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Postdoctoral Association Constitution

I. Mission

A. The mission of the TAMHSC Postdoctoral Association (PDA) is to improve the quality of the postdoctoral experience and to facilitate the long-term success of its members.

B. Primary goals of the PDA include the following:

  1. To strive for the professional enrichment and development of Postdocs at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
  2. To promote and provide opportunities for postdoc networking and social development.
  3. To clearly define and communicate the needs and concerns of Postdoctoral Fellows at an Institutional level.

II. Membership

A. All Postdoctoral fellows, defined as individuals carrying a Doctoral degree and conducting research under a TAMHSC faculty member's supervision, including but not limited to Postdocs with the titles of non-matriculated student, research associate, research scientist, and visiting scholar, are recognized as members of the Association and as such are eligible to become an elected member of the Executive Committee. Regular Association members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings/events.

III. Organization

A. Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee will consist of at least two Co-Presidents, two Secretaries, and a Treasurer.

2. 1 president for each site may be elected a president to serve as Co-president of the Executive Committee. A site represents a campus community and therefore Bryan/College station, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Kingsville, McAllen, Round Rock, and Temple are all defined as sites.

3. The Co-Presidents will be chosen annually from among the Association members. Presidents may serve for up to 24 months (2 terms). If more than two individuals volunteer at a specific site,Co-President for that site will be selected by a majority vote of the active members at the annual election.

4. Each Co-President will serve in that position for a minimum of 12 months.

5. At least one Co-President must be available to attend each Association meeting and Executive Committee meeting.

6. Co-Presidents will be responsible for setting the agenda of each meeting and facilitating the meetings.

7. Co-Presidents may at the end of their terms become Special Advisors to the Council (See section III. C)

8. Co-Presidents may run for consecutive terms, but at least one co-president must be newly elected unless no volunteers are available.

B. Additional Officers

1. Treasurer: The post of Treasurer will be chosen annually from among the members. If more than one individual volunteers, the Treasurer will be selected by a majority vote at the annual election.

2. Secretaries: There shall be 1 secretary from each site with an elected Co-president. If more than 1 individual volunteers from a site then the secretary from that site will be selected by a majority vote at the annual election.

3. All posts will be held for a minimum of one year.

4. The Treasurer and Secretary positions may be filled by the same individual for more than one consecutive term, and an individual may hold more than one position.

C. Special Advisors to the Council

1. Former Executive Committee officers have the option to become special advisors following their term in office.

2. Council member can nominate additional advisors with appointment approval requiring majority Executive Committee vote.

D. Faculty Mentors to the Executive Committee

1. Each site is encouraged to nominate a Faculty Mentor who will serve as an advisor to the Executive Committee. Faculty mentors may offer advice, guidance, and support, but faculty mentors do not vote on Association issues.

IV. Responsibilities

A. Executive Committee 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. Inform Postdocs of special events and organize as needed.
  4. Hold informal meetings with Postdocs as necessary.
  5. Act as liaisons to the Postdoctoral population at large and represent Postdocs' interests to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

The TAMHSC PDA Executive Committee can appoint and disband committees to focus on specific issues, including but not limited to social committees and survey committees. Committees may be standing committees or temporary in nature, and shall regularly report to the TAMHSC PDA Executive Committee on the progress of their agenda. Executive Committee co-presidents and TAMHSC PDA officers may be members or advisers to any committee. More information is provided in section VII.

B. Co-Presidents:

  1. Schedule and facilitate the monthly meetings of the Association.
  2. Schedule and facilitate meetings of the Executive Committee as needed.
  3. Serve as the primary contact for the HSC administration.
  4. Oversee the timely appointment and/or election of new members.
  5. Serve as the liaisons to Postdoc associations at other Universities.
  6. Approve the meeting minutes.
  7. Review the results of the annual postdoc survey and provide feedback and options to the Executive Committee and Association.

C. Officers of the TAMHSC PDA

1. Treasurer

a. The Treasurer manages the TAMHSC PDA budget and acts as a liaison with the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for financial matters.

b. The Treasurer proposes, negotiates, and reports the TAMHSC PDA annual budget to the Vice President for Research and Executive Committee with input from the Executive Committee, as detailed below.

c. The treasurer annually drafts a budget proposal for TAMHSC PDA activities in consultation with the TAMHSC PDA Executive Committee and Co-Presidents. The treasurer will then present the budget proposal to the Vice President for Research, who will review and approve the budget request.

d. The Treasurer is responsible for financial oversight, compliance and disbursement, in accordance with the approved budget allocation limits and university policy. The Co-Presidents act as co-signers in cases when the Treasurer must be reimbursed.

e. Arrangements to change line-item allocations must be made at least 20 days in advance of incurring additional expenses and approved before exceeding such allocations as allowable.

f. The Treasurer provides an annual financial report of revenues and expenses to the Vice President for Research, regardless of the funding source(s).

