Table of Contents

  1. Article I - Name of Organization
  2. Article II - Mission Statement
  3. Article III - Goals
  4. Article IV - Compliance Statement
  5. Article V - University Regulations
  6. Article VI - Membership
  7. Article VII - Officers
  8. Article VIII - Appointments
  9. Article IX - Board of Trustees/Professional Board Members
  10. Article X - Dissolution of Organization
  11. Article XI - Amendments to Constitution

Article I - Name of Organization

The name of the organization is the Black Postdoctoral Association. This organization will use the acronym BPDA in all materials and marketing correspondence.

Article II - Mission Statement

The Black Postdoctoral Association is an interdisciplinary community of Black postdoctoral trainees committed to creating, cultivating and solidifying a safe community of support at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Our community will promote the continuous scholarship amongst our members, thereby contributing to the development and expansion of our collective disciplines. We seek to provide essential resources and professional development opportunities for self-identifying Black/African American postdoctoral trainees.

Therefore, our mission is to provide Black postdoctoral trainees with a safe community to network and maximize their scholarship within their community as well as providing a platform for voicing and advocating issues that pertain to academia and the greater society.

Article III - Goals

  • Expansion: To increase the number of supported Black postdoctoral trainees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Empower: To encourage, nurture and empower the development of the next generation of Black We will prepare Black postdoctoral trainees for their next career transition (e.g. academia, industry, government, etc.) through professional development opportunities (e.g. seminar series, internships, etc.)
  • Engagement: To engage the UAB and local Birmingham community through service and mentorship

Article IV - Compliance Statement

[BPDA] shall comply with all local, state and federal laws, as well as all University of Alabama at Birmingham’s regulations, policies, and procedures. Such compliance includes but is not limited to the University’s regulations related to Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment (including sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), Hazing, and Commercial Activity.

Article V - University Regulations

Section A. Non-Discrimination

[BPDA] agrees that it will not discriminate based on creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act.

Section B. Sexual Harassment

[BPDA] agrees that it will not engage in any activity that is unwelcome conduct of sexual nature that creates a hostile environment. Behaviors that could create a hostile environment include sexual harassment (which could include inappropriate sexual comments), sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Section C. Responsibility to Report

If this organization becomes aware of any such conduct described in this article, [BPDA] will report it immediately to the administrative parties (e.g. OPE or the University’s Title IX Coordinator).

Article VI - Membership

Membership in this organization is open to all self-identifying Black/African-American postdoctoral trainees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. All members are free to leave and disassociate without fear of retribution, retaliation, or harassment.

Article VII - Officers

Section A

The appointed officers of Black Postdoctoral Association shall be President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Public Relations/Communications, and Task Force members.

Part 1: The President shall preside at all meetings of the organization and shall coordinate the work of the officers and committees.

Part 2: The Vice-President shall serve as an aide to the President and shall perform the duties of the President in her/his absence or inability to serve.

Part 3: The Treasurer shall receive all monies of BPDA; shall keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures; shall pay out local funds in accordance with the approved budget as authorized by the organization. The Treasurer shall present a financial statement at a monthly meeting of BPDA, quarterly meetings with the Board of Trustees and at other times when requested by the President or Vice President.

Part 4: The Secretary shall ensure meetings are effectively organized. The secretary will coordinate with necessary parties to create an agenda before the meeting (e.g. executive, general, etc.), write the meeting minutes and present to the group at each meeting. Additionally, the secretary will maintain effective records on the Google Drive and/or UAB Box.

Part 5: The Public Relations/Communications officer shall maintain a positive reputation of the brand and maintain a strategic relationship with the public, prospective Black Postdoctoral Trainees and partners. This officer shall be responsible for the bi-weekly newsletter and flyers for any upcoming events.

Part 6: Task Force Chairs

  • Community service (health policy/legislative affairs)
  • Mentorship
  • Professional development
  • Diversity research (how can our members see opportunities to connect their research to others on campus)

Section B

The appointed officers of these positions should holistically seek to represent UAB departments through the administrative appointments/elections. Administrative appointees will be determined through a selective process carried out by the President/Board of Trustees. There will be a yearly term limit on each administrative position.

Part 1: Future administrative members will be appointed by the Board of Trustees and the current President. Part 2: Officers will act as representatives to UAB administration.

