Home >> About us >> SUPD Charter
updated July 21st, 2010
HistoryThe Stanford University Postdoctoral Association (SUPD) was founded in 1998 to promote the building of community among the approximately 1200 Postdoctoral fellows at Stanford University. (NOTE: There are currently ~1800 Postdocs at Stanford). The SUPD consists of two separate committees: the Council and the Social Committee. The SUPD-Council was formed in the Spring of 1999 and is focused on addressing serious issues facing Postdocs at Stanford.
- The mission of the SUPD-Council is to improve conditions for Postdoctoral Fellows at Stanford by working with University Academic Leadership, Administration and Faculty.
- Primary goals of the Council include the following:
- To strive for the professional enrichment and development of Postdocs at Stanford.
- To ensure that Postdoctoral salaries and benefits are commensurate with the NIH salary scale and the high cost of living in the Bay Area.
- To clearly define and communicate the Postdoctoral Fellow status at an institutional level.
- The members of the Council will act as a liaison to the Postdoctoral population at large and represent Postdocs' interests to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and to Stanford University by representing Postdocs on university committees and governing bodies.
- The SUPD Council can appoint and disband committees to focus on specific issues. In the past committees have included a social committee, survey committee, transportation committee, childcare committee, etc. Committees may be standing committees or temporary in nature, and shall regularly report to the SUPD Council on the progress of their agenda. Council co-chairs and SUPD officers can be members or advisers to any committee. More information is provided in section VII.
- The Social Committee aims to foster social and professional interactions among Postdocs from all across the university.
- All Postdoctoral fellows, defined as individuals carrying a Doctoral degree and conducting research under a Stanford faculty member's supervision, including but not limited to Postdocs with the titles of non-matriculated student, research associate, and visiting scholar, are recognized as members of the SUPD and as such are eligible for membership on the Council.
- The Council will be comprised of a maximum of 30 members.
- An open call for additional members can be held at any time the total number of members falls below 30.
- Regular Members
- The Council will strive to maintain diversity and equal representation among scientific discipline, experience, gender, and foreign national status.
- Regular members are appointed by volunteering to participate on the Council and attending at least two meetings in a four month period.
- If the Council has more volunteers than open slots, new members will be selected by a majority vote of the active members in attendance with consideration given to the current needs of the Council.
- Upon accepting membership in the Council, individuals agree to maintain active membership for a minimum of one year.
- Co-Chairs of the Council
- Two Co-Chairs will be chosen annually among volunteers from the existing Council membership.
- One Co-Chair must be employed in a lab at the medical school and the other must be employed outside of the medical school unless the exception outlined in B.2.a is encountered.
- Should Co-Chair candidates not be available from both the University and School of Medicine, two candidates from either the School of Medicine or University may be elected by majority Council vote.
- In the event of exception B.2.a, the term of the elected Co-Chairs will be 1 year. At the end of the 1-year term a new election will be held and every attempt must be made to fill the requirements listed in B.1 and B.2.
- If more than two individuals volunteer, two Co-Chairs will be selected by a majority vote of the active members in attendance.
- Each Co-Chair will serve in that position for a minimum of 12 months.
- At least one Co-Chair must be available to attend each Council meeting.
- Co-Chairs will be responsible for setting the agenda of each meeting and facilitating the meetings.
- Co-Chairs may at the end of their terms become Special Advisors to the Council (see III. D)
- Co-Chairs may run for consecutive terms, but at least one co-chair must be newly elected unless no volunteers are available.
- Additional Officers
- The posts of Treasurer, Secretary, Webmaster, Email List Manager and Communication & Outreach Officer will be chosen annually from among the Council membership. If more than one individual volunteers, the committee will vote on each office. The additional officer positions may be filled by the same individual for more than one consecutive term, and an individual may hold more than one position (e.g., Secretary and Email List Manager).
- As Postdoc representation on University-wide and Medical School committees is attained, the positions will be advertised to all Postdocs and then selected by majority vote of all Postdocs in attendance at an advertised Council meeting. Following the initial appointment, these representative positions will be elected as described in section C.1.
- All posts will be held for a minimum of one year.
