Constitution Of The Purdue Postdoctoral Association

Download constitution in pdf format

I. History

The Purdue Postdoctoral Association (PPDA) was founded in 2009 to promote the building of a community among the estimated 500 postdoctoral researchers at Purdue University. The PPDA Council was formed in the Fall of 2009 and was focused on addressing issues faced by current and to-be postdoctoral researchers at Purdue University.

II. Name

The name of the organization is Purdue Postdoctoral Association, also known as the PPDA.

III. Mission

  1. The mission of the PPDA is to assist in the development and promote the well-being of postdoctoral researchers who are appointed and/or hosted by Purdue University, hereafter simply Purdue.
  2. Primary goals of the PPDA Council, hereafter simply the Council, include the following:
  1. To strive for the professional enrichment and development of postdoctoral researchers at Purdue.
  2. To develop and maintain a platform for social and professional interaction among postdoctoral researchers and between postdoctoral researchers and the body of students, staff members, and faculty members at Purdue.
  3. To clearly define and communicate the postdoctoral status at an institutional level and to promote awareness of the contributions of postdoctoral researchers to Purdue University and to the sciences and humanities in general.
  1. The members of the Council will act as a liaison to the postdoctoral population at large and represent the interests of Purdue's postdoctoral scholars.

IV. Membership

A. PPDA membership.

All Purdue postdoctoral scholars, defined as individuals:

  1. who are carrying a Doctoral degree, including but not limited to Aud.D., Pharm.D., Ph.D. and Sc.D and,
  2. who are conducting research under a Purdue faculty member's direct supervision and,
  3. who are considered postdoctoral trainees, including but not limited to postdoctoral researchers with the titles of postdoctoral research associate and visiting scholar, are recognized as members of the PPDA and as such are eligible for membership on the Council. The PPDA also includes persons with the title of Research Scientist and Visiting Assistant Professor that are temporarily appointed by Purdue and find themselves in an early stage of their professional career.

This excludes:

  1. senior staff holding a long-term appointment
  2. tenure-track and tenured faculty members
  3. research professors, irrespective of the institute that awarded their appointment.

All members can propose changes to the constitution and have voting rights on the annual meeting with respect to such changes.

B. Number of council members.

The Council will comprise a maximum of 20 members.

C. PPDA Council candidacy and membership.

An open call for additional council members can be held at any time the total number of members falls below 20. To enable the proper organization, calls are preferably not held at less than a half year interval.

V. Organization

A. Council Members

  1. The Council will strive to maintain diversity and equal representation among scientific discipline, experience, race, gender, and foreign national status.
  2. Regular members are appointed by volunteering to participate on the Council and attending at least three meetings in a six-month period.
  3. If the Council has more volunteers than open slots, new members will be selected by a majority vote of the active members of the Council in attendance with consideration given to the current needs of the Council.
  4. Upon accepting membership in the Council, individuals will strive to maintain active membership for a minimum of one year. Prior knowledge that this cannot be met should be announced upon candidacy.

B.      Presidents and Vice President of the Council

  1. A President and Vice President are elected by the PPDA membership (i.e., all Purdue postdoctoral scholars can vote) at the beginning of the academic year (September), and are to be chosen from current council members, if possible.      
  2. Each elected official will aim to serve in that position for a minimum of one year.
  3. Should one of the elected officials be forced to resign during the course of the academic year, then the Council will choose a new President or Vice President amongst volunteers from the existing Council membership.
  4. Either the President or Vice President must be available to attend each Council meeting.
  5. President or Vice President will be responsible for setting the agenda of each meeting and facilitating the meetings.

C. Additional Officers

  1. Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster and Social Coordinator are elected by the PPDA membership (i.e. all Purdue postdoctoral scholars can vote) at the beginning of the academic year (September). Should the Secretary/Treasurer resign during the course of the academic year, then the Council can choose a new Secretary/Treasurer amongst volunteers from the existing Council membership.           
  1. All officer positions will be held for a minimum of one year.

D. Faculty Advisors to the Council

  1. The council advised by the Director of the Postdoctoral Office, who is appointed by the Graduate School Administration.      
  1. Additional Faculty Advisors can be invited and appointed ad hoc by the Council by means of majority Council vote.
  1. The appointment as Regular Faculty Advisor or Additional Faculty Advisor is not limited in time.      
  1. There is no limit to the number of Faculty Advisors the Council can host.
  1. Faculty Advisors have no voting rights within the Council.

VI. Responsibilities

A. Council members

  1. Must attend more than half of the scheduled meetings.
  2. Ensure that pertinent information is disseminated to the postdoctoral population at large.
  3. Communicate concerns to the Council from the postdoctoral researchers that they represent.
  4. Inform Purdue's postdoctoral population of special events and help organize as needed.
  5. Hold informal meetings with postdoctoral researchers as necessary.

