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AAS Informational Email 2008-08

J. Craig Wheeler, President

Subject: AAS Members Encouraged to Help NSF-AST Find a New Director

The AAS gives thanks to Wayne Van Citters for his many years of service in the NSF's Astronomy Division, especially the last seven as Director of the Division. We wish Wayne good fortune in his new position in the Math and Physical Sciences Directorate where he will focus on planning for new instrumentation and help the Directorate manage large projects. We welcome Craig Foltz as Interim Director and look forward to working with him while the search for a new director takes place.

This is a critical time for NSF funding of astronomy with the promise of increases under the COMPETES Act that remain unfulfilled, the need to implement the recommendations of the Senior Review and the need to lay plans for the Decadal Survey. There are great challenges regarding the life-cycle funding of major new instrumentation and the ongoing funding of our nation's major astronomical facilities.

I feel it is important that all members of the AAS aid in the search for a new Director of the Astronomy Division to address these challenges and opportunities. Please think of who among your colleagues would bring strong leadership to this position and make those suggestions known. When the search begins, please pass on recommendations on likely candidates to the chair of the search committee.

Mailed US members from 30 April 2008

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