboratories have some connection with the Laboratories' primary nuclear-weapons mission, the scientists associated with them are fairly free to choose problems and collaborators and to publish their results.

The University has sought to increase the participation of UC faculty in basic research at the Laboratories. It has from time to time helped with the funding of projects and facilities. In 1988, the University regularized such funding by establishing the Institutional Collaborative Research (INCOR) and the Campus-Laboratory Collaborative Research (CALCOR) programs. The first competition elicited 89 proposals. Four INCOR and six CALCOR grants were awarded, totaling $l.05 million (=0.06% of the Laboratories' combined budgets and O .O9% of the University's total research budget)


The University-Laboratories relationship represents a decision by the Government to contract out the design of nuclear weapons to another agency rather than to administer this work directly as is the practice in Britain, France, and the USSR. The two weapons Laboratories are operated under separate but similar contracts between the University and the Department of Energy. The contracts are renegotiated every five years and are subject to termination on two years' notice in advance of the expiration date. The Regents will consider whether to enter into negotiations to continue the existing contracts (which expire in 1992) in I990. In return for acting as contractor, the University receives a yearly "management allowance" from the Government that in FY1989 totaled $12, 25O, OOO. Of this some $2.4 million was used to meet University administrative costs related to the Laboratories. From the balance of approximately $10 million in FY1989, 55% was recaptured by the State of California as an offset to the University's general budget .The remaining 45% was transferred by the University to the Nuclear Science Fund and used for a variety of programs [in addition to those activities mentioned in the text, this Fund is used for building construction, general maintenance and improvement, and Universitywide planning].

While the phrase "U. C. management of the Labs" is frequently used to describe the contractual arrangement, it over-simplifies a highly detailed and complex set of relationships between the Government and the University. More accurately, the University shares responsibility with the Department of Energy for the operation of the Laboratories, the land, improvements and equipment of which are owned by the Government. One close observer of the contract suggests that it involves four general kinds of relationships: a co-equal partnership in the administration of the program; superior-subordinate roles in matters of security and safety; "dynamic tension" in administrative areas; and University acceptance of national statutory and Executive Order requirements covering equal opportunity, small business, and the like. The contracts are lengthy (some 140 pages), complicated, occasionally ambiguous, and often subject to interpretation.

The term "mutuality" is used by both the University and the DOE to describe this relationship. For example, the preamble to the contracts states that "It is the intent of the DOE and the University that this agreement shall be carried on in a spirit of friendly cooperation with a maximum of effort and common sense in achieving their common objectives" (emphasis added). Other clauses refer to the intent of the University and the DOE "to keep each other

informed concerning the work under this contract" and "to reach mutual understanding in advance of the time that action needs to be taken" (emphasis added).

The final responsibility, of course, remains the Government's. In the language of the contracts:

"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 and that the proper discharge of the DOE's responsibilities requires that it shall have (i) the power to exercise general control over the contract work to adequately fulfill these responsibilities and (ii) full access to information concerning performance of such work."

Importantly, the contracts state that "very close collaboration will be required between the University and the DOE with respect to direction, emphasis, trends and adequacy of the total program. " In fact, however, the University has neither chosen nor been invited to assume an active role in shaping the overall program of the Laboratories. Instead, the President has in effect delegated to the Directors the authority to define the programs and to negotiate their costs and scope with the DOE. President Gardner believes this to be the only acceptable course. Meeting with the Committee, he stated "I would be unwilling to accept any arrangement that puts the University into the loop regarding budget and program. It is inconceivable to me that the University should undertake to advise the advise the Government on one weapons system versus another. ~

This is the view of the DOE as well. In 1981, responding to University proposals to strengthen its oversight role, Duane Sewell, DOE Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs, wrote to President Saxon:

"[These proposals] intermix items of contractual responsibilities, items which the University might wish to pursue as a public body, and items which the Government cannot delegate to the University. Elements of the [Regents] resolution and [your] plan suggest a University desire to intertwine its contractual obligations with its academic responsibilities. It is essential for the national security interest that DOE's contractor for the weapons laboratories accept the contractual responsibilities in order to execute them, not to subject them to the crucible of public debate."