2. Secretary

a. At least one Secretary shall record the minutes at each Executive Committee and general Association meetings.

b. The Secretaries obtain approval of the meeting minutes from the Co-Presidents.

c. The Secretaries ensure that information from Council meetings is communicated to all Postdocs. This includes, but is not limited to: providing the TAMHSC PDA webmaster with approved minutes to post on the web site, sending approved minutes by email, and including minutes in the Postdoc newsletter.

d. The Secretaries maintain a record of Executive Committee meeting attendance, calling the roll if necessary, and determine if quorum is present.

D. Special Advisors to Council

1. Special Advisors provide continuity from one TAMHSC PDA Executive Committee administration to the next.

2. Special Advisors provide advice to the TAMHSC PDA Executive Committee and officers as needed.

3. Special Advisors have voting power within the Executive Committee if they are present at Executive Committee meetings during which votes are cast.

E. Faculty Mentors

1. Faculty mentors provide advice, guidance, and support, but do not vote on Association issues.

V. Appointment

A. Appointments to the Executive Committee are for a minimum of one year from January to December. Members who are unable to complete their term for any reason should immediately notify the Co-Presidents in writing.

B. Executive Committee member terms begin in January and end in December. Voting for new officers will be held in November.

C. Continued Appointment: To remain in good standing, Executive Committee 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 Executive Committee.

D. Resignation of Appointment: If an elected Council officer is unable or unwilling to complete a full year's 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 TAMHSC PDA list requesting nominees for a new appointment. A vote will be taken at the next Association meeting to elect a new officer for the vacated position.

E. Termination of Duties: If an elected Executive Committee officer is not fulfilling their duties, or conducts duties 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 among the officers will be required to terminate the appointment. Upon termination, an email will be circulated to the TAMHSC PDA list requesting nominees for a new appointment. A vote will be taken at the next Association meeting to elect a new officer for the vacant position.

VI. Conduct of Meetings

A. Executive Committee meetings

1. The regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held once a month in a location to be announced, unless otherwise determined by the Executive Committee or the Co-Presidents.

2. Meetings will be scheduled for one and a half hours. Unfinished business will be relegated to the next meeting.

3. Members of the Postdoc community are invited to attend and speak at all meetings but are not eligible to vote unless they are members of the Executive Committee.

a. Order of business

b. Agendas will be distributed in advance of all scheduled business meetings by a Secretary.

c. Approval of minutes.

d. New business or unfinished business.

e. Voting motions shall carry if they receive a majority vote. All Executive Committee members present may vote.

f. Determination of any new business for the next meeting's agenda. Additional agenda items

can be recommended by any Executive Committee member up to the day prior to the next scheduled meeting. Agenda items can be sent to the Council Co-Presidents.

B. Association meetings

1. Association meetings will be held once a month and all association members are encouraged to attend.

2. The association meetings will include discussions, guest speakers, and seminars aimed to promote professional enrichment, networking, and development of the TAMHSC PDA.

3. All association members are encouraged to present topics and speakers for Association meetings

4. The meetings will be scheduled for 1 hour.

C. Quorum

1. For regular Association meetings, two Executive Committee members from two different sites, and two regular Association members must be present in order to vote on Association issues.

2. For Executive Committee meetings, a quorum is defined as three voting members, with at least one from another site.

VII. Committees

A. Special committees shall be created as the need arises to perform specific tasks (e.g. surveys, events).

1. At its formation, an ad hoc subcommittee shall be given a specific period of time to complete its task.

2. Special committees will be dissolved when their task is complete and they have given a final report to the Executive Committee.

3. If a special committee cannot complete the task within the appointed time, the Executive Committee may consider extending the appointment time or dissolving the subcommittee.

4. All subcommittees shall report to the group during the monthly Executive Committee meetings. Status reports from subcommittees may also be requested on an ad hoc basis.

VIII. Review

A. The Executive Committee shall review the Constitution at least annually to ensure that it remains current.

B. Co-Presidents will announce the review period to Council members to allow input from all members.

C. Proposed changes to the Constitution can be made at any time following discussion at a regularly scheduled committee meeting pending the vote of the Executive Committee members.

D. Proposed changes should be submitted in writing to the Co-Presidents and presented for discussion at the next scheduled Executive Committee meeting.

E. All proposed changes will be discussed and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee members in attendance.