February 2017

Council Meeting Minutes

Stanford Postdoctoral Association

Feb22 2017, 11.30-1:00pm

Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Building, G1002



Council members: Jesse Isaacman-Beck, Sharon Greenblum, Virginie Gabel, Roberta Sala, Joanna Przybyl, Abby Sarkar, John Hegarty, Kate Brown, Fabio Zanini, Huy Nguyen, Arnaud Bruyas, Jorik, Saumyaa, Katherine Dennis, Joan Camunas, Nynke van den Berg, Gina Bouchard, Nahid Shahmarvand, Alexandra Nagy, Andres Montoya Castillo, Tobia Morawietz, Lisa Selzer


Quorum:  Yes, 12 council members



·         Meeting called to order by co-chairs, Jesse Isaacman-Beck , Sharon Greenblum


Update on meeting with university administrators (Sharon and Jesse)

Co-chairs met with Patti Gumport, Vice Provost for Graduate Education, to discuss how she can help advocate for postdocs, how she can connect us to others in Stanford admin who could be powerful allies, and strategies for getting our message across.  She is helping in setting up a meeting with Provost Drell.


Jesse gave a short presentation at a meeting of department administrators to make sure everyone is aware of SURPAS and our role on campus. He got great feedback, and it would be nice to do this regularly.  Admins are important allies for reaching postdocs from underrepresented departments.


Election of coordinators:

Events coordinator:

Virginie Gabel has been elected for this position with 11 yes and 1 abstain

Advocacy coordinator:

Abby Sarkar has been elected for this position with 12 yes


Discussion on coffee chats held:

Huy and Virginie organized one at VA. Main complaint they received was that VA is far away, so VA postdocs are not always connected to postdocs on main campus. Other major concerns were housing and salary. They are happy with the SURPAS happy hour events.

Feedback from rest of the coffee chats will be submitted to co-chairs by all the organizers.


Discussion on Committee restructuring:

-Teaching committee – It may be renamed to outreach committee since most of the work they do, falls under that. Additionally OPA has taken over teaching programs for postdocs. They should not be burdened with organizing family-oriented events. - - Family – There should be a separate family committee to organize family oriented events and work on the issues that postdocs with families face.

- SPIF – It is going well but we need to put more workforce in it, streamline it, have some templates ready that people can use for submitting applications, make a guidelines pdf

- Sports- John will help Merle to organize events.

- International – This committee can work on transitional housing, letter to incoming postdocs, organizing help with taxes (law school students can volunteer)

- Transportation- They can work on VTA pass, gather information on bike routes.

- White Paper – Can potentially work on putting together the best practices on how to start an advocacy forum.

- Symposium- Can stay active few months per year before organizing the annual symposium. Rest of the year they can remain dormant.



(More stars indicate having that committee is more essential)


Some other departments off campus, are disconnected and don’t even receive postdoc announcement emails.

We should press OPA that postdocs by default should be enrolled for postdoc announcement list and they can have the option to opt-out, instead of the current opt-in system.



Meeting called to closure by co-chairs Jesse and Sharon at 1:00pm