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Management Guide for Centers and Institutes

Article I. Responsibilities

Vice Chancellor for Research

Responsibilities of the Vice Chancellor for Research will include, but are not limited to:

  • Forwarding all approved requests to plan and establish a CI to the Chancellor and the NC State Board of Trustees (BOT).
  • In collaboration with the Office of Research and Innovation providing a clear set of procedures, facilitating and evaluating all requests to plan and establish CIs.
  • Appointing CI Director(s) – this is done in consultation with appropriate administrators (such as college Deans, Department Heads and/or Executive Officers).
  • Evaluating and acting upon periodic reports and audits of all CIs.
  • Approving nominations of individuals as reviewers on external professional evaluation panels assembled for periodic CI reviews.
  • If necessary, working with Responsible Administrator (RA; defined below) to take remedial action when a CI is found not to be in compliance with established procedures or not performing in the manner required of it by its charter, Bylaws, or contracts with sponsoring agencies.

The VCR has appointed the Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Research Infrastructure and Development as the Director of CIs and delegates oversight of CIs and certain approvals associated with CIs (e.g., approving nominations of CI reviewers) to the AVC. Day-to-day oversight of CIs is provided by the Centers and Institutes Specialist (hereinafter “Coordinator”).

Responsibilities of the Coordinator will include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting Directors and their RA in understanding and following the requirements of this Guide, providing sample documents in order to facilitate submission of a proposal for the planning and establishment of a CI.
  • Coordinating the process of review of proposals for planning and establishment via proper University groups and committees.
  • Summarizing all comments, suggestions and concerns received during review and coordinating the process for resolving such issues with the Director and the RA.
  • Maintaining updated lists, directories and a database of established CIs and CIs approved for planning.
  • Facilitating various aspects of management of existing CIs.
  • Collecting and archiving annual reports from CIs.
  • Periodically meeting with CI Directors and RA’s as a group.
  • Meeting individually with each CI Director when the need arises to address items of mutual concern, with the objective of enhancing coordination and communication.

Responsible Administrators

Generally, administrative oversight of a CI will rest solely with a single NC State responsible administrator (such as a Dean, VCR, Provost and Chancellor, collectively referred to as “RA”). Normally, the RA will be from the unit (College, Executive Office, hereinafter referred to as “unit”) that provides the greatest resources. Oversight responsibilities may be delegated. It will be the responsibility of the RA to establish the internal procedures by which their unit will review a proposal or any other action related to a CI. It will be assumed that the responses returned to the AVC and Coordinator of CI by the designee will be in accordance with this procedure and will reflect the views of the RA.

All actions taken by Office of Research and Innovation and/or the VCR will be made only upon the final recommendation of the RA.

Graduate education is a very important function of a CI, and during the planning process the VCR may ask the Dean of the Graduate School to evaluate the graduate education provisions of a CI proposal. Also, because so many of the resources (e.g., faculty released time, space, etc.) are of special concern to departmental interests, Deans must include Department Heads in all phases of the planning process, in the management of a CI, and when a CI is being considered for disestablishment.

When a substantial number of faculty from more than one college or unit are involved, or where two or more Deans provide near equivalent amounts of resources, they may decide to administer the CI jointly. This may involve setting up a Deans executive council (or a committee of similar title) and naming one of the Deans to act as the RA for the CI. Disagreement about who should be named RA, or with any other issue related to the creation of a joint CI, will be arbitrated by the VCR.

The RA will have the responsibility for ensuring that CI financial accounts are properly maintained and providing general administrative oversight of the CI. The RA  will ensure that the CI  understands who will be responsible for pre- and post-award support of CI research activities. The RA also will keep the other participating Dean(s) and Department Head(s) apprised of the activities of the CI, and will obtain agreement from them for important CI issues (e.g., review of CI planning and establishment documents, nomination of the Director, revising Bylaws, etc.). All requests to plan or establish a CI will be coordinated through the RA’s office, and no formal requests for authorization to plan or to establish a CI will be forwarded to the Chancellor and NC State BOT by the Vice Chancellor without the endorsement of all participating RAs.

