Lamont Weekly Report, October 17, 2008

The press release went out yesterday announcing that Walter Alvarez of  UC Berkeley is the winner of the 2008 Vetlesen Prize (see our web page for details).  I am extremely pleased with this selection - Walter is a wonderful  person (and an ex-Lamonter - Doc Ewing's last post doc apparently) - and we greatly look forward to hosting him for the medal 
ceremony, to be presided over by Lee Bollinger in Low Library on November 21st.  It is a testament to his continued active involvement in geological research and education that it took me a week to track him down and give him the good news - because he was in the field outside cell phone coverage.

It has taken too long for me to live up to a promise that I made to everyone at a Lamont-wide meeting in early 2007 - but finally we now have a new full-time position in the Director's office with the title Assistant Director for Academic Affairs and Diversity.  Dr Kuheli Dutt joined us on Monday of this week to take on this new role. She will have a steep learning curve in the coming months as she learns the unique characteristics of this complex organism that is Lamont, and I hope everyone will offer help and support as appropriate. Kuheli's appointment is one of the most substantial steps we have taken in our mission to continuously improve the quality of the work environment on campus. Naturally she will be working closely with Robin Bell and the ADVANCE program.

I made a presentation downtown at Wednesdays Council of Deans meeting on the Research Professor initiative - it went well - I think very well.  I am on the agenda for the next Executive Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in November and will be meeting with all the Directors and Chairs of the Arts and Sciences in a few weeks - to talk about precisely the same subject.  The train is rolling and gaining speed.

I had two free lunches this week - the first was courtesy of the wonderful folks who were nominated for the Lamont service award this year: Ann Binder, IRI; Kathy Carlsen, HR; Diane Hicks, Finance; Karen Hoffer, Purchasing; Rob Kakasik and Doug Shearer from IT; Mary Pasquince, Trop Ag; and Catherine Tozer, Geochem.  As previously 
announced Cathy Troutman from the Safety office was the awardee this year, but all these folks deserve our sincerest thanks for doing so much of the hard work that actually keeps this business running.  And thank you also to all the folks who prepared and submitted the nominations.

We also had a lunch this week to recognize those with 10 years of service with CU - there were 21 folks this year, many of whom, not surprisingly, were from CIESIN, (because 1998 was the year they made their eastward trek from Michigan).  Thank you to all the folks in HR for making this such a success.

This weekend is my official end to the sailing season - the boat gets hauled and put away for the winter - a sad time!

Have great weekend,

Mike