Although the University is regarded as a partner in the contractual relationship, DOE approval continues to be required for many management decisions that in the University would be decided at the campus level. For example the DOE must approve, with the exception of some 35-40 persons in the Executive Program, not only the salaries of the Laboratory Directors, but those of some 3,500 Laboratory staff with salaries of $60,000 or more. DOE review is not pro forma and the relevant University officer states that "a great deal of U. C. and Lab time- is spent in negotiations over these matters. Similarly, leaves with pay, analogous to sabbaticals, and a number of similar administrative decisions require DOE approval.


In the statement accompanying the charge to this Committee the Academic Council wrote that it "understands that the public service function of the University is central to the argument justifying the University's role in managing the Labs." A similar view has been expressed by President Gardener. In the California Monthly (February 1987) he stated "We've been managing these labs for 45 years. During that period, both houses of Congress, both parties, and Presidents from both parties have consistently been of the view that the national interest is best served if the University of California manages these laboratories....As I see it, we are rendering the country a public service in responding to that request ."

The Committee concurs in regarding the public-service function as central to the assessment of the relationship between the University and the Laboratories. If this relationship is to be justified, it must be consistent with one's conception of an appropriate public-service function of the University. Does operation of the Laboratories constitute a public service that is appropriate for the University to perform? To answer this question the Committee proposes five general criteria:

(The activity is supportive of the University's primary missions of teaching and research.

(The activity is consistent with the University's essential commitment to freedom of expression.

(The activity can be performed at least as effectively by the University as by other Institutions.

(The activity has no serious adverse effects on the University.

(The activity contributes to human well-being.

With the exception of the last, these criteria should be applied with some flexibility. Marginal satisfaction of one can be compensated for by strong satisfaction of another. We turn to an assessment of the University-Laboratory relationship in terms of these criteria:

1. Is the University's operation of the Laboratories supportive of its primary missions of teaching and research? As previously described, the Laboratories are major scientific enterprises with a record of publication that would rival most academic institutions. We acknowledge this record and recognize the skill and dedication of Laboratory personnel. Those aspects of the Laboratories work centering on weapons development have no direct relationship to the University's missions of teaching and research. Because much of this activity is classified, it is not available to investigators and students in the academic community at large. The Laboratories contribute to University activities through their extensive scientific programs in the smaller non-military part of their budgets -- some 25 percent of the total. In-house basic science is enriched by cooperative relationships with numerous universities, of which the University of California is one. In the last few years, the University has encouraged increased interactions, collaborative research, joint appointments, laboratory participation in Organized Research Units and Multi-Campus Research Units, and In particular the Applied Science Department at Davis and Livermore.

At Los Alamos, interactions with the University of California represent about ten percent of the Laboratory's spending on research collaborations with universities, generally. At Livermore, on the other hand, about forty percent of research collaborations are with University of California campuses, especially those proximate to the Laboratory.

Other large governmentally-funded laboratories also cooperate with universities. For example, Argonne National Laboratory estimates that over 2,000 faculty and students participate in their programs each year and that they annually receive over 1,000 visitors from universities. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, under corporate operation, appears to have equally strong university interactions.

In sum, a number of important collaborative efforts result from the special Laboratory-University of California relationship and a number result from Laboratory activities with universities generally.

2. Is the University's operation of the Laboratories consistent with its essential commitment to freedom of expression? Of all the reasons given in support of the University-Laboratory relationship the assertion that it promotes freedom of expression within the Laboratories and insures that policy makers in Washington hear the fullest range of alternative viewpoints before reaching their decisions.

At least two issues need to be distinguished (a) free intellectual exchange between Laboratory personnel and outsiders (particularly 1n the University) and (b) freedom of expression within the Laboratories themselves.

