Approved March 2022
(1) In order to ensure that institutes and centers implemented within the 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 organization with a statewide mission that may include two or more state universities established to coordinate interinstitutional 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 Council of Academic Vice Presidents 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 university. This includes centers of excellence that were established by the Florida legislature. 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, provost, and/or vice president for research has been designated by the trustees to grant authorization for the development and implementation of university institutes and centers. A 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 and/or the vice president for research 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, consistent 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.
- Expectations and criteria for the cyclic review of the institute or center at least once every five years and other planning and expectations for its operation.
(b) After review by the Board of Governors’ staff, the state of Florida institute or center 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 state of Florida 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. The university is responsible for notifying the Board of Governors’ office about the establishment or termination of any university institute and center within 30 days of such action. The notices of establishment shall include the institute and center name, the type of center, and a brief description of how the institute and center will enhance the university’s activities. In cases where more than one university is participating, the 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 Governors’ office shall maintain an official online inventory of approved State University System institutes and centers, including centers of excellence.
(b) Annual Reporting: No later than December 1 of each year, expenditure information for the prior fiscal year shall be provided to the Board of Governors’ office. The instructions and reporting templates for these annual requests will be determined by the Chancellor. Annual reports must be approved by the board of trustees of the host university prior to submission to the Board of Governors’ office.
(c) Evaluation/Review: Copies of all evaluation/review information shall be submitted to the Board of Governors’ office as follows.
- 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 and center policies. A formal review shall be conducted at least every seven years.
- At a minimum, all evaluations/reviews shall include the following components.
- 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’s mission, and the current Board of Governors’ 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 institute or center, or university institute or center), if applicable.
- Recommendations for status change (active, inactive, terminated), if applicable.
- Upon completion, the university must provide a summary of the evaluation/review to the board of trustees and certify that the evaluation/review contained all of the required components using a template provided by the Chancellor. A copy of the summary must be submitted to the Board of Governors’ office within 30 days after the board of trustees’ review.
(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 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.
Authority: Section 7(d), Art. IX, Fla. Const., History—New 12-6-07., Amended 03-.30-2022