Friday, November 8, 2002
Media contact: Jeff Garberson (510) 987-0105
Pager (877) 992.2850



After leading the University of California to strong improvements in the management and oversight of the Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, Vice President of Laboratory Management John P. McTague has announced his intention to return to UC Santa Barbara, where he holds a position as Professor of Materials.

Dr. McTague has served as the Vice President of Laboratory Management since the University created the position in 2001 to help strengthen oversight and management of three national laboratories that the University of California operates for the Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with an exceptionally able and collegial team at the laboratories, the UC Office of the President, DOE and NNSA. These laboratories are unique national resources, and I look forward to continuing to help them perform their invaluable service to our nation in any way I can,” said Dr. McTague.

During his tenure, Dr. McTague initiated efforts that improved the University’s management of the laboratories in a number of key areas including security, safety and accountability. Under his leadership, for example, UC engaged industrial firms to obtain important expertise in security and project management to first reassess and then strengthen the labs’ internal systems in these areas.

Dr. McTague’s announcement comes a month after the NNSA, the semi-autonomous agency that oversees the national security labs at Livermore and Los Alamos, completed a focused two-year review of the University’s contract in five specific areas: Management Accountability, Safety and Security, Facilities Safety, Project Management and Critical Skills (skilled workforce retention). The University received the highest performance rating possible from the NNSA in all categories. Additionally, the labs consistently receive outstanding rankings from NNSA for the quality of their science and technology programs.

Dr. McTague also improved the internal procedures for completing large-scale complex scientific projects on budget and on time. Indeed, under Dr. McTague’s leadership, one of the more complex contemporary scientific projects -- the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore -- reversed its previous history of cost overruns and construction delays. The project, a critical component of our nation’s nuclear stockpile stewardship program, has now met the latest DOE milestones for cost and performance.

“It’s clear that John’s leadership and private sector experience have led to real changes in the day-to-day management of the labs,” said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. “These improvements come at a time when once again all of us are reminded of the critical importance of the scientific mission of the men and women working in these laboratories.”

“While I am pleased with our progress, the University will continue to pursue every opportunity to strengthen our management performance of these important national science and technology assets. Therefore, the appointment of a successor will have my highest priority,” President Atkinson concluded.

McTague’s resignation will become effective with the appointment of a new vice president.

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