I am a current employee of Trudeau Institute. We are a small, independent, non-for-profit immunology research institute that is located in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State, and currently employs approximately 130 individuals. We the employees of Trudeau Institute have always prided ourselves on our scientific mission to do basic research on infectious disease and immunity; not for monetary gain, but to make our discoveries publicly available to all in the form of peer-reviewed journal submissions. We are also quite proud of the unique character of our rustic, remote yet beautiful mountain town, and the particular history that our Institute shares with the village.
It appears that both things we cherish (our altruistic scientific mission and our eclectic setting) may soon change, as the Institute considers branching out into a more profit-driven direction (traditionally the territory of the Biotech industry) along with a move to the NCRC. Of course we've been told that nothing is certain, but such is always the case in scenarios like this. Recently there has been talk of "Strategic Planning" and a consulting group was hired to investigate the "health and vitality of our future." Publicly the officers deny that any decision has been made, and most employees are being kept in the dark. Meanwhile, many internal leaks from present and former high-ranking individuals have revealed that the Institute's financial situation is much worse than most realize, and it is highly unlikely that Trudeau Institute will remain in Saranac Lake. Thus, many believe that the consulting group was only hired to report what the real deciders want to hear, and to serve as a "non-biased" third party upon whom to place the blame. Rather than addressing staff concerns in a substantial way, everything is dismissed as rumor, and management cite confidentiality agreements as the reason that they can tell us no more. Most staff would be happy just to know if they will have jobs six months from now.
This all has created distrust and worry among the staff, who are losing confidence in the workplace that we always believed was more of a family than merely a job. Many employees are not thrilled about the prospect of relocating to a generic cookie-cutter work-complex Campus like the NCRC, where even the restaurants have science-themed names. Nor are many happy about our beloved Institute's scientific mission creeping ever closer to monetary motivations of Industry science.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Below is a comment from a Trudeau Institute employee posted at this blog. It sounds accurate.