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Freedom of Information Act Office

November 4, 2002

To: IC Directors
From: Acting Director, Executive Secretariat
Subject: IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — October 17, 2002

Decision Item

I. Dr. Zerhouni asked Mr. Self to present his recommendation to standardize NIH EEO programs.

After introducing Selina Lee, Karen Dunlap, and Hyden Shen of his staff, Mr. Self stated that with the IC Directors' approval, as of November 1, 2002, NIH OEODM would rescind EEO precomplaint delegations to 13 ICs so as to bring all precomplaint and complaint processing under its management. Mr. Self stressed that this will afford him the requisite knowledge of outstanding complaints for which he is ultimately responsible and improve trans-NIH uniformity and timeliness.

Another critical motivation driving the recommendation is a new Federal requirement (the "no fear act") that an agency be responsible for any financial settlements and awards pursuant to EEO actions against it. Mr. Self noted that such fiscal responsibility may possibly devolve to the involved IC.

At this point, Dr. Zerhouni stressed that uniformity of knowledge and activities is necessary for the level of accountability and timeliness that he expects from a successful program. Mr. Leasure also added that OS is looking at HHS-wide EEO activities and that Mr. Self's plan will put us in a good position to be ahead of the game in the event of restructuring in the Department.

The group accepted his recommendations. Mr. Self will meet with IC EEO officers to develop performance plan elements; and beginning January 1, 2003, he as well as the IC Director or designee will provide input to each IC EEO Officer's annual performance rating. He also agreed to regularly update ICs and OD Offices on the costs associated with NIH EEO settlements and judgments.

During his discussion, Mr. Self made a personal plea to IC Directors to attend EEO special events. He stressed that such personal appearances send a positive message to NIH staff, who notice and appreciate those who attend. It is incumbent on the IC Directors to show that NIH leadership is involved and cares about diversity issues. Mr. Self attached a list of upcoming observances to his slides.

Discussion Items

II. Update on Hormone Therapy Scientific Workshop

John Burklow praised the NIH information officers who have worked so hard on this meeting. He will provide talking points for Drs. Zerhouni and Kirschstein and the involved IC Directors to use at a press opportunity at the end of the workshop. Dr. Fauci urged that NIH make a broad general closing statement at that time.

Dr. Zerhouni closed this discussion by thanking the many NIH staff who have coordinated and participated in the planning for this major event.

III. October 4 Science Article — Decline in Grants to Investigators 35 and Under

Dr. Zerhouni began a discussion of issues presented in "NIH Grantees: Where Have all The Young Ones Gone." He turned to Dr. Baldwin to provide context, talking points, and possible ways of assessing information and data on young and first-time grant applicants.

Acknowledging that many outside groups are increasingly interested in funding rates for such applicants, Dr. Baldwin used data from her June 6, 2002, presentation to the Advisory Committee to the Director showing that the number of RO1/R29 Awards to new investigators did drop in 2001. However, she noted that the question concerning the drastic drop in investigators 35 and younger is complex and will require data not only from the NIH but also from other sources for a comprehensive analysis.

Dr. Ehrenfeld commented that the NIH can address the situation productively if we agree that this is an important issue. She encouraged being proactive with universities to help get younger scientists funded. Dr. Grady also urged that we cooperate with universities to find ways to move young people to grant applying positions sooner.

Dr. Zerhouni asked Dr. Baldwin to organize a cogent compilation of data to help ICs reach a common understanding of this complex issue.

IV. Including DHHS and NIH Identification in all Published Materials

Dr. Zerhouni directed that all published IC and OD Office materials must note affiliation with NIH and DHHS. He also called for common standards in announcements and recruitments. John Burklow will send the HHS logo to all ICs. Dr. Zerhouni stressed that this effort toward common standards is ongoing and reaches to all printed matter including business cards.

V. Information Items

Dr. Lindberg reminded everyone that they are invited to the October 18 memorial service for Dr. Donald Frederickson.

Dr. Lindberg also mentioned NLM's Dream Anatomy exhibit, which opened October 9, 2002, and will run through July 31, 2003.

Dr. Grady gave a heads up on the lead article appearing in the October 25 issue of JAMA on the relationship of a nurse's patient load and patient mortality. This study was conducted under a NINR grant.

Dale Johnson
cc: OD Staff

This page last reviewed on August 8, 2011

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