UIPDA Charter

CHARTER FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATION (UIPDA)

Last revised October 10, 2016

ARTICLE I. MISSION STATEMENT

The UIPDA acts as a representative on behalf of all University of Iowa postdoctoral scholars and postdoctoral fellows in matters associated with their professional and social well-­‐ being.

Our goals are to:

• Build a University-­‐wide community of postdocs by promoting social and professional interaction
• Provide support for research training and professional development for postdocs
• Advocate for constructive changes in the research environment and in policies that affect the lives of postdocs and their dependents
• Act as a liaison between University postdocs and University entities that interact with or impact the postdoctoral community

ARTICLE II. UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY

The UIPDA shall comply with the University of Iowa Human Rights Policy, which states that: “in no aspect of its programs shall there be any difference in the treatment of persons because of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference, or any other classification which would deprive the person of consideration as an individual. The organization will guarantee that equal opportunity and equal access to membership, programming, facilities, and benefits shall be open to all persons.”

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

The University of Iowa uses the general term “postdoctoral scholar” to identify temporary, doctoral-­‐level researchers involved in advanced training at the University to prepare for careers in academia and research. The University recognizes two classifications of postdoctoral scholars:

• Postdoctoral Research Scholar (HR appointment code FP01)
• Postdoctoral Research Fellow (HR appointment code FP02)

Any postdoctoral scholar or fellow with an HR designation of either FP01 or FP02 shall be eligible for membership in the UIPDA.

Eligible individuals are considered to be members of the UIPDA immediately upon the start of their postdoctoral training at The University of Iowa. Membership in the UIPDA will end upon termination of the postdoctoral appointment.

ARTICLE IV. ORGANIZATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES

LEADERSHIP

A. Executive Board
The UIPDA Executive Board will be responsible for overseeing the management and operation of the UIPDA, and shall include the following officers elected to a one-­‐year term:

• President

Duties include:
-­‐ Leadership of the UIPDA Executive Board
-­‐ Liaison to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars (OPDS)
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Executive Board meetings
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Council of College Representatives meetings
-­‐ Attendance at semi-annual, campus‐wide UIPDA general meetings
-­‐ Draft and circulate agendas for Executive Board, Council of College Representatives, and campus-wide UIPDA general meetings

• Vice President

Duties include:
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Executive Board meetings
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Council of College Representatives meetings
-­‐ Attendance at semi‐annual, campus‐wide UIPDA general meetings
-­‐ Attendance at UI governance meetings (e.g., Staff Council, Research Council), as allowed
-­‐ Assist OPDS with, and report on, the UIPDA annual postdoctoral survey
-­‐ Serve as acting President until the next election if the elected President is unable to fulfill his/her term

• Secretary/Treasurer

A single individual will fill the positions of Secretary and Treasurer until it is deemed necessary to split the role.

Duties include:
-­‐ Maintenance of contact lists (i.e., postdocs, college/department administrative staff, etc.)
-­‐ Website development, in consultation with IT support (Graduate College)
-­‐ Identification of funding mechanisms

-­‐ Maintenance of the UIPDA budget
-­‐ Approval of UIPDA purchases, with oversight by the President or Vice President
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Executive Board meetings
-­‐ Attendance at monthly Council of College Representatives meetings
-­‐ Attendance at semi-annual, campus‐wide UIPDA general meetings
-­‐ Draft and circulate minutes for Executive Board, Council of College Representatives, and campus-wide UIPDA general meetings
-­‐ Serve as acting President until the next election if the elected President and Vice President are unable to fulfill their terms

B. Council of College Representatives
Membership of the Council of College Representatives shall include one representative from each UI College with currently active postdocs. Representatives shall be elected by the members of the College they seek to represent. Elected members will serve a one‐year term.

College Representatives shall be responsible for maintaining two‐way communication between postdocs and the appropriate administrative personnel in their College and the UIPDA Executive Board. This includes ensuring that the College and its postdocs are aware of UIPDA activities and that the UIPDA is aware of the needs and concerns of the College’s postdocs. Furthermore, College Representatives will be expected to attend monthly Council of College Representatives meetings, semi‐annual campus‐wide UIPDA meetings, and help organize special events as needed.

