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Indiana University

IU policy for the establishment of centers & institutes

Table of Contents

Scope

This policy applies to all campuses and to all research centers and institutes. This policy does not distinguish between “centers” and “institutes,” recognizing that different disciplines, schools and campuses use the terms in distinct ways.

Policy Statement

Research Centers and Institutes at Indiana University provide an important mechanism to facilitate the highest quality of inter- and multi-disciplinary research around themes that involve researchers from multiple units across disciplines, departments, schools, and campuses. Typically, they are based on a group of faculty’s research interest in addressing specific issues or problems of current interest not covered in their disciplines.

There are three types of Research Centers and Institutes: School Research Centers and Institutes, which are approved by and report to the dean of a specific school; Campus Research Centers and Institutes, which are approved by the Provost or Chancellor and Vice President for Research, and report to the chief research officer on a campus,1 and University-wide multi-campus Research Centers and Institutes, which are approved by and report to the Vice President for Research. As official units of Indiana University, all Research Centers and Institutes must develop and utilize transparent processes of governance and review. Criteria for establishing, governing, and reviewing Centers and Institutes should reflect the high standards of academic excellence and best governance and business practices governing all Indiana University academic entities. Specifically, all Research Centers and Institutes should include:

  1. a plan for research or creative activity and a mission statement aligned with school, campus, or university mission statements;
  2. a financial plan addressing issues of immediate and long-term sustainability;
  3. an organizational structure that includes an advisory board whose members are not affiliated with the center and who are expected to help generate funds when appropriate to assure sustainability of the center;
  4. criteria for and plans to provide periodic reviews and assessments of the contributions of the center to the school and the university (specific criteria and plans to be arrived at in consultation with the appropriate administration representative).

All Research Centers and Institutes will be evaluated and held accountable using the benchmarks specified in their academic disciplines and their financial sustainability plans.

If a Research Center or Institute is determined to be meeting its objective of producing outstanding scholarly and creative work, the University has the responsibility to help its members to determine how it can best obtain the resources necessary to sustain its operation. No single funding model will best suit all Centers and Institutes, but the University and its component parts should commit to crafting a financial plan that will sustain research Centers and Institutes as loci for important scholarly work. Conversely, faculty associated with Centers and Institutes should commit to producing outstanding research or creative work, and to making every effort to secure external funding, commensurate with expectations and with funding available in their fields.

  1. Types of Research Centers and Institutes: Research Centers and Institutes may be designated as University Centers and Institutes, Campus Centers and Institutes, or School Centers and Institutes. The affiliation of a Center or Institute is determined by the predominant affiliation of its participating faculty members. Schools and campuses maintain autonomy to determine processes for establishing and reviewing school and campus research centers and institutes, within parameters designed to ensure the highest standards of academic excellence, best governance and best business practices.
    1. School Research Centers and Institutes
    2. Some Centers and Institutes draw entirely or primarily upon the faculty of one IU school. In such cases, the establishment, administration, sustainability and governance of these Centers and Institutes is the responsibility of the school, but shall include:

      1. A plan for research or creative activity and a mission statement aligned with school mission statement;
      2. a financial plan addressing issues of immediate and long-term sustainability;
      3. an organizational structure that includes an advisory board whose members are not affiliated with the center and who are expected to help generate funds when appropriate to assure sustainability of the center;
      4. criteria and plans for periodic review and assessment of the contributions of the center to the school and the university

      Applications for the establishment of school-based Centers and Institutes should demonstrate the benefits and necessity of forming such a center at the present time, and in particular, clarify that no existing school, campus, or university center is an appropriate locus already for the work proposed. Prior to approval from the Dean, applications for school-based research centers and institutes should be reviewed to ensure that the proposed center has the necessary academic, financial, organizational and periodic review plans in place.

      School Centers and Institutes report to the Dean of the sponsoring school or his/her delegates; each school Center or Institute is recommended to produce an Annual Report of their activities and achievements to be reviewed by the Dean or his/her delegate.

    3. Campus
    4. The establishment, administration, and governance of Research Centers and Institutes that include faculty members from multiple schools on a campus are the responsibility of the Vice President for Research represented by the chief research officer for each campus. Applications for the establishment of campus Research Centers and Institutes should demonstrate the necessity of forming such a center, and in particular, clarify that no existing school, campus, or university center is already an appropriate locus for the work proposed. Prior to approval from the appropriate chief research officer, applications for campus-based research centers and institutes will be reviewed by the campus Associate Deans for Research in a timely fashion. Such review will ensure that the proposed center does not duplicate existing research units, and that the necessary academic plan, financial plan, organizational structure and periodic review plans are in place.

