Personnel News: May 2006 Archives

NASA Administrator Griffin Vists Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sees Stable Future

"In the future he expects JPL to continue to attract new business by competing for missions, but, "If I think JPL is in danger of falling below having the right amount of work to cover the JPL staff, then I will do as I have done at other places I will find you a mission. If you can win enough to keep up the level you're at, you don't need me to do anything." However, he discouraged JPLers from going after major new work that would drive the lab's workforce beyond the current level. "If you kill more than you can eat, I'll probably ask you to send some of that somewhere else."

NASA Names Scales Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management

"NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale announced Monday Charles H. Scales as the new associate administrator for the Office of Institutions and Management."

National Science Board Elects Physician and Former Astronaut to be New Officers, NSF

"At its May 10 meeting, the National Science Board (NSB) elected Steven C. Beering to serve as chair and Kathryn D. Sullivan to serve as vice chair. The new officers replace outgoing chair Warren M. Washington and vice chair Diana S. Natalico."

NASA CIO Leaving

NASA's Chief Information Officer Announces Plans to Step Down

"NASA's Chief Information Officer, Patricia L. Dunnington, announced Tuesday, May 9, she is stepping down from that position at NASA Headquarters. Here is a portion of her announcement: "It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the NASA Chief Information Officer. Over these past three years, we have realized significant accomplishments that benefit both NASA's mission and management functions."

Report: NASA in need of new blood, AP

"NASA's work force is graying and the agency lacks a long-term plan for luring qualified workers to help send astronauts to the moon and Mars, a National Research Council report says."

NASA's Chief of Strategic Communications Leaves for Private Sector

"NASA announced Wednesday that Joe Davis, chief of strategic communications, is leaving the agency to take a position with a private sector public affairs firm. Davis served on the senior management team for NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, overseeing the offices of legislative, public, external affairs and education."

NASA KSC Director Announces Retirement

"James W. Kennedy, the eighth director in the history of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, today announced his intention to retire in January 2007 after 35 years of government service. Kennedy spent 31 of those years with NASA and four with the U.S. Air Force. Kennedy's successor will be announced at a later date."

Reader note: "Eight months of a lame duck? That doesn't compute in any management system I know of."

GRC All Hands Fiasco

Editor's note: The right thing to do after yesterday's all hands fiasco at GRC would be to air a video of the presentation by GRC Director Woodrow Whitlow. That will apparently happen today on GRC TV on Channel 13 and Wednesday at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. A well thought out white paper and accompanying charts would be useful for the vast majority of GRC employees who were not able to hear about the reorganization plan. Whitlow's charts from yesterday have now been posted on the internal GRC website.

As is the case with most NASA Powerpoint presentations these charts are sloppily prepared - and the new management structure is shown with charts that say "Draft". This presentation was apparently created by Whitlow himself since it was created on 21 April 2006 and says "last saved whitlw".

Right now, the net result of this botched attempt by Whitlow to communicate with his workforce is that the majority of GRC employees have only word of mouth or these sloppy charts as their guide to how GRC is being reorganized. Playing the video will help - but someone should have stopped to think this out such that hundreds of people weren't wandering around GRC yesterday.

Once again, Woodrow Whitlow owes his entire workforce an apology.

Reader note: "GRC voice mail announced today that Center Director Woodrow Whitlow will announce a GRC reorganization in an all-hands meeting on Monday, May 1 at 1:00 PM EDT."

GRC Reader note: "Just an update on today's scheduled briefing at GRC. Unbelievable lack of planning for such a critical announcement. Briefing was scheduled for 1:00 to 1:30 in Bldg. 500 auditorium which has a seating capacity of about 500. Depending on which media reports you read, the lab has around 3,000 combined CS and contractor employees.

No arrangements were made for overflow seating or broadcasting. Streams of people started walking over to Bldg. 500 around 12:30, and extra bus capacity was operating. I started walking over around 10 till 1, and ran into a large group turned away due to lack of space. As I was walking back, I saw more people walking over, *and* the extra buses were still running even though there was no place to hear the briefing!

Lots of taxpayer dollars tied up between those spending time to get over early enough to get a seat in the only place to see the briefing, those extra buses, and those who had to go back. And we still don't know what was said!"

Editor's update: C'mon Woodrow - this has to be the most inept attempt at communicating vital information to NASA employees I've heard of in a long time. You owe your people an apology.

NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins Completes Career of Space Firsts

"Astronaut Eileen Collins is leaving NASA. Collins was the first woman to command a space shuttle and the leader of Discovery's Return to Flight mission last year. She plans to pursue private interests and spend more time with family."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from May 2006.

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