During the planning period and in preparation of a request to establish a CI the RA’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

After authorization to establish has been granted, additional RA responsibilities include:

  • Nominating the CI director to the VCR.
  • Providing oversight and guidance to ensure that the CI is organized and managed according to the final approved establishment proposal.
  • Review and endorse changes to the bylaws and/or standard membership agreement of a membership CI.
  • Interacting closely with the unit’s Director and Advisory Committee(s) to ensure that the goals and objectives of the CI are being met, that all required periodic reports and evaluations are performed and submitted to Office of Research and Innovation and to appropriate funding agencies in a timely fashion.
  • Ensuring RA representation at all on-site advisory committee meetings.
  • Initiating and/or participating in periodic evaluations of proposed or established CIs, and recommending to the VCR that the planning process of a proposed unit be discontinued, or that an established unit be disestablished.

Center/Institute Director

The specific duties of the Director may not be the same for all CIs and may vary according to the goals and objectives of the CI or the requirements of its various sponsored projects, but will be fully explained in its charter and, in the case of membership CIs, in its Bylaws.

Directors normally will be chosen from the program through which the CI has evolved and are usually heavily involved in the planning process. In most circumstances, the logical candidate will be one of the Principal Investigators whose continued leadership would best contribute to the success of the CI.

The Director must provide leadership to the CI and has first line responsibility for:

  • All CI personnel.
  • Assuring that the CI conducts research, public service and/or educational activities consistent with its mission and goals.
  • Assuring that all required reports are submitted.
  • Assuring that the terms and conditions of all CI agreements are followed.

Center/Institute Advisory Committee(s)

An Advisory Committee (AC) is advisory in nature and makes recommendations to the CI Director and/or RA. No two CIs have exactly the same number or kinds of AC(s). Each membership CI must have an Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) plus an AC that provides oversight from the University’s perspective.

Listed below are brief generic descriptions of four advisory groups that may be useful in establishing and managing a CI:

External Advisory Board (EAB)

The EAB is selected from organizations with goals relevant to those of the CI. It measures the CI’s accomplishments against its goals and provides long-range guidance for the CI’s major direction and strategy. EAB members must be approved in advance by the AVC.

Industrial Advisory Board (IAB)

This is the most important board of a Membership CI and normally includes a representative from each of its members. The IAB elects its chairperson from among its members, monitors the CI’s financial status, helps in the recruitment of new members, makes recommendations about goals and directions of CI activities, sets up annual plans for the most effective spending of membership funds, and approves changes to the CI’s Bylaws and standard Membership Agreement.

Academic Advisory Committee (AAC)

The Academic Advisory Committee is normally chaired by the RA and made up of the deans of each of the colleges and/or unit(s) (or their designees) with a vested interest in the CI. It is the responsibility of this committee to provide academic oversight for the CI and to ensure that its activities are consistent with the mission and policies of the University.

Technical Committee (TC)

The Technical Committee gives advice to the Director and IAB concerning internal projects to be funded from membership funds or from block funds set aside for that purpose in a funded research project. Members of this committee are selected by the Director from among highly competent professionals in the field, and normally have to be approved by the AAC, IAB, and the RA.

The chairperson of each AC is responsible for the recording of AC deliberations in detailed “minutes” of each AC meeting, which must then be distributed to the AVC, Coordinator and all participating RAs. The AVC and Coordinator and representatives of the participating college(s) and/or unit(s) should be informed about all on-site AC meetings and sponsoring-agency site visits.

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Article II. Creating Centers and Institutes

The Authorization to Plan provides a two (2) year period in which a CI is organized and developed. However, once the criteria to establish have been met a request for Authorization to Establish may be made at any time by the RA. If the two (2) year authorization period has expired, it is the responsibility of the RA to request and justify in writing to the AVC and Coordinator that the period be extended. Normally, only one additional year will be requested. Also, a proposed CI should not be included in the NC State Telephone and Online Directory, and letterhead and business cards should not be used before the CI is formally approved for establishment by the NC State BOT. However, a CI may be represented as an official NC State University CI “in planning” and having an interim or founding director.