      Campus Research Centers and Institutes report to the Vice President of Research via the chief research officer for the campus. Each one is recommended to produce an Annual Report to be reviewed by the Vice President for Research and the chief campus research officer or their assigned delegates.

      Campus Research Centers and Institutes shall include:

      1. a plan for research or creative activity and mission statement;
      2. a financial plan addressing issues of immediate and long-term sustainability;
      3. an organizational structure that includes an advisory board whose members are not affiliated with the center and who are expected to help generate funds when appropriate to assure sustainability of the center;
      4. criteria and plans for periodic review and assessment of the contributions of the center to the school and the university

      Campus research centers and institutes whose initial funding comes primarily or wholly from the campus rather than from an office of the Vice President for Research will report to, and be reviewed by, the chief academic officer of the campus, with the assistance of the chief research officer of the campus.

    5. University-wide
    6. The establishment, administration, and governance of Centers and Institutes that include faculty members from different campuses and schools are the responsibility of the Vice President for Research. Applications for the establishment of university Research Centers and Institutes should demonstrate the necessity of forming such a center, and in particular, clarify that no existing school, campus, or university center is already an appropriate locus for the work proposed. University Research Centers and Institutes report to the Vice President for Research or his/her delegate.

        University Research Centers and Institutes shall include:
      1. a plan for research or creative activity and a mission statement;
      2. a financial plan addressing issues of immediate and long-term sustainability;
      3. an organizational structure that includes a diverse external advisory board whose members are expected to help generate funds when appropriate to assure sustainability of the center;
      4. criteria and plans for periodic review and assessment of the contributions of the center to the school and the university Processes for establishing and reviewing University Research Centers or Institutes are delineated below.
  2. Naming A Research Center or Institute
  3. Ideally, the name of a research center or institute should indicate its primary function and affiliation, whether school, campus or university. As a unit of a particular school, a school research center or institute should include the name of that school, for instance, “SPEA Center for Environmental Impact Research” or “Center for Environmental Impact Research, School of Public and Environmental Affairs.” A campus research center or institute, similarly, should include the name of the campus: “Center for Environmental Impact Research, Indiana University- Bloomington.”

    Only University research centers and institutes should use the name of the university without further specificity: “Indiana University Center for Environmental Impact Research” or “Center for Environmental Impact Research, Indiana University.”

  4. Exceptions
  5. In special circumstances, research centers and institutes may be established, reviewed, or closed through ad hoc processes. Exceptions to the processes outlined above may be granted only by the Indiana University President or the Vice President for Research; requests must include an explanation of the reason why an exception is required.

  6. Application of Policy to Existent Research Centers and Institutes

    The necessity for regular review of research centers and institutes applies to those units founded before the adoption of this policy. Such centers and institutes should work with the appropriate office (Dean, Campus research official, VPR) to develop a plan for review within one year of the date this policy is adopted, following the recommendations herein.

Reason for Policy

Consistent guidelines and procedures for establishing, reviewing, and closing research centers and institutes will help ensure that all such units maintain the highest academic standards and best business practices, contributing most effectively to the intellectual vitality of the university.

Procedures

Establishing School and Campus Research Centers & Institutes
Faculty members interested in forming a school- or campus-based research center or institute should confer with the chief research officer in their unit (Associate Dean at the school level, Vice Provost, or Vice Chancellor for Research or Associate Vice Chancellor at the campus level) for specific procedures and guidelines.

Establishing University-wide Research Centers & Institutes
Indiana University Centers and Institutes must include a significant involvement of faculty from multiple campuses, disciplines and schools. Such centers will be established by application to the Vice President for Research. Applications will be reviewed by the VPR with advice from an ad hoc cognizant evaluating committee and/or the Research Advisory Council as appropriate. The VPR may approve the application without amendment, recommend changes in the name, scope, or other aspects of the proposed center, or reject or redirect the application to another unit (such as a campus or school).

