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Vol. LXVII, No. 8
April 10, 2015

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Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at (click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.

Feedback: Can we get an update on the deer management program? I am a fan of the deer. In the Dec. 5, 2014, article, the Record reported that there were about 40 deer on campus, but the tag numbers on the deer go up to at least 89. Why is that? Also, why are some wearing heavy looking neck rings?

Response from the Office of Research Services: During December 2014, 24 deer were spayed. The ear tags started at number 77 and went up to 99, then individually, numbers 30 and 35 were also used. The neck ring is a radio collar used to track the matriarch of the matrilineal line. This tracking will be particularly useful when the wildlife biologist returns this fall to count and assess the herd.

Feedback: The cafeteria in the Natcher Bldg. is too small and understaffed to handle the regularly occurring surges of people for conferences. Adding to the overflow, the seating area is smaller because of an added wall. The routine inability of this space to seat staff and visitors is inhospitable to visitors to our campus and contributes to an unfriendly workplace for colleagues who wish to lunch together. Perhaps conferences can be required to set up seating in the atrium or lobby to accommodate attendees who will certainly want to network over lunch.

Response from ORS: Thank you for your question. The Office of Research Services is aware of the issues in the Bldg. 45 cafeteria when there are largely attended conferences. In 2012, NIH decided, due to budget reductions, to reduce the size of the Natcher cafeteria and associated seating area, which would result in lowered rent costs. During normal daily operations, the size of both the cafeteria and the seating area are appropriate for the customer base. However, we are clearly stretched to more than capacity during largely attended events.

The cafeteria operator, Eurest, and our events management staff have been partnering to ensure that we are prepared for large events. Once construction is completed in the north end of the space, we will work with the NIH fire marshal to re-evaluate the number and configuration of tables and chairs permitted in the seating area. In addition, we have ordered several new café style tables and chairs to be placed in the atrium area to provide additional seating. The ORS Events Management Branch will also monitor future large events and require reservation of extra tables and chairs directly in the conference areas to provide additional seating for attendees.

We hope that these efforts will enhance the cafeteria experience and make it more comfortable for all.

Feedback: Three of the four elevators in MLP-8 are non-functioning. When will they be back in working order? It’s only a matter of time [before the] fourth one goes out from overuse!

Response from the Office of Research Facilities: Elevators 1 and 2 in MLP-8 have been out of service since May 2014. Elevator 3 was shut down in January and was determined to need extensive repairs. The Office of Research Facilities elevator repair team has done everything possible to repair these elevators, including short-term repairs, to get the elevators back in service. However, all 4 elevators eventually need a complete modernization/overhaul for continued safe use and operation. Funding has been approved to replace one of the three out-of-service elevators; work towards this end will begin later this spring.

We apologize for the delay and are making every effort to complete this major repair project as quickly as possible to restore additional, safe elevator service in MLP-8.

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