March 2018

SURPAS council meeting

March 28, 11.30am-1pm

Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Building, G1161

Meeting Attendees:

Council Members: John Hegarty, Virginie Gabel, Ioana Marin, Mariapaola Siddoli, Lise Retailleau, Sharon Greenblum, Saumyaa, Arnaud Bruyas, Gina Bouchard, Matthew Gebbie, Christian La, Anand Rao, Callie Wiginton, Jorik, Clarice Aiello, Kacie Deters, Daniel Joyce.

Others: Hua Ying, Leaonardo Tozzi, Nicolas Gauthier, Aaron Horning, Titilola Falasinnu, Eneko Axpe.

Quorum: Yes, 17 council members present (? members arrived after the election)

Re-election of old council members:

Gina, Saumyaa, Virginie, Sharon were re-elected successfully to the council

Housing Survey summary: (Anand Rao)

A housing survey was sent out the stanford postdocs. We received 225 responses in 2 weeks.

Some of data points that stand out from the survey:

-60% said the either have second jobs or get external help.

-There were some postdocs whose household income is more than 175k


Lola: She is one of the postdocs whole household income is more than 175k, because her partner is in tech. And that is how she can afford to have her third child and that’s why they were able to make the decision to move here.

Gina: It would be great to leave the survey open for a few days after spring festival. She plans to talk about it the the event. So we can get more feedback for postdocs with family after the event.

The council agreed with leaving the survey open till late April.

PRISM summary:

Ioana: 26 people came to campus, mostly in SOM, except 2- one interviewed for Earth department, and one in humanities and sciences.

SURPAS tried to make it comfortable for them. They were sent a letter from SURPAS. We escorted them from one meeting to the other. We hosted a SURPAS Happy Hour for them and hosted dinner and brunch sponsored by OPA.

Anand: Among the 26 candidates, they have 10 job offers.

How it works: PRISM candidates submit a list of faculty members, that they were interested in. And the Interviews were scheduled with those PIs, if the PIs agreed.

Deb: many profs don’t see a benefit in it. Up to 6 interviews were scheduled for them at one time. It was too stressful.

Gina: But having more interviews is a good thing? It increase there chances of getting a job and make the most out of the trip.

Natalie: Last year Robin scheduled the interviews. This year candidates had to do it themselves. It was too much work for them.

Last year there were less candidates. This year they had 26. OPA didn’t have bandwidth and/or manpower to schedules all the interviews for 26 candidates.

Deb : Robin said she is applying for a big grant this year and they need to show success rate. So they encouraged candidates to schedule upto 6 interviews.

Natalie : Scheduling burden on candidates was very hard. They even had to book rooms themselves.

Sharon: Can we buddy up with each candidate?

Anand: The burden should not fall on us.

Ioana: We offered help. But OPA turned us down.

Daniel/ Clarice: Let’s put together a list of issues raised.

Lola: Use the sandwich strategy to provide this feedback to OPA. Start with positive, then negative, and end again with positive.

Housing committee update:

Arnaud: Committee members- Natalie, Paola, and Pavlos

They met Sofie to ask how can we help administration in bringing about a change in housing situation. What can we provide to make it possible.

Data: 900 postdocs arrive per year , about 80/month

60% internationals, 20% have family (majority of them are international)

If Stanford was to provide transitional housing, it will be filled every month. So it will be worth their effort to invest in that. They won’t run into a situation where units are sitting vacant. Because unlike students, postdocs come in year round. That can be our advantage.

There is a lot of subsidized housing off campus for grad students for now, which Stanford plans to discontinue, as all these students will move to the new housing being built on campus, by 2019. Sofie is pushing to stop Stanford from discontinuing the lease on those units, and give them on subsidized rates to incoming postdocs.

Saumyaa: There are lot of students currently living in Oak creek apartments, on Sand Hill Road

Virginie: The average rate there is $1400/month for 2 bd 2 ba (utilities included)

Clarice: How do we chose, who should benefit from it?

Pavlos: They had the discussion on that, when they met Sofie.

Natalie: Gather information on how other universities are doing it,for example Columbia. Columbia has a good housing system going. Some schools do lottery, some allot spots to each department.

Ultimately it is not for us to decide. But we can give our input. There could be two categories: a lottery pool, and another group based on hardship.

Lise: It is difficult to figure out a standard metric

Paola: Postdoc population on campus fit into a lot of categories, and we can do that work for the administration. To help them figure out some metrics and different categories.

Natalie : We can put up a list of demands.

A hard ask: a better website for the housing resources

A soft ask: preferred locations for transitional housing: stanford west, stanford guest house.

We need to keep pushing for permanent housing too. Places like columbia have it all sorted out.

Your housing arrangement is ready before you get it.

Ioana: Maybe we can work at our end on putting more resources on website

Pavlos: Sofie already asked Stanford Union to give us a loan. She also asked Stanford, if they can give us an advance payment, to cover for deposits etc. to rent apartments.

Natalie: Sofie wants to phase out the hardship fund

Anand: rules to hardship fund have changed but it still exists

Budget increase:

Lise: We did a lot of new activities last year. We have asked Sofie to increase budget.

She asked us to prepare a budget proposal.

Clarice: Are we allowed to ask for outside money


PI status and conflict negotiation support:

PI status:

Clarice: She is c-res representative. If you are not affiliated with SOM, you cannot apply for grants with PI status, and C-res is ok with that. But to be a fair, in the spirit of equity of postdocs, other schools should be served the same deal. A survey was sent out 2 weeks ago and she only received 75 responses. How can she motivate folks to respond better to survey.

Bradley : Will share the survey with school of earth.

Gina : There were logging issues to the survey.

Clarice : She heard about those issues and they have been addressed. She plans to compile a report based on the survey data and share it with the C-res committee.

50 applied to such grants, 40 were given a green light to apply, and only 3 were awarded such grants.

Conflict/Stress support:

When Clarice was an MIT, she ran a program called REFS: resources of easing friction and stress. Whenever students needed help with such issues, they could reach out to REFS. There is no such resource at Stanford. She wants to start this program at Stanford.

A person has to go through 40 hrs of training to become a REFS representative. The training is conflict resolution, negotiation.

Sofie is ok with this. If there is any support for this program from SURPAS, she can start working on that. And also people who wanna volunteer, should contact her.

Bradley volunteered to get involved in the program.

An email announcement about it can be sent out through SURPAS.

Postdoc alumni event:

Virginie: She has a meeting with Meritt day after and Meritt is expecting feedback from postdocs on what kind of event postdocs need.

Should it be a formal dinner or more casual and flexible meet and greet and cocktail hour.

John: It should be a mix of both

Bradley: Are all the alumni being invited in the industry

We can plan a speed dating event!

Meritt also wants to provide childcare for this event.