IV - 1.00 - Policy on Establishing and Reviewing Centers and Institutes

I. Introduction

A. Bowie State University encourages the formation of Centers, Institutes, and similar organizational units as useful devices for organizing faculty and staff from different disciplines to focus on teaching, research, or service in an area of common interest. Centers and Institutes at Bowie State University must be justified on the basis of their contribution to the Institution's specified missions of research and service and by their relationship to instructional programs at the University.

B. Centers, Institutes, and similar organizational units provide essential service to the University and the community, support curricula provided through academic departments, programs, and schools, conduct specific research activities and other inquiries, provide contractual services, or engage in some combination of the foregoing functions. Centers and Institutes generally do not offer credit courses or curricula leading to a degree.

C. A Center or Institute exists to provide a non-departmental means by which interdisciplinary boundaries may be bridged in delivering instructional, research, or contractual services. Center activities often extend across several disciplines and involve faculty and-or staff, each of whom contributes a special perspective and competency to the instruction, research, or service offered.

II. Definitions

The term "Center" or "Institute" generally refers to an organized, non-departmental unit; it may or may not have external or state funding and a separately identified budget; it usually has a formal administrative structure headed by a director. Centers and Institutes have varied missions, and with few exceptions do not award degrees. Differences among these kinds of units usually are related to their degree of permanence and the level of commitment to them by the University or the System.

III. Purpose

A. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for establishing, reporting on, reviewing, and possibly closing institutional centers, institutes, laboratories, and other such units.

B. Bowie State University will ensure that its Centers and Institutes comply with applicable Institutional and System-wide policies. Those Centers or Institutes which receive federal funds must, in addition, ensure compliance with federal policies, in particular those regarding the conduct of research.

IV. Policy on Establishing Centers or Institutes

A. Proposals to establish Centers or Institutes must be submitted to the appropriate Vice President and to the Provost. The Provost's and appropriate Vice President's recommendations and other supporting materials shall be forwarded to the President for consideration, approval, or other action.

B. The organization, structure, governance, and reporting requirements of Centers or Institutes shall be determined by the Provost.

C. Procedures

1. Those wishing to establish a Center or Institute must first submit a proposal to the Provost and appropriate Vice President. This proposal must consider the following feasibility issues:

a) Rationale and need for the Center or Institute;

b) Mission of the Center or Institute, inclusive of its intellectual agenda;

c) Compatibility of the Center or Institute with the mission of the University;

d) Proposed activities of the Center or Institute;

e) Relationship of the Center or Institute to the academic programs of the University;

f) Relationship of the Center or Institute to the efforts elsewhere in the University of Maryland System;

g) Departments or other units involved with the Center or Institute and the lines of reporting;

h) Personnel involved and space required (University and external);

i) Total resources involved (including start-up costs, long-term costs, assigned time, administrative costs, and so on);

j) Procedures and criteria with which the proposed Center or Institute will be reviewed and evaluated; and

k) Other relevant information.

2. The Provost and appropriate Vice President will review the proposal.

3. After receiving necessary input from relevant entities, the Provost or appropriate Vice President will forward a recommendation to the President.

4. Final approval of any Center or Institute resides with the President of the University.

V. Policy on Reporting

A. Centers and Institutes established at Bowie State University report to the Provost or appropriate Vice President or their designees.

B. Centers and Institutes must submit annual reports to the Provost or appropriate Vice President.

C. Centers and Institutes must comply with all applicable Institutional and System-wide policies, especially the University's fiscal policies.

D. Centers or Institutes that receive federal funds must ensure compliance with federal policies, in particular those regarding research.

E. Multi-institutional Centers or Institutes require the approval of the Chancellor.

F. Centers or Institutes that are administratively separate from the University require the approval of the Board of Regents.

G. Procedures for Reporting:

1. The annual reports from all Centers and Institutes must be submitted to the Dean of the School in which they are housed and to the Provost or the appropriate Vice President or their designees. These reports must include a description of the services offered by the unit, the personnel in the unit, the unit's objectives with an indication if the objective was met, partially met, or not met with reasons, an assessment of the services offered, unit accomplishments, the unit's long-range plans, plus other pertinent information as requested.

2. All active Centers and Institutes must maintain records, including the purpose, governance, major activities, current and recent funding (all sources) and relationship and benefit to the University System of Maryland.

VI. Policy on Reviewing Centers and Institutes

A. Every five years, each University Center or Institute must be reviewed by the Provost or appropriate Vice President, based upon the considerations enumerated above.

B. When appropriate, the University will make comparisons with peer institutions. The review will examine costs and benefits of the Center or Institute and will result in one of the following outcomes:

1. Maintenance of the Center or Institute in its current state;

2. A change in the definition, operations, or leadership of the Center or Institute;

3. Termination of the Center or Institute; or

4. Initiation of a broader-scale review of the Center or Institute, with one of the aforementioned outcomes.


Effective Date: 05/23/1995Revised Date: 06/11/2012