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Personnel News


By Keith Cowing
December 31, 1999

14 December 1999: Mulville Named Associate Deputy Administrator , NASA PAO

02 December 1999: NASA’s Chief Engineer, Daniel R. Mulville, will be the new NASA Associate Deputy Administrator, NASA Watch

Mulville will replace Jack Daily who will become the new Director of the Natinal Air and Space Museum

Editor’s note Gee, it certainly takes PAO a loooooong time to get the news out these days.

9 November 1999: NASA chief nears a milestone, MSNBC

“Even Cowing, whose Web site sometimes posts pictures of Goldin electronically altered to resemble a “Star Trek” villain called the Borg, said
he admires some of Goldin’s work. In his more visionary moments, Goldin “clicks with what it’s about to be a species about to jump off this planet and explore the universe,” Cowing said. “When he talks about his grandchildren looking up to the stars, he’s everybody’s grandfather when he says that.”

Editor’s note: my calculations show that Dan surpasses Webb’s term for continuous service as NASA Administrator sometime on Sunday, 21 November.

5 November 1999: Buyout and Early Out Retirement for Code F and AI, Centerwide email to all ARC civil servants.

29 October 1999: Why a Healthy Work Force is Important, a note from Dan Goldin to all NASA employees

“Healthy employees are the pillars of NASA’s success and can get the job done better and more efficiently. An investment in healthy lifestyle improvement is an investment in NASA’s future, and is one of the most significant competitive advantages available today”

28 October 1999:
Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting, NASA HQ

3. Mr. Goldin

“Mr. Goldin clarified a statement he made at Friday’s, October 22, Senior Management Council (SMC) meeting regarding Red Team activities. He said that intellectual discussions are healthy and a part of the fundamental modes of doing business. He also added that intellectual discussions are not meant to add to workplace stress. Mr. Goldin emphasized that the concepts on which he spoke (on Friday) are “technical and complex”concepts. He encouraged the Associate Administrators (AA’s) and Center Directors to discuss these concepts and to ask questions. Mr. Goldin will be available, along with Dr. Mulville, Mr. Venneri, and Mr. Gregory, to answer any questions. Mr. Goldin reiterated that safety, quality, and reliability are primary starting points for conducting NASA business. Mr. Goldin stated that the leadership of NASA (AA’s and Center Directors) must deal with the issue of stress in the workplace. Beginning next week, Mr. Goldin plans to introduce a new theme on occupational health at every telecon. If he is not in attendance at the telecon, Gen. Dailey will share Mr. Goldin’s theme with attendees.”

Editor’s note: Isn’t it curious how these official, public minutes make no mention whatsoever of the Code F video presentation – nor Dan’s obvious disatisfaction with them? (see below)

Special editor’s note for Dan: If you really want to reduce workplace stress then YOU need to set the example for others to follow. YOU need to start to behave more professionally and stop jumping down people’s throats for silly things like worm logos. When you act this way, it only serves to condone the inappropriate behavior of others. Why should anyone bother to listen to you (except under threat of punishment or reassignment) when you seem to feel that such outbursts are an acceptable management tool? I am sure the ISO9000 auditors would frown on your approach if they were allowed to review your management procedures.

Small wonder people are under stress at NASA when you behave this way.

26 October 1999: Dan sees worm, kicks Code F out of meeting.

Editor’s note: Code F presented a video at the Senior Management Committee Meeting last Friday describing current NASA educational programs. Included at one point is a brief, 2 second flash from some old footage that included the NASA worm logo. The instant that this appeared on the screen, Dan Goldin shouted to stop the tape, stating that he’d “seen enough” and ordered the presenters out of the room. Goldin then directed all Associate Adminstrators and Center Directors to remove worms wherever they appear. Word has it that the large granite worm on the outside NASA HQ is on the list for removal.

Goldin then apologized for having gone ballistic and said that he did not intend this to be a reflection on the work of Code F. None the less, several Associate Administrators present at this meeting have let it be known to others that they feel that Goldin’s behavior was inappropriate and totally uncalled for.

To heighten the absurd atmosphere of the meeting, toward the end, Goldin noted that a lot of people at NASA Headquarters were stressed out and ordered senior management to do something to stop this.

Echoes of Captains Bligh, Queeg, and Ahab anyone?

24 October 1999: After 7.5 years, NASA ARC Public Affairs still doesn’t know how to spell the administrator’s last name.

Editor’s note: Have a look at the newspaper graphic on the NASA ARC news page “Dan Golden Unveils vision for Future of Aeronautics in NASA”


Update: They pulled the offending image and replaced it with another. Look here to see what was originally online.

