Dear Dr. Córdova,
We write to express our strong support for the proposal by the Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) to continue its successful operation and management of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) for the National Science Foundation.
The University of Virginia (UVa) and NRAO headquarters are collocated in Charlottesville, Virginia. This close partnership has been in existence for nearly 50 years, since AUI opened the NRAO Charlottesville headquarters in 1967. NRAO employs over 150 scientists, engineers, technicians, and other professionals in the region. NRAO-Charlottesville is home to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Science Center and North American ALMA Operations, the NRAO Central Development Laboratory, as well as the headquarters and administrative offices that are critical to the Observatory’s operations.
We understand that NRAO’s long-standing presence in Charlottesville has spurred collaboration with UVa that advances scientific discovery and enhances student learning. Additionally, the relationship supports economic development and cultivates a high-tech work force Virginia. The benefits of this partnership are significant, and we are eager to see NRAO remain in Charlottesville and continue its work with UVa through research initiatives, join faculty appointments, and student exchanges.
Once again, we strongly support AUI’s proposal to continue its stewardship of NRAO and ask that you give the proposal full and fair consideration. We welcome further engagement on this and other issues critical to NSF, and appreciate your consideration of this request.