Constitution Of The Purdue Postdoctoral Association

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I. History

The Purdue Postdoctoral Association (PPDA) was founded in 2009 to promote the building of a community among the estimated 300 postdoctoral researchers at Purdue University. The PPDA Council was formed in the Fall of 2009 and is focused on addressing issues faced by current and to-be postdoctoral researchers at the Purdue University.

II. Name

The name of the organization is Purdue Post-Doctoral Association, also known as the PPDA.

III. Mission

A. The mission of the PPDA is to improve conditions for postdoctoral researchers that are appointed and/or hosted by Purdue University, hereafter simply Purdue.

B. 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.

C. 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 Scientists and Visiting Assistant Professors that are temporarily appointed by Purdue and find themselves in an early stage of their postdoctoral career.

This excludes

  1. senior staff holding a long-term appointment
  2. tenure-track and tenured faculty members and
  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 be comprised of 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, 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. Co-Presidents of the Council

  1. Two Co-Presidents are elected by the PPDA membership (i.e. all Purdue postdoctoral scholars can vote) at the beginning of the academic year (September).
  2. Each Co-President will aim to serve in that position for a minimum of one year.
  3. Should one of the Co-Presidents be forced to resign during the course of the academic year, then the Council can choose a new Co-President among volunteers from the existing Council membership.
  4. At least one Co-President must be available to attend each Council meeting.
  5. Co-Presidents will be responsible for setting the agenda of each meeting and facilitating the meetings.

C. Additional Officers

  1. Secretary and Treasurer 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 among volunteers from the existing Council membership.
  2. The positions of Webmaster and Purdue Relations officer are chosen from the active council membership by majority vote in the council. 3. All officer positions will be held for a minimum of one year. D. Faculty Advisors to the Council 1. The council will host two Regular Faculty Advisors of whom one is appointed by the Office of the Vice-President of Research (OVPR) and one is appointed by the Graduate School Administration. 2. Additional Faculty Advisors can be invited and appointed ad hoc by the Council by means of majority Council vote. 3. The appointment as Regular Faculty Advisor or Additional Faculty Advisor is not limited in time. 4. There is no limit to the number of Faculty Advisors the Council can host. 5. 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 of 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. Co-Presidents

  1. Scheduling the monthly meetings.
  2. Serving as the primary contact for the Purdue administration.
  3. Notifying the Council membership of vacancies on the Council.
  4. Overseeing the timely appointment and/or election of new members.
  5. Preparation and organization of scheduled monthly meetings of the Council in accordance with the guidelines herein.
  6. Preparation and organization of the annual meeting of the PPDA, including review and voting of the constitution. Suggested timing is at the start of the academic year.
  7. Maintaining a record of Council meeting attendance, calling the roll if necessary, and determining if the quorum is present.
  8. Scheduling and coordinating regular meetings open to the entire Purdue community.
  9. Serving as the liaisons to postdoctoral associations at other Universities.
  10. Checking the meeting minutes before sent to the Council.

C. Secretary

  1. Recording minutes at each Council meeting.
  2. Obtaining approval of the meeting minutes from the Council at the beginning of each next meeting.
  3. Ensuring that information from Council meetings is communicated to all postdocs. This includes, but is not limited to: providing the PPDA webmaster with approved minutes to publish on the website, sending approved minutes by email, and including minutes in the PPDA newsletter.

D. Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the PPDA budget and will act as a liaison with Purdue for all financial matters.
  2. The Treasurer will develop the PPDA budget with input from the Council.

E. 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.
  2. 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.

VII. Appointment

A. Duration.

Council members must notify the Co-Presidents 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.

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 Co-Presidents 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 Co-Presidents 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, he or she may resign by informing the remaining officers of his or her 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 he or she 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 in a location to be announced unless otherwise determined by the Council or the Co-Presidents. 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. D. 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.
  • Co-Presidents will announce the review period to PPDA members to allow input from all PPDA members.
  • Proposed changes should be submitted in writing to the Co-Presidents 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.

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