With respect to the first issue, a substantial amount of each Laboratory's work is classified; access to many of the facilities is restricted; and security clearance is a condition of employment. Because of this, in many areas of their work the laboratories have an essential commitment to secrecy vis-a-vis unauthorized persons which include virtually the entire faculty and student body of the University of California. However, in the area of unclassified work there is a large measure of freedom of expression and, as noted above, much interaction with scientists at other institutions, including the University of California.

Turning to the question of freedom of expression within the Laboratories, while there appear to be virtually no restrictions on publication and dissemination of non-classified research, it must be emphasized that the Laboratories are not campuses of the University. Rather, they are program-driven research centers whose policies priorities and basic job assignments are set not by the professional staff but by the Departments of Energy and Defense. "Academic freedom" as defined by the AAUP to include "full freedom in research and 1n the publication of the results" is inoperative in the mission-oriented, task-assigned and highly-classified environment that characterizes a large part of Laboratory programs. Similarly, the concept of "tenure" is inappropriate in the environment of the Laboratories. This is not to suggest that the Laboratories lack rigorous quality control in their recruitment practices or formal grievance procedures in the case of an appeal from a dismissal or layoff. At Livermore, such a grievance may be heard by an independent hearing officer whose decision is binding. At Los Alamos, the Director makes the final decision following a formal hearing. But the fact remains, a Laboratory is not a campus and the same rules do not apply.

In this Committee's view, individual "freedom of expression and inquiry," while highly relevant is not the most critical issue. It is rather that the Laboratories especially those departments involved in classified weapons work, are relatively closed organizations.

From the standpoint of the government, the rationale for "freedom of inquiry" is that policy makers receive the fullest range of scientific and technical judgment. The concern of critics is that the Laboratories feel their primary purpose to be that of promoting nuclear-weapons programs and that this may lead to a selective and misleading reporting of the facts.

We share this concern. The issue is whether there is an "institutional mind-set" that tends inherently to favor continued weapons development and causes the Laboratories to provide less than the full range of technical advice. In a meeting with us, Senior Vice President Frazer stated that, in his opinion, while the University relationship promotes a wider range of expression than would otherwise be the case, "the Labs are inherently not going to give a balanced view of the widest range of information ."

Does the University of California connection make a significant difference? We are far from sure that it does .We do know that official Washington has not always been supportive of freedom of expression In mid-1988, DOE Secretary Herrington told a Livermore audience "I think there should be freedom of expression within the Laboratory, but I don't favor having scientists go public on opposite sides of the issue if it's going to be damaging to the Laboratory; I think all this needs to be fought out inside the Lab." A year earlier S .R. Foley, Jr., DOE Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs, stated that "it is inappropriate for a member of the Lawrence Laboratory staff to make any review of [Laboratory Director] Batzel's testimony.

In summary, the differences between the University and the Laboratories, are especially prominent in the area of freedom of expression. Classified Laboratory activities are inherently inconsistent with the University's essential commitment to freedom of expression.

3. Can the Laboratories be operated at least as effectively by the University as by other institutions?

There are of course alternative institutions that could operate the two Laboratories. For example: (1) A government-owned government-operated institution such as the Naval Research Laboratory. (2) A government-owned contractor-operated institution whose contractor could be: a) a stand-alone not-for-profit organization such as Associated Universities Incorporated, the consortium of universities that operates Brookhaven National Laboratory and the National Radio Telescope Observatory; b) a for-profit company such as A T&T which manages Sandia Laboratory or Martin Marrietta which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory; c) a single university. There are at least three perspectives as to the effectiveness of different operators.

In the Views of the Department of Energy. The DOE view of the University's operation of the Laboratories was included in the report of its Energy Research Advisory Board which was requested to "review the relationships between the University of California and the two nuclear weapons laboratories." The Board, unanimously recommending that the University of California operation be "continued and improved," wrote in 1979 "We make this recommendation because we believe the factors which have made University operation beneficial to the country and to the laboratories are lasting and fundamental..."