Criteria to be satisfied before a CI can be considered for planning:

  1. A CI’s mission, goals, and objectives must be consistent with the general mission of, and provide a direct benefit to, the University.
  2. A CI must support a substantial educational component, especially at the graduate level.
  3. A CI must have an identifiable group of faculty (primarily multidisciplinary) brought together to do research, educate, or perform public service in a common area of interest.
  4. While there may be some areas of overlap, a proposed CI must not duplicate the research or public service function of existing CIs or the programs of existing departments, colleges and/or units within the UNC System.
  5. A CI must have a solid financial base, with identifiable funding for at least five years, including the amounts of (1) General Fund support; (2) non-General Fund support; and (3) In-kind support as defined by UNC Policy Manual 400.5[R].
  6. A CI should attain goals not otherwise achievable by the efforts of individual faculty (space, equipment, etc.) or sponsors, have an integrating impact (where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts), and have a clear benefit to society.

Requesting authorization to plan

Faculty interested in creating a CI will discuss, in general terms, all of the items listed in Article II above with their appropriate Department Head(s), Dean(s) or other RAs.

If more than one college or unit is substantially involved in the proposed CI, the RAs of those units will identify the primary RA and notify the AVC and Coordinator in writing. The primary RA may consult with the AVC and the Coordinator about the planning process and requirements at any time during the planning period.

In consultation with appropriate Department Heads, the faculty involved in the proposed CI will prepare a letter.

The letter should include detailed statements about all of the items required in the Regulation’s article 5.1.1 incorporated herewith:

  1. Relationship of the CI to the mission of NC State.
  2. Goals and objectives.
  3. Value added beyond the existing structure of NC State or through existing CIs.
  4. Similar units that exist elsewhere in the UNC System and the state, and any proposed relationships with them.
  5. Organizational structure, including the units involved and the composition of the advisory committee(s).
  6. Faculty and staff involved (including the name of the proposed director).
  7. Instructional programs to be accomplished.
  8. Sources, amounts, and duration of funds required and available for at least five (5) years.
  9. Required matching or cost sharing fund sources and commitments.
  10. Space and capital equipment requirements.
  11. Support and mentoring plans regarding the promotion and tenure of participating junior faculty.
  12. When relevant, statements on the inter-institutional nature of the proposed CI, whether it be mission, leadership, activities, funding, or other aspects.

This letter must be forwarded with the RA’s endorsement to the AVC and the Coordinator.

Review and comments are expected to be submitted from appropriate oversight bodies within 14 days. All comments and recommendations will be forwarded to the CI’s prospective Director for consideration, resolution of requested edits and possible revision of the proposal. Following the review period and any subsequent revision(s) to the proposal, the VCR (after consultation with the Provost) will forward the proposal to the Chancellor requesting authorization to plan.

Upon receipt of the Chancellor’s authorization to plan, the CI may create its website and use the proposed name of the unit as long as it is clearly stated that this is a “Center in Planning”, for example “The Center for Arts and Crafts, In Planning”.

The RA will be responsible for evaluating the continued potential of the CI during the planning period and, in consultation with all participating Department Heads and Deans, deciding if the proposed CI should be established (using the criteria listed below).

Criteria to be satisfied before requesting establishment of a CI previously approved for planning:

  1. Have CI faculty been identified?
  2. Has anticipated funding been committed for at least five (5) years?
  3. Do the goals and objectives of the proposed CI conflict with those of other established or planned CIs? If so, can the proposed CI be absorbed into an established or planned CI, or should all CIs with related goals and objectives be consolidated into one CI?
  4. Have resources required for matching funds or capital equipment been identified?
  5. Are the capital resources required for establishment of the CI available?

Requesting Authorization to Establish

As long as the criteria in section II above are met, the lead faculty may submit a request to establish the CI at any time during the two-year planning period. The faculty involved will prepare a written proposal that must include all of the items given in Regulation’s article 5.1.2 and incorporated herewith:

  1.  The name of the proposed CI.
  2. The specific mission, objectives, and goals of the proposed CI.
  3. Identification of the proposed CI as either a research, public service, or instructional unit, in accordance with its primary mission and core activities, with the understanding that the CI may also conduct complementary activities outside of its primary designated mission.
  4. The CI’s relationship to or potential impact upon the existing academic departments, colleges and/or schools, and other CIs in the UNC System.
  5. The name of the proposed Director, and a detailed description of any proposed advisory committees or directive boards.
  6. Budget estimates for the first (1st) year of operation, projections for the following four (4) years, and anticipated sources of funding.
  7. A statement identifying the current space and capital equipment that have been secured for the operation of the CI and realistic 5-year projections of future needs.
  8. A statement regarding the efficacy of plans implemented to assure proper recognition of participating junior faculty where relevant.
  9. A statement about anticipated effects of the proposed unit on the instructional programs of NC State, and the provisions for advanced or graduate training or degree programs.
  10. A description of the proposed CI’s administrative structure, including an organizational chart showing the relationship of the proposed CI to the existing organizations of NC State and the internal organization of the proposed CI.
  11. When relevant, statements on the inter-institutional nature of the proposed CI, whether it be mission, leadership, activities, funding, or other aspects. Include any additional information that may bear directly upon the proposal.
  12. An accountability plan that complies with NC State policy, noting specific dates for the initial Director and CI reviews.

