Appendix B

Report of WIYN Strategic Planning Meeting 2

October 1997

Strategic Plan - 1998

Appendix A - Org Chart

Appendix C - Jun 1997 Rpt

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The second meeting to discuss a WIYN Strategic Plan was held on October 5, 1997 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The meeting produced the key elements for a Strategic Plan for the WIYN Consortium based on the Provisional Mission Statement:

WIYN is a consortium of public and private educational institutions that seeks to:

In achieving its mission the WIYN Consortium has a variety of resources to call on, including the excellent WIYN Telescope, scientists, engineers, and technical experts in its member institutions, and telescope users within and beyond the WIYN Consortium. The major difficulty in effectively engaging these resources for WIYN lies in the diffuse nature of any consortium. The first priority for the near term is therefore to develop and implement a revised management plan for WIYN. Other priority near term actions include further activities in the areas of instrument definition and development, continuing to enhance and modernize the WIYN Observatory, and supporting innovative observing modes on WIYN.

In addition to the specific areas reviewed below, the question of scientific collaborations within WIYN was discussed. This is seen as a still largely untapped resource for WIYN. We need to explore ways to convert the diversity among the WIYN partners into a strength for our consortium. One way to do this would be to find mechanisms that could encourage research collaborations between the WIYN partners.


WIYN Management

  1. There is a need to define more clearly the management structure for WIYN, including the roles of the key components of the management structure, which are currently the Board and the SAC. As a preliminary step to defining the WIYN management structure, it would be useful to take into consideration administrative models for a few other consortia.
  2. In general, it was felt that there was a need for a stronger executive in the WIYN project. This stronger executive was referred to as the "WIYN Director." The Director would be responsible for developing a long range vision for WIYN, and this vision would be reflected in (approximately) five year plans and also in annual program plans. The authority and responsibility of the director should be matched, which means that the director should have signature authority over the spending of WIYN funds. The director would also be responsible for implementing Board policies. Some incentives would be required to make this an attractive position, including relief from teaching or other duties and an opportunity to allocate some discretionary time. The general feeling was that in order to be effective, the appointment as Director should last for a minimum of two and preferably as long as five years so that the incumbent would have time to learn the position, become effective in it, and acquire a personal stake in, and an identification with, the success of the WIYN project. It was unclear whether it was necessary for this person to be resident in Tucson, but it was thought that WIYN would probably receive more focused attention from the director if he/she were located at the site of the telescope. The group had no opinion on whether the director should be identified through an external recruitment process or selected from the WIYN partners' staffs and given substantial relief from existing obligations. Director needs to be able to devote significant amount of time to WIYN.
  3. The WIYN Board should set overall policy for the project, review major proposals, appoint key staff, including the director, define the job description and expectations of the director, and review the performance of the director. If a new management structure is put in place, the Board should also review that structure for effectiveness after one year and at periodic intervals thereafter.
  4. The WIYN SAC should be advisory to the director and should report directly to the Board so that the Board has a critical assessment of scientific performance. The WIYN SAC should appoint its own chair, should review observatory projects, should meet at regular intervals but be empowered to call its own meetings whenever it wishes, and should serve as an interface between the WIYN project and the partner institutions.
  5. If WIYN is to achieve its full scientific potential, there must be greater involvement of the scientific staffs of the partners in WIYN and greater institutional commitment. It is highly desirable that at least one scientist on a rotating basis from the university members be resident in Tucson to monitor the performance of the telescope in terms of its ability to perform to specifications and deliver scientific observations efficiently. The universities also need to take the initiative in preparing proposals for new instrumentation, and to identify PI's for instruments included in the WIYN long range plan.


Instrumenting WIYN

3.1 Overview

A working group was charged to devise a process by which new instrumentation is to be proposed, built, and brought into operation on the WIYN telescope. The main focus of the group lies with facility, rather than University, instruments.

3.2 Initiation/Motivation for New Instrumentation

The group identified two main drivers for developing new instrumentation at WIYN: interest in a particular science and/or interest in enhancing existing strengths of the telescope.

Aside from these broadly worded drivers the group identified five options for initiating the process: an individual PI, the SAC, the strategic planning working group, operations, or an instrument program leader.

3.3 Development of Scientific Rationale

Regardless of the initiation, the next stage of instrument development requires that an individual (instrument leader - IL) take responsibility for detailing the motivation and justification of a particular instrument. This should also include a rough estimate of the cost and timescale for the instrument. The role of the IL is to develop the scientific rationale of the instrument and to justify the further development to the consortium as a whole.

Because several individuals may be developing instrumentation plans simultaneously, an overall Instrument Program Leader (IPL) will be given the responsibility to monitor the individual efforts. The role of the IPL is largely to avoid duplication and foster collaboration between individual instrumentation development. An individual developing a preliminary instrumentation plan must inform the IPL of their activities. While it is the responsibility of the IPL to organize any necessary "road shows", it rests with the individual project leaders to present their plans to the consortium at large.

It is the responsibility of the SAC to give final approval that a particular instrumentation plan may proceed beyond this preliminary level. The SAC also has the responsibility to decide between instrumentation plans.

The following must emerge from this process for any instrumentation plan to move forward: 1) a well-defined instrument; 2) a well-defined team with a defined leader to build the instrument; and 3) a contact person at each WIYN institution. This group of people are to devise the specific plan to fund and build the instrument.

