Centers and Institutes

Chapter 8 – Academic Regulations

Centers and Institutes

8.90.10 The following sections 8.90.10-8.90.40 establish the administrative procedures for centers and institutes at URI. Centers and Institutes are officially recognized academic organizational and administrative units that shall be established with the purpose of advancing scholarly activity through collaborative research or creative endeavors. Centers are formally structured units chartered to provide interdisciplinary coordination within a college directed at an issue beyond the scope of a single discipline. Centers will report their activities and plans to the respective dean of the college where the center is housed. Institutes are broader in scope and may comprise many different disciplines, departments, colleges, and even universities thereby creating national and/or international partnerships. An institute will report its activities and plans to the Division of Research & Economic Development, unless it is solely internally funded by more than one college, or a different reporting mechanism is stipulated when the institute is created. The principal function of centers and institutes shall be generally research and creative activities. In some instances, their missions may include instruction, training, service or outreach as components of equal importance. The facilities of a center or institute need not be located in one location. A center or institute shall be considered an individual entity and not tied to the demise or expansion of other centers or institutes. 

The terms “center” and “institute” should be considered reserved for the meaning expressed in the UM sections 8.90.10 – 8.90.40. The terms “center” and “institute” should not be used for research related labs, groups, organizations, activities, or programs outside of this context. The list of active research centers and institutes shall be maintained by the Division of Research and Economic Development.   

Partnerships, which typically involve less formal or temporary agreements between faculty or staff at URI and external entities, are not required to follow the procedures outlined here for centers and institutes, and will instead abide by the terms established when they are created. #11-12–25, #17-18-23 #20-21-32

8.90.11 Removed #20-21-32

8.90.12 Individuals or groups at the University no matter whether they are members of or affiliated with a Center or Institute will have the same opportunities to conduct research and engage in creative activity, to obtain release time for such research or creative activity, and to have access to funding or other forms of support as may be available to members of Centers or Institutes. #11-12–25 #20-21-32

8.90.18 Removed #20-21-32

8.90.20 Procedures for the Establishment of Centers and Institutes. Proposals for all centers and institutes shall originate with faculty representing the disciplines concerned. A proposal for the creation of a center or institute shall include an explanation of its goals and rationale, a description of its proposed administrative and staffing structure, a specific description of its relationship to other appropriate units of the University, a budget with personnel and space requirements, as well as amounts and sources of seed money. A template for the application can be obtained from the Center Review Subcommittee (CRS) of the Faculty Senate Research and Creative Activities Committee (RCAC). Proposals are judged based on program quality, research, outreach, or educational activities, involvement of undergraduate and graduate students, interdepartmental or intercollege connections, and potential for continued financial viability, as appropriate for the mission and goals of the center or institute. Any specific arrangements for space, staff, financial support, or overhead return agreed to by the college, department or Vice President for Research and Economic Development should be documented in the application. Applications approved by RCAC will be presented to the Faculty Senate for a vote prior to forwarding the application to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for final approval. #11-12–25, #17-18-23 #20-21-32  #21-22-29

8.90.21 Temporary Authorization for Centers. Removed #20-21-32.

8.90.22 Continuing Authorization for Centers. Removed #20-21-32.

8.90.30 Review. Centers and institutes shall be reviewed every four years by the Center Review Subcommittee (CRS) of the Committee for Research and Creative Activities (RCAC). Additionally, continuing authorization to operate centers or institutes may be subject to review by units and departments involved in the center or institute as well as review by the colleges of the involved departments. A reporting template for the review can be obtained from the RCAC. College reviews, if applicable, can be submitted as support documentation with this template. Successful completion of the review will be based on overall program quality, research, outreach, or educational contributions, financial support, student involvement, interdepartmental or intercollege involvement, and continued external funding financial viability, as appropriate for the mission and goals of the center or institute. The review of center’s and institute’s activities will be included in the RCAC’s report to the Faculty Senate annually. Centers and institutes can be dissolved willingly by their leadership. They can also be dissolved for failure to comply with the stated reporting process, or a failure to address and meet their stated goals. The dissolution process will entail a CRS review, notice to the Faculty Senate, and a final determination by the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dissolved centers and institutes will be removed from the active centers lists. Dissolved centers shall: remove webpages, materials and signage from public view; and cease using the center’s name for internal or external activities or funding. #02-03-14 #09-10-16 #11-12-25, #17-18-23, #17-18-23, #20-21-32  #21-22-29

8.90.40 Faculty Evaluation. At the discretion of the faculty member involved, any scholarship, teaching, or service activities carried out by a faculty member under the aegis of a center or institute can be used in the evaluation of the faculty member for tenure, promotion, and considerations of merit. #11-12–25 #20-21-32