If the DOE found it necessary to terminate its contractual relationship with the University, the Board suggested that "...from the variety of possible management arrangements the DOE consider first and foremost, but not exclusively, an independent, separately constituted, non-profit corporation [with a Board of Directors] composed of accomplished citizens with a broad variety of background who have general knowledge of the laboratories and appreciation for their mission.

The Views of Laboratory Staff. During visits to the Laboratories, the Committee interviewed all staff members who requested a meeting. All favored University operation, were "proud" of working for the University of California ,and "comfortable" with the University affiliation. They praised the "campus-like" atmosphere and the high ethical standards in research and felt that academic freedom existed albeit within the constraints of the Laboratory mission. There was a general perception that unlike government operated Laboratories paralyzed by bureaucracy to a significant extent, the University deterred DOE from "reaching in." Last ,but not least, there was unanimity on the excellence of University personnel benefits.

The Views of Outside Observers. As indicated above, the Committee interviewed persons outside the two Laboratories, some of whom had been high level administrators in national laboratories and all of whom were familiar with them as well as with other similar government-related institutions. With no exception, these "expert witnesses" concluded that there was no organization that could operate the Laboratories more effectively than the University and that there were some organizational alternatives that would be damaging to present Laboratory programs. Several, however, stated that there were alternatives to University operation that would be just as effective and that the performance of the Laboratories -- which they all commended -- was not critically dependent on the University affiliation.

A key issue of evaluating the University relationship concerns its "oversight" role, a function which the Academic Council specifically asked the Committee to address. The Regents created an Oversight Committee as well as an Office of Laboratory Affairs in 1980, initiated five-year reviews of the Laboratory Directors 1n 1984 and developed new structural arrangements in 1989. Current practice involves the Board of Regents, a large number of University administrators and two advisory committees. The Regents role is exercised by its Committee on Oversight of the Laboratories. With the exception of its selection of the Laboratory Directors, (an appointment with which the Secretary of Energy must concur) the oversight activities of this committee are generally regarded as pro forma by most observers an impression consistent with our own observations.

In its Second Annual Report to the DOE the University lists more than twenty offices of the central administration that deal with the Laboratories. The most explicit of these is the Special Assistant for Laboratory Affairs, but the listing includes senior officers and professional staff in a wide-ranging area of University administration.

Two advisory committees, appointed by the President, advise him and the Regents on matters related to the Laboratories. The Health Safety and Environment Committee's 1988 report concern for such problems as the incidence of melanoma among Livermore personnel, contaminated ground water at Livermore, and earthquake studies at Los Alamos, as well as the overall effectiveness of the health safety and environmental programs at the Laboratories. From a practical standpoint, the central programmatic "oversight" responsibility in the formal University structure is that of the Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee [SAAC]. The committee is charged with advising the Regents and the President on the scientific and technical quality of work, policies and procedures governing classification of information and freedom of expression and cooperation between the Laboratories and the University. This is -- or could be -- a broad charge. However, in the view of this Committee, SAAC has confined its role almost exclusively to issues of technical quality. We agree with Vice President Frazer who told this Committee: "SAAC takes a narrower view than it should."

In late 1988 the University administration indicated its concern with the current "oversight" apparatus. As reported in the University Bulletin (December 1988)

Long criticized for being out of touch with the federal weapons labs it oversees, the UC administration announced in November that it will strengthen its management of them by hiring three senior liaison officers who will spend much of their time at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos facilities. "

As of October 1989, only one of the three liaison officers had been appointed, making it premature to render any judgment on their possible effectiveness.