- Special Advisors to the Council
- Former Council officers who have completed their 5 year Postdoctoral term limit and who remain in good standing with the Council have the option to become special advisors following their term in office.
- Council member can nominate additional advisors with appointment approval requiring majority Council vote.
- Council members
- Must attend more than half of the scheduled meetings.
- Ensure that pertinent information is disseminated to the Postdoctoral population at large.
- Communicate concerns to the Council from those Postdocs that they represent.
- Inform Postdocs of special events and help organize as needed.
- Hold informal meetings with Postdocs as necessary.
- Council Co-Chairs will be responsible for the following:
- Scheduling the monthly meetings.
- Serving as the primary contact for the Stanford administration.
- Notification of the Council membership of vacancies on the Council.
- Overseeing the timely appointment and/or election of new members.
- Co-facilitation of scheduled monthly meetings of the Council in accordance with the guidelines herein.
- Maintaining a record of Council meeting attendance, calling the roll if necessary, and determining if quorum is present.
- Scheduling and coordinating regular Town Hall meetings open to the entire Stanford community.
- Serving as the liaisons to Postdoc associations at other Universities.
- Approving the meeting minutes.
- Participating in the regular Postdoc orientation.
- Conducting and reporting an annual postdoc survey.
- Serving as ex officio members on the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Postdoctoral Affairs, as invited.
- Officers of the SUPD
- The Treasurer is responsible for managing the SUPD budget and will act as a liaison with the Postdoctoral Affairs Office for financial matters.
- The Treasurer proposes, negotiates, and reports SUPD annual budget to the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and the SUPD Council, with input from the SUPD Council, as detailed below.
- The treasurer annually drafts a budget proposal for SUPD activities in consultation with the SUPD Council and Co-Chairs. The treasurer will then present the budget proposal to the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, who will review and approve the budget request.
- The allocated SUPD budget may be deposited in an account with the Capitol Group banking services of the Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE), a division of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU).
- The Treasurer is responsible for financial oversight, compliance and disbursement, in accordance with the approved budget allocation limits and university policy. The Co-Chairs act as co-signers in cases when the Treasurer must be reimbursed.
- Arrangements to change line-item allocations must be made at least 20 days in advance of incurring additional expenses and approved before exceeding such allocations is allowable.
- The Treasurer provides a quarterly financial report of revenues and expenses to the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs of the account, regardless of the funding source(s).
- Both the Treasurer and Co-chairs must complete the ASSU Banking training session before receiving authority to manage the account.
- Events and activities charged to this account must comply with university Event Planning and Alcohol Policies as well as other applicable funding policies that pertain to student groups at Stanford including those on sponsorships, unless a written authorization for a policy exception is received by the Treasurer from the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs
- At the end of the funding period (annually), unspent funds in the account may be carried forward to the next fiscal period upon discussion and approval of the SUPD budget for the following year with the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, with the exception of funds designated to sponsor major events, which must be returned to the sponsors if unspent.
- Any funds specifically deposited in one funding period (e.g., university fiscal year) for an event in a later funding period (e.g., the subsequent university fiscal year) may be automatically rolled-over.
- The Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs will serve to oversee the account and holds authority to close it in case of financial malfeasance or non-compliance on the part of the SUPD officers or council. The Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs will facilitate any necessary mediation of disputes or problems regarding this account.
- Quarterly and annual budget reports will be presented to the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and the SUPD Council.
- Recording minutes at each Council meeting and Town Hall meeting.
- Obtaining approval of the meeting minutes from the Co-Chairs.
- Ensuring that information from Council meetings is communicated to all Postdocs. This includes, but is not limited to: providing the SUPD webmaster with approved minutes to post on the web site, sending approved minutes by email, and including minutes in the Postdoc newsletter.
The Webmaster will maintain the SUPD web page.
- Email List Manager
The Email List Manager will maintain the supd-members email list.
- Communication & Outreach Officer
The Communication & Outreach Officer will communicate to the public information, events, and news related to the activities of the Council and SUPD as approved by the SUPD Co-Chairs. This officer will also communicate important policy decisions to the Postdoc community, and maintain the SUPD Newsletter, “The Voice.”
- Special Advisors to Council
- Provide continuity from one SUPD Council administration to the next.
