In a letter to Academic Council Chair Arnold Leiman dated March 12, 1996, Carl Poppe attached a document responding to the UCORP Report on the University's Relations with the Department of Energy Laboratories. Poppe's response is reproduced below. A UCORP rebuttal to Poppe's response can be found here.

Comments on the Report of the University Committee on Research Policy Report on the University's Relations the Department of Energy Laboratories

Carl H. Poppe
Office of Research
March 11, 1996

The Office of Research and the Laboratory Administration Office of the UC Office of the President has the day-to-day responsibility for the management of the contracts between the University and the Department of Energy for the three laboratories -- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This daily interaction with the Laboratories over the years has given us a unique opportunity to observe and understand their operation and activities. Consequently, the we take exception to a number of issues and statements raised by the University Committee on Research Policy in its Report on the University's Relations with the Department of Energy Laboratories (January 1996). Our reading of the report has uncovered a number of statements that we believe are incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading. A sampling of such statements is compiled below:

While the statement is true, it ignores the fact that LBNL had a history of classified and weapons research, during which time it also had a close and integral relation with the Berkeley campus. Also by ignoring LBNL in the report, UCORP ignores the relationship and synergy among the three labs, assuming that actions taken to sever management relations with LLNL and LANL would not be detrimental to LBNL. This assumption is at best questionable and is neither discussed nor proven. While this was a conclusion of the Galvin Committee, it is taken out of context and implies that there is something fundamentally wrong about the GOCO arrangement under which the University manages the laboratories. In fact, it is well-accepted that the GOCO concept has served the nation extremely well and that federal laboratories managed under such an arrangement are traditionally superior to those managed under other arrangements. The conclusion of the Galvin Committee was to recognize that the current implementation of GOCO by the government has strayed from the original concept and needs to be corrected. None of the publications cited were internal. classified documents. This information was readily available. and the statement gives the impression that the laboratories were trying to hide something or were padding, the numbers. In some cases, private corporations managing laboratories do maintain substantial university collaborations, but it is doubtful that these corporations would maintain the activities mentioned in this sentence. After having stated that the Report would not involve LBNL, this statement, while certainly true for LBNL, appears to imply that something else is true for LLNL and LANL. On the contrary, it can be argued that the statement applies equally well to the other labs, with the exception of the portion of research that is classified. The unclassified research at these laboratories is also known for its excellence and openness and there is no ambiguity for these laboratories that DOE is their customer. They certainly accept the responsibility to deliver scientific products of the highest quality. This allegation has no basis in fact. A number of programs at LANL and LLNL that have highly integrated classified components have exhibited extensive collaborations with faculty. This allegation is simply not true. There are substantial data to the contrary, which were made available to UCORP and can be made available to the Academic Council upon request. IGCC funding comes from the Office of the President out of the contract compensation received by the University for managing the laboratories. There is no reason to expect that the DOE would continue this funding in the absence of the management contracts, especially in view of federal budget cutbacks. This section in the Report is based on several anecdotal reports and does not reflect the long tradition of protection of free speech afforded to members of the laboratory. No examples, of which there are many, of University management protecting free speech were given or apparently sought. In fact, Dr. DeWitt was allowed to speak his mind freely on many occasions, something that may not have happened if LLNL had been managed by a private corporation during his tenure. Furthermore, this statement gives the impression that it was LLNL that removed his clearance, when it was, in fact, removed by the DOE. Also, simply because classified material may appear in the Congressional Record, it does not make it unclassified or remove the responsibility of cleared individuals from their responsibility for protecting classified information. This is because no such evidence was sought. In fact, the University has charged the President's Council on the National Laboratories with monitoring the atmosphere at the laboratories for free and open expression and as a result the Office of the President is presently investigating an allegation. The quoted statement gives the impression that harassment by supervisors is an ongoing problem. While there will always be such allegations whenever there is a supervisor-employee relationship, our experience over many years of managing, the laboratories has been that such harassment is minor. Laboratory scientists by and large express that the University concern for freedom of expression is one of the major reasons they view continued management by the University to be important. This statement appears to treat allegations as facts and does not provide the other side of the story. Most of the allegations were the results of a reduction in force conducted by LANL last year. The individuals who were laid off, faced with poor prospects for similar employment in northern New Mexico, have sought redress through the courts. That is not an unexpected outcome, but does not necessarily imply that improper procedures were followed. It is true that LANL's human resources policies differ in some respects from those of the University, but that is allowed for business reasons and geographical differences, after review by the University. UCORP does not distinguish which are allegations and which are not, making it appear as if all allegations have resulted in court cases settled in favor of the plaintiff. This is simply not true and presents a misleading picture. This number is greatly exaggerated, leading to the perception that there is a significant rotation back to the Laboratories which is not the case. Furthermore, some of those identified as having come from "DOE Laboratories" did not come from laboratories managed by the UC, but from other DOE laboratories. Furthermore, the Report does not make clear why hiring some individuals from the labs would be a conflict of interest. There is no basis in fact for this statement. OP exercises considerably more oversight over the Laboratory Directors than it does over the Chancellors of the campuses. In fact, it was exactly this kind of excessive oversight that has been imposed on the laboratories by the DOE that the Galvin Committee was complaining about. UCORP would replace such oppressive DOE oversight by University oversight. UCORP presents this as a criticism, when in fact it is a strength. Science and technology do not lend themselves easily to objective evaluation, as is the case for evaluating procurements, or purchasing. Rather, science and technology are evaluated by a thorough system of subjective peer reviews. This is simply not true. Management receives a salary multiplier that is tied directly to the results of the performance-based management contract. One-half of the performance is based on the results of the peer reviews evaluated by the President's Council of the science and technology programs and the other half is determined by performance in business and operations where specific performance indicators are used. This statement is grossly misleading. The University would not enter into a contract with the DOE that did not contain sufficient protection to protect the assets of the University and the taxpayers of the State of California. Given the protection that the contracts do in fact provide, UCORP should probably be more concerned about "nuclear energy or potentially hazardous" research at the campuses. UCORP implies that because collaborations may benefit the University, this may somehow constitute a conflict of interest. This implication has no basis in fact, in that any collaborations that result because of the management contracts are completely consistent with the terms of the contract. How can "real administrative costs" be costs that were not actually expended? This presumed argument is totally opaque. On p. 14, UCORP raised the concern about the potentially large financial responsibility the University might incur from certain laboratory activities. Here they are arguing for accepting such responsibility . Neither statement has any basis in fact and is simply conjecture on the part of UCORP. The second statement is incredible.