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How to start a new center

If you are interested in starting a new research center or institute on campus, the first step is to initiate a discussion with the Dean of Graduate Studies & Research, Dr. Chuck De Leone. 

  • Step 1: Conceptual Work and Approval

    The following items will need to be described to work with campus authorities to reach conceptual approval for your new Center or Institute

    1. outline the scope of the center or institute;
    2. describe its relationship to the mission of the institution;
    3. show how the center or institute better serves the outlined needs than an existing departmental, school, or university organization; and
    4. explore the proposed financial and other support obligations of the University to the center or institute.
  • Step 2: Formal Proposal

    Once you review conceptual approval, prepare the full formal proposal. It should address the following items:

      1.  Rationale
        1. Why Is the new center or institute needed?
        2. Why is the present organizational structure not able to accommodate these needs?
      2. Mission
        1. What activities will the center or institute promote?
        2. How does the center's/institute's mission support the mission of the university?
      3. Structure and personnel
        1. What is the proposed organizational structure of the center or institute?
        2. What will be the responsibilities of the center or institute director? Who will be the founding director?
        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 membership in the center or institute?
        5. Will the center or institute have an advisory board? For what purpose? How will members be selected?
      4. Relationship of the center or institute to other university entities
        1. Which programs, administrative units, colleges or library, other centers or institutes will be involved in the proposed new center or institute?
        2. What effect will the center or institute have on the faculty's departments) academically, operationally, and financially?
        3. What is its relationship to teaching, coursework, and the instructional program of the proposer's home department(s), if applicable?
      5. Operating expenses, facilities, and equipment
        1. What support for the center or institute will be derived from non-university sources?
        2. What operating support from the University is required for this center or institute to be functional on an ongoing basis?
        3. What space and facilities will be needed?
        4. What other equipment will be needed?
        5. What computer and telecommunications equipment will be needed?
        6. What library collections and/or services will be needed?
      6. Financial support
        1. How will the center or institute be financed for the first three years and for at least five years thereafter? Specifically address the anticipated personnel, operating, space, equipment, and other costs and how they will be supported.
        2. What will happen if outside sources of funding are no longer available after the center or institute is formed?
      7. Evaluation​​​​​​​
        1. All centers and institutes will undergo periodic evaluation. What are the critical elements that will go into an assessment of the center or institute's degree of success?
  • Step 3: Submit Proposal

    Submit your completed proposal to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. They will provide a recommendation with the following information to the Provost and Chair of Academic Senate within 4 weeks:

    • identification of the reporting line for the center director;
    • comments on the technical merits of the proposal (i.e., responses in the formal proposal to the above questions);
    • a summary of comments received from consulting faculty, staff, and administrators (including UARSC);
    • identification of the University's and UARSC's obligations and responsibilities regarding institutional support for the center or institute;
    • a determination concerning the proposed unit's financial viability, including the identification of any university resources essential to its operation;
    • a finding that all proposed center operations are in conformity with applicable laws and regulations and with the California State University and campus risk management policies.

CSUSM Policy for Development of New Centers & Institutes