January 16 email message from Dean Kliger
January 14, 2002

A message to the Natural Sciences community:

By now you know of Friday's devastating fire to the Sinsheimer Labs building. Professor Manny Ares experienced the destruction of not only his research lab but more than a decade of work by him and his research team. Other Sinsheimer faculty and researchers are just beginning to estimate the damage to their labs and their work. Though these losses are great, we can all be very grateful that no one was injured.

The next few weeks will be challenging in both practical and emotional ways. Staff and faculty have been displaced, smoke and water damage in the building is widespread, and the extent of structural damage is still being assessed. We will not be doing business as usual for some time.

Various communication mechanisms are being established to inform faculty, staff, and students about building access, alternate work locations, etc. The campus information number, 459-INFO, has general information about building access. More detailed information for building occupants is available at 459-4440, and a message board is being updated regularly outside the main entrance to Baskin Engineering Building. If you are not receiving information you need, please feel free to contact my office at 459-2931 for direction.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the many campus and community individuals and agencies that are supporting the division. First and foremost, both campus and local Fire Department personnel have worked tirelessly to suppress the fire, secure the building, and investigate the cause of the fire. The Environmental Health and Safety staff and Natural Sciences Facilities staff have worked nearly round the clock since last Friday to assess health and safety risks, ensure continuation of research in progress, and provide limited but safe access to the building to reclaim the most critical work and equipment. The campus's Risk Manager is providing expert guidance in the process of estimating our losses. Staff in the Purchasing Department have helped us meet our emergency needs, and the Police and Transportation and Parking personnel have provided a secure perimeter to the fire scene. Other administrators and staff have pitched in to help in many other ways.

I will appreciate your compassion for and patience with one another while we work to restore order to our business and scholarly lives.


David S. Kliger, Dean
Division of Natural Sciences