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Centers, Institutes and Academies

University Governance


PDF Version: BOT Centers, Institutes, and Academies Policy


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Definitions
  4. Policy Statement
  5. Procedures
  6. Related Information
  7. History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102, et seq. (2019) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees retain authority to approve, interpret, and administer policies pertaining to University governance. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

  2. Purpose: This policy defines the process to establish centers, institutes, or academies at MSU Denver.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to centers, institutes, and academies established under the Metropolitan State University of Denver name or using University resources.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Chief Executive Officer

  2. Responsible Administrator: Chief Academic Officer

  3. Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Academic Officer

  4. Policy Contact: Chief Academic Officer, 303-615-1900

III. Definitions

  1. Academic Departments focus on providing coursework that leads to an academic degree. While academic departments provide student support and varying amounts of community outreach, their primary role is to provide solid, post-secondary curriculum that is fully vetted through the University’s curriculum process. The primary role of Centers and Institutes is to enrich the University by their focus on services beyond providing disciplinary coursework leading to a degree. NOTE: Academic Departments are not subject to the remainder of this policy. This definition is provided here as a point of contrast to the definitions of Centers, Institutes, and Academies below.

  2. Centers focus on academics, non-academic services, or a combination and offer a highly responsive means for increasing the institution's capacity to provide relevant, timely, and cost-effective support to regional stakeholders on- or off-campus. Centers:
    1. Are organizational units:
      1. That reside within one or more Departments, Schools, or Colleges;
      2. They might also serve as an extension of the Provost's, a Vice President’s, or the President's Office;
    2. Are characterized by their flexible goals and structure, and specific functions;
    3. Typically, do not offer degree programs but may offer certificates or a minor; and
    4. May be funded externally (e.g., by grants or contracts), by University funding, or a combination of funding sources.

  3. Institutes are distinguished from Centers by their interdisciplinary approach to addressing issues of academic and/or public interest that require encompassing ideas and personnel from a variety of Departments, Schools, or Colleges. Institutes:
    1. Engage in a wide range of research, public service, and instructional activities in areas of broad concern; 
    2. Reside within one or more Schools, Colleges, or as an extension of the Provost's, a Vice President’s, or the President's Office; Institutes may be independent of these academic structures; and
    3. May offer a degree, major, minor, certificate, and/or offer non-academic services.

  4. Academies focus on academics and are formed for the purpose of advancing disciplines. Like academic centers, academies are organizational units, which may reside within one or more Departments, Schools, or as an extension of the Provost's, a Vice President’s, or the President's Office, or they may be independent of these academic structures. Likewise, academies are designed to add flexibility and to further the mission of the University.

  5. Affiliation of Centers, Institutes, and Academies with the University connotes performance of the activity in the name of and with the endorsement of the University.

  6. University Centers, Institutes, and Academies promote internal and external recognition of the University's activities and provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to extend the mission of the University.

IV. Policy Statement

University centers, institutes, and academies promote internal and external recognition of the University's activities and provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to extend the mission of the University. The primary role of centers, institutes, and academies is to enrich the University by their focus on services beyond providing disciplinary coursework leading to a degree. Affiliation of centers, institutes, and academies with the University connotes performance of the activity in the name of and with the endorsement of the University. Normally a center, institute, or academy will be granted a charter that governs its operation that will be reviewed every seven years. The document used for the establishment of a center, institute, or academy will serve as the charter for that entity.

The final decision regarding establishment of a center, institute, or academy resides with the President of the University, who may consult with the Board of Trustees at the President’s discretion depending on the nature of the proposed center, institute, or academy.

  1. Requirements: A Center, Institute, or Academy established under the Metropolitan State University of Denver name or using University resources will:

    1. Define its focus to on- and off-campus populations, including the identification of interdepartmental collaboration and connection to the MSU Denver mission.

    2. Comply with the accompanying procedures for establishment, approval, operation, reporting, and evaluation.

    3. Conform to all federal, state, and University regulations related to fiscal management and practice, exercise fiscal accountability, and provide an annual report of activity and accounts.

