Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES Members Council Meeting

Monday May 13 2019 @ 12:00 pm
to 2:00 pm





12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Event Type

Closed to Public

  • CIRES employees
  • The CIRES Members Council met on Monday, May 13 in the private room of Kathmandu. For more details, email CMC Chair, Mistia Zuckerman at
    Mistia Zucherman, NSIDC (Chair)
    Alessandro Franchin, CSL (Vice Chair & Eec Mtg Rep)
    Jonathan Kofler, GML (Secretary)
    Eric James, GSL (Membership Chair)
    Antonietta Capotondi, PSL (Fellow Meeting Rep)
    Eric Adamson, SWPC
    Andrew Badger, CIRES IT
    Aaron Sweeney, NCEI
    Nate Campbell, CIRES IT (Rendezvous Chair)
    Mimi Hughes, PSL (Mentoring Chair)
    Joe Katich, CSL
    Michael Toy, GSL
    Dawn Umpelby (Rendezvous co-Chair)
    Adam Woods, NCEI
    Molly Hardman, NSIDC 
    Susan Sullivan (special guest from the office of diversity and inclusion)
    About this Meeting
    The agenda items of this meeting are chosen to get Susan Sullivan’s input on CU family housing, pay equity, foreign national policy at DSRC, and diversity on the outstanding performance committee.  The meeting is started by Susan Sullivan introducing herself to the CMC. 
    Housing Policy and Issues
    Susan: a housing survey was sent out to emails.  CIRES members who don't check that email because they use may have missed the email.  As an aside, Onboarding should include cu email and email forwarding for noaa DSRC folks so they don't miss emails like this.
    Susan: is there concern about the housing survey being transparent?  did everyone see it?  The survey is aimed at finding out if they are building new housing what would people need.  Previous family housing policy changes happened because of a graduate student survey.  There is a new housing survey that will be an opportunity for CMC to advocate for their concerns. She is open to ideas on how to address the housing issue.  Antoinetta: if there is no additional housing built, then prospective incoming employees will continue to be challenged by lack of affordable housing, and it is a moot point or little can be done to improve things.  Ale: it's not realistic to accommodate everyone. It is a limited resource and therefore the rules that surround this limited resource need to be good.
    Susan:  what would be helpful?  Ale: disappointed what happened after his input.  He thought if his ideas and the CMC's ideas were brought to Waleed and Christine that they would campaign to the University on our behalf, but there is no indication that anything happened.  Ale thinks that a connection with the office of postdoctoral affairs might be fruitful because of shared concerns and leveraging their experience.
    Susan: The issue could be elevated to the new HR director and set as a priority.  She has spoken with students who are very concerned about the cost and availability of affordable housing. Susan: Are there examples of people who get offers, but won't come because of difficulty finding housing?  Nate: he put out a job offer and the person declined stating housing as the issue.  Susan: maybe we can document some of those cases, have HR bring these cases to Waleed.  Ale: another thing we have been lacking is reaching out to the post doctoral group. Lots of people in CIRES are actually post docs, but called RS1.  If new policies extend housing to 3 years for post docs, will that include RS1?  Dawn:  we could reach out to other organizations such as LASP.  Susan: She doesn't know much more about housing. There is Boulder south where they may build additional housing.  Jon: Action item for housing?  Ale: Check in and try to reach out to the office of postdoctoral affairs.  He doesn't think people at the housing office will be helpful because they haven't been up to this point. Mistia: Maybe if more people raise the issue with housing, they will hear us and we will get some response.  Mimi: sees that having a connection with the office of postdoctoral affairs would be helpful for other reasons in addition to housing.  Susan: Also, we can plan to meet with new HR director.  The J1, J2 issue got lost because of the transitions in HR. It has been difficult to move forward with so much change (BJ, etc).  Action Item:  Ale will make connection with the office of postdoctoral affairs.
    Foreign National Policy