The written proposal described above serves as the Charter for the established CI.

The RA will forward these documents (with endorsement) to the AVC and Coordinator. The AVC will consult with the Coordinator and VCR regarding the appropriateness of the request to establish the CI and, if indicated, forward the proposal to suitable oversight bodies for review.

Review and comments are expected to be submitted from relevant oversight bodies within 14 days. All comments and recommendations will be forwarded to the prospective Director of the CI for consideration, resolution of requested edits and possible revision of the proposal.

Following the review period and any subsequent revision(s) to the proposal, the VCR (after consultation with the Provost) will forward the proposal to the Chancellor and the NC State Board of Trustees with a formal request for Authorization to Establish the CI. A designee of the VCR will notify the Office of Research and Graduate Education at UNC General Administration (GA) prior to CI establishment.

A newly established CI must submit a request to the Coordinator to add the unit to the list of NC State CIs in the Project Information and Navigation System (PINS) and Research Administration and Reporting (RADAR) system. Each proposal for a sponsored research project submitted by a CI or associated with the activities of a CI should be designated as such at the time of entering the proposal in PINS.

If the decision is to discontinue planning, the VCR will notify the Provost, the RA(s) for the CI, and Chancellor, in writing, of the decision.

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Article III. Membership CI

Membership CIs derive most of their research funds from annual dues paid by corporate or other private and governmental entities and deposited into a common pool account. Membership CIs may have more than one class of membership (Full Member, Associate Member, etc.), each with a different set of fixed dues, responsibilities, and rights. Each membership CI must have a common set of Bylaws and a standard Membership Agreement that clearly define these issues and the types of projects that may, or may not, be funded by the CI.

Usually, members are entitled to defined voting rights – depending on membership class – on the IAB, or other such advisory committee (with duties as described earlier), and share equally in the results of any research funded from Core and Enhancement (defined later) funds. Normally, Membership CIs will, in addition to the IAB, have an Academic Advisory Committee (or a committee of similar name) that has the responsibility of seeing that University policies are being followed, particularly with respect to training and education of graduate and undergraduate students.

To ensure that CI participating faculty obtain recognition from their Deans and Department Heads for CI-related research, public service and/or instruction activities, all proposals submitted for internal funding by the Membership CI, and the resulting awards and rejections will follow normal University procedures for processing such activity (e.g., use of PINS and processing through RADAR).

Internal Projects

Members of Membership CIs share equally in the results and intellectual property generated from all Core projects funded by membership dues and of any Enhancement projects funded by members in addition to their membership dues. Three types of Membership CI projects are described below:

Core Projects

Core projects are funded from pooled membership dues paid by CI members, and require IAB approval. Core projects to be funded for the next year normally are approved at the annual meeting of the IAB.

When, between IAB meetings, members decide to fund a project that was not considered or selected as a Core project at the previous annual meeting, the new project must have IAB approval. The approval of new projects may be obtained by e-mail balloting between IAB meetings, and if approved, the new project would become an additional Core project.

Enhancement Projects

When one or several members want to provide additional funds specifically to enhance or accelerate a currently-funded Core project they may do so as an Enhancement project.

The Coordinator provides assistance with preparing Enhancement Project Agreement.

Limited exclusive rights to any intellectual property resulting from Core or Enhancement funding (as detailed in the Membership Agreement) may be requested by a member, but approval must be obtained from the IAB and the University. IAB can vote to grant restrictive rights to IP to less than ALL CI Members ONCE they know about the IP they are forgoing – this can only happen at or near the end of a project. Except for those instances involving limited exclusive rights, Enhancement projects do not require additional approval of the IAB, though the director will keep the IAB informed that such projects are underway.

