Lamont Weekly Report, February 4, 2011

Monday, 31 January: Driving down the PIP after work, I hit a pothole. My front tire doesn't go flat; it actually breaks. New tire on backorder.  Tuesday, 1 February, Day 1 of the interim: Pat O'Reilly calls me at 6AM to tell me that the buses can probably run, and that I would lose credibility if I declared a snow day. We decide to stay open.

Wednesday, 2 February, Day 2 of the interim: The heck with credibility; the sidewalks are too slippery for safe walking. Pat recommends a delayed opening and we call it. Then, a water main breaks on campus.

And so it goes...

Seriously, the transition could not be going more smoothly (except for the water main). Mike Purdy and Steve Cohen have given me all the resources I need and have been generous with their time. Bev, Miriam, Bonnie and Dana have assisted my move into the director's office and familiarization with the office systems. The first few days have been occupied by discussions with the Associate Directors and Division Administrators on their FY12 budget projections, by a continuation of the NSF Business Systems Review, and by transition meetings with administration and development. I've also had a fair amount of homework.

I intend to maintain the high standard of communication set by Mike, and will continue with these weekly reports and other messages as needed. I will maintain the schedule of Observatory Management Group, Campus Management Group, and Executive Committee meetings, as well as other standing committee and ex officio obligations on Earth Institute andColumbia committees. Very soon, I will schedule meetings with each of the research divisions to discuss objectives during the interim.

As some of you are aware, I am involved in the process of setting up the search committee for the next director. I expect that the search will be as open as confidentiality allows. I anticipate that there will be an announcement about the process next week.

In other news...

Staff reviews of Lamont Post-Doc Fellowship applications are due by February 11.

As approved by the Executive Committee at its last meeting, Lamont is the first unit at Columbia to adopt an Open Access policy for technical publications. The policy will be effective on March 1 and is easy to implement. Articles and other material will be placed on Columbia's Academic Commons. A copy of the policy has been sent to all the divisions.

For more information about Academic Commons, please visit: For more information about the Copyright Advisory Office, please visit:

Shipyard work on the Langseth has been completed. She will sail to Point Loma in San Diego after a few tours of San Francisco Bay for photos. Sean Higgins and his staff have done a terrific job.

The water main break to the Instrument Lab has been found and is being repaired. Only non-potable uses will be allowed until the repaired main is disinfected. The lab will reopen on Monday, but it will take another couple of days before we can allow drinking from the taps. Notices will be posted when it is safe to drink. The water, that is.

On my calendar for next week: more budget, development, EI and Columbia meetings, and a special talk by Adam Dziewonski.

Happy February.