- Provide advice to the SUPD Council and officers as needed.
- Special Advisors do not have voting power within the SUPD-Council.
- Appointments to the Council are for a minimum of one year. Members must notify the Co-Chairs 2 months prior to the expiration of their term to allow sufficient time for their replacement. This notification should occur at the time of a scheduled Council meeting. Members who are unable to complete their term for any reason should immediately notify the Co-Chairs in writing.
- Continued Appointment: To remain in good standing, members must attend more than half of the scheduled monthly meetings. Excused absences should be coordinated with the Co-Chairs and preferably in advance.
- Excused absences will not be considered a missed meeting.
- If a member fails to attend 3 meetings in a row, he or she will be notified in writing by the Co-Chairs that they are no longer an active member of the Council.
- Resignation of Appointment: If an elected Council officer is unable or unwilling to complete a full years appointment for any reason, he or she may resign by informing the remaining officers of his or her intent. Upon resignation, an email will be circulated to the SUPD list requesting nominees for a new appointment. A vote will be taken at the next Council meeting to elect a new officer for the vacated position.
- Termination of Duties: If an elected Council officer is not fulfilling their duties, or conducts in a way that is detrimental to the mission of the Council, a meeting of the remaining elected officers will be held to discuss the issue, and the officer may be requested to resign. If the officer does not resign and it is deemed necessary by the remaining officers that he or she should no longer remain in office, a quorum among the officers will be required to terminate the appointment. Upon termination, an email will be circulated to the SUPD list requesting nominees for a new appointment. A vote will be taken at the next Council meeting to elect a new officer for the vacant position.
VI. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
- Time and Place
The regular meetings of the Council shall be held once a month in a location to be announced, unless otherwise determined by the Council or the Co-Chairs. Meetings will be scheduled for one and a half hours. Unfinished business will be relegated to the next meeting. Members of the Postdoc community are invited to attend and speak at all meetings but are not eligible to vote unless they are members of the Council.
Greater than half of active members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be necessary to vote on proposed motions and to amend the Council's charter. If a quorum is not present, following reasonable notification for a second meeting, proposed motions may be voted upon with fewer members than a full quorum attending.
- Order of Business
- Agendas will be distributed in advance of all scheduled meetings
- Approval of minutes
- Reports of special representatives and standing committees.
- General orders or unfinished business.
- Voting motions shall carry if they receive a majority vote. All members present may vote.
- Determination of topics for the next meeting's agenda. Additional agenda items can be recommended by any Council member up to the day prior to the next scheduled meeting. Agenda items can be sent to the Council Co-Chairs.
- Subcommittees shall be created by the Council membership, as needed, at the regular monthly meetings to investigate and recommend action on matters which are of interest to or concern the Council.
- The subcommittees will be comprised of volunteers from the Council membership or additional interested Postdocs.
- The duties of a subcommittee and its power to act on certain decisions shall be outlined at its formation and shall be approved by the Council.
- There will be two types of subcommittees which may be formed:
- Standing subcommittees shall be created to consider matters which will require long-term attention.
- The Subcommittee on Conflict Resolution, which predates this Charter, is considered to be previously created.
- These subcommittees shall be reviewed annually to determine if their continued function is necessary
- Ad hoc subcommittees shall be created as the need arises to perform specific tasks (e.g. surveys, events)
- At its formation, an ad hoc subcommittee shall be given a specific period of time to complete its task
- It will go out of existence when its task is complete, and it has given a final report to the Council
- If it cannot complete the task within the appointed time the Council may consider extending the appointment time or dissolving the subcommittee
- All subcommittees shall report to the group during the monthly Council meeting. Status reports from subcommittees may also be requested on an ad hoc basis.
- The Council shall review the Charter by-laws at least annually to ensure that they remain current
- Co-Chairs will announce the review period to Council members to allow input from all members
- Proposed changes to the by-laws can be made at any time following discussion at a regularly scheduled committee meeting pending the vote of the Council membership
- Proposed changes should be submitted in writing to the Co-Chairs and presented for discussion at the next scheduled Council meeting
- All proposed changes will be discussed and approved by a majority vote of the Council members in attendance.