In its report to the Secretary of Energy in 1979 the Energy Research Advisory Board stated : "The laboratories main need therefore is for the Regents, or an appropriate trusteeship group established by the Regents, to become familiar with the general programs of the laboratories, their goals, programs and context..." For the Gerberding Committee, if the University was to make its management of the Laboratories morally and intellectually responsible," it would be necessary to "review all aspects of the Laboratories' programs." For President Saxon, the contract was to be continued only if it permitted the University to assure "independent technical expertise" and "maximum freedom of publication, inquiry and debate" consistent with security requirements. Existing institutional arrangements do not effectively fulfill these goals.

The Committee concludes that while the University is probably operating the Laboratories as effectively as (and one Committee member would say "bettor than") any organization, University oversight of the Laboratories has been far from satisfactory..

4. Does its operations of the laboratories have serious adverse effects on the University?

Early in its deliberations, the Committee recognized an issue not explicitly stated in the charges from the Academic Council -- the consequences to the University of operating the two Laboratories. That there are costs to the University is accepted by all. In 1979, the Energy Research Advisory Board stated that "the operation of the two nuclear weapons laboratories is a considerable burden to the University [demanding] not just time and effort but occasionally turmoil and even anguish within the University." More recently, President Gardner commented in the California Monthly with respect to the Laboratory relationship: "we are surely not doing it because it makes our lives easier or for the money or prestige" (February 1987). Meeting with the Committee, he amplified this statement:

"There are no necessary or tangible benefits to the University [of the relationship] with the exception of the unallocated portion of the management fee and increased opportunities for faculty and student collaboration. Costs include expenditures of time, attention, energy engagement -- mostly by upper levels of management ...criticism and publicity have been harmful to the reputation of the University and have been sufficiently consequential that I must devote time to it."

As for the Regents, the issue is well described in the words of Fred N. Gaines, a former student Regent who served on the Regent s Committee on Oversight. Speaking at a meeting of that committee Gaines said:

"...the overseeing of the laboratories uses up an enormous amount of this Board's time energy and resources. These are resources which would be better utilized toward managing and improving the educational and research programs on our campuses. This Committee met six times during my term on the Board and spent many additional hours visiting the laboratories. Yet during that same period, we had only one brief discussion regarding the quality of undergraduate education on our campuses."

As a Committee of the Academic Senate we must ask: Can the University afford to see so much of its leaders' time and energies devoted to the problems of the two Laboratories? The two weeks that the Office of the President estimates that he must annually devote to Laboratory affairs represents time, energy, and attention that is not spent on University matters. The up to 20% of the time of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs spent on Issues surrounding the Laboratories is time not spent on "academic affairs." As we have noted, over 20 University offices must pay attention to the Laboratories to one degree or another. While the University is paid more than S2 million to cover the direct costs of these activities the opportunity costs in time and attention drawn away from University concerns go far beyond monetary calculations.

Will these "opportunity costs" continue? We believe not only that they will continue, but that they will increase. Recent years have seen the Laboratories and the University constantly in the headlines. "Damage control" to overcome the adverse impact on the University has become a serious agenda item. Criticism of the Laboratories and of the University by members of the University and scientific communities, the public, the press, and members of the state legislature and the Congress has focused on a variety of problems. These include: lobbying in Congress by Laboratory-related staff against a nuclear test-ban; the adequacy of a report on nuclear testing by the University's Scientific and Academic Advisory Committee; inflated reports to the National Security Advisor and other high-level government officials on the nuclear X-ray laser and actions against a critic of these reports; toxic waste management; and pronouncements of then-DOE Secretary Herrington criticizing scientists "going public on opposite sides of an issue" and the University' s tardy response to his remarks .

The point is not only the substance of these issues and their harm to the reputation of the University. Also of critical concern is the irreplaceable time and attention they have required of the President and senior University officials time and attention that cannot be delegated and still enable these officers to fulfill the University' s oversight responsibilities. No less than other large complex institutions, the University is subject to the threat of institutional overload. Responsibility for the Laboratories represents such a threat.

