A91: Creation, Review, Reorganization, and Termination of UNM Research Centers and Institutes
Approved By: Faculty Senate
Effective Date: 3/7/16
Responsible Faculty Committee: Research Policy Committee
Office Responsible for Administration: Vice President for Research and HSC Vice President for Research
Research centers and institutes play an inevitable, integral, and increasing role in modern research universities. These roles stem from two facts. First, cutting edge research in most academic disciplines is increasingly multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and trans‐disciplinary in nature. Second, research centers and institutes encourage thematically focused but synergistic collaborations that go beyond those that occur in traditional academic departments. This enhances both the intellectual impact of the activities as well as extramural funding opportunities. From time to time it is necessary for the University of New Mexico (UNM) to consider proposals for the creation of new research centers and institutes, or for major restructuring or termination of existing research centers and institutes. This Policy document provides policies and procedures for consideration of such actions regarding research centers and institutes.
The creation of a new research center or institute located on or off the UNM Albuquerque campus, or major changes to an existing research center or institute, require approval of the Faculty Senate and the Provost or Executive Vice President for Health Sciences (EVPHS). Approval of the proposed action must be obtained prior to initiating operation of a new research center or institute, or making permanent major changes to an existing research center or institute. In no case is this to be construed as prohibiting an existing research center or institute from experimenting with temporary major changes prior to seeking approval of these on a continuing basis. However, it is expected that even in the case of experimental changes, stakeholders, such as affected faculty, staff, and students, will be informed in advance and their input considered by the appropriate dean, director, or other administrator proposing the changes, prior to initiation. All proposals to create, re‐organize, or terminate a research center or institute shall follow the policies and procedures described herein, and any applicable standards or guidelines established by the Faculty Senate Research Policy Committee in consultation with representatives of the Provost or the EVPHS and relevant research center or institute heads.
All UNM units, including the Health Sciences Center and Branch Campuses.
Major actions. A merger of two or more research centers or institutes, a division or dissolution of a research center or institute, or a change in the basic mission of a research center or institute.
Who should read this policy
- Directors of research centers and institutes.
- Academic deans or other executives, department chairs, directors, and managers responsible for research centers and institutes.
- Administrative staff responsible for research centers and institutes.
- Faculty interested in creating a new center or institute
- Policy A61.16 “Research Policy Committee”
- Policy A88 “Creation, Review, Reorganization, and Termination of UNM Academic Units”
- Policy E60 “Sponsored Research”
- Standard A91#1 “Creation, Review, Reorganization, and Termination of Non‐HSC Research Centers and Institutes”
UNM Board of Regents’ Policy Manual:
- Policy 5.1 “The Faculty’s Role in the University’s Academic Mission”
- Policy 5.9 “Sponsored Research”
University Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual:
Direct any questions about this policy to Office of the Vice President for Research, the HSC Office of the Vice Presdient for Research, or the Faculty Senate Research Policy Committee.
Research centers and institutes have three conceptual phases in their life cycle: the proposal phase, the operational phase, and the termination/reinvention phase.
Proposal Phase. The life cycle of a research center or institute begins with the proposal phase, during which faculty, staff, and administrators must work together to build a strong case for UNM to invest in a research center or institute. UNM administration should be provided evidence of the intellectual value of the research center or institute beyond that which can be achieved within the departmental or college structure. The proposal shall clearly identify the scope of the research center or institute; in particular which academic units will be contributing resources, including faculty time, staff, facilities, and funds. The proposal should have funding plans for the short (e.g., one to five years) and the long (e.g., decades) terms.
Operational Phase. Once established, all resources for a research center or institute shall be defined, including building space, equipment, staff, faculty appointments, and effort shares. The director is appointed by the administrator appropriate to the research center or institute, and the conditions of the appointment and the term of service, including options for renewal, shall be clearly stated in the appointment letter. Directors shall be evaluated annually by a representative group of individuals. Guidance for the review is drawn from the proposal for the research center or institute and must include criteria for evaluation of the research center or institute vitality, achievement of goals, resource allocations, and budgets.
Termination/Reinvention Phase. The annual review processes from the Operational Phase shall reveal when a research center or institute is experiencing difficulty in managing resources or achieving its expressed goals. Although the director and other applicable administrators shall be expected to take action to support and revive the research center or institute, they are also responsible for terminating or “sunsetting” the research center or institute, as well as redirecting the resources to other areas of UNM when necessary. The reinvention and redirection of research center or institute activities shall be completed via a process similar to that for creating a new research center or institute.
The website maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) or the Office of the HSC Vice President for Research shall contain an annually updated list of all research centers and institutes governed by the Provost and EVPHS and a summary of the most recent review for each research center or institute.
Division Specific Standards. Standards for the organization and review of research centers and institutes may vary within major components at UNM. To accommodate these differences each component should develop a standard document specific to the component designed to ensure compliance with this Policy. Standard A91#1 provides guidelines applicable to non‐HSC research centers and institutes. A standard will be developed to provide guidelines applicable to HSC research centers and institutes. In the event that a research center or institute has substantial involvement in both the HSC and non‐HSC divisions of UNM, the director will work with the Provost and EVPHS to determine which standard is applicable or if another standard needs to be developed.
- August 23, 2022 - Updated titles of Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and HSC Vice President for Research, per FHB Policy A53 procedures.
- April 28, 2015 – Approved by the Faculty Senate
- March 7, 2016 – Approved by the Faculty Senate