    4. Undergo review three years after founding and on a seven-year cycle thereafter, similar to that used to review academic programs. Normally, reviews would be conducted by the MSU Denver Program Review Committee or a separate committee that it identifies augmented by additional members that have expertise appropriate to the Center’s or Institute’s purpose. If an “off-cycle, focused review” is required for some reason, the Provost will appoint a subcommittee of the Program Review Committee to conduct the review and make necessary recommendations.

    5. Be administered by a director or a coordinator. If the center, institute, or academy constitutes a distinct unit with a broad mission, it will be administered by a director. If the center, institute, or academy is a subordinate unit within a department with a specific, limited mission, it will be administered by a coordinator. The President or designee appoints the director or coordinator, after consultation with the search committee and/or the advisory board, if any, and the Provost. Coordinators and directors shall, at a minimum, be expected to fulfill the following job responsibilities:

      1. Establish a center, institute, or academy vision and goals which support the University mission;
      2. Display prudent financial management of the center, institute, or academy, ensuring fiscal stewardship;
      3. Assure that the center, institute, or academy operates in accordance with all relevant federal, state, and University laws, regulations, and policies;
      4. Provide appropriate consultation with the advisory board (if one exists);
      5. Prepare an Annual Report for the immediate supervisor, the Provost and, if relevant, the Board of Trustees;
      6. Prepare a self-study for the center’s or institute's periodic review;
      7. Evaluate individual personnel in accordance with University policies and procedures.

    6. Centers, institutes, and academies are encouraged to establish advisory councils with community representatives.

    7. Administration of finances of the center, institute, or academy

      1. Except for that portion from the state, the budget will normally be handled through auxiliary funds or by the MSU Denver Foundation;
      2. State support will be managed according to relevant University budgetary policies and procedures;
      3. Any indirect funds (F&A) from grants for a center, institute, or academy will be allocated and managed according to University policies and procedures.

    8. Establish a name in accordance with the MSU Denver naming policy.

V. Procedures

  1. Establishment of a new center, institute, or academy requires a proposal that responds to the following questions:

    1. Statement of General Purpose/Rationale

      1. Why is the new Center, Institute, or Academy needed?
      2. What organizations in the community already exist to serve these needs? What is the justification for Metro State University of Denver to provide similar services?
      3. Why is the present organizational structure not able to accommodate these needs?
      4. How will the new Center, Institute, or Academy serve as a campus and/or community resource?
      5. What are the results of a review of similar institutes nationally with respect to purpose, administrative structure, proposed activities, accomplishments, and funding sources? This section should also address the leadership role such a Center, Institute, or Academy would play in the creation and configuration of new knowledge and/or in addressing the needs of un- or underserved community constituencies.

    2. Statement of Mission Alignment

      1. How does the center/institute/academy mission support the University mission?

    3. Description of activities the Center, Institute, or Academy will promote.

    4. Description of Institutional Capacity

      1. What resources – personnel, physical, financial – are already present to support the creation and sustaining of the proposed center, institute, or academy?
      2. What, if any, unique advantages does the campus have because of its geographic location, mission, or other characteristic/quality?

    5. Relationship to Other University Entities

      1. Which programs, administrative units, schools, other centers, institutes, or academies will be involved in the proposed new center, institute, or academy?
      2. What effect will the center, institute, or academy have on existing administrative units, schools, academic departments, and/or other centers, institutes, or academies academically, operationally, and financially?
      3. What is the relationship of the center, institute, or academy to the initiator’s home department(s)/unit(s)?
      4. Are there other college units that are performing the same or similar function, and if so, what is the justification for a new entity?