Proposals for Core and Enhancement projects must be processed in accordance with routine University procedures for proposal submission (via PINS/RADAR) with request to be routed to the Coordinator.

Non-Core Projects

The CI may apply for and conduct sponsored projects funded by a member that is outside of the pooled membership dues and IAB authorized Core or Enhancement projects. Such agreements are executed using a separate Sponsored Project Agreement (SPA), the terms of which are negotiated by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services (SPARCS) as with any other sponsored project funded by an external Sponsor. The IAB should be apprised of the existence of such agreements on a periodic basis but the results of Non-Core projects need not be shared with other members.

Bylaws and Membership Agreement

The Bylaws and Membership Agreement are coupled, and the terms and conditions in the Membership Agreement must be consistent with provisions in the Bylaws. All original and revised Membership Agreements and Bylaws must be approved by the AVC and Coordinator and forwarded to the VCR for final approval. Membership Agreements should contain a clause that the member agrees to remain a member for multiple years [usually three (3)], but membership fees are normally paid on an annual basis.

A Membership Agreement for each new member of a CI will be processed as described in Article V, section 2 to obtain RADAR number and secure the signature of the University before being sent to the member company. Once signed and returned by a member company, an award notice will be prepared by the Coordinator, and dues may be deposited with the Office of Contracts and Grants (C and G). The original agreement does not have to be executed each year, but it may be modified periodically as needed, stipulating changes (i.e. upgrade in membership level, extension of membership period) stipulating changes as an amendment to the original agreement. These modifications also require signatures of the University and member company.

Intellectual Property

All copyrights, patent disclosures, and patent applications generated by a CI will be treated in the same manner as those from individual investigators and will be prepared and forwarded to the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) in accordance with standard NC State Intellectual Property (IP) procedures. Computer software created by the CI will be treated in accordance with established University policy. IP provisions must be included in the Bylaws and Membership Agreement.

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Article IV. Managing Established Centers and Institutes

Management of an established CI is an oversight function that includes monitoring and reviewing CI activities and plans through periodic contact (site visits, Advisory Committee meetings, internal and external professional evaluations, etc.) and reporting (biannual CI written reports), modifying CI activities and plans as required, or when warranted, disestablishing a CI. These elements are detailed below:

CI Reports

Each CI is required to submit an annual report reflecting the activities of the CI in the previous year. The Report will be submitted via completing an electronic survey and should supply the CI identifying information and the following:

  1. Mission and vision statement. Describe the primary mission of the CI, as well as its broader impacts on the general public.
  2. Describe significant activities within the CI during the previous 12 months. Please include activities resulting in press releases and/or other noteworthy events of interest to the general public.
  3. Current funding status (i.e., State, Federal, other sources). Provide a list of grants with expiration dates that are relevant to the mission of the CI. Include a statement regarding whether the current CI budget is sufficient to continue operations for the foreseeable future (i.e., for the next five years). If the budget is insufficient, describe activities that are or will be in place to address this deficiency.
  4. Publications by CI faculty that appeared during the previous 12 months. Please highlight particularly noteworthy publications with a sentence or two that explains why these publications are significant.
  5. List of current CI faculty members. Provide a current organizational chart that depicts the CI leadership team and reporting structure. Indicate how many FTEs are supported by the CI.
  6. Numbers of NC State undergraduate and graduate students trained during the previous 12 months by CI faculty. List graduated and continuing Ph.D. and MS students by name.
  7. Numbers of non-NC State students (i.e., K-12, undergraduates, and graduates) taught or trained during the previous 12 months by CI faculty.
  8. If the CI has a standing external advisory board, please present the names and affiliations of these individuals.
  9. Does the CI house a recognized academic degree program (including official certificate programs)?
  10. List of courses, tutorials, workshops, etc. offered (if any) by the CI.
  11. If appropriate, appendices can include a selection of recent significant projects, their descriptions and outcomes.

Periodic CI Evaluations

CIs and the performance of their Directors must be evaluated on a regular basis, at least once every five (5) years. This evaluation will be made by a professional review panel assembled by the RA and approved by the VCR. In rare instances, an internal review panel assembled by the RA(s) and approved by the VCR may be considered upon consultation with other appropriate executive officers. Additional or more frequent audits or evaluations may be necessary if mandated by the Charter, Bylaws, UNC system, or funding agency.