Section C:

Officers shall assume their official duties at the close of the last general meeting of the academic year (May) and shall serve for a term of one fiscal year and/or until their successors are elected/appointed, whichever occurs first.

Section D:

Any officer of BPDA may be removed from office through the following process:

Part 1: A written request by at least two members of the organization shall be submitted to either the President, Vice President, or Treasurer and will remain anonymous. Written notification shall be sent to the officer in question asking that officer to be present at the next Executive Board/General meeting and prepared to respond to the removal request.

Part 2: A two-thirds majority vote of members present is necessary to remove the officer.

Part 3: In the event of the removal of an officer, a special provision may be granted to the remaining officers to appoint an interim replacement until an appointment can be determined.

Section E:

Part 1: In the event of an elected officer vacancy, the President shall appoint an interim officer within 14 days of the vacancy with the advice and consent of the Executive Board. The process of appointing an interim officer is identical to all other appointments.

Article VIII - Appointments

Section A: Timeframe

Before the end of each year’s fiscal year starting in March/April, there shall be interviews conducted for each officer’s position. It is recommended that BPDA members interested in being nominated for a seat speak with the current officers to learn of each officer’s roles and responsibilities.

Section B: Qualifications

Any full-time Black/African American postdoctoral trainee in BPDA, can be nominated for a position as long as they have been an active member for at least one academic semester. If a member who does not qualify based on active membership criterion desires to run for a position, they must exhibit noteworthy commitment to the BPDA, as deemed so by a majority of the Executive Board.

Section C: Nomination Process and Interview Process

In March/April there will be an initial nomination period lasting a week. Following that, those nominated will be alerted of their nomination, and will be given time slots for an interview scheduled for the following week. Applicants scheduling an interview will be perceived as their acceptance to the nomination. Applicants must attend an interview where they discuss qualifications for and interests in the desired position. Either the President or Vice President shall conduct the interview alongside the respective Board of Trustees. For example, if a member were running for the position of Treasurer, either the President and/or Vice President in conjunction with the Board of Trustees would hold the interview. If a current Executive Board member desires to apply for the following year’s Executive Board, an additional Executive Board member must preside over the interview. In all circumstances, there must be at least two officers conducting each interview, and interviewers must follow a set guideline of questions for each interviewee. Note: Interview questions shall be formulated by the President and Vice President with approval by the rest of the Executive Board.

Section D: Appointment of Candidates

After the interviews, the Executive Board shall reconvene to select candidates. For a member to become appointed to a position, they must win a majority vote by the current Executive Board and Board of Trustees. In terms of a tie, the previous representative will select the appointee. The selection of each position shall be based on a set list of qualification criteria, which shall be available upon request for the general body to examine.

Section E: Length of Term(s)

Officers’ terms will take effect at the beginning of the fiscal year (June 1), and will last one year until the last general body meeting (May) of the following year. No person shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same position. In the event that an officer’s position becomes vacant during the term, a new officer will be elected by the same mode as described above and will complete the term. If no nominees come forward, the position will be considered vacant.

Article IX - Board of Trustees/Professional Board Members

The Professional Board members shall serve as a resource and/or liaison to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, City of Birmingham, state of Alabama or national community and provide advisory support for the officers and members of the BPDA. The Professional Board members shall attend quarterly executive meetings; however, the Professional Board members may not vote in any BPDA matters, with the exception selecting the incoming executive board or a tie-break needed for general membership. The professional board members shall be nominated by the officers and confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Board. The professional board members will have a term limit of two years; with the exception of a representative from an organization, whom shall have no term limit. In the event that a Professional Board member is unable to continue in their position, officers may nominate a replacement at any time, to be confirmed by a majority vote of the members.

Article X - Dissolution of Organization

In the event of the BPDA dissolution, all monies left in the treasury, after outstanding debts and claims have been paid, shall be donated to OPE for black postdoctoral award or to help fund a Black Postdoctoral Trainee in need. All additional assets become property of the OPE.

Article XI - Amendments to Constitution

Amendments to this constitution may be made at any regular meeting of BPDA, provided notice of the proposed amendment was given one week prior to a vote. Any officer can propose an amendment by submitting the proposal to the other officers. Amendments require a two-thirds vote of the voting Executive Board in attendance at the meeting, and are subject to final approval.