Cleveland State University

Office of Research

Guidelines on Centers

The following document was developed through the Provostís office - October 10, 2007.

Definition of a Center

A Cleveland State University Center is an organizational unit within the University that is formed to:
(1) promote research,
(2) take advantage of funding initiatives and opportunities,
(3) target audiences external to the University,
(4) foster interdisciplinary studies, projects or initiatives, or
(5) engage in public service or community outreach.
Centers often are created based on external funding opportunities or interests of faculty, senior research staff, or professional staff. Centers should encourage participation by graduate and undergraduate students and offer opportunities for internships.

Types of Centers

Although there may be a great diversity among Centers, they can be grouped into the following four types. The larger Centers require greater institutional investment; therefore, are subject to the most thorough review for establishment and continuation. Center types 1 and 2 generally are too small to require detailed attention but do require some coordination and review, especially at the level of the college.

Type 1: Centers in a single academic college or administrative unit that require no internal resources.

This provides identity to a single investigator or group of investigators within a single college or administrative unit. This may be for the purposes of fund raising (grants, foundation or private donations), program recognition by constituencies served, or attraction of other faculty collaborators. No internal CSU resources are committed to a Type 1 Center beyond the current salary for faculty and no particular administrative or formal governance structures are required beyond the naming of a Director and review and approval by the appropriate Chairs and Deans. Approval to use a particular name is required to avoid duplication of names that would lead to confusion internally or externally. Approval by the Chair/Director and the academic college Dean is required. If the Center's activities range across two or more departments/schools, approval by all pertinent Chairs/Directors and the academic college Dean is required.

Type 2: Centers in a single academic college or administrative unit that require a minimal level of resources.

This provides identity to a single investigator or group of investigators within a single college or administrative unit but requires minimal resources. This may be for the purposes of fund raising, program recognition by constituencies served, or attraction of other faculty collaborators. Minimal internal CSU resources committed to a Type 2 Center may include, for example, a course release for a Director, office supplies, and office space. Policies for naming the Director and governance structures are required. Approval to use a particular name is required to avoid duplication of names that would lead to confusion internally or externally. Approval by the Chair/Director and the academic college Dean is required. If the Center's activities range across two or more departments/schools, approval by all pertinent Chairs/Directors and the academic college Dean is required.

Type 3: Centers across one or more academic colleges or administrative units requiring minimal resources.

This provides coordination of the efforts of a group of faculty representing a particular field and crossing boundaries of colleges or administrative units. It could provide for communication among the group (e-mail lists, web page, newsletters, seminar series, retreats), serve as a voice for the group (e.g., requests for shared equipment or resources, input into recruitment of faculty in the represented area, etc.), as a vehicle for enhancing recognition of the field (both internally and externally), as an entry point for companies with interests in the field, and as a fund raising vehicle. Institutional resources committed to the Center would be small (for example, a course release for a Director, or funding typically less than $50,000/year, which might be for things such as seminars and administrative support). Administration might consist of a Director and a faculty advisory group. The governance structure and process for naming a Director must be approved by the appropriate Chairs/Directors, Deans and the Provost.

Type 4: Centers requiring institutional support.

This provides the infrastructure support functions needed by a group of faculty with shared education, research or service/clinical interests. A Type 4 Center would have space assigned to it, and a formalized administrative mechanism (including a Director with administrative responsibility appointed or confirmed by the Provost). Institutional resources committed to the Center would be small to moderate (typically ranging from $50,000 and up), and might be used to provide for clerical support and shared equipment needs of the group of investigators in addition to those functions supported in Type 1, 2, 3 programs. The governance structure and process for naming a Director must be approved by the appropriate Chairs/Directors, Deans and the Provost. If the purpose of the Center focuses on research and external contacts, the process of approval should include the Vice President for Research.

Proposal 1 (for Types 1-2-3)

A document prepared to describe the purpose and goals of a Center; it includes information on faculty biographies, funding sources and requests for resources as appropriate, selection processes for internships, and involvement by undergraduate and graduate students. Proposals are approved by the appropriate Chairs/Directors and Deans, as necessary.

Proposal 2 (for Type 4)

A document prepared to describe the mission of a Type 4; it includes detailed information on organization, administration and governance structures, budgets, plans for measured results, selection processes for internships, and involvement by undergraduate and graduate students. Full proposals are approved by the Provost following recommendations by the academic college Deans, and the Vice President for Research.

Review Processes

All Centers shall be reviewed every 3 years. At the end of each review period, a Center shall be closed unless a continuation is approved. The Center Director shall submit a report -- detailing the Center's activities, achievements, challenges, and financial arrangements over the three-year review period and future plans--to his/her immediate supervisor (department Chair/school Director, or Dean(s)). If a decision is made to not continue a Center, the Center Director may appeal the decision (to the Dean if the decision to close the Center is made by a department Chair/school Director; to the Provost if the decision to close the Center is made by a Dean); when Centers are joint ventures of two or more colleges, the Deans shall collaborate in arriving at a decision.


RESPONSIBILITIES


Provost

The Provost approves creation and plans of Type 3 + 4 Centers; appoints or confirms Directors of Type 4 Centers; and approves continuance of Type 3 + 4 Centers.

Vice President for Research

The Vice President for Research reviews Type 4 Center proposals as needed and advises the Provost on continuance of Type 3 and 4 Centers as appropriate.

Deans

Deans review and approve plans of Type 1-4 Centers; approve the creation of Type 1-3 Centers; recommend approval of continuance of Type 4 Centers. For Centers that report directly to the Dean, the Dean oversees the activity of Centers and approves operating guidelines, allocates resources to the Center, initiates Center reviews, decides to continue or suspend activity of Center.

Department Chairs/ School Directors

Depart Chairs/School Directors review and approve plans of Type 1 and 2 Centers; approve the creation of Centers; recommend approval for continuance of Type 1-3 Centers; appoint Directors of Type 1 and 2 Centers. For Centers that report to the department Chair/school Director, department Chairs/school Directors oversee the activity of Centers and approve operating guidelines, allocate resources to the Center, initiate Center reviews, decide to continue or suspend activity of Center.

Faculty

Faculty prepare documents for creating Centers and submit pre-proposals to Chairs.

Center Directors

Center Directors follow operating guidelines for Centers, identify an advisory group, and have fiduciary responsibility for Center budget.

Adapted from University of Minnesota Center Policy.