Approved December 2007
(1) In order to ensure that institutes and centers implemented within state university system are of the highest quality, enhance existing university activities, and are aligned with the goals of the Board of Governors, the following criteria and guidelines for institutes and centers are established.
(2) Definitions – Within the context of these regulations, institutes and centers are defined as follows:
(a) State of Florida Institute or Center: An entity with a statewide mission, that may include two or more State universities, established to coordinate inter-institutional research, service, and teaching across the State University System. State of Florida institutes and centers must be approved by the Board of Governors. State of Florida institutes and centers’ operational budgets reside within the bases of their host institutions; additional budget requests must be reviewed by the CAVP, and only those with a positive recommendation are carried forward to the Board of Governors for consideration.
(b) University Institute or Center: An entity that is generally established by a single university to coordinate institutional research, service, and/or educational/training activities that enhance existing instruction, research, and service at the universities. The budget of a university institute or center and any requests for additional funding are wholly within the purview of the host university.
(c) Exclusions: There are entities that use the term “Institute” or “Center” in their titles, as well as some other service units, that are excluded from this policy. Examples of these units include the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS); the University of Florida Health Sciences Center; the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center; the Florida State University Health Sciences Center; the Florida Mental Health Institute; incorporated institutes and centers with university affiliations, such as the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute; and university advising, student health, computing, and certain other centers. However, entities such as IFAS and the health sciences centers may have institutes or centers under their purview that are covered by the policies referenced in this document.
(3) University Policies for Institutes and Centers – The University Board of Trustees must adopt policies for establishing, operating, evaluating, reviewing, and disbanding university institutes and centers in accordance with Board of Governors criteria. University policies shall specify whether the university president or provost has been designated by the trustees to grant authorization for the development and implementation of university institutes and centers. A current copy of university institute and center policies shall be on file in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors office.
(4) Establishment of Institutes or Centers –
(a) To establish a State of Florida Institute or Center, the provost of the host university shall prepare and submit a proposal to the board of trustees of the host university for approval. Approved proposals shall be submitted to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors office.
- The proposal shall specify the purpose of the organization, the need and demand to be a State of Florida institute or center, consistency with the Board of Governors Strategic Plan, and funding resources. The proposal shall also include a draft of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, which has been ratified by the presidents of all affiliated institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding shall contain, at a minimum:
- The name of the institute or center;
- The identification of the host institution and participating institutions;
- The mission of the institute or center;
- Guidelines for appointing, funding, supervising, and evaluating the director of the institute or center;
- The criteria for appointments to the institute or center’s advisory board, including terms, roles, authority, and, if known, current numbers;
- 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 at the institutional level 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; and
- Expectations and criteria for the cyclic review of the institute or center and other planning and expectations for its operation.
(b) After review by Board of Governors staff the proposal will be forwarded to the Council of Academic Vice Presidents for approval and recommendation to the Chancellor. The Chancellor would then determine whether or not this proposal should be carried forward to the Board of Governors. Any institute or center must receive full approval from the Board of Governors prior to implementation to receive State of Florida status.
(c) University institutes and centers shall be established in accordance with university policy. A copy of an approved new university institute or center proposal containing basic descriptive, contact, and fiscal information shall be submitted to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. In cases where more than one university is participating, a host university is designated to handle reporting and evaluation of the institute or center.
(5) Institute and Center Reporting Requirements –
(a) The Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governor’s Office shall provide an online Institute and Center Reporting database, which will also serve as the official inventory of approved State University System Institutes and Centers.
(b) Initial Reporting – Upon receipt of notification that a record has been created for the institute or center in the Institute and Center Reporting database, the host university shall enter descriptive and budgetary information in accordance with instructions provided by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.
(c) Annual Reporting – No later than September 30 of each year actual and estimated expenditure and position data shall be entered in the database for the fiscal year running from July 1 of the previous year to June 30 of the current year, in accordance with instructions provided by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Prior to submission to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors office, all annual reporting information must be approved by the Board of Trustees of the host university or its designee.
(d) Evaluation / Review – Copies of all evaluation/review information shall be submitted to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors office.
- State of Florida institutes and centers shall be reviewed based on criteria and procedures established below and within the Memorandum of Understanding. External consultants may be used in the review process. At a minimum, each State of Florida institute or center shall be reviewed every five years by the host institution. A copy of the review will be provided to the Council of Academic Vice Presidents to inform any related budget recommendations.
- University institutes and centers must be reviewed according to university institute and center policies. A formal review shall be conducted at least every seven years.
- At a minimum, all evaluations/reviews shall include:
- A determination of the institute or center’s progress against defined goals and objectives within the context of the institute or center’s mission, the participating university missions, and the current Board of Governor’s Strategic Plan;
- An assessment of the return on investment of State dollars, if applicable;
- The need for continuation of the institute or center;
- Possible changes in mission or organizational structure;
- Budget reduction or expansion;
- Recommendations for change of classification (State of Florida, Infrastructural, or University institute or center), if applicable; and
- Recommendations for status change (active, inactive, terminated), if applicable.
(6) Disbanding an Institute or Center – University institutes and centers shall be disbanded at the request of the host university with the agreement of participating universities. 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. When an institute or center is disbanded, the host university shall notify the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in the Board of Governors office. 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. 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.