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Centers and Institute



Policy Memo AA 04-02 09/20/04 (updated 08/27/07) (updated 01/06/09)

Revised, March 8, 2012, 11-12 CR 2

President approved June 6, 2012


A. Purpose and Functions of Centers

To facilitate the accomplishment of its regular instructional function, the basic administrative organization of the university consists of colleges, departments, and interdisciplinary academic programs.  However, there are other appropriate research, creative, and service functions that may be handled better by alternative administrative structures, such as centers or institutes.   If center activities result in proposals for new degree or credit bearing courses, the normal process for course development, adoption, and approval should be followed as specified in University


The University has established the following guidelines for the formation, operation, monitoring, review and dissolution of centers, in accordance with Executive Order 751. The term "center" applies to any alternative administrative structure whether the unit is known as a "bureau," "institute," "research station," "field station," or any other preferred terminology.  The "appropriate administrator," referred to in these guidelines, is the Associate Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Dean, or designee.


B. Types of Centers

There are three types of centers:

  • University center. A university center is concerned with subject matter of sufficient breadth to involve disciplines from two or more colleges. Administration of a university center may be assigned to an individual college.
  • College center. A college center is concerned with subject matter confined primarily to disciplines organized within a single college.
  • Department center. A departmental center is concerned with subject matter confined primarily to a single discipline represented by an academic department.


C.Procedures for Formation of Centers

A center is formed by the development of a charter by interested faculty and administrators and by the ultimate approval of that charter by designated University officers (see Section D).   A proposal to form a center should contain the following:

  • the proposed name of the center appropriate to and descriptive of its purpose;
  • a statement of the center's purpose, including its relationship to the mission of the University;
  • what if any similar centers already exist in the region;
  • the proposed organizational structure of the center, including: o a director or head who will be responsible for the activities of the unit
  • an appropriate advisory group, with adequate faculty representation, which will advise the director;
  • a statement of how the director and advisory group will be selected;
  • a statement of how faculty will be selected for participation and removed from participation;
  • a statement of the manner in which funds, which may accrue to the unit, will be accounted for and handled, and of the purposes for which any surplus will be expended as reflected in the accounting agreement for a trust account in either the University Accounting Office or the CSUEB Foundation accounting office;
  • a statement of the resources required for the center, including space, personnel, and funding and the proposed sources of those resources;
  • a statement describing the center’s commitment to diversity in its activities and appointments;
  • an outline of the report of the center's activities and operating procedures;
  • the period of operation; without renewal a center charter cannot extend beyond June 30 of the fifth year following the center's establishment.

 It is recommended that prior to submittal for review in the approval process, that the guidelines provided in Appendix A be reviewed.  The guidelines, in a checklist format, will be used by the Committee on Research in reviewing new proposals for Centers and Institutes.  


D. Approval Process

Charter or re-charter proposals will be submitted for review and approval using the following process:

  1. The proposal will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate unit manager and the Dean.
  2. The proposal will be reviewed by the Associate Vice President of Research and Professional Development.
  3. The proposal will be reviewed by the Committee on Research, and either referred back to the proposing team of faculty/administrators for revision or referred to the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate for consideration.
  4. The proposal is reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and either referred back to the Committee on Research or referred to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and placed as an information item on the agenda for the Academic Senate.
  5. The proposal will be reviewed by the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  6. The proposal is then reviewed by the President or designee, who has final authority of approval for all centers. As necessary, the President or designee may consult with units prior to approval.
  7. Once approved by the campus, the AVP of Research and Professional Development will notify the Chancellor’s Office of the new center. Once confirmed, the Centers and Institutes webpage will be updated.


E. Responsibility for Handling Center Funds

All funds must be received and expended in a manner consistent with the center's charter and with the regulations of the department, college, and university.  Funds received in support of all center activities must be deposited in an appropriate university (e.g., CSUEB Educational Foundation for gifts) or CSUEB Foundation account.  Implementation of these requirements is the responsibility of the appropriate university administrator.  Center directors should provide financial information to the appropriate administrator (or unit financial manager) to allow for the timely preparation of management reports. 

Directors must authorize all center expenditures. Collection and expenditure of funds must be handled through and are subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate university or CSUEB Foundation accounting entity.   Centers should provide sufficient resources to offset the costs incurred for center activities, including administrative and overhead costs, in accordance with campus cost recovery policies.  Compensation of center directors and the assignment and compensation of faculty and staff supporting centers must be consistent with university policies and procedures.


F. Responsibility for Center Activities

The appropriate administrator will be responsible for reviewing and approving center activities and written materials to ensure that they:

  • contribute to fulfillment of the mission of the CSU and the campus;
  • are in conformity with all applicable laws and regulations and with all campus policies including the campus risk management policy;
  • are consistent with the charter of the center;
  • do not compromise the autonomy of the University;
  • adhere to University policy governing research;
  • adhere to any terms agreed upon between the Center and donors.