Finally, we note the negative impact of the relationship on the collegiality of the University. Operation of the Laboratories has for decades been a divisive influence affecting important sectors of the University community. Disputes over the Laboratories have not been mere academic differences of opinion but divisions of a deep and enduring kind over fundamental questions of value. They have divided students from faculty and from administration, faculty from faculty and from administration, and caused divisions within the Board of Regents

5. Does the University's operation of the Laboratories contribute to human well-being? This criterion unlike the others, allows for no flexibility in its application. If an activity does not contribute to human well-being that fact in itself is sufficient to render it inappropriate as a "public service" for the University. If there is serious doubt about its contribution to human well being, its appropriateness must be questioned. In the case of nuclear weapons development, there are two main opposing positions regarding its effects on human well-being:

(Some believe that the development of nuclear weapons functions as a deterrent to war and hence promotes human well-being.

(Others believe that the development of such weapons increases the chances of war and by escalating the arms race jeopardizes thewell-being of all humanity.

It is inappropriate for us to instruct our colleagues in this respect. Nor can the question be answered for the faculty by any outside authority. Faculty members must face the issue themselves.


As noted above this is the third report on the relationship of the University to the Los Alamos and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to be brought to the attention of the faculty. We have described the many significant programmatic developments - military and non-military - for which the Laboratories can take credit. We acknowledge the important advances. In science and technology that can be ascribed to the Laboratories. Our concerns and our charge, however, are directed at the University connection.

In the eleven years since the last report, significant changes pertinent to the University-Laboratory relationship have occurred These changes include:

(A substantial increase in the military portion of Laboratory work from about 60% in 1980 to more than 75% in 1988, arising mainly from the replacement of energy related R&D by DOD-financed non-nuclear work, including the Strategic Defense Initiative.

(An increase in public awareness and concern over problems at the Laboratories and criticism of the University by members of the faculty, the students, the scientific community, the press, state legislators and members of Congress.

(In 1989 the Laboratories continue to press for nuclear testing on the basis that testing is, in the words of Los Alamos Director, Siegfreed Hecker, "one of the critical elements of maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent."

(An intensification of the attention devoted to the Laboratories by the Regents, the President, and other officers of the University.

(A decision by the University in 1989 to strengthen its oversight capability by appointing three liaison officers for the Laboratories to deal with administrative and scientific issues and a commitment by the President to the Regents to review the present oversight system, together with an exploration of alternatives.

It is in the context of these developments among others that this Committee has addressed the charges given to it by the Academic Council. We summarize our response to those charges here.

Criteria for assessing the relationship, especially those relating to the University' s public service role. As noted above, the Committee set forth five criteria by which a "public service" may be assessed: support of teaching and research, freedom of expression, effectiveness compared to alternative organizations, the impact on the University, and the contribution to human well-being. An assessment of the degree to which the University-Laboratory relationship satisfies the first four criteria is given below.

(The extent to which Laboratory staff enjoy freedom of expression and inquiry in their work.

Individuals at the Laboratories are at least as free to express their views as staff at other similar organizations. However, we are concerned about the extent to which the Laboratories inherently represent a monolithic point of view. The University appears to recognize this problem but institutional structures that would insure a more pluralistic, indeed competitive, presentation of views do not appear to exist.

(The extent to which the University relationship contributes to Laboratory performance.

Personnel at the two Laboratories believe that the University's connection is an important factor in contributing to the quality of Laboratory performance. Similarly, the DOE believes this to be true. Virtually all external observers interviewed agreed with this conclusion. However, several also stated their belief that there are alternative organizations that could operate the Laboratories as effectively as the University.

(The extent to which the Laboratory relationship contributes to University programs.

Many University faculty and graduate students benefit from Laboratory programs and facilities. It is equally true that the Laboratories attract and serve hundreds of academics from other universities and colleges in the United States and abroad. With the exception of selected special programs, many supported by the management fee, it does not appear that the contractual relationship makes a critical difference in enhancing the access of University of California faculty and students, as compared with their colleagues from other institutions.