Meanwhile, I stumbled across another PAO hidden treasure as well – at GRC PAO – a picture of Dan Goldin when he worked at Lewis Research Center in the 1960’s.

Note: Look here if NASA GRC PAO has yanked the offending image.

12 October 1999: Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors’ Meeting

A/Mr. Goldin

Mr. Goldin commented on the budget. The Appropriations Committees worked hard to get us where we are, above the President’s request. Mr. Goldin recognizes that the level of earmarks is frustrating. He would like to spend some time at a future Senior Management Council meeting discussing this issue in preparation for next year’s budget process.

Mr. Goldin was disappointed to learn from an ABC News story about bickering within JPL about the Mars Climate Orbiter failure. He stressed that people make mistakes and it is destructive to place blame. We need to fix the system.”

Editor’s note: I have seen and heard some rather wild things attributed to Dan Goldin while “watching” NASA, but hearing that Dan actually admonished others for “placing blame”, when he himself is a deft practioner of the art, has got to be among the most hypocritical things he has ever said.

7 October 1999: Tense Nerves at NASA – The Toll of a Lost Space Probe, ABC News

“The lab has been rife with rumors that the navigation team determined 10 days before the accident that the spacecraft was on a course that would take it too close to Mars, ample time to make a course adjustment. According to lab lore, the navigators are being blamed to save the brass, which failed to heed the warning. “

14 October 1999: ARC seeks buyout authority from NASA HQ: center-wide email from the Chief of the ARC Human Resources Division regarding “Proposed Separation Incentive Pay (Buyout) for Research and Development Services Directorate and Aeronautical Information Technologies Division”.

“Ames has submitted a proposal to NASA Headquarters requesting limited buyout authority in specific organizations. This request is being made to facilitate the changing complement allocations for targeted organizations resulting from the refocusing of Ames missions and goals.”

30 September 1999: Agencies say 100,000 jobs could be contracted out, Government Executive

“A series of agencies have identified more than 100,000 jobs that could potentially be outsourced to private firms….. The lists of jobs that could be contracted out are required by the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act. Under the FAIR Act, agencies reviewed every job in their workforces to determine whether they had to be performed by a government employee. If not, the job went on the FAIR Act list. .”

FAIR Act report , Government Executive

“This special ongoing section provides lists of jobs that could potentially be outsourced under the 1998 Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act. New lists will be added as agencies release them.”

NASA Section – lists 7,957 jobs that NASA said are commercial in nature, but none of them are slated for outsourcing.

19 August 1999:  Thompson puts pressure on managers to improve

“Providing federal leaders with lists of their agencies’ unresolved management
weaknesses, Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., urged every agency to address those weaknesses in the annual performance plans required under the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). Thompson developed the lists based on General Accounting Office and inspector general reviews of federal operations in recent years.”

19 August 1999:   Letter from Sen. Thompson to Dan Goldin regarding Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), Government Executive

22 July 1999: The Changing Face of NASA, MSNBC

“The drive toward diversity poses a particular challenge for the space agency in light of the agency’s shrinking budgets and payrolls, says Keith Cowing, a former NASA worker who is now the editor of NASA Watch, an independent online publication. “You have declining budgets, you have the increased need for diversity, you have the increased need to cut people, and you have the
need to do the things that need to be done at the end of the day – and you have a collision ….”

28 June 1999: Will Colonel John R. Rogacki (USAF) be the director of the new Space Transportation Directorate at MSFC?

Editor’s note: That’s what the internal MSFC email seems to be showing.

29 June 1999: Memo from MSFC Center Director Art Stephenson regarding the appointment of Colonel John R. Rogacki

Update: MSFC Center Director Art Stephenson has brought a TRW manager, Robert (Bob) Sackheim, to be on his staff as a propulsion expert. He will come on board sometime after Labor

28 June 1999: Frank Rose named director of NASA Marshall Center’s new Science Directorate, MSFC press release

22 June 1999: Ex-astronaut named Marshall executive, Huntsville Times

“Former astronaut and Huntsville native Jan Davis is coming home for an executive position at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Davis, who in 1992 was half of the first married U.S. couple to fly in space, has been named deputy director of the new Flight Projects Directorate at Marshall, according to Marshall spokesman Tim Tyson.”

22 June 1999: GRC Deputy Center Director Marty Kress to Leave NASA

17 June 1999: Union Help Allowed for Agency Probes, AP, Yahoo

“Federal employees have the right to a union representative’s help when they are questioned by an agency inspector general, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The decision upheld a federal appeals court ruling that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its inspector general committed an unfair labor practice by restricting a union
representative’s efforts to aid an employee during a questioning session.”