    6. Description of Organizational Administrative Structure

      1. What is the proposed organizational structure of the center, institute, or ccademy?
      2. What will be the responsibilities of the coordinator or director? Who will be the founding coordinator or director? Outline the job responsibilities and hiring criteria, e.g.,
        1. What are the appropriate credentials for the coordinator/director?
        2. Should this person be a tenure-line faculty member with reassigned time/12-month contract or should this person be an exempt administrator?
      3. Who are the unit's founding members and how does their expertise relate to its purpose?
      4. What are the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of participation in the center, institute, or academy?
      5. Will the center, institute, or academy have an Advisory Council(s)?
        1. For what purpose(s)?
        2. Will the Advisory Council(s) be internal, external, or a combination?
        3. How will members be selected?
        4. What kinds of terms/term limits will there be?
        5. What would the roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Council(s) be?

    7. Resource Implications – Physical and Financial

      1. What operating support from the University is required for this center, institute, or academy to be functional on an ongoing basis?
      2. What support for the center, institute, or academy will be derived from non-University sources?
      3. What physical resources are needed? Include a comprehensive overview related to
        1. space and facilities;
        2. computer and telecommunications needs;
        3. library collections and/or services; and/or
        4. other equipment.
      4. What financial resources are needed? Include a comprehensive overview related to:
        1. What are the plans for financing the center, institute, or academy for the first three years and for at least seven years thereafter? Specifically address the anticipated personnel, operating, space, equipment, and other costs and how they will be supported.
        2. If the plan depends on full support from state funding, please justify. What will happen if state resources are no longer available?
        3. If the plan calls for fundraising, grant-writing, or other external funds, please provide a brief list of potential opportunities for such external support. What happens if external funds are no longer available?

    8. Curriculum – As noted above, normally, centers and academies will be non-degree-granting entities. Nevertheless, they may be involved in delivering non-credit courses, specialized courses, and/or coordinating the delivery of a major or minor; Institutes may deliver a degree program. If the center, institute, or academy offers any of these, describe what plans, if any, there are to create non-credit or specialized courses, to coordinate/offer a minor program, or to propose a degree program.

    9. Communication plans and procedures with various publics and constituents.Describe communication plans and procedures with various publics and constituents.

  2. Proposal Review for Approval:

    1. Center, institute, or academy initiators must send their formal proposal to a review committee designated by the Provost, appropriate Vice President, or President, who will review for completeness and make a preliminary recommendation.

    2. Credit-bearing curriculum can only be offered if approved by the appropriate academic unit and according to established University policies and procedures, including relevant Faculty Senate Committees. Normally, non-credit curricula does NOT require Senate approval.

      1. If the proposal includes academic credit offerings, the review committee chair will send the proposal, accompanied by her/his review, to the Faculty Senate President, within four weeks of receipt of the formal proposal, who will consult with appropriate Senate standing committees and either
        1. Forward the package to the Provost (accompanied by a Senate recommendation); or
        2. Return the proposal (accompanied by questions, commentary, and/or suggestions) to the proposers/AVP ACP for further development.
        3. The Faculty Senate President has six weeks in which to formulate the Senate's recommendation and forward it to the Provost. If either the AVP ACP or the Senate President has not completed her/his recommendation within the allotted time, the recommendation will be automatically sent forward to the next step of review.
      2. If the proposal does not include academic offerings or after the Faculty Senate review, the packet is sent to the Provost, appropriate Vice President, or President for final approval.
      3. The complete package will be forwarded to the President for action, along with a letter of intent identifying the University’s obligations and responsibilities to the Center, Institute, or Academy.
      4. The Provost, appropriate Vice President, or President must complete her/his determination within four weeks.
      5. The final decision regarding establishment of a Center, Institute, or Academy resides with the President of the University, who may consult with the Board of Trustees at his/her discretion depending on the nature of the proposed Center, Institute, or Academy. Normally a Center, Institute, or Academy will be granted a charter that governs its operation that will be reviewed every seven years. The document used for the establishment of a center, institute, or academy will serve as the charter for that entity. 

VI. Related Information


VII. History

  1. Approved by: Board of Trustees

  2. Effective: April 1, 2019

  3. Original Enactment: June 2013

  4. Review Schedule: This policy will be reviewed every five years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

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