All applications shall include:

  • Executive Summary of the scope and purpose of the proposed center
  • Mission Statement
  • Background, including existing efforts and faculty involved at Indiana University
  • Comparison of value added compared to similar or related centers at Indiana University and at other institutions
  • Description of proposed scholarly program, including brief CVs (3 pg max) for primary participating faculty members
  • Description of proposed organizational structure, including leadership and possible nominees for advisory board
  • Potential for revenue generation (e.g., external grants, clinical/service income, private and corporate donations, etc.)
  • Resources available/required (space, equipment, administrative support, cash)
  • Requested Indiana University funds, if any
  • Budget/Resource justification for years 1-3
  • Strategic Plan/Project Timeline
  • Goals and Benchmarks for progress
  • Internal and external letters of support from informed individuals
  • Statements of support from relevant department heads and deans

Applications will be reviewed with the following criteria in mind:

  • Proposed University Centers or Institutes should involve faculty from at least two University campuses, and ideally, should involve faculty members from at least three disciplines;
  • Proposed University Centers or Institutes should be organized around a research or scholarly theme of high intellectual timely importance with high potential benefit for research, creative work and education at the University;
  • They should have a clear mission based on this scholarly and research theme;
  • They should have as the proposed Director, a senior faculty member of academic standing, who has demonstrated administrative skills and the ability to raise external funding where that is appropriate;
  • They should not reduplicate the foci or efforts of already existing Research Centers or Institutes.

Reviewing School and Campus Research Centers & Institutes
School Research Centers and Institutes will be reviewed as determined by the appropriate Dean. When an office of the Vice President for Research funds a campus Research Center or Institute, the process and criteria for regular review will be established by the chief research officer on the campus, in consultation with the Vice President for Research. Campus research centers and institutes which are funded by the campus will be reviewed as determined by the chief academic officer of the campus, in consultation with the Vice President for Research or his/her delegates.

Reviewing University-wide Research Centers & Institutes
Each University-wide research center or institute will submit an annual report to the Vice President for Research, identifying activities and accomplishments, specific proposals submitted and grants awarded, and other evidence of meeting the benchmarks and objectives set up when the organization was established.

New University-wide Centers and Institutes will be granted preliminary official status for a 3- year period, at which time the center will undergo a full review by a committee appointed by the Vice President for Research in consultation with the Director and Advisory Board of the Center and the University Faculty Council Research Affairs Committee. Thereafter, University-wide Centers and Institutes will be reviewed every 5 years.

Each University Center and Institute will be fully reviewed every 5 years by committees of three to five recognized experts in the areas in which the center or institute works. The majority of the members of the review committee and the chair of the committee should be external experts. The VPR is responsible for appointing such review committees. The VPR will review the committee report and, in consultation with academic leaders (such as the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Executive Vice President and Chancellor), determine whether the Center or Institute shall continue with University status for an additional 5 years. Continuing University funding after 3 years will be rare, but may be awarded to those centers which demonstrate their continued significant contribution to excellent scholarly work, and where appropriate, demonstrate significant growth in their external funding support.

Administration of Research Centers and Institutes
Changes in the by-laws, leadership, or advisory board of any Research Center or Institute must be made in consultation with the appropriate responsible official. Changes in the governance of School Research Centers and Institutes must be approved by the Dean; changes in the governance of Campus Research Centers and Institutes must be approved by the chief academic officer of the campus and the Vice President for Research; changes in the governance of University Research Centers and Institutes must be approved by the President, via the Vice President for Research.

Related Information

Occasionally, centers and institutes are named for someone. In addition to adhering to the naming policy herein, review the Institutional Naming Policy at http://www.iu.edu/~vpurapp/policies/InstitutionalNamingPolicy.shtml

History

This is a new policy as of 2011. Where it conflicts with campus guidelines (for IU Bloomington at http://research.iub.edu/centers/process.html and for IUPUI at http://research.iupui.edu/centers/application.html), this policy supersedes them.

Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Indiana University Research Center & Institute applications Jorge V. José
Vice President for Research
812-856-2408 vpr@iu.edu
IU Bloomington Research Center & Institute applications P. Sarita Soni
Associate Vice President and Vice Provost for Research
812-856-1368 ovpr@indiana.edu
IUPUI Research Center & Institute applications Kody Varahramyan
Associate Vice President and Vice Chancellor for Research
317-278-8427 ovcr@iupui.edu
IU East Research Center & Institute applications Mary Blakefield
Associate Vice Chancellor
765-973-8522 laudrich@iue.edu
IU Kokomo Research Center & Institute applications Candy Thompson 765-455-9406 lbielewi@iuk.edu
IU Northwest Research Center & Institute applications TJ Stoops 219-980-6832 academic@iun.edu
IUPFW Research Center & Institute applications J. Albayyari 260-481-5750 ores@ipfw.edu
IU South Bend Research Center & Institute applications Erika Zynda 574-520-4181 research@iusb.edu
IU Southeast Research Center & Institute applications Walter Ryan 812-941-2539 gatnip@ius.edu