B.      President    

  1. Serves as the primary contact for the Purdue administration.
  1. Notifies the Council membership of vacancies on the Council.
  1. Oversees the timely appointment and/or election of new members.
  1. Prepares and organizes scheduled monthly meetings of the Council in accordance with the guidelines, herein.
  1. Prepares and organizes the annual meeting of the PPDA, including review and voting of the constitution. Suggested timing is at the start of the academic year.
  1. Schedules and coordinates regular meetings that are open to the entire Purdue community.
  1. Serves as the liaison to postdoctoral associations at other Universities.
  1. Reviews and approves the meeting minutes before being sent to the Council.                                                  

C. Vice President

  1. Supplements the duties of any board member, as necessary
  1. Leads the board meetings when the President is not able to attend
  1. When the President or any one board member is unable to carry out their duties, Vice President assumes those duties temporarily
  1. Organizes networking events and professional development workshops for the postdocs


D. Secretary (1 or 2 positions)

  1. Records minutes at each Council meeting.
  1. Obtains approval of the meeting minutes from the Council at the beginning of each subsequent meeting, sends approved minutes by email, and submits meeting minutes for inclusion in the PPDA newsletter.
  1. Maintains an up-to-date active membership list.
  1. Works with the President and Vice President for setting the agenda for each meeting and sends out the agenda in advance of the meeting.
  1. Ensures that information from Council meetings is communicated to all postdocs.
  1. Schedules all meetings in coordination with the President.    
  1. Carries out additional tasks assigned by the President.    

     E. Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the PPDA budget and will act as a liaison with Purdue for all financial matters.
  1. The Treasurer will develop the PPDA budget with input from the Council.
  1. Provide a budget report at each monthly meeting


F. Webmaster

  1. The Webmaster will manage the contents of the PPDA web page and, where necessary, manage other internet tools used by the PPDA. These may include social media tools, internet fora and/or online calendars.
  1. The Office of the Vice-President of Research (OVPR) has taken responsibility for website location, space, design, and other technical aspects. The PPDA webmaster is not required to handle any of these.

G. Social Coordinator

  1. Fundraise for Purdue postdoc annual dinner or other events, as necessary.
  1. Organize PPDA coffee break, happy hour, or other social events.

VII. Appointment

A. Duration.

Council members must notify the President 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 President in writing.

B. 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 President and Vice President and preferably in advance.

  1. Excused absences will not be considered a missed meeting.
  2. If a member fails to attend 3 meetings in a row, he or she will be notified in writing by the President and Vice President that they are no longer an active member of the Council.

C. Resignation of appointment

If an elected Council officer is unable or unwilling to complete a full year term appointment for any reason, they may resign by informing the remaining officers of      their intent. Upon resignation, an email will be circulated to the PPDA Council email 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.

D. 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 they should no longer remain in office, a quorum (simple majority of all officers) will be required to terminate the appointment. Upon termination, an email will be circulated to the PPDA 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.

VIII. Conduct Of Meetings

A. Time and Place.

The regular meetings of the Council shall be held once a month online due to the unavoidable circumstance or offline in a location to be announced unless otherwise determined by the Council or the President and Vice President. Meetings will be scheduled for one hour. Unfinished business will be relegated to the next meeting. Members of the postdoctoral community are invited to attend and speak at all meetings but are not eligible to vote unless they are members of the Council.

B. Quorum.

Greater than half of the members of the Council present at the Council meeting shall constitute a quorum. A quorum shall be necessary to vote on proposed motions.

C. Order of Business

  1. Agendas will be distributed in advance of all scheduled meetings.
  2. Approval of minutes.
  3. Reports of special representatives and standing committees.
  4. General orders or unfinished business.
  5. Voting motions shall carry if they receive a majority vote. All Council members present may vote.
  6. 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-Presidents.

IX. Subcommittees

A. Creation.

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.

B. Membership.

The Subcommittees will be comprised of volunteers from the Council membership or additional PPDA members.

C. Duties.

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.

  1. Types.

 There will be two types of Subcommittees which may be formed:

  1. Standing subcommittees shall be created to consider matters which will require long-term attention. These Subcommittees shall be reviewed annually to determine if their continued function is necessary.
  2. 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.

X. Review

  • The constitution is reviewed at the annual meeting of the PPDA to ensure that they remain current. All PPDA members can propose changes to the constitution and have voting rights to all proposals made.
  • President and Vice President will announce the review period to PPDA members to allow input from all PPDA council
  • Proposed changes should be submitted in writing to the President and presented for discussion at the annual meeting of the PPDA.
  • All proposed changes will be discussed and approved by a 2/3 majority among the expressed votes. Votes can be expressed at the annual meeting or electronically.


Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

© Purdue University | Accessibility | EA/EO University | Integrity Statement | DOE Degree Scorecards | Copyright | Contact Us
Maintained by Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (OGSPS)

Contact OGSPS at for accessibility issues with this page.