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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 3335-3-36 | Centers and institutes.


(A) Definition of an academic center (institute).

An academic center is a non-degree granting educational unit of the university engaged in research; instruction; or clinical, outreach, or related service. An academic center is defined by its mission and scope, not its title, and may be described as a center, institute, laboratory, or similar term. Use of "center" or "institute" in the names of proposed units of the university shall be limited to academic centers, unless otherwise approved by the council on academic affairs. Academic centers are of two broad types: university centers and college centers.

University centers typically will have a substantial research/scholarship component to their mission, but also may be involved in instruction, and/or related service. Their internal funding (initial and continuing) is drawn fully, or in large part, from central university funds (e.g. office of the president, office of academic affairs, office of research). The leadership of the center will report to one or more of those offices.

College centers typically will have some mix, with variable emphases, of research/scholarship, instruction, service, clinical or outreach missions. Internal funding (initial and continuing) is drawn fully, or in large part, from one college or a small set of colleges. The leadership of the center will report to one dean or a small set of deans.

(B) Establishment, reporting, and oversight.

(1) Establishment of university centers

Proposals for university centers will be developed following the "guidelines for the establishment and review of academic centers" and submitted to the office of academic affairs for action.

The chair of the council on academic affairs (CAA), the executive vice president and provosts designee to that council, and the chair of the university research committee (URC) will review the proposal to ensure adherence to the guidelines and determine if it includes a substantial research component.

If so, a "centers subcommittee" of the council, supplemented with membership from URC, will review the proposal and bring a recommendation for action to CAA. If a substantial research component does not exist, the special subcommittee of the council (without URC involvement) will review the proposal and bring a recommendation for action to CAA.

If approved by CAA, the proposal will be sent to the university senate for final approval. That action will be communicated to the board of trustees.

(2) Establishment of college centers.

Each college will have a template for the establishment and review of centers that will be included in the college pattern of administration. Copies of college templates also will be maintained in the office of academic affairs (OAA). Proposals will be developed with adherence to the template, and submitted to the dean(s) of the college(s).

No review/action by CAA is required. The dean(s) will inform the OAA of the establishment of such a center. OAA will inform CAA, resulting in official institutional notification.

The office of academic affairs shall maintain a register of all academic centers and appropriate records concerning each one.

(3) Curricula and faculty affiliation.

Although neither university nor college centers may establish independent course offerings and degree programs, they may participate in cooperative programs involving course offerings and degree programs within existing academic units. With the approval of the council on academic affairs, the faculty of a school or college may delegate to an academic center the authority to offer courses or degree programs established under the auspices of that school or college. Proposals for any such courses or programs must be forwarded to the office of academic affairs with the signature approval of the appropriate school or college which must retain ultimate authority and responsibility for the courses or degree programs.

Faculty and staff may affiliate with the academic center under procedures approved by its oversight committee. Academic centers shall not serve as tenure initiating units.

(4) Administration.

An academic center shall be administered by a director who shall be appointed by and report to the dean, relevant vice president(s) or deans of the pertinent college(s).

(5) Oversight.

Each university and college center shall have an oversight committee, at least two-thirds of whose members are tenure-track faculty from the academic units involved in the center. The director shall consult regularly with the oversight committee.

The director of each academic center shall develop in conjunction with the oversight committee a pattern of administration for the center.

(6) Review process.

All university centers will be reviewed two years after initial establishment and at four-year intervals thereafter. The centers subcommittee of CAA will conduct the review following the "guidelines for the establishment and review of centers" and bring a recommendation for action to CAA. The range of actions include: continuation, conditional continuation with a follow-up in less than four years, and termination.

All college centers will be monitored through annual reports to the college dean(s). Should significant change to a center occur, or a decision be made to abolish a center, notification of that decision will be made to the office of academic affairs and through it to CAA.

(7) Previously established centers.

All existing academic centers established outside of this rule shall be reviewed under the requirements of this rule. Those not in compliance with the rule shall be allowed one additional year to make appropriate adjustments to allow for their continuation.

Note: the request of any established center seeking to move from one type to another must be reviewed and approved by CAA.

(C) Conditional use of the term "center."

Start-up centers are permitted. Following submission of a formal request by a vice president or dean and expedited review and approval by CAA, the term "center" may be used related to external or central funding possibilities. That action will be communicated directly to the board of trustees. Should funding not be secured within one year, the unit must request from CAA an extension of the use of the term. Once funding is secured, the appropriate process for establishment of a university or college center must be initiated within one year.

Last updated September 20, 2022 at 8:50 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3335
Amplifies: 3335.08
Prior Effective Dates: 3/13/1978, 8/2/1993, 3/26/1998, 9/1/2001, 6/27/2005, 9/3/2008, 7/12/2013, 6/30/2014