February 2018

SURPAS council meeting

Feb 28, 11.30am-1pm

Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Building, G1161

Meeting Attendees:

Council Members:

John Hegarty, Virginie Gabel, Ioana Marin, Mariapaola Siddoli, Brian Griffiths, Clarice Aiello,

Sharon Greenblum, Lise Retailleau, Roberta Sala, Matthew Gebbie,Christial La, Arnaud Bruyas,

Dilip Thomas, Anand Rao, Saumyaa


Perrine Janiand, Leonardo Tozzi, Stephanie Lau, Oiva Arvola, Pavlos Tsantilas, Kacie Deters,

Justin Klein, Subhomoy Das, Jennifer Wilson, Aldo Cordova, Debra Karhson,

Quorum: Yes, 13 council members present (2 members arrived after the election)

New council member elections:

3 candidates ran for council election:

- Pavlos Tsantilas: He joined Stanford a few months back. He has been an active

memeber of grad school student organizations. He is enthusiastic to become a part of

postdoc association now.

- Kacie Deters: She has been here for 7 months. Have been attending council meetings

for a while. She is already a part of teaching and outreach committee and woud like to

join the council.

- Callie Wigington : She has been a postdoc here for 3 years. She co-chaired symposium

last year and plans to do so this year as well. She would like to join the council.

All of them were succesfully election to council. (13 council members present at the time of

election. All votes yes.)

Symposium committe updates: (Callie Winginton)

Symposium committe plans to organize a mini symposium in fall of 2018. This will be good for

continuity and testing out some of the ideas the recieved from last year’s symposium. BAsed on

this a bigger symposium can be planned for apring of 2019.

Plan for the fall mini-symposium-

-tentatively in mid August.

-half day event

-have lightning talks

- have a networking lunch session to discuss collaborative project ideas. This can be incentized

by a seed grant from VPGE for ideas coming out of this discussion.

-Location will be on main campus but a little removed from the research buildings, possibly

somwhere near Tressider. This will also take it out of SOM campus.

Comments from council:

Roberta: An off campus location might help with retention of attendees

Callie: No support from administration. We don’t wanna make it too inaccessible

Anand: Have a career fair at 2019 spring symposium

Callie: Will Talbott also said that it’s a good idea

Discussion on LRP white papers:

Ioana divied up the papers into different groups and each person was supposed to add a couple

of comments to them.

Sharon studied ’Engagement beyond Stanford’

It revolved around the questions-

-How does Stanford embody is stated value?

-How is Stanford putting into action their statement that they want to train and educate


Something that was brought up a lot, something that SURPAS can think more about was

building communities beyond stanford by engaging other communities in the neighborhood

-schools, general public etc.

Another key point was that we at Stanford are also communicating beyond stanford just by

being Stanford. That how Stanford treats its own students and postdocs, sets a precedence and

others follow.

Clarice : ‘Housing’ (co reviewed with Jesse )

If more people can have a look at this paper, it would be better because it is extremely

important. Stanford is set up for a a big disappointment in this matter. Stanford is making some

steps in right direction-

- people with work from home profile have flexible schedules

- certain bonuses related to housing

Jesse - Housing problem drains talent to other places because some people decide not to come

to Stanford. Since it’s not only postdocs who face this issue, it might be good to team up with

other communities, like grad students with family, young faculty etc.

Matthew Gebbie - ‘Governance’ and ‘Diversity and Inclusion’

First was mainly about ata and its availability.

For latter- Stanford is cognizant of the lack of diversity, but there are no steps being taken to

address this. It also talks about intellectual diversity. Community is also concerned of growing

presence of engineering- their prestige and popularity, as compared to humanity fellows.

Comments from council:

Deb : Stanford views it this way, that if you are the best you to to engineering.

John : Develop programs and community centers. Build programs for diversifying the faculty.

Anand : Diversity and inclusion as a long term strategy. They have to be not only recruited but

included well, so they feel a part of the community.

Matthew : How do you financially incentivize faculty to hire diverse backgrounds

Promotion etc could be the incentives.

Sharo n: Provost liked the idea of posting postdoc salaries and diversity numbersfor each dept

Pavlos : It should not be trackable to an individual person.

But public school salaries are posted for each person.