3.4 Current Science Drivers within WIYN

The working group identified four major scientific drivers for new instrumentation at WIYN.


stellar abundances and variability

Stellar Populations

resolving stars in nearby galaxies


studies of the structure and kinematics of galaxies, and, in particular, their cores.


morphology and colors of high-z galaxies, surveys


These science drivers led to the following broadly sketched ideas for instrumentation.


Hydra upgrades, high-throughput spectrograph for abundances, retaining synoptic capability.

Stellar Populations

AO, concentration on imaging in the blue, wide-field imaging, and having access to more filters.


AO, wide-field imaging, IFU spectroscopy


Wide-field imaging for surveys, wide-field IR imaging, IFU spectroscopy with AO.

3.5 Future Instrumentation on the WIYN Telescope

Then, under the assumption that tip/tilt will happen before this process begins, we picked some candidate instrument projects for consideration in the context of the process above. This list should not be considered definitive nor representative. It simply reflects the opinions of those present. In an effort to determine priorities, participants were allowed to vote with green dots signifying being in favor of near term development of a particular instrument and red dots signifying being against that development. A second ``vote'' was held using blue dots to signify being in favor of the long term (5+ years) development of a particular instrument. Again, this list is representative only of the interests of those present in this working group.

High Throughput Spectrograph

6 green, 0 blue, 0 red

New Port

4 green, 5 blue, 0 red

Wide-Field Optical Imager(1)

3 green, 2 blue, 0 red

Hydra enhancements

2 green, 1 blue, 0 red

Enhance Scattered Light Perfor.

1 green, 0 blue, 0 red

Integral Field Spectroscopy(2)

1 green, 2 blue, 0 red

IR Imager

0 green, 1 blue, 0 red

AO like PUEO(3)

1 green, 1 blue, 2 red

(1) This would be a new instrument with a larger field of view than the mini-mosaic.

(2) This would be a new instrument, not Densepak.

(3) This is not the tip/tilt system currently being developed.

We recognize that considerable effort has already gone into studying the development of a new port and into Hydra enhancements and these efforts should continue.

It seems like only the top 3 or 4 projects in this poll had the support amongst the participants to warrant further study. Given that, the group tried to get volunteers, or people volunteered by others, for study groups on the higher-ranked items above. The lists are given below.

High Throughput Spectrograph:

Jacoby, Honeycutt, Barden

New Port:

Anderson, Sawyer, Bailyn

Wide-Field Optical Imager:

Wilcots, Armandroff

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is the responsibility of others in the WIYN community to initiate the study of other possible facility instruments following the process outlined in the first part of this report.


Enhancing WIYN Resources to Meet the Future

The long term vision for the WIYN Consortium, developed during the strategic planning meetings on June 14 & 15 and October 5, 1997, clearly identifies the need for a more effective administrative structure and a specific facilities development plan. In order for WIYN to realize these goals it will be necessary to supplement the current 6.5 FTE level of available resources. In this plan key resource needs are identified, the level of resource enhancement is estimated, and possible sources for funding are proposed.

4.1 Resource Needs

  1. Executive Director

Based on the management Plan developed for the WIYN vision, an executive director is needed to produce a more effective administrative structure. There are two possible options for funding the position:

    1. a full-time director is hired from outside the consortium and supported from internal funds not yet identified. In this case the director would be dedicated to WIYN on a full-time basis.
    2. the director could be a faculty/staff member from one of the WIYN institutions paid by their home institution, but granted release time so that they can dedicate efforts to WIYN. Per the management plan, a minimum commitment of 0.3 FTE "off the top" would be required to be an effective WIYN director.
  1. On-site scientists
  2. The management plan also identifies the need for two scientists from WIYN institutions to be located in Tucson with release time to dedicate 0.5 FTE each to WIYN. The half-time scientists would fill the roles of the telescope scientist and instrument scientist.

  3. Telescope Upgrades
  4. Internal funds need to be allocated to an ongoing program for facility upgrades and enhancements. In order to maintain WIYN as a competitive, state-of-the-art facility, it will be necessary to supplement the current staffing level of 6.5 FTE with the equivalent of 2 additional FTE.

    The support could be obtained by increasing the yearly operations budget, utilizing university resources, or a combination of both.

  5. Maintenance
  6. The current level of staffing (6.5 FTE) will be sufficient for maintaining the facility at the best possible efficiency for the existing state of the equipment. As systems become obsolete, however, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain efficient performance without upgrades and enhancements.

  7. Instrument Development

New instruments will be needed for WIYN in order to stay competitive scientifically. Without a source of funds for evaluating new instrument ideas and feasibility, it is very difficult to get initiatives started. A source of seed money is needed to both get initiatives started and to match proposal funding.

4.2 Fund Raising Possibilities

Although release time from home institutions could provide some of the needed resources at WIYN, such as a director or scientists, there remains a need for other resources, such as instrument development. Two possible sources of additional funds include:

    1. Naming possibilities (e.g. instruments, ports, telescope, etc)
    2. WIYN-wide private fund raising effort

Estimate of Resource Levels Needed


Yearly WIYN Cost Estimate


Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Director (0.3 FTE release time)

$ 0K


Director (new hire)



Scientists (0.5 FTE release time each)

$ 0K

$ 0K

Telescope Upgrades (2 FTE)



Instrument Development (seed money)



Total increase in yearly cost







Scenario 1

Scenario 2








$ 68K

$ 94K


$ 68K

$ 94K

The group exploring this area believes that WIYN should consider how it can match its funding and needs to achieve the best balance between a low cost operation and high performance astronomical research facility.