Institutes and Centers - Initiation, Operation, Review and Closure

Policy Statement

Administration

Institutes and centers are under the general direction of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy. Directors will be designated to manage institutes and centers. Directors of institutes will report directly to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy. Directors of centers will report to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy when the center or institute is established at the level of a college or school or through their respective dean or institute director when located within a college or school.

Process for Establishing New Institutes and Centers

The process of establishment shall be under the general direction of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy. The establishment process involves the following steps:

  • The proposer of an institute or center must prepare a document that addresses the following topics:
    • Definition of the research area: This should provide the educated lay reader with a clear grasp of the scope of research to be undertaken as well as a sense of its future directions.
    • Intrinsic merit Whether scientific, engineering, artistic or public policy, is the research of high quality and is it of real significance to society?
    • Feasibility: Does Drexel University have the competence, or should it hire the talent, to be involved in this area of research at a level where it can achieve national and international recognition?
    • Impact: Does the research have direct relevance to the academic program and for coupling with other faculty research interests?
    • Competition: Are others working on the topic to any great extent? If the field is already crowded, does Drexel have a better approach?
    • Position: Is the University advantageously situated (or at least not disadvantageously) to undertake and conduct this research?
    • Facilities and equipment: What facilities and equipment are available to house and support this research? What future needs are projected?
    • Personnel: List Drexel faculty, staff, and students who will be involved with this research. List affiliated personnel expected from other institutions.
    • Funding: Describe existing and expected funding by source for research, equipment and facilities. Project five year funding goals.
  • Deans and department heads of affected colleges as well as the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy must review the document. In addition, Faculty Senate shall be provided with the document for comment. The Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy will transmit the written comments to the originator for consideration. The originator may make revisions. The Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy may invite a committee of individuals external to the University to review the written document, meet with the individuals involved, and inspect facilities and equipment. They will be expected to make a report that gives their views on the topics addressed in the document. Final approval to establish a center or institute will be determine by the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy after consultation with the above mentioned parties.

Operation

  • Directors, with faculty and staff input and review, will develop annual operating plans. The plans for the following academic year shall be submitted by May 15 to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy for his/her review, comment and approval. When an institute sponsors an educational program, the annual operating plan shall be concurrently submitted to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy for his/her review, comment and approval. The plan shall outline the goals for the year.
  • Research proposals submitted through the institute or center may originate from any faculty or staff member at the University, or from individuals in other affiliated institutions. Proposals will follow the standard University procedures for routing of proposals, with the exception that institute and center directors will sign the proposals after the appropriate department heads and deans.
  • Institutes and centers will be expected to operate largely from funds obtained from sponsors outside Drexel University.
  • Faculty will be appointed to institutes or centers by the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy upon recommendation of the director and with the concurrence of the individual department heads and deans. Appointments will normally be for a period of three years and will expire automatically at the end of that time. Subsequently, reappointments may be made.
    Staff and visiting researchers will be appointed to institutes and centers by the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy upon recommendation of the director. Such appointments will normally be on an annual basis and subject to availability of support funds.
  • Directors will provide recommendations to the parent academic unit, dean, and Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy for merit raises, promotion and tenure on individuals in tenure track positions holding appointments in the institute or center. Tenure for faculty will be held in the parent academic unit.
  • A portion of the indirect cost recovery on grants and contracts submitted through the institute will be distributed to the institute director to be used to further develop the research program. This portion will equal that distributed to a faculty member’s department head.
  • Institutes and centers will submit an annual report to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy commenting on topics addressed in the proposal document and the annual operating plan. When an institute sponsors an educational program, the annual report shall be concurrently submitted to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy. The annual report should evaluate progress toward goals.

Closure

Institutes and centers will be evaluated annually, and may be closed at any time by the university president based on the lack of external support. Institutes and centers will automatically be disestablished at the end of three years. Should the director request a review prior to the end of this period, a document shall be prepared following the outline specified under the process of establishment described above. Based on an evaluation of this document by the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Policy, the president may continue the institute or center for a successive three- year period.