Sac State University Policy Manual

Centers and Institutes, Procedures for the Review of

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Authority: PM 85-15, PM 87-04, PM 88-06, PM 90-02, PM 96-06
Effective Date: March 8, 1996
Updated:
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: UMC2050.htm

Procedures for the Review of Centers and Institutes Purpose


University-endorsed centers and institutes are approved by the President and formally reviewed by the University to ensure that they serve some or all of the following purposes:  

  1. Enhance the conduct of faculty research and scholarship;
  2. Enhance and support the instructional programs of the university;
  3. Enhance the university s ability to obtain external funding; and
  4. Provide for and coordinate public service programs.  

Endorsed centers and institutes do not have a primary purpose of offering instruction, although their activities may be related to the instructional program.  

They differ in purpose, organization, reporting lines and formal review requirements from centers which support academic programs, faculty research and development in general, provide student services, or offer academic programs.

Procedures for the Establishment of a Center or Institute  

Each center/institute shall:  

  1. Have a clearly stated set of objectives;
  2. Have a clear relationship to the mission of an existing university program or of the university as a whole;
  3. Have a clear administrative reporting line.  

Support  

The amount, duration, and source(s) of funding required to establish and maintain a center or institute shall be included in the proposal for approval at the time of establishment and reviewed annually by the unit(s) which supplies support.  

Types of Centers and Institutes  

There are three types of university-endorsed centers and institutes: departmental, school and university. The three types differ in

  1. The criteria and procedures for their establishment and disestablishment;
  2. Their reporting lines and the policies and procedures which govern their organization;
  3. Requirements for fiscal support and the disposition of Research Incentive funds;
  4. The procedures for their formal, periodic review; and
  5. the scope of the academic discipline relevant to their activities.  

Departmental Centers and Institutes  

  1. Departmental centers and institutes may be proposed by one or more faculty or by a department. Faculty members proposals require approval of the department faculty. Centers and institutes approved at the departmental level then require the school dean's approval after consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President s approval.  
  2. Departmental centers and institutes report to the department which approved them. The director is appointed by the department for a term not to exceed three years and is subject to departmental, school and university centers and institutes policies and procedures. The department in turn reports at least annually on the center or institute to its Dean, who reports on the center or institute to the Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Departmental centers and institutes are encouraged but not required to have a board or advisory committee.  
  3. Departmental centers and institutes are self-supporting, but external funding is not required. Any earmarked research incentive funds go to the center or institute.  
  4. Departmental centers and institutes undergo formal university review at the time of the program review of the department to which it reports.  
  5. Departmental centers and institutes normally promote research or support academic programs in one academic discipline (or department) or use the expertise of one academic discipline (or department) for public service.  

School Centers and Institutes  

  1. School centers and institutes are proposed by faculty members or by a department directly to the dean of a school. The dean consults with affected departments and with the school faculty or appropriate school governance before approving (or disapproving) the proposal for the center or institute. The dean submits approved proposals to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who recommends approval or disapproval to the President.  
  2. School centers and institutes report to the school dean, who appoints the director with the consultation of the school faculty (or appropriate school governance) to serve at the dean's pleasure. The director is subject to school and university center and institute policies and procedures. The school dean annually evaluates school centers and institutes for the Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. The school dean will report the results of the annual evaluation to the school faculty (or appropriate school governance). School centers and institutes may report to more than one school dean but one school dean must have final supervisory authority. School centers and institutes must have an advisory committee comprising at least school and other on-campus members and also such off-campus members as the dean directs with consultation of the school faculty (or appropriate school governance). All off-campus advisory committee members are formally appointed by the President in consultation with the Dean.  
  3. School centers and institutes normally receive a combination of school-generated and external funds. Earmarked research incentive funds go to the center or institute.  
  4. School centers and institutes undergo formal university review at least once every six years.  
  5. School centers and institutes must support research and other academic activities in more than one academic area (or dept) and must be involved in service to a regional area.

University Centers and Institutes  

  1. University centers and institutes are established by the President after consultation with appropriate deans, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Academic Senate.  
  2. University centers and institutes report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Directors serve at the pleasure of the President and are subject to university center and institute policies and procedures. University centers and institutes must have an advisory committee appointed by the President (with consultation with the Academic Senate on faculty appointments) and including off-campus members as the President may direct.  
  3. University centers and institutes may be supported by the University and shall have a significant share of external funding.  
  4. University centers and institutes undergo formal university review at the discretion of the President, but at least every six years.  
  5. University centers and institutes sponsor research and service activities which are important to more than one school, serve the mission of the University and involve activities at the regional, statewide, national or international levels.

Review of Centers and Institutes

All endorsed centers and institutes shall, in addition to reports required by deans, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President, annually submit a "short-form" report to the Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, who will alert the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and, when appropriate, the deans and departments to any deficiencies indicated by the report filed.  

Periodic six year formal reviews of centers and institutes and any special reviews ordered by the President shall use the following procedures:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint up to two additional members for each review team from among administrators, staff, students, alumni, or community members as appropriate. The chair of the team shall be selected by and from the team.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the director of the center or institute and the review team, will designate an individual from beyond the campus. This individual, normally from another university or comparable institute, would be one whose competence is in the field of the center or institute being reviewed, and who is associated with a unit having similar purposes. The individual can function as an adjunct member of the team or as a consultant.

The self-study prepared by the director of the center or institute will comprise a response to the following:  

  1. Describe the activities of the center or institute since the last review.  
  2. If the center or institute is associated with a department or departments, describe the distinction between departmental activities and the center or institute activities.  
  3. What have been the successes and failures of the center or institute in meeting the goals of the last six-year plan?  
  4. By what criteria should the center or institute be judged in its success over the next six years vis-à-vis the next six-year plan?

The community or off-campus advisory board or group to the center or institute will be asked to prepare a report to the review team, addressing the same questions (from the preceding paragraph) and others they may select. The director of the center or institute will have an opportunity to comment on this report.

Each review shall be made in consideration of the following:

  1. the self-study,
  2. the last six year plan,
  3. the year-end reports submitted since the last six year review,
  4. the report of the last six year review, and
  5. the next six year plan.  

The review team shall conduct interviews with the director of the center or institute and others, as appropriate.

The result of the review will be a report. The report will be reviewed in its proposed final draft form (it may have been previously reviewed) with the director, and others as appropriate. In addition to a response to the issues of the self-study, the report should address the appropriateness of the budget and its use, and the appropriateness of the next six year plan. The report should include specific recommendations for action by appropriate campus entities, including a recommendation to the Academic Senate, the appropriate Academic Dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs for continuation or termination of the center or institute.

The report will be presented to the Academic Senate s Curriculum Policies Committee to be handled in the same manner as academic program reviews

Disestablishment  

Centers and institutes shall be disestablished by the review and approval procedures described above, except that the process need not include outside peer review. Continuation of a center or institute beyond the three year developmental period does not guarantee continuation of university funding.  

You may obtain a CSUS Endorsed Research Center and Institutes Policy Summary Chart from the office of Graduate Studies and Research