The sample flowchart provides the timeline that should be considered by CI Director and RA when scheduling the Review. The dates of the upcoming Review must be first coordinated with AVC and Coordinator.

Prior to the periodic review, the Director will prepare a detailed self-study of the previous five (5) years of CI activities as well as prospects (and challenges) for the future.

Guidelines for the Preparation of Center/Institute (CI) Self-Studies

Appearance of the self-study:

  • The self-study should not exceed 25 pages in length (not including attachments and Appendices), and no more than 50 pages including all attachments and Appendices.
  • The inclusion of photographs or drawings is not recommended, and if desired should be limited to items that add clear value to the self-study.
  • Formatting throughout the document (font, margins, etc.) must be consistent and enhance readability.
  • All acronyms must be defined the first time they appear in the document. For example: College of Engineering (COE), National Science Foundation (NSF), Media Access Control (MAC). An Appendix should be included that lists all acronyms used in the self-study and explains their meaning.
  • The words “Center” and “Institute” should be capitalized.
  • NC State (not NCSU) should be used when referencing the University.
  • Use FY rather than Fiscal Year.
  • Excessive use of cross references to various sections of the documents should be avoided, if possible.
  • Both redundancy and wordiness should be avoided.
  • Avoid using a first-person point of view (“we”, “us”, “our”) in favor of a third-person point of view.

Content of the self-study:

  • The self-study document should be prepared by the leadership of the CI and must be thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by the RA, including verification of all required financial data, prior to submission to the AVC and the Coordinator for final review and approval.
  • Once finalized by the CI and approved by the RA, ORI will review the self-study to ensure that all requirements are met.  Additional edits and suggestions will be made to ensure readability and suitability.  Final review of the self-study by ORI and incorporation of suggested edits is anticipated to require at least a week, so please plan accordingly. Self-studies should be distributed to the members of the review team at least one (1) month prior to the date of the review.
  • This is not a document that is intended to summarize the history of the CI since inception. Instead, the self-study should be an executive summary of the CI’s accomplishments during the last five years in the context of recent pertinent events (e.g., changes in leadership, recent changes in direction). Should the inclusion of extensive historical information be necessary, such details can be furnished in a well-demarcated section of the text or in an Appendix.
  • The self-study should summarize the following activities as appropriate per the CI’s mission, and highlight achievements that are particularly noteworthy. Sections that could comprise this part of the self-study include:
    • Narrative description of goals and objectives
    • Scholarly accomplishments
    • Instructional efforts
    • Public service contributions
    • Faculty and student involvement
  • If the CI has previously undergone a periodic (five-year) review, the self-study should include a section that addresses recommendations made by the Review Committee and describes in detail the changes/improvements/adjustments that were made by the CI.
  • The self-study should include a current organizational chart (do not include the names of personnel in these positions, simply depict the positions themselves) as a separate Appendix.
  • Examples of interactions with CI stakeholders (e.g., industry, federal and local governments, residents of the state, etc.).
  • The self-study should include a recitation of the CI’s vision and strategic plan for the next five-year period as well as a discussion of the needs of the CI (e.g., lab/office space, equipment, faculty positions, administrative support, etc.) to achieve its stated goals for this period. For a successful review, it is important for the Review Committee and the University to understand the opportunities and challenges faced by the CI.
  • The self-study must list all sources of funding during the years spanned by the document. A financial statement that spans the preceding five-year period (based either on the calendar or fiscal year) must be included that uses the Financial Statement Sample and data obtained from the Wolf Reporting System (WRS). This statement should appear as a separate Appendix.
  • The self-study must include a compendium of sponsored projects awarded to the CI in the last five-year period (based either on the calendar or fiscal year) using the List of Sponsored Projects Sample and data obtained directly from RADAR (or RED). Include this information as a separate Appendix.
  • A list of participating faculty and students, publications, lab activity summary, industry members (for the units with membership component), patents, etc. should be included as necessary to supplement the document text. Each of these data-sets should be included as a separate Appendix.
  • The self-study document should not address the questions listed in the CI Management Guide under the section entitled “Criteria for the Professional Evaluation of an Established CI by Review Committee”.  These questions are expected to be addressed by the Reviewers based on the self-study document, the CI’s presentation to the Committee as well as meetings with the CI’s participants and stakeholders.

