3.4.4 Centers and Institutes

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide information regarding the establishment of centers.

B. Persons Affected

Individuals who propose to establish a center.

C. Definitions

Center – A vehicle for bringing together personnel and resources for a specific objective.

Institute - An organization founded for particular work, such as education, promotion of the arts, or scientific research.

D. Policy 

Centers and Institutes should be well integrated into the academic objectives of a department(s) or college(s) or enhance the academic programs of the University.

E. Responsibilities

Deans and the Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs are responsible for the administration of this policy.

F. Procedures

1. Creation of Centers/Institutes

A proposal for establishing a center may originate within a department, a college, or within a combination of departments or colleges. Such a proposal should be submitted through the appropriate academic dean, or deans, to the Council of Academic Deans. The Council of Academic Deans shall make its recommendation for approval or disapproval to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who will make a recommendation to the President.

Approval by the President of the University is a prerequisite to the establishment of a center. At such time as approval is granted, a statement will be provided to all appropriate persons delineating specific details of administrative structure and mode of operation of the center.

2. Funding of Centers/Institutes 

No direct budgetary support for centers/institutes shall be provided from appropriated funds of the University unless specifically appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose. There shall usually be no reduction in teaching loads for center/institute personnel from general university funds. Reduction in teaching loads with salary support from center funds or from other outside sources may be appropriate. Department chairs and deans should give careful attention to the ramifications of tenure-earning appointments supported by outside funds. Existence of a center shall not be justification for additional space, financing or personnel from regular university funds. Outside funds will be set up in a separate account. Grant applications should be presented through regular administrative channels.

3. Administration of Centers/Institutes 

The chain of reporting shall be established at the time a center/institute is approved. If the center/institute is entirely within one department and one college, the chain shall be the normal one through the department chair and dean.

Interdepartmental centers/institutes within a college shall report through the dean. The dean may require reporting through a department. If a center/institute encompasses an element of more than one college the reporting shall be through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who may require reporting through the deans. The director of a center/institute shall be appointed by the dean(s) or Vice President after consultation with appropriate faculty and administrative officials.

Any significant modification of the structure or operation of a center must have the same administrative approval as originally required for the creation of the center/institute.

4. Termination of Centers/Institutes

The Council of Academic Deans shall periodically review the performance of each center annually and recommend to the President the continuation, modification, or abolition of each center. Final decision in regard to action to be taken is the prerogative of the President.

G. Review

The divisional head for this policy is the Provost. This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Faculty Senate.


AMENDED: 04/22/2009

AMENDED: 02/2019