    Ale: There is a new issue.  Lack of consistency between different divisions. Someone higher up visited DSRC and noted that we weren't enforcing foreign national rules.  Foreign national employees need to be escorted by a federal employee.  Limited work hours.  Mimi: Any visitor who hasn't gone through the security clearance technically falls under the same restrictions.  Limited unescorted access (LUA) permits regions they are allowed to access without supervision.  How can people work?  Lab and office on different floors creates a bigger problem.  17 people in CSL fall under this category.  Mimi:  Policy was inconsistently communicated to people by different feds. There are communication issues in general with federals.  Susan: concerned for morale in general because witnessing it can negatively influence people who may not even be directly affected by the issue.  Antoinetta: you should be able to travel freely and sign yourself in.  Dawn:  is this just a problem at NOAA?  or is this with the feds in general.  Did it come from higher up?.  Joe: his understanding is that it was someone who came in the building and wasn't happy with what they saw.  Mimi:  DSRC has been historically lax. Joe:  this is dehumanizing. People who have been in the building for years are suddenly put under restrictions.  Ale:  if there are secure rooms, they should be locked and don't give keys to people who have restricted access.  Joe:  the person who witnessed was just concerned about the relaxed atmosphere.  There is this concept of drilling down which is Foreign nationals asking questions about what you do is to be perceived as nefarious.  Feds are allowed to ask about what a foreign national does, but not vice versa.  Joe's sentiment is that if he were in a foreign national position under those circumstances, he would not want to be there.  Mimi:  Clarity of message is what's important. Joe agrees.   What about the cafeteria?.  Antoinetta.  it makes people who are in this position and their feds miserable.  Is this an expression of phobia for foreign people?.  Joe:  Atmosphere of phobia for foreign people and dislike for what we do related to climate.   Joe:  it is very reasonable to feel like this is a targeted attack on the science we do relating to climate and foreigners.  Joe asked about this to feds who don't see that as the case.  Joe:  the more people making noise about this, the better.  Susan, Antoineta:  make noise.   Action item:  Ale, have a conversation with Christine to find out her thoughts on writing a statement to Waleed on the issue, and if so, move forward with writing a evaluate the utility.  Provide a status update at the next meeting.
    Salary Ranges and Pay Equity
    Mistia: other agenda item includes salary ranges and salary equity.  The need for salary range information.  Susan:  would like to look at numbers / data about salaries and see if there is any inequity among race and ethnicity.  She did get to look at compensation in different groups.  The systems for looking at the data that we have are not easy.  If she can get the data from the CU compensation teams, then we can address it.  Within CU HR it is difficult to get.  Jon:  transparency is important.  Susan: we can start and see if we can identify inequities.  The ranges are very large.  $45 - $90k for RS1; Median $70K.  Things need to stay confidential and anonymous.  Ale: rehiring without getting a promotion throws a twist in it?  Nate: consistent career track since 2004.  CIRESHR can run a report on people by CU ID.  Susan: first step, get the data.  It's only 800 people.  Nate:  it could impact career track depending on what we learn.  Maybe 3 career tracks is not enough, etc.  Influence the policy.  Susan: work with what you got. Waleed really wants result (justify your position).  Evaluation has to be part of the scheme.  Antoinetta:  Large differences, some people on soft money.  If there are similar positions, there should be a way to compare.  Mimi: NCAR has transparency and has a better system. Her understanding is that they have pay bands.  They are looking to have more career tracks.  Action item:  Susan, get the data and get someone to help her with that data (what she will need help with is processing the data to answer the questions we want to answer).  Susan is looking at career track.
    Nate:  this friday. Some changes made.  Promotion and years in service have been delivered and those jobs at the Rendezvous can be replaced by guiding people to the lunch room.  There will be no photograph competition this year.  Two posters were rejected because they were submitted late.
    OPA Committee Member Diversity
    OPA committee member: There were 6 men and no women as committee members this year.  how or what should we do?  Should diversity be considered?  Susan:  Often times people putting committee together, if there is a chair, they can consider this.  You want to make sure that your committee is not subject to scrutiny.  There are lots of things to consider.  When Susan puts a committee together, she makes a matrix and tries to make sure organizational and demographic diversity are represented.  OPA member: Do we need to codify anything?  Hazel Bain was a co-author on documentation / guidance for thinking about diversity.  "guide to inclusive meetings".  It is available on the “500 women scientists” website.  
    CMC Google Drive Organization
    Aaron Sweeney took a first pass look at all the folders on the google drive.  Most of the folders have to do with awards and meeting minutes. He will create an awards folder.  Nate: Assigned a student to scan in a stack of awards documents and that is what is in the folder.
    Meeting Adjourned 1:40 pm