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Office of the Provost

And Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Format and Guidelines for Establishment and Administration

Institutes and Centers are classified as either (1) State of Florida institutes or centers or (2) university institutes or centers. Following are Florida State University’s university-specific guidelines for assessing institute and center proposals at the campus level, and the subsequent administration of these institutes and centers. Reference the Chancellor’s Memorandum [#PG 04.07.27] for characteristic definitions.

I. General Establishment Guidelines

The request to establish a university institute or center must include the following:

  1. Cover Sheet
    The cover sheet should contain the following information:

    • Name of the institute or center
    • Fiscal year institute or center to be implemented
    • Signature lines for proposed director, department chair o r program director (as appropriate), dean (as appropriate), Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and University President (as appropriate)
  2. Directory Information, Mission and Area(s) of Focus
    • Provide the name, title, address, phone, fax number, e-mail address and qualifications of the proposed director. Also provide the website of the institute/center, if available.
    • Indicate the Type of institute/center, based on the classification guidelines presented in the Chancellor’s Memorandum.
    • Indicate with which academic discipline(s) will be most closely affiliated with the institute/center.
    • Indicate whether this institute/center was created by the Legislature. If so, list the Statute Number or Chapter law.
    • If institute/center is a part of another unit, please specify if it is any of the following and give details in regard to that choice.
      • Umbrella—an Institute/Center with subunit I/Cs at the same university
      • Subunit—an I/C that is a subunit of an umbrella I/C at the same university
      • Host—an I/C with affiliate I/Cs located at a different university
      • Affiliate—an I/C that has a host I/C located at a different university
      • Joint—an I/C for which more than one university is equally responsible
    • Provide a brief mission statement for the institute/center (75 words or less).
      • Briefly list goals and objectives for the period of the current academic year through the fifth year.
      • Indicate how goals and objectives of the proposed institute/center relate to the institutional mission statement as contained in the Board of Governors’ (BOG) Strategic Plan.
      • Provide a rationale for this institute/center as a priority for development at FSU and/or in the State.
      • Provide a description of activities (research, public service, and training) in which the institute/center will be involved. Indicate how the institute/center will allow faculty/staff/students to do what they could not solely in a departmental or divisional setting.
      • Provide an overview of similar institutes/centers in the State and describe how this institute/center is different or the same.
    • Identify key terms/phrases that indicate the major areas of focus for the institute/center. These terms will be used as identifiers in a searchable database.
    • Indicate what entity will be responsible for evaluating this institute/center and their contact information.
    • Indicate how the establishment of the Institute/Center enhances the research and development activity currently ongoing.
    • Indicate how the Institute/Center will encourage collaboration beyond what is currently in place (such as weekly seminars, journal clubs, etc.).
    • Indicate the type and source of funding for the Institute/Center staffing once it starts generating its own research proposals.
    • Indicate how SRAD is proposed to be distributed among the collaborating Colleges or Departments.
  3. Staffing and Budget Information
    • Provide estimated expenditures, number/type of positions, and rate for the first and fifth fiscal years. (Separate position and budget data should be submitted for each university when more than one university is affiliated with an institute/center.)
      • Budget Total Expenditures requested in the following categories—
        • SUS appropriated funds
        • Contracts and Grants
        • Fees for Services
        • Private and Other
      • Positions: Faculty Positions (FTE in Person years), and A&P and USPS (combined FTE in Person years) for the following categories—
        • SUS appropriated funds
        • Contracts and Grants
        • Fees for Services
        • Private and Other
    • Provide departmental account number(s) for source of funds to support institute or center.
    • Provide the projected number of graduate assistants to be assigned to the institute/center during its first year of operation.
    • Provide the following information regarding projected space requirements (in square feet):
      Projected Space Required by Source Office Laboratory Conference Rooms Other (explain)
      From Existing Inventory
      Rented
      New Construction
  4. Organization
    Describe the proposed administrative and organizational structure of the institute/center. Provide an organizational chart which delineates the functions of all faculty and staff. For proposals involving more than one institution, include such information for each participating institution as well.
  5. Performance Measures
    Propose a set of performance measures by which you would gauge the progress of your goals and objectives for the next three years. You can use the linked sample as a guide.
  6. Approvals
    Requests for establishment of an institute or center by faculty must be endorsed by the appropriate chair, program director, dean and Provost. The Office of the Provost will notify the Board of Governors, when required, of the establishment of new centers or institutes.
  7. Name and/or Director Changes
    Requests for name changes of an institute or center and/or the Director must be endorsed by the appropriate chair, program director, dean and Provost. The Office of the Provost will notify the Board of Governors, when required, of the requested changes.

II. Additional Establishment Guidelines for a State of Florida Institute or Center

A Memorandum of Understanding will be prepared that includes information contained in guidelines (I.A. and I.B.) above, along with the following:

  • Guidelines for appointing, funding, supervising, and evaluating the director of the State of Florida institute or center
  • The criteria for appointments to the institute or center’s advisory board, including terms, roles, and authority
  • Expectations for the administrative and logistical support for the institute or center, including expectations regarding the reimbursement to the host university for direct costs of administrative services rendered by the university to the institute or center
  • Procedures for recommending increases/decreases in the appropriation of State funds for the institute or center
  • Specifications for the processing of contracts and grants, including the percentage of overhead funds to be returned to the institute or center
  • Expectations for the cyclic review of the institute or center and other planning and expectations for its operation

