Establishment, Operation and Supervision of SSU Centers and Institutes

Recommended By
Academic Affairs
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Monday, March 4, 1991
Current Issue Date
Friday, September 15, 2000
Effective Date
Friday, September 15, 2000
Contact Office
Academic Affairs
Policy number
  1. Purpose
    Centers and institutes are important entities in support of the mission and goals of the University. They provide flexibility in academic program enhancement, faculty research and development, assistance to students, and service to the community. It is essential for effective administration of centers and institutes to have standard policies and procedures for their creation, operation, and supervision.
  2. Definition of Centers and Institutes
    1. Centers and institutes are units established to support and complement the academic and administrative programs of the University. Their activities must fall within the mission and goals of the University and of the academic or administrative unit with which they are associated.
    2. Centers and institutes, in terms of this policy, do not include non-academic units of the University supported primarily by General Fund appropriations to the California State University (for example, the Student Health Center, the Disability Resource Center, the Career Development Center, the Center for Performing Arts).
    3. Centers and institutes may perform certain functions ordinarily carried on by other academic and administrative units, such as organizing conferences and meetings, conducting research and public service activities, and managing training programs. Centers and institutes may not confer professional titles, have jurisdiction over courses or curricula, or offer formal courses for credit.
    4. Centers and institutes typically generate their own funds from grants, contracts, and participant fees; it is expected that each center and institute will generate its own operating funds.
      Centers and institutes must anticipate an ongoing program of activity that extends beyond one or two grants of limited duration, and that has the promise of diverse sources of support over an extended period of time.
  3. Procedures for Establishing Centers and Institutes 
    To establish a new center or institute, a proposal is submitted to the dean or appropriate administrator of the relevant academic or administrative unit delineating the purpose, goals, and objectives of the proposed center or institute. The proposal contains an explanation as to why the stated goals and purposes cannot be achieved within the existing University structure. The proposal includes:
    1. Statement of purpose;
    2. Administrative organization and structure;
    3. Proposed operating procedures;
    4. Associated faculty and staff;
    5. Nomination process and term of office for the director and advisory committee;
    6. Required technical, clerical, and student assistance;
    7. Space needs;
    8. Anticipated operating budget;
    9. Source and amount of funding anticipated;
    10. Prospects for long-term continuation of activities.
      Upon approval by the dean/appropriate administrator, the proposal is forwarded to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost, in consultation with the Provost's Council, reviews the proposal and makes a recommendation to the President for final approval.
  4. Administrative Responsibility
    A center or institute reports to the dean/appropriate administrator of the academic or administrative unit in which it is lodged. Deans/appropriate administrators are responsible for the activities of the centers and institutes under their jurisdiction.
    1. Director
      Each center or institute is headed by a director or coordinator, usually a tenured or tenure-track member of the faculty. The director/coordinator may receive assigned time. 
      The proposal submitted to establish a center or institute must clearly identify how the director/coordinator will be nominated, as well as the review and approval process for the selection and replacement of the director/coordinator. The nomination of a director/coordinator is submitted to the dean or appropriate administrator for recommendation, then to the Provost for recommendation, and then to the President for final decision. A director/coordinator is appointed by the President to a three-year term of office.
    2. Advisory Committee
      Each center or institute must have an advisory committee, chaired by a faculty member other than the director. The committee is advisory to the dean/appropriate administrator and meets regularly, participating in the establishment of center and institute goals and objectives and monitoring progress toward their achievement. The committee should include a majority of members from the SSU faculty, but may include some members from outside the University, as appropriate. The proposal must specify the process by which the members of the committee are nominated and their terms of office. Nominations for membership on the committee are submitted to the dean/appropriate administrator for approval and appointment.
    3. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
      All proposals for extramural funding are routed through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for endorsement by appropriate University officials.
  5. Financial Responsibility
    As a general rule, all grants and contracts received by centers and institutes are administered through the University. Grants and contracts are accepted and administered in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University. 
    An annual budget plan for each must be developed in the context of budget development for the academic or administrative unit in which the center or institute is lodged.
  6. Annual Review and Report
    The director/coordinator of each center and institute must prepare an annual report of its activities of the previous year and plans for the year ahead. The annual report is submitted by November 1 of each year to the supervising dean/appropriate administrator with copies to: the Provost, the Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, and the center or institute advisory committee. The report includes information on the following:
    1. Activities;
    2. Fiscal year financial report summarizing the nature, source, and amount of funding (including grants and contracts received) and operating expenses;
    3. Faculty, staff, and student personnel;
    4. Organizational structure;
    5. Space used;
    6. Proposed budget for the upcoming year;
    7. Impact of activities on the academic program of the University;
    8. Community service;
    9. Plans for future activities;
    10. Problems to be addressed.
      The dean/appropriate administrator reviews the annual report and comments on the performance, financial viability, and success of the center or institute in meeting its stated goals and objectives. The annual report, with comments from the dean/appropriate administrator, is forwarded to the Provost by December 1. 
      The Provost reviews the annual report and submits to the President by December 31 a summary report on the state of all centers and institutes on campus. Copies of the Provost's summary report are forwarded to the Chair of the Academic Senate and the Provost's Council as an information item.
  7. Periodic Program Review
    The director/coordinator of each center and institute must prepare a periodic program review every fifth year. The program review may be organized and focused as the director/coordinator and the supervising dean/appropriate administrator agree is appropriate except that it must include the following features:
    1. A clear statement of the mission, goals, and objectives of the center or institute;
    2. A clear statement of the process by which the center of institute's success in meeting its goals and objectives, including long range financial viability, are to be evaluated;
    3. A clear statement of what the center or institute has learned through its evaluation exercise and the future actions it will take in response;
    4. A written statement from an external evaluator (appointed by the dean/appropriate administrator) responding to the center or institute's program review document and a site visit.
      The completed program review and external evaluator's report will be forwarded by the dean/appropriate administrator to the Provost's Council who will meet with the director/coordinator to discuss the review. Following the discussion, the dean/appropriate administrator and the director/coordinator will meet to develop the next five year plan which will be forwarded to the Provost within 90 days of the meeting with the Provost's Council.
  8. Termination of Centers and Institutes
    Recommendations for termination of centers and institutes must be made by the dean/ appropriate administrator to the Provost and must state the reasons why the center or institute should be discontinued. After consultation with the Provost's Council, the Provost makes a recommendation to the President for final decision.

Related Links: Space Modification and Renovation Policy

Updated October 4, 2000 by