17 June 1999: IGs represent management, Supreme Court rules, Government Executive Magazine

“The investigators employed in NASA’s [Office of the Inspector General] are unquestionably ‘representatives’ of NASA when acting within the scope of their employment,” the court ruled.”

16 June 1999: NASA Selects Key Space Flight managers, NASA Press release

William Readdy has been appointed Deputy Associate Administrator
for the Office of Space Flight
Michael Hawes has been named Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Development (Space Station)
Norm Starkey has been named Director for Space Shuttle

16 June 1999: Tom Leudke selected as associate adminstrator for Procurement, NASA press release

1 June 1999: Letter from Dan Goldin to Members of the NASA Senior Executive Service regarding “Agency Culture and Corporate Communication”

“Recently, I addressed a group of program management trainees at the Agency’s training facility at Wallops Island. I was appalled at the lack of awareness of the Agency organization, principles, and initiatives demonstrated by the next generation of NASA leaders. These future leaders could not identify our four Enterprise Associate Administrators. They could not provide even the most rudimentary facts about the Agency Safety Initiative. Something is wrong.”

Editor’s note: Dan, you have personally approved every SES candidate at NASA for many, many years now. Moreover, you have been the one who has been running NASA since 1992. One would think that you’d take some personal responsibility for this situation instead of just expecting everyone else to accept the blame. Perhaps YOU could work towards improving your communcation skills too.

NASA Watch Readers’s note:“It is more interesting that I, a member of the NASA SES, had to read this letter on NASA Watch. As of Friday, 4-Jun, I had neither seen this letter nor had even heard anyone at my Center discuss its existence. Interesting…”

10 May 1999: Larry Knauer to Head Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion, PR Newswire, Yahoo

“During his 18-year career at Lockheed Martin, Knauer has held a series of key assignments. Most recently, he has been vice president and program manager for the X-33/RLV program, a
potential Space Shuttle replacement….”

10 May 1999: Management changes at Boeing/ISS

Doug Stone announced at the 7:30 all hands this morning that Brewster Shaw will be named Vice president for Space Station and that Steve Goo will be Jay Greene’ s counterpart as Director of Development.

3 May 1999: Hughes names Randy Brinkley new senior VP of satellite programs, press release, Florida Today

9 April 1999: OPM issues revised RIF rules, Government Executive Magazine

8 April 1999: McClain to leave NASA; Hawes named acting Chief of Space Station, NASA Press release

8 April 1999: Top Space Station Officials Quit, AP, Yahoo

“NASA says the resignations of the two top administrators for the space station have nothing to do with lengthy delays in the project or problems with Russia.”

Editor’s note: To all of you out there harboring conspiratorial tendencies: There is no linkage whatsoever between the timing of these two departures – both of which were rumored for quite some time. Trust me.

5 April 1999: 
Holloway to replace Brinkley

JSC Center Director George Abbey announced this morning that Shuttle Program Manager Tommy Holloway will replace Randy Brinkley as Space Station Program Office Manager.

1 April 1999:  Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Editor’s note: Dan Goldin took office on April Fool’s day 1992. He is now the second longest serving NASA Administrator – he will exceed Jim Webb’s record sometime in November. Meanwhile, NASA Watch just turned 3.

8 February 1999: Peterson named Dryden Director, NASA Press release

1 February 1999: Marshall to hire 60 in 2000, Huntsville Times

2 February 1999: Memo from LeRC Center Director Donald J. Campbell to all LeRC employees regarding LeRC’s name change.

” The renaming of the Center will require many changes. We have initiated an
impact assessment on the name change and are developing a proposed
implementation timeline. This will be a great opportunity for you to become
involved in the many tasks necessary to effect this change. I know you will
join in as we prepare the Center for transition and the upcoming
celebration events.”

Editor’s note: it’s rather curious how the name change was noted here at NASA Watch, within HQ budget documents, and elsewhere before LeRC management bothered to officially tell their employees.

Meanwhile, I wonder just how much this Lewis to Glenn name change will cost NASA. Given Dan’s obsession with worm logo eradication, one would expect that no expense will be spared to hoist John Glenn’s name around LeRC as fast as possible so as to capitalize on its fading PR value.

1 February 1999: Has NASA already renamed Lewis Research Center as the “Glenn Research Center”?

Editor’s note: if you download and open the Summary of NASA budget request for FY 2000 (PDF format) and go to pages 7 and 10 you’ll see reference to “Glenn Research Center”. Alas, the LeRC – er GRC workyear distribution gets cut from 2,003 in FY 1999 to 1,983 in FY 2000. So much for the perceived political advantage of flying John Glenn in space and then naming a space center in his home state after him.

29 January 1999:
Briefing “MSFC: Restructuring for the Future

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.