 Center activities that necessitate the formation of an alliance or partnership with an external unit or agency must receive prior approval of the appropriate administrator before such activities are undertaken.


G. Authority and Responsibility of the Director

The director shall be responsible for:

  • oversight of centers activities to ensure achievement of agreed upon goals;
  • consultation with advisory group;
  • the operation and management of the center, the proper handling of funds,
  • and the financial soundness of the center;
  • the review and approval of all expenditures;
  • the approval of all payments of salaries, wages, or consulting fees; directors cannot approve their salaries;
  • managing the budget;
  • ensuring that the rates of pay for particular activities by faculty members do not exceed those allowed by University, CBA or Trustee regulations;
  • making temporary substitutions of personnel in programs and obtaining prior approval from the appropriate department chair or unit manager;
  • managing all space, physical arrangements, production of brochures and materials, and other support of programs and scholarly projects;
  • ensuring that the center is adhering to its commitment to diversity in activities and appointments;
  • developing and maintaining a center website in compliance with university policy and procedures.


H. Annual Report

Annually by December, the director shall issue a written progress report, including a financial statement of operations for the prior fiscal year.  For all centers, the report must be distributed to the advisory group, the appropriate department chairs, the administrator in direct line of authority above the director, and the Associate Vice President of Research and Professional Development.


I. Responsibility and Authority of the Advisory Group

The advisory group is expected to recommend general guidelines for all center programs and activities as specified in the original approval document for the center.  The advisory group is expected to recommend to the director any activities that it determines will benefit the center, the university, or the community.  In general, the advisory group will be a resource group to which the director can bring problems for discussion and recommendation.  


J. Resources of Centers

Centers will be supported from extra-mural sources or through normal university budget processes.  Reassigned time for center personnel may be used to the extent it is consistent with University and CSU policies, with the approval of the Dean of the college in which such personnel have their academic appointments, and with further approval of the Dean of the college of which the center is a part, or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee in the case of a university center.   All space allocations are subject to review by the appropriate administrative officer.


K. Dissolution of Centers

A center's charter must contain a termination date, which cannot extend beyond June 30 of the fifth year, following its establishment or most recent renewal.  In the absence of any action to renew the charter, it will expire on the termination date and its resources will revert to the next largest administrative unit (department for a departmental center, college for a college center, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs' office for a university center) for appropriate disposition.

 Notwithstanding the specified termination date, a center may be dissolved at any time through the same process outlined in Section D above for approvals.  In the event a center's operation should become inimical to the interests of the University, the President, after appropriate consultation, may terminate it at any time.


L. Renewal of Centers and Requests for Approval of Charter Modification

Centers whose charters have expired may not continue activities.  Centers seeking recharter must: 

  • submit a proposal PRIOR to the charter termination date;
  • provide updated information on each point listed in Section C of this document;
  • include a justification for the proposed renewal and a new date of termination if renewal is approved;
  • circulate the re-charter proposal for approval in the same for original charters, as described in Section D above.

 Criteria for renewal include evidence relating the extent to which the center fulfilled its original and subsequent objectives, and the extent to which operation of the center has conformed to these guidelines.


M. Identification of Non-Profit Organizations

An annual review by the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs of all non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, which purport any affiliation with California State University, East Bay will be completed by December of each year. This review will be conducted by using the non-profit organization search features found at or a similar service. Following this review the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will be notified of all non-profit organizations that reveal any affiliation with California State University, East Bay.  

Organizations using the name or trademark of the university will be required to implement a Memorandum of Agreement with the university detailing specific activity and services, administration and financial resources. All affiliations with non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations will be dissolved if such organizations do not become a campus-sanctioned entity under the provisions of the policy on the organization and administration of centers.   Each Dean will be required to certify all non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations and any other enterprise or organization that are affiliated with their college to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


N. Checklist

This checklist provides guidance preparing a proposal for a new Center or Institute.  The checklist will be used by Committee on Research (CR) in its review of your proposal.  Please review the Center and Institute policies and procedures guidelines, which provide more detail on proposal development, so it is in agreement with CSUEB policy.  

  1. documentation showing clear support from the academic unit(s) involved
  2. letter of endorsement from the appropriate college dean or other official
  3. statement of purpose
  4. description of how the center supports the mission of CSUEB
  5. include identification of similar centers in the region, and how the proposed center differs
  6. description of planned activities
  7. identification of advisory board members
  8. organizational structure of the center (include a figure)
  9. operating procedures
  10. name of the starting director
  11. description of faculty and student involvement
  12. procedure for how new faculty will be selected to participate
  13. procedure for how faculty may be removed
  14. description of the method for selection and evaluation of the director
  15. description of the center’s commitment to diversity in its activities and appointments
  16. business plan that specifies the targeted audience, the marketing strategy, resources required, and how resources are used
  17. projected budget showing where funds will be raised and where disseminated
  18. explanation of how space will be allocated and where the center will be located


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