Monday, June 20, 2011

Fermilab To Reduce Staff By 5%

With tight budget foreseen in the coming years, and with the Tevatron to be shut down at the end of September, Fermilab management is seeking to reduce its staff by 5%.

Oddone said that the lab will move as many employees as possible to jobs on new experiments and projects, many of which already are well under way and in need of extra help. Still, he said, there will be a mismatch between the lab’s current work force and what is needed for the future programs.

According to Fermilab’s website, if fewer than 100 people volunteer, the laboratory may have to move to layoffs.

The mood that I'm getting out of Fermilab employees right now is one of dejected disillusionment. Despite a list of experiments ongoing and in the future at the lab, there is a sense of an end-of-an-era with the impending shut down of the Tevatron. Students and postdocs trying to wind down their research work as soon as they can, and I'm not even sure if any new students or postdocs can be recruited to continue the data analysis that will go on for years after the end of the Tevatron (aren't some people still looking at data from Zeus years after its shut down?).

One can only hope that the golden years of this laboratory is not already behind them.


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