John - There was a call for presidential review to look at the gap of living cost and pay, and to

see what can be done to provide subsidies, transportation and better public transport

Lise- ‘Career Development’

There should a committee for postdocs where they can go to, to discuss what to do

Arnaud - ‘ how to use the money for postdocs’

Breakdown of different costs and proof that there is no enough to match the living cost

Roberta- ‘Finance’

Pretty detailed breakdown of the cost. Subsidized housing for just grad students is billions of

dollars.Subsidized housing for postdoc is a huge cost



Faculty are not rewarded enough for mentoring and education. This should be incentivize. We

were usually included into undergrad, graduate student lineup. There was not enough

appreciation of how much postdocs teach. That is something we can bring up.

‘Postdoc status’

- We don’t feel respected, we have this limbo status. Either give us all the benefits of

students or staff(preferrably staff).

- As students (postdocs included) we don’t feel heard. Administration makes all the

decisions. They grow faster than us. It’s our university and we should be heard.

Comments from council:

Deb : This paper was written by an undergrad. The whole long range planning inititiave was run

by postdocs/ students/ undergrads. LORAX came out of student work. A lot of other things as

part of this process. Nobody on LRP got paid or respected while they did a year worth of work.

There was a big emotional reward for service- that included engaging with community within the

stanford and outside. If this could be considered for promotion or something, that might mean


Anand: ‘Engagement beyond Stanford’

There wasn’t almost any postdoc mention

1: There was discussion on satellite locations, digital connection, spatial environemnt( be more

aware and prudent and our resources)

2. Alumni engagemnet- the more alumni we keep engaged with community, more they will give

back to Stanford. Provost disagrees. This is a possible revenue stream

3. Outside partnership- Political engagemnet and private partnerships

Comment from council:

Roberta- Social sceince paper that Anand should see on ‘ Poverty and equity’

4. Diversity and Inclusion: Inclusion should also be the focus. Diversify faculty- that will

automatically improve the community for minortized individuals

5. Sustainability- how we should engage with urban communities-eg. planetary health, support

for fundamental health. There is too much focus on translational research.

There a lot of common threads that bridge all the different committees

Discussion on Transitional Housing:

Vice Provost (Patty) sees it as a low hanging fruit, that is achievable. Moving to stanford is

becoming a priveledge. People who have moeny to foot the initial bills for deposits etc.can move

much more comfortably.

3-6 months subsided housing to new incoming postdocs should be provided. Preference can be

given to postdcos with non-earning dependents.

How can we help her achieve this?

Patty needs data.

Arnaud can help with that

Lise: How long should this transitionla housing be, what is the eligibility criteria, who gets the


If we were to tasked with structuring the prgram, how would we do it?

There are about 800 new incoming postdocs /year

How will we define low socio-economic status?

- We all have our Phd salary to show,

- We are not dependent on parents

Kacie- Can Stanford run your credit?

A good starting ground can the way they structured the ongoing hardship fund. We can learn

through OPA what criteria do they use to select people for that. That can be used a model to

structure transitional housing program.

Also Stanford West has a subsidized housing program. They also already have a existing

system to qualify for subsidized housing. That is another place we can get information from.

Deb- Postdoc with family get the priority automaticaly. Single people are always left out.

Kacie- We can have dedicated % for each group

Clarice- What will be the location of this housing?

Anand- That should not be our concern. We can just propose the number of units required.

Matt: Family can be defined as individual with1 dependent it could be child, non working partner

or a parent)

Arnaud: What does the university expect from us? And what is the timeline?

Ioana: What they need form us is constant pressure. At the last PACPA meeting, affordability for

postdocs came out 3 times. Patty is pushing for both transitional housing, and long term housing

solution. We have to keep emphasizing the magnitude of our needs.

We should assemble a Transitional housing task force!! Hopefully before March28 (PACPA

meeting). Ioana, Lise and Anand can go to meeting with a rough draft of the proposal

Sharon: In terms of visibilty of this issue, we are planning to have April Mailer dedicated to

housing. Other ideas:

- An Open mic night for housing horror stories (2 potential candidates already- Catherine,


- Interview incoming postdcos at luncheon about their housing search

Upcoming Events-

SBPA wine down - 2/28

Hike- 3/3 near La honda. (Hike is always on first sat of every month)

PRISM weekend- March15-18th,

PRISM HH - March 15th Thurs

SF St Patty’s day- March 17th Fri

Postdoc prom - April21st

Pickup Soccer and Volleyball