The CI Director is expected to give  a Power Point presentation to the Review Committee during the site visit that should provide an overview of the content of the self-study as well as any new relevant information (i.e., it should not duplicate what the Review Committee has already read).

Review panels will normally meet with the  AVC and the Coordinator to discuss the parameters of the review and the format of the final report, receive their charge, and ask background questions about the University, College(s) or Unit, the CI, or the review process they are about to begin.

Periodic reviews should include touring the facilities of the CI under evaluation, meeting individually with the Director, key faculty and staff members and the RA, and with groups of students, clients (as appropriate), and stakeholders.

At the conclusion of the review schedule the panel will meet in executive session with the AVC and Coordinator to discuss their observations and plan how they will work together to produce the final report by an agreed upon deadline (usually four weeks).

Criteria for the Professional Evaluation of an Established CI

  1. Performance against objectives and goals: are support, training, and graduation rates of students consistent with the CI’s stated goals and objectives?
  2. Quality and quantity of scholarly activity (as appropriate per mission), teaching and other instructional activity (as appropriate per mission), and service (as appropriate per mission): is the quality of scholarly activity by faculty, professional staff, and students reflected in its output (publications, patents, copyrights, etc.)?
  3. Responsible fiscal oversight: is current funding of the CI (including the amount and proportion of funds received from General Fund and non-General Fund sources as well as in kind support) sufficient to continue its operation?
  4. Is faculty participation sufficient to continue CI operations?
  5. Are non-tenured faculty being mentored appropriately toward promotion and tenure? Are contributions of junior faculty appropriately recognized by the CI and the faculty member’s home department? Do current operations of the CI agree with the most recent Charter, goals, and objectives of the CI?
  6. Does the financial audit and professional evaluation demonstrate that the CI is being managed properly? (Were any serious problems discovered?)
  7. Are required matching funds, start-up funds, or capital equipment still appropriate and available? (If the CI was originally funded with finite-term [three (3) year, five (5) year, etc.] start-up funds from the University or other granting agencies, has it been able to attract sufficient outside funds to continue without additional institutional support?)
  8. Is space required for operation of the CI available?
  9. Client feedback: are the CI clients (defined as appropriate per the unit’s mission) being served?
  10. Does the CI duplicate activities by other institutional, UNC system or State entities?
  11. Are CI governing documents (Charter, organizational chart, Bylaws, membership agreement) consistent with University requirements and recommended templates?

The specific questions that will be addressed in the course of the performance review of CI Directors are as follows:

  1. Performance against individual objectives and goals.
  2. Feedback on leadership and communication from CI staff, partners and/or clients.
  3. Management of fiscal and human resources.

Outcomes of CI Review

Upon completion of the CI review, the Review Committee will prepare a written report that will be sent to the AVC.  The AVC will forward this report to the RA, CI Director and other key individuals for evaluation.  The CI Director will disseminate the report to CI faculty and develop a response to the recommendations of the Review Committee.  This response will be presented to and discussed with the RA(s).  The RA(s) shall consider the response of the CI and send a recommendation regarding the continuation of the CI to the AVC. The AVC will forward this recommendation to the VCR and, after consultation with the Provost and other appropriate executive officers, a recommendation will be sent to the Chancellor for action by the Board of Trustees (BOT). There are three possible courses of action:

  1. Continue the CI. If the review demonstrates that the CI continues to meet the established criteria, then the decision to reappoint the Director and to make changes (if any) in the title, mission, goals, objectives or organization of the CI will be made.
  2. Combine with other Existing CIs. If the review demonstrates that two or more CIs have similar specific missions and goals, then it may be decided to consolidate these CIs into a single unit. This will require a new Charter (and Bylaws and Membership Agreement if appropriate).
  3. Disestablish the CI. If there is a loss of funding or key faculty, or the CI is otherwise deemed to no longer be viable, or the mission, goals, or objectives of an established CI are superseded by a new CI, the decision may be made to disestablish a CI. A CI recommended for disestablishment normally will have one (1) year (after the end of the academic year in which final approval is given to discontinue the CI) in which to close down operations. This decision should not be made without the involvement of the Department Head(s), who may have to make decisions concerning positions, space, and/or support.  The VCR’s designee will notify the Office of Research and Graduate Education at UNC General Administration about BOