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UNIVERSITY POLICY
INSTITUTES, LABORATORIES, & CENTERS
Overview, Guidelines, & EMU Policy
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The University encourages and supports the development and successful operation of academic institutes, laboratories, and centers.

Academic institutes, laboratories, and centers are units that fulfill divisional and institutional goals for research, service, instruction and/or training and that derive significant financial support from sources outside the University.

Academic institutes, laboratories, and centers accomplish institutional goals in many ways:
  • They expand knowledge through the conduct of basic and applied research.

  • They integrate new knowledge and its practical applications into the learning mission of the University.

  • They encourage interdisciplinary modes of inquiry and collaboration across department and college boundaries.

  • They provide laboratories for student and faculty development.

  • They make available to faculty and students facilities and resources that could not be supported economically by a single academic unit.

  • They refine faculty skills in ways that improve classroom teaching and learning.

  • They provide alternative and nontraditional modes of teaching and learning.

  • They actively involve undergraduate and graduate students in research and community service under the supervision of experienced faculty, staff, and community mentors.

  • They integrate the University with the community, fostering collaborations and partnerships with business and industry, community agencies, and governmental units.

  • They stimulate local, state, national, and international economic growth by means of technology transfer, development of new products, services, and skills, job training, and business incubation.


Institutes, Laboratories, & Centers
Annual Report Guidelines (109K)

PDF
Institutes, Laboratories, & Centers
Proposal Guidelines (92K)
PDF
Institutes, Laboratories, & Centers
University Policy (124K)
PDF

Finally, academic institutes, laboratories, and centers are cost effective because they derive significant financial support — through grants, contracts, gifts, and user fees — from sources outside the University.

Procedures

Approval and Oversight

The creation of academic institutes, laboratories, and centers requires the formal written approval of the President or his/her designee. (These procedures do not apply to other campus units that may be called institutes, laboratories, or centers but fail to meet the definition in the policy.) Academic institutes, laboratories, and centers may be created and maintained only if:

• They respond to significant academic, scientific, social, or economic needs

Their mission supports the academic mission of the university

• They demonstrate an ability to attract significant support for their activities from sources external to the university (gifts, grants, contracts, and/or user fees)

• They are able to provide a management structure that maintains fiscal accountability and regulatory oversight.

The President or his/her designee is responsible for approving or terminating academic institutes, laboratories, and centers in consultation with the supervising unit and will establish appropriate funding levels, which will be reviewed annually on the basis of a year-end report.

Organization

When the scope of a unit is limited to the disciplines represented within a single academic department, or to one or more academic departments within a single college, it will normally operate under the supervision of a department head, dean, or institute director. When the unit’s scope includes more than one college, the President or his/her designee will make the location assignment.

Financial Support

Institutes and laboratories require an independent management structure and are created and maintained on the basis of long-term funding prospects. They typically have a life span of 30-40 years. Centers, on the other hand, are typically sub-units of independent management structures (departments, colleges, institutes or laboratories) and are created around short-term funding prospects. Their life span roughly parallels the availability of external funding to support their mission. Therefore, the University normally subsidizes institutes and laboratories, whereas funding for center operations is normally the responsibility of the supervising unit.

Institutes and laboratories will retain 30% of the indirect cost they recover. Of the remainder, 40% will go to the General Fund; 15% to the Office of the Provost; 10% to the Office of Research Development; and 5% to the principal investigator. Centers will retain the normal unit share (15%) of the indirect cost they recover; 15% will be retained by the deans of the colleges in which the centers are housed, who may, at their discretion, contribute their share to the center. In special cases, a lesser or greater share may be negotiated between ORD and the center’s supervising unit.

The amount of base funding for new academic institutes, laboratories, and centers will be established at the time they are approved. The appropriate level of funding, if any, will be determined on the basis of the unit’s:

1. Contribution to the academic mission of the University
2. Ability to obtain significant external funding
3. Unique organizational structure
4. Cost-effectiveness.
5. Need for internal support to operate and accomplish the unit’s mission.

Discontinuation

If, on the basis of an annual or periodic program review, a decision is made to reduce a unit’s funding or to discontinue its operation, the appropriate administrators will be notified of this decision and be given at least 60 days to respond. Units will be discontinued when one or more of the following conditions is met:

  • There is no longer a compelling need for their services
  • Goals for external support have not been achieved
  • Qualified staff are no longer available
  • Serious mismanagement or malfeasance has occurred.

Phase-out will take place according to an orderly plan developed in cooperation with the unit’s director and supervisor. All unit staff will be reassigned, retrained, or terminated based on stipulations in any relevant collective-bargaining agreements.

