Centers and Institutes Review Process

Office of the Provost
Jan. 5, 2006

Normally within a period of five years following its establishment, and periodically thereafter, each center or institute will be reviewed by the relevant dean or provost. If reviewing a center or institute with subunits, these will all be reviewed collectively and their interaction will be considered in the review. To provide consistency, the chair of all center review committees will be the vice president for research in the Office of the Provost. (When centers that report to the academic deans are reviewed, the vice president for research will be an ex officio participant in the review process.) At the dean or provost's discretion, a committee composed of internal faculty and external faculty, administrators or other appropriate authorities will be established to visit the campus and conduct the review.

Before leaving the campus, the committee will prepare a written report of its findings and recommendations for the appropriate dean or provost. The recommendations should be designed to enhance the functioning and development of the center or institute. In some circumstances, the recommendations may include alternative organizational arrangements, including phasing out of the unit. In all cases, the recommendations should comment on the functioning of the center or institute in light of the level and type of support provided by the school/university.


  • The criteria for the review will be determined by the dean or the provost, but must include:

  • The unit's ability to enhance the academic mission of the university.

  • The unit's contribution to the visibility and stature of the university.

  • The quality of scholarly activity, educational programs and/or other intellectual contributions of the unit.

  • The level of faculty and student activity and participation.

  • The effectiveness of the management of the unit, and as appropriate, the advisory board.

  • The effectiveness of the unit's external funding activities and financial sufficiency.

Process Sequence

  • Centers or institutes will be notified in the spring semester of the preceding academic year, if they will be reviewed in the upcoming academic year.

  • At that time, centers will propose names of preferred internal and external reviewers, as well as indicating any individuals who would not be appropriate to serve in that capacity.

  • By the end of February of the academic year of the review, the director should submit a written self-evaluation responding to the criteria established for the center's review.

  • This self-study will be given to the review committee who will meet during the spring semester on campus.

  • Before leaving the campus, the review committee will prepare a written report of its findings.

  • The provost will send the review committee's report to the director and ask for a written response.

  • The provost's office will cover the costs of the review process. No more than two will occur each year.