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Centers and Institutes

Centers and institutes are formally approved units that are organized for research or public service, and which may also have an educational component. They must conform to the strategic aims of UIC and thus maintain an existence independent of any specific individual(s), although an exception may be made when there is a compelling case to recruit or retain a group of researchers or scholars. The activities of centers and institutes may be based in one college or they might span across multiple colleges.

The procedures to establish, reorganize, or eliminate centers and institutes are described below.

You may also wish to review the current Policy for Approval of Centers and Institutes, that provides background on the characteristics and governance of these units, and the list of UIC centers and institutes approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Establish a Temporary Center or Institute Heading link

The initial approval for centers and institutes is on a temporary basis for a period of five years. This temporary status applies only to centers and institutes (not instructional units), and provides a period of time for the unit to demonstrate effectiveness and sustainability and secure resources.

The following steps are required in the temporary approval process, which allows the university to examine the proposed concept of the center/institute to ensure that it is consistent with UIC’s strategic priorities.

  1. College/Vice Chancellor Unit. Approved according to procedures established by the college/VC unit. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Format for Seeking Temporary Approval for Centers and Institutes form to prepare the proposal.
    • Colleges and units under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (OVCHA) should note the following process effective 5/18/2022.
      • The dean should prepare a memo indicating that the center/institute application has been approved at the college, per their procedures, and is endorsed by the dean.  The memo should include a statement describing the center/institute’s value to the college and that the center/institute’s funding model has been reviewed and approved at the college level.  This memo and the  proposal will be submitted to OVCHA  for review.
      • The OVCHA will review the application.  If approved, the VCHA will endorse the dean’s memo and forward to submitter.  If denied, the OVCHA will respond to the dean.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college/VC unit has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email to Dana Wright.
  3. Budget and Financial Analysis (BFA)
  4. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if the center/institute will impact graduate students.
  5. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). Review is only required if the center/institute has an educational impact (e.g., students will complete required research rotations in the unit).
  6. Senate Committee on Research (SCR). 
  7. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). IBHE staff will review the request and determine if the temporary center/institute is a reasonable and moderate extension (RME) of UIC’s existing program authority.

Please note that occasionally an externally-funded research or public service activity is labeled a center or institute because of grant requirements. This activity is temporary and does not extend beyond the life of the grant. When such circumstances occur, the unit should immediately contact Dana Wright. The Format for Seeking Temporary Approval for Centers and Institutes should also be completed, and will be shared with the Senate Committee on Research (SCR) for information. Finally, the center/institute will be included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.

Establish a Permanent Center or Institute Heading link

Following the initial five-year period, centers and institutes may request permanent approval, seeking the approval of the following levels of governance.

  1. College/Vice Chancellor Unit. Approved according to procedures established by the college/VC unit. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Notice of Intent/Application for New Unit form to prepare the proposal.
    • Colleges and units under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (OVCHA) should note the following process effective 5/18/2022.
      • The dean should prepare a memo indicating that the center/institute application has been approved at the college, per their procedures, and is endorsed by the dean.  The memo should include a statement describing the center/institute’s value to the college and that the center/institute’s funding model has been reviewed and approved at the college level.  This memo and the  proposal will be submitted to OVCHA  for review.
      • The OVCHA will review the application.  If approved, the VCHA will endorse the dean’s memo and forward to submitter.  If denied, the OVCHA will respond to the dean.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email to Dana Wright.
  3. Budget and Financial Analysis (BFA)
  4. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if the new unit will impact graduate students.
  5. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). Review is only required if the center/institute has an educational impact (e.g., students will complete required research rotations in the unit).
  6. Senate Committee on Research (SCR)
  7. UIC Senate
  8. University Senates Conference (USC)
  9. Board of Trustees (BOT)
  10. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)

Reorganize or Eliminate a Center or Institute Heading link

The reorganization or elimination of centers and institutes must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs.

Note: Reorganizations includes renaming a unit to which faculty appointments are made, consolidation/merger, separation, transfer, change in status, and other changes that do not result in an increase in sub-units.

  1. College/Vice Chancellor Unit. Approved according to procedures established by the college/unit. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Format for Academic Program Changes form to prepare the proposal.
    • Colleges and units under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (OVCHA) should note the following process effective 5/18/2022.
      • The dean should prepare a memo indicating that the center/institute application has been approved at the college, per their procedures, and is endorsed by the dean.  The memo should include a statement describing proposed changes, the impact of these changes on the college and/or university, and verifying that any funding issues have been reviewed and approved at the college level.  This memo and the  proposal will be submitted to OVCHA  for review.
      • The OVCHA will review the application.  If approved, the VCHA will endorse the dean’s memo and forward to submitter.  If denied, the OVCHA will respond to the dean.
  2. Academic Programs (AP).  Once the college/unit has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email to Dana Wright.
  3. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if the reorganization or elimination will impact graduate students.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). Review is only required if the center/institute has an educational impact (e.g., students will complete required research rotations in the unit).
  5. Senate Research Committee (SRC)
  6. UIC Senate
  7. University Senates Conference
  8. Board of Trustees (BOT)
  9. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The reorganization/elimination will be included on a list of changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.