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3rd Weekly UCSC Weapons Inspection Tour

5/6/05: Complete with costumes and characters such as UC President Dynes and "Hans" of SNL fame, the march through Science Hill, organized by Students Against War (SAW)'s Demilitarization working group, highlighted UC's management of Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Labs, as well as the large amount of weapons research currently underway on UCSC's campus. Student 'weapons inspectors' stopped outside the new Baskin Engineering building before a die-in outside the Science and Engineering Library. The inspectors also marched silently through the library and passed out information about UCSC's connection to the war machine.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

UC President Robert Dynes
Why the UC chose a former LANL consultant for the Job

Annual Salary: $395,000

Robert C. Dynes, Chancellor of UC San Diego and active Physics professor has been chosen to succeed Richard Atkinson, beating out among others, UCLA, UCSC, and UCSB's Chancellors in the nation wide search.

The decision to give Dynes the helm of the world's premier public university is no doubt motivated by his connections with the UC managed, national nuclear weapons laboratories at Los Alamos (LANL) and Livermore (LLNL). The UC's management role of LANL has been put in question by the Bush administration. Dynes appointment seems to be a strategic move on the part of the UC to bolster its ability to keep control of the Lab, and prevent LLNL from suffering a similar fate.

Dynes connections with the nuclear weapons complex are extensive. According to today's Chronicle, Robert Dynes has served as a consultant to the labs for more than 25 years, is Vice Chair of the UC President's Council on the National Labs, and a member of the UC's five person Board of Oversight for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dynes has also served on the National Security Panel of the UC President's Council for the National Labs whose mission is to; "provide review and guidance to UC on the Livermore and Los Alamos mission of maintaining the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent."(1).

During his service on the President's council Dynes worked side by side with William Friend, Council Chairman in 2000, and retired executive vice president of the Bechtel Group; Thomas A. Brooks III, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who served as director of Naval Intelligence; M. Staser Holcomb, a retired U.S. Navy vice admiral; and Jasper Arthur Welch Jr., a retired U.S. Air Force major general who is a consultant to government and industry in the areas of advanced technology and strategic defense. (Ibid).

The same Chronicle story quotes San Diego attorney John Davies, head of the UC's search committee for a new president, stating, "Dynes expertise on the UC's role with the labs was a plus factor." Dynes himself has expressed that the UC under his direction will most certainly seek out and bid for the Los Alamos weapons lab contract in 2005. Rep. Ellen Tauscher of Walnut Creek, whose district includes the Livermore weapons lab is quoted in the press as approving of Dynes' appointment "[it is] a symbol of the university's commitment to world class science and the important work of the UC-managed national defense laboratories."

Dynes, it appears is a firm believer in the University's management of the nuclear weapons labs. His devotion to maintaining university management of most major research labs is evident in a speech he gave in April of 2003 at LANL entitled, "NUCLEAR AND CONVENTIONAL FORCES: ISSUES FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY":

"In the late 1980s, I began to see that the R&D era dominated in some important fields by U.S. industrial laboratories was coming to an end. As the technology globalized, and as competition intensified, industry felt that research labs were just too expensive to sustain. It became clear that a new era of innovation - one of R, D, & D, or research, development, and shortened times to delivery - would be led by U.S. research universities and national labs."(3).

Dynes is probably correct in his analysis of what is economical and efficient for the production of new technologies. University managed labs have innumerous advantages over corporate management. His rationality and good analysis come to a crashing halt when it comes to nuclear weapons and war. Commenting on the "stockpile stewardship program," a fancy name for the research, design, and modification of existing and new nuclear weapons portrayed as a public service, Dynes remarked;

"Our citizens, our allies, and nations who are not our allies watch that stewardship very closely. They want to know whether these weapons are secure, and in the ultimate worst-case scenario, whether the weapons would perform reliably. They want to be assured that we have adequate margins and predictable behavior. Global perception of our scientific and technological competence is essential."(Ibid).

Furthermore, commenting on his service as a member of the UC President's Council on the National Labs, Dynes outlined his mission firmly " the two weapons labs, the best science & technology was applied to keep the weapons stockpile safe and reliable." (Ibid).

Dynes sums up his belief in the mission and maintenance of the Los Alamos weapons lab by saying "I speak not as a UC spokesman but as a physicist who has taken great pride in service to the labs." (Ibid). Attached at the end of this article is the full text regarding Dynes' position on the UC management of the National Labs in which he thoroughly describes the unique function which UC management serves in the national nuclear weapons and military-science enterprises.

As Chancellor of UC San Diego, Robert Dynes headed one of the more militarize campus within the UC System. UCSD annually conducts tens of millions of dollars in contracted basic research for the Department of Defense and its sub-agencies. In 2000 this sum was approximately $31 million dollars (4). In 2001, military funded research accounted for 7.6% of the school's total research funding having jumped to a total amount of $38.95 million, an increase of 21.3% from the year before (5). Major recent awards for military funded science at UCSD include a $4.4 million grant from the DoD for a project entitled "ONR Ship Time and Administrative Fee," and a $3.6 million grant to the "Center for Chips with Heterogenously Integrated Photonics." (Ibid).

UC San Diego is home of the Scripps Institute for Oceanography, a heavily military funded center which conducts research in fields of environmental, oceanographic, and ecological importance. In 2001 the Scripps institute garnered $19 million in DoD funding accounting for nearly 4% of the schools total research funds.

A recently established program at UC San Diego seeks to bolster the campuses ties with the LANL through a joint effort to funnel engineering students into employment and research at the weapons lab. A recent Los Alamos press release describes UCSD and LANL's collaboration as "a joint education initiative to train engineers in disciplines that support Los Alamos' mission of enhancing global security." The initiative is a comprehensive effort aimed at educating and placing the next generation of researchers from the UC into the weapons labs:

"This research will support critical infrastructure management in both the civil and defense sectors, including stewardship of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, and maintenance of bridges, roads and aircraft."

Los Alamos plans to hire approximately 300 engineers over the next five years, many of them early in their careers, and the initiative with the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering will help fill the laboratory's need for a well-trained workforce.

"A primary focus will be creation of a graduate-level, research-based engineering degree program co-located at UCSD and Los Alamos. Students will be required to participate in ongoing research at Los Alamos or at UCSD, and qualified students may opt to continue on for a Ph.D. Beginning this summer, four UCSD structural engineering graduate students will be awarded Los Alamos fellowships, and eventually as many as 30 students a year may enroll in the program."(6).

An exemplary recent accomplishment of the Jacobs School of Engineering is the testing of Northrop Grumman's "Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle." The military technology is described as;

"a key player Army's latest campaign in Iraq, was on-hand at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering for a series of structural tests. The collaborative project, spearheaded by John Kosmatka, a professor of applied mechanics in the structural engineering department, is another example of the Schoolís continuing collaboration with industry." (Ibid).

New UC President Robert Dynes is a typical example of an administrator with an interest and desire to maintain the university-military relationship. His work as consultant to the UC managed weapons labs, and his stint as UCSD Chancellor make him the ideal candidate for the new post of President. The UC's coming campaign to defend its role as manager of the LANL weapons labs it appears will be conducted well under the orchestration of Dynes.



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