In the instance that a College does not have a postdoc interested in filling the position of College Representative, a postdoc from another College may serve as a surrogate College Representative. The surrogate will maintain e-­‐mail contact with the College’s postdocs and appropriate administrative personnel to ensure that the College and its postdocs are aware of UIPDA activities. An open position on the Council of College Representatives can be filled by a volunteering postdoc from that college any time. An appointed volunteer will serve until the next election.

C. Committees
Committees may be formed and disbanded by the Executive Board to investigate and recommend action on matters that are of interest to the UIDPA or to provide support in accomplishing the UIPDA’s mission. Committee membership is open to interested volunteers from the campus‐wide postdoc community. Committees chairs will be appointed on a volunteer basis from committee members. In the event that more than one person volunteers to chair a committee, the chair will be selected via majority vote from members of the committee.

The following committees will be operational at all times:
• Professional Development Committee
• Social Committee
• Policy and Advocacy Committee
• Awards Committee

D. Ex officio Membership
A representative of the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars shall be granted ex officio
membership within the UIPDA.

E. Termination of Duties
If a majority opinion of Executive Board and Council members concludes that an elected Executive Board or Council officer is not fulfilling their duties, or conducts in a way that is detrimental to the mission of the UIPDA, a meeting of the remaining officers will be held to discuss the issue, and the officer may be requested to correct the situation or resign. If the officer does not resign upon request and it is deemed necessary by the remaining officers that he/she should no longer remain in the office, a two-­‐thirds vote among elected officers will be required to terminate the appointment. Upon termination, efforts will be made to fill the position by eligible postdocs.

ARTICLE V. UIPDA OPERATION

A. MEETINGS
The Executive Board will meet at least once per month.

The Council of College Representatives will meet at least once per month; the Executive Board is expected to attend these meetings. Members of the postdoc community are welcome to attend and speak at the Council of College Representatives meetings, but are not eligible to vote on meeting matters.

A campus-­‐wide General Meeting will be held once each academic semester (to be held in April for the spring semester and in October for the fall semester) at which time all members of the UI postdoctoral community will be encouraged to attend. Attendance at the general meeting is required of all members of the Executive Board and the Council of College Representatives.

B. ELECTIONS
Elections for Executive Board members and Council of College Representative members are to be held once each year during the spring semester. A call for nominations will be made in March, nominees will be introduced at the April General Meeting, and voting will be scheduled for May. A vote will not be required for a position if only one nominee is identified for that position. Should more than one candidate apply for a position, the candidate who receives the most votes will assume the position. In the event of more than two candidates, the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes will assume the position, even if the number of votes for the candidate is less than half of the total votes. Candidates for each position should submit a statement of purpose along with their notice of intent to run for office. In the event that no nominees have been identified for a position, the election ballot will solicit write-­‐in candidates. A run-­‐off election will be held if more than two write-­‐in candidates have been nominated.

Members shall be elected to a one-­‐year term and cannot be elected to a given position more than twice. In the event that no candidate stands to replace a member that has reached this limit, the two-­‐year restriction may be waived.

The Executive Board must be comprised of a minimum of two postdocs. Should an Executive Board position become vacant, the duties of that position can be split by the Board’s remaining members. If one or more Executive Board position becomes vacant, a member or members of the Council of College Representatives may be appointed to serve as interim Executive Board member(s) upon mutual agreement by the Executive Board. The interim member(s) will serve until the next election.

Members of the Executive Board and Council of College Representatives must notify the UIPDA leadership within a reasonable time frame prior to vacating their position for any reason during their elected term.

C. ANNUAL SURVEY
The UIPDA and the OPDS will conduct a survey of the UI postdoctoral community on an as-needed basis. This survey shall include questions about postdoc demographics, experiences at the University of Iowa, and career plans. To ensure the anonymity of the respondents, the survey shall allow a postdoc to opt out of providing potentially identifying information.

The UIPDA shall have access to anonymized survey results. The UIPDA Vice President shall present a summary of the results to the Council of College Representatives and the Executive board.

ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS TO THE CHARTER

The Executive Board and the Council of College Representatives shall review the Charter at least annually to ensure it remains current. The charter may be amended at a semi-­‐annual General Meeting of the UIPDA or a special meeting called by the Executive Board. A quorum consisting of postdocs from at least 60% of the colleges with active postdocs is required to vote on charter changes. Changes will be approved by a simple majority vote of all postdocs present. Proposed changes must be introduced to the postdoctoral community at large by written communication at least one week prior to the meeting at which they will be voted on.