Approval Procedure and Timeline – Institutes and Laboratories

Formal proposals for the creation of an academic institute or laboratory must observe the format outlined in "Academic Institutes, Laboratories, and Centers: Proposal Guidelines" at the upper right. Proposals may originate with a single faculty member, an interdisciplinary group of faculty or a team of faculty and academic administrators. In all cases, one individual should be identified as the lead investigator.1

Proposals for the creation of academic institutes or laboratories will be reviewed first by the Supervising Unit. Proposals originating within a College will be reviewed by the faculty advisory body and the Dean of that College. Proposals originating in more than one College will be reviewed by the faculty advisory bodies of all the originating Colleges and their respective Deans. Following the initial review, proposals may be returned to the originating unit for needed changes or forwarded to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research (AP & AVP-R). The AP & AVP-R will distribute review copies of the proposal to the Deans Advisory Council, the faculty advisory bodies in Colleges other than the originating College(s), the Graduate and Faculty Councils, and other individuals and units that may have an interest in the proposed unit. In addition, the AP & AVP-R will schedule an open forum at which all interested parties will have the chance to comment on the proposal. The length of time that a proposal is out for review will be at the discretion of the AP & AVP-R. However, in no case will it be less than 45 nor more than 90 days. Following this review, the proposal along with reviewer comments will be returned to the originating unit, which will then have 15 days to make final revisions to the proposal. The originating unit will return the final proposal to the AP & AVP-R, who will then forward the proposal and his/her recommendation within 15 days to the President or his/her designee. Within 30 days, the President or his/her designee will approve or reject the proposal, providing a written explanation for rejection. If it is approved, the President or his/her designee will determine funding levels and duration, indirect-cost-recovery shares, space assignment, and administrative reporting relationships.

INSTITUTE/LABORATORY APPROVAL PROCESS

1. ORIGINATING UNIT
2. SUPERVISING UNIT
3. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
4. DAC COLLEGE/GRADUATE
FACULTY COUNCILS
OTHER INTERESTED
PARTIES
OPEN FORUM
5. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
6. ORIGINATING UNIT
7. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
8. PRESIDENT OR HIS/HER DESIGNEE


Approval Procedure and Timeline - Centers

Formal proposals for the creation of an academic center must observe the format outlined in " Academic Institutes, Laboratories, and Centers: Proposal Guidelines" (see PDF at upper right). Proposals may originate with a single faculty member, an interdisciplinary group of faculty or a team of faculty and academic administrators. In all cases, one individual should be identified as the lead investigator.2

Proposals for the creation of academic centers will be reviewed first by the Supervising Unit. Proposals originating within a College will be reviewed by the Dean of that College. Proposals originating in more than one College will be reviewed by the Deans of all originating Colleges. Following the initial review, proposals may be returned to the originating unit for needed changes or forwarded to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research (AP & AVP-R). The AP & AVP-R will distribute review copies of the proposal to the Deans Advisory Council and will schedule an open forum at which all interested parties will have the chance to comment on the proposal. The length of time that a proposal is out for review will be at the discretion of the AP & AVP-R. Following review by the DAC and the open forum, the proposal along with reviewer comments will be returned to the originating unit, which will then have 15 days to make final revisions to the proposal. The originating unit will return the final proposal to the AP & AVP-R, who will then forward the proposal and his/her recommendation to the President or his/her designee within 15 days. Within 30 days, the President or his/her designee will approve or reject the proposal, providing a written explanation for rejection. If it is approved, the President or his/her designee will determine funding levels (if any) and duration, indirect-cost-recovery shares, space assignment, and administrative reporting relationships.

Center Approval Process

1. ORIGINATING UNIT
2. SUPERVISING UNIT AND/OR COLLEGE DEAN
3. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
4. DAC OPEN FORUM
5. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
6. ORIGINATING UNIT
7. ASSOCIATE PROVOST AND ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
8. PRESIDENT OR HIS/HER DESIGNEE


Required Annual Report


No later than August 31, the supervisor of an academic institute, laboratory, or center will complete an annual report signed by the appropriate senior administrator(s) and will deliver copies to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research, the Director of ORD, and the appropriate divisional vice president, who will evaluate the unit's operation to determine whether it is meeting its goals and objectives.

Subordination to University Policies and Procedures

While it is desirable for an academic institute, laboratory, or center to have sufficient autonomy to achieve its objectives, it is imperative that it be treated as are other administrative and programmatic activities at the University. Its operation will follow established University policies and procedures and will be subject to the same human resources, accounting, budgeting, and auditing policies as any General Fund unit.

Collaborative Agreements

Collaborative agreements between academic institutes, laboratories, or centers and other academic units and outside agencies are strongly encouraged. Such relationships can function successfully only when individual interests are subordinated to the larger interests of the University and the community it serves. For this reason, collaborative agreements require careful advance review and approval by the appropriate officers of the University.

When faculty or staff have been released from their normal duties to their unit to serve as principal investigator or project director for a particular grant or contract for an academic institute, laboratory, or center, they will be accountable to the latter unit only for the management of that grant or contract. For all other activities associated with their permanent appointment, they will remain accountable to their department or unit head.

Prior to the submission of a grant proposal or contract bid involving an academic institute, laboratory, or center and personnel from other units, the administrator(s) of the academic institute, laboratory, or center and the affected unit(s) will submit to the Director of Research Development with a copy sent to the administrator(s) of the affected unit(s) a signed Letter of Agreement detailing the disposition of any grant-funded equipment, resources, data, intellectual property, clinical or user fees, indirect-cost recovery, teaching loads, academic credit earned by students, released-time compensation, and/or credit for the grant and any grant-related products in the event of an award. The Letter of Agreement must be attached to the transmittal before it is circulated for approval signatures.

1 Individuals or groups desiring to establish an academic institute or laboratory should first discuss the idea with the appropriate senior administrators. It is helpful at this early stage to develop a concept paper that documents the need, goals and activities, operational methodology, resource requirements, and anticipated availability of internal and external funding.

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Content Posted 03/08/2012 | Design Posted 04/17/2012