Speaking Out

Response to Dr. Shapiro

The chair of the ad hoc committee responds (to Dr. Shapiro's letter):

Insofar as I understand them I am sympathetic with the basic concerns expressed by Prof. Shapiro. I sincerely hope that his impassioned pleas for supporting the needs and aspirations of postdoctoral fellows/research associates, will add to many other voices in our University community to inspire honest efforts by administrators, faculty, and the post-graduate students concerned to solve some of the most blatant outstanding problems:

1) emergency medical treatment at University Hospitals;
2) workers compensation protection;
3) weekend-evening parking provisions;
4) retirement/family health care benefits if full EB is paid.

Finally, I believe, along with Dr. Shapiro, that some funds derived from indirect costs that accrue via faculty grants should be set aside to provide emergency financial aid to postdoctoral fellows/research associates, whose funding has been terminated. This fund could be considered 'severance pay' and follow the overall guidelines used for all other University personnel. The major difference here would be that faculty grants in difficulty would not be further compromised by the extraction of these transitional funds. Rather, overall University benefits from ongoing viable grants would be appreciated and some of the indirect costs would be returned to these emergency funds.

-- John J. Cebra,
Professor of Biology