Charting NCAR’s course

On January 8, staff had a chance to hear about plans for developing a new NCAR Strategic Plan and opportunities to participate in a process that will shape the organization’s future.

NCAR director Eric Barron introduced the process, ­explaining that NSF has requested a new plan from NCAR and that the change in leadership in the NCAR Directorate makes this an appropriate time. To lay groundwork for an NCAR-wide plan, lab directors from CISL, EOL, ESSL, and RAL then presented their individual labs’ missions, imperatives (ongoing, essential efforts), and frontiers (opportunities for innovation and extension). Staff had the chance to ask questions and make suggestions after each presentation.

Roger Wakimoto (EOL), chair of the Workforce Management Committee, then outlined activities associated with the Workforce Management Plan, which is being developed as part of the new Strategic Plan. The goal of the plan is to take a comprehensive look at the changing workforce in general and how NCAR can optimize its mix of employees to carry out its mission and programs. Subcommittees are being formed to study a broad range of workforce-related topics, including diversity; balancing junior and senior staff; career track options; sabbaticals and leaves; performance reviews; salaries and promotion; mentoring and leadership; and more. The next step, after finalizing the subcommittees, is to create a website to keep staff informed.

  A strategic planning council, chaired by Peter Backlund (Director’s Office), is building the overall NCAR plan based on the material that has been created by divisions, institutes, and laboratories. Background on the process and a complete listing of council members can be found on the NCAR Directorate website. The council will provide periodic updates at town halls, where staff will be free to comment, and drafts will be posted for comment as they become available. Staff are welcome to submit ideas and suggestions to the council by e-mailing Peter.