State of Florida institutes/centers to be located at Florida State University may be proposed by faculty throughout the university as authorized by a dean, deans or a vice president in conformance with section I.e. and should be implemented and operated under a vice president or the dean of the appropriate school or college. If the institute/center cuts across school or college lines, either a group of deans should be responsible, or a committee drawn from the appropriate schools or colleges, or the organization placed under the supervision of a central University office such as the Vice President for Research or the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

III. State of Florida Institute or Center Reporting and Evaluation/Review Requirements

State of Florida institutes and centers shall be reviewed based on criteria and procedures established by the Council of Academic Vice Presidents. At a minimum, the reviews shall include an assessment of each institute or center’s progress against defined goals and objectives within the context of the institute or center’s statewide mission and the Florida Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan. The review also should include an evaluation of performance-based outcomes to include the list of grants received by funding source, entity; a list of publications; number of students supported; description of outreach and service activities provided and if applicable and available, an assessment of the return on investment of state dollars. Additional criteria for the review of a given institute or center may be contained in the Memorandum of Understanding. External consultants may be used in the review process. Issues to be addressed during the review will include the need for continuation of the institute or center; the management of the center; possible changes in mission or organizational structure; budget reduction or expansion; and/or a recommended change of classification from a State of Florida institute or center to a university institute or center. At a minimum, the Council of Academic Vice Presidents shall review each State of Florida institute or center every seven years in conjunction with the annual budget reporting process.

IV. Disbanding a State of Florida Institute or Center

State of Florida institutes and centers shall be disbanded at the recommendation of the Council of Academic Vice Presidents and upon the approval of the Board of Governors. In the event that a disbanded institute/center has been funded by the Legislature, the university must provide documentation to ensure that Legislative intent has been achieved and that the institute or center is no longer required. Any financial balances associated with an institute or center after liquidation of any liabilities should be distributed in accordance with the appropriate policies of the university or direct support organization governing such funds. Fiscal information must be provided as part of the annual reporting process if the institute or center expends any funds during the fiscal year in which it is disbanded.

V. Administration of a University Institute or Center

University institutes/centers may be proposed by faculty throughout the university as authorized by a dean, deans or a vice president in conformance with section I.e. and should be implemented and operated under the authority of a vice president or the dean of the appropriate school or college. If the institute/center cuts across school or college lines, either a group of deans should be responsible, or a committee drawn from the appropriate schools or colleges, or the organization placed under the supervision of a central University office such as the Vice President for Research, or the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The director of an institute/center will be appointed by the appropriate level administrator for a specified time from nominees provided by the governing board or supervisory committee of the research organization.

VI. University Institute or Center Reporting and Evaluation/Review Requirements

In the written university policies submitted to the Board of Governors, each university shall include guidelines for the periodic review of university institutes and centers. At a minimum, each review should include an assessment of the institute or center’s progress against defined goals and objectives within the context of the institute or center’s mission, the university’s mission, and the Florida Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan. The review also should include an evaluation of performance-based outcomes to include list of grants received by funding source, entity; a list of publications; number of students supported; description of outreach and service activities provided and if applicable and available, an assessment of the return on investment of State dollars. A formal review shall be conducted at least every seven years. Issues to be addressed during the review will include the need for continuation of the institute or center; the management of the center; possible changes in mission or organizational structure; budget reduction or expansion; and/or a recommended change of classification from a university institute or center to a State of Florida institute or center.

In addition to the continuous evaluation that takes place by the administrators of organizations, and by the approval authority which established the center or institute, periodic evaluations may be sought from the Council on Research and Creativity and/or outside consultants.

VII. Disbanding a University Institute or Center

When a university institute or center is disbanded, the department will notify the Provost. Upon approval of the Provost, the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors will be notified. If a disbanded institute or center has been funded by the Legislature, the university must provide documentation to ensure that Legislative intent has been achieved and that the institute or center is no longer required. Any financial balances associated with an institute or center after liquidation of any liabilities should be distributed in accordance with the appropriate policies of the university or direct support organization governing such funds. Fiscal information must be provided as part of the annual reporting process if the institute or center expends any funds during the fiscal year in which it is disbanded.

VIII. Faculty Appointments for All Institutes and Centers

While a research organization may take the initiative in recruitment of new faculty and may provide funds for faculty salaries, appointment of new tenure-earning ranked faculty members is through departments only. Such persons must take an active part in their home departments so that other members of the department, especially the chairperson, are well acquainted with their performance.

Institute and center directors are strongly encouraged to communicate to relevant chairpersons the contributions of participating tenure-earning ranked faculty. This would be best done during the annual evaluation period and especially during the third year review and as part of the promotion and tenure review process.

While nothing in this policy forbids the employment of research personnel on a staff basis for work in research organizations, it must be observed that faculty positions with tenure-earning rank temporarily paid for by research funds must be backed up by regular faculty line positions.

IX. Annual Reporting Requirements for All Institutes and Centers

No later than September 30 of each year, the Provost or his designee shall review the inventory of authorized institutes and centers to determine the accuracy of information that is maintained by the Board of Governors. Additionally, a report of actual and estimated expenditure and position data, as well as evaluation/review information, shall be submitted for all institutes and centers that are approved for all or part of a given fiscal year (July 1-June 30):

  • Total funds expended during the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30) by funding source (State Appropriation to the State University System, Contracts and Grants, Fees for Services, and Private & Other Funds) and by entity (Education and General).
  • Total positions during the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30) by funding source and type of position.
  • The date of the last evaluation/review.