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Creating a Center

Centers are organizational forms designed to further the university's education, research, and public service missions in ways that cannot be addressed through traditional structures, such as departments, schools, and colleges. Although centers are an integral part of the university, their missions should not duplicate those of departments, schools, colleges, and other centers or institutes. Instead, they should offer programs or opportunities that cannot be offered at least as well through existing structures. The key ingredient of any center is strategic "value added."

Centers provide an organizational base for university mission-related activities in one or more academic areas. They pursue activities that may include, but are not limited to, interdisciplinary research involving faculty, students, and staff from a variety of academic disciplines, offering continuing education activities related to their area(s) of interest, or facilitating efforts of the department, school, college, or university to obtain extramural funding in specific areas. Centers may serve as a formalized link between the academic community and the professional community in the area(s) of interest.

A center cannot offer for-credit courses or degree programs; therefore, they do not go through UCC.

This definition of center is not to be confused with facilities that include “Center” in their name (e.g., The Ramsey Student Center) or units that provide ongoing administrative or support services (e.g., The Learning Disabilities Center).

Establishment of Centers


Establishment and maintenance of a center must be based upon a defined program with measurable outcomes, defined policies and operating procedures, and a defined review process. The establishment of a center is justified i) when its mission clearly supports and enhances the programs of the university; and ii) when the mission cannot be accomplished in an efficient and effective manner through existing departments, schools, colleges, institutes, or other units.  Centers that are sponsored by external entities may be formed following guidelines of the sponsoring agencies with approval from Sponsored Projects Administration and the Vice President for Research.


Proposals must include a narrative that states center goals and describes how they will meet the criteria as outlined in 4.a above; the statement of goals must include specific outcomes and metrics that will be used to measure progress toward the goals.  The proposal must indicate the administrative unit and the leadership position within that unit to which the center reports and must designate the process by which the center will be reviewed. The center may be reviewed: (a) as part of the Program Review of the administrative unit; (b) by the administrative unit; or (c) in another specified and approved manner.

Proposals should also contain:

  • A statement of operating procedures and policies. These should include a description of the governance structure, the roles and responsibilities of any participating units, the executive committee structure, and the processes for faculty and staff appointment or reappointment.
  • A description of amounts and sources of anticipated income. Anticipated financial arrangements between the center and other units including IDC flow, if any, should also be described, and supporting documentation should be included. A projected budget covering the first three years of operation should be included and should detail expenditures and income expected
  • A description of the faculty and staff necessary to initiate its programs and maintain its operations for the first three years.
  • A description of the physical resources that the center will occupy and utilize during its first three years.
  • A list of participating faculty, their home units, and their roles in the center, including a description of the formal arrangements through which faculty will participate with the center, will be evaluated for promotion, tenure, and salary increases, and the extent to which affiliated faculty members will have their salary contained in its budget.
  • Letters of support from affected departments, schools, colleges, other units, and the administrator who would have oversight responsibilities.
To submit a request, please follow the below steps:
  • Before a department can submit a proposal, you must first get approval from the relevant Associate Dean in your area.
    • When you click on the link above, the form will open in a browser.  You will need to save the form and open in Adobe Acrobat.  This will allow you to complete the fillable form and add your signature.
    • Both the Curriculum Request Form and either a WORD or PDF of your request will need to be emailed to April Brown at
  • Center proposals will need to be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Senate.  A representative from your department will need to be present at this meeting to discuss the proposal as well as answer any questions or concerns that might arise.
  • Once your request has been approved by both the Franklin College Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate, the request will be emailed to the Office of Curriculum Systems and to the Department Head. 
QUESTIONS?  Please contact April Brown at 

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