M. University Institutes

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A guiding theme of the "Academic Plan for the Future of the University of New Hampshire" is quality, integration, and collaboration. The planning document explains this theme in the following way:

"Two key forces driving the University -- the desire to be comprehensive and the desire to focus to achieve excellence -- are in constant tension. In cases where they conflict, the University of New Hampshire will always opt for quality. We will not be "all things to all people." We will focus on areas that are consistent with our mission and in which we can excel. While the University of New Hampshire will respect the integrity of academic disciplines, its strategic future will be guided by the goals of increasing coherence in our students' education and collaboration across academic disciplines and administrative units."

Additionally, the fourth of eleven goals in the "Academic Plan" speaks to the need to grow strategically as a significant and excellent research university.

Goal 4: The University of New Hampshire will continue to grow strategically in its role as a significant and excellent research university while balancing research with its primary commitments to undergraduate education and high quality teaching.

One way the University of New Hampshire can support interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching, research, and public service in areas of special strength and strategic interest is to establish and recognize a small number of "University Institutes." University Institutes would bring together well established, successful and complimentary centers and other working groups in order to significantly advance the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University. They would involve faculty from two or more colleges or schools. University Institutes would enable faculty involved in them to engage in interdisciplinary and collaborative work and to attract external funding at levels that would not otherwise be possible.

University Institutes would differ from other centers and institutes in the University in several important ways. First, to be designated a University Institute, a unit would undergo a comprehensive review and approval process demonstrating its strategic importance to the three-fold mission of the University -- teaching, research, and public service. Second, faculty associated with a University Institute would have teaching and governance responsibilities in graduate programs related to the Institute. Third, University Institutes would be sufficiently large and financially complex that it would be appropriate to designate them "RC Units" within the Responsibility Centered Management budgeting process. Fourth, directors of University Institutes would serve with academic deans on a Deans and Directors Council advisory to the Vice President for Research and Public Service and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Finally, while University Institutes are expected to be financially viable primarily through grants, contracts, private endowments, and foundation support, they may also receive E&G funding associated with teaching.

This document specifies the review criteria and review procedure for University Institutes.

1.   Criteria and Approval Process

1.1   Review criteria

1.1.1   Mission related questions   How does the proposed University Institute advance the mission of the University?   What are the strengths and contributions existing components will make to the proposed institute?   How does the Institute advance the intellectual agenda of its components beyond what they can do individually?   How does the proposed University Institute advance interdisciplinary and inter-college work?   How does the Institute advance teaching, research/scholarship, and public service?   How does the Institute involve undergraduate and graduate students in its activities?

1.1.2   Organization-related questions   What is the proposed leadership structure?   What is the proposed executive/advisory committee structure?   How are external constituencies involved in the organization of the proposed University Institute?   How will bylaws and procedures address appointment of faculty and staff?   How will bylaws and procedures address the governance structure in areas of curriculum, budget, and facilities?   How does the Institute relate to colleges or schools?

1.1.3   Accountability. What is the plan for periodic review of the work of the proposed University Institute and the effectiveness of its organizational and governance structure?

1.1.4   Budget. Provide a three to five year budget plan which includes expected external as well as internal funding sources with evidence of capability of participants in the Institute in achieving budget plan.

2.   Approval Process

2.1   Peer review and advice by three to four external experts -- half identified by those proposing the University Institute; half identified by the Provost and the Vice President for Research and Public Service

2.2   Review and advice by Deans Council

2.3   Review and advice by the Dean of the Graduate School

2.4   Review and advice by the University Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee

2.5   Review and recommendation by the Provost and the Vice President for Research and Public Service

2.6   Review and recommendation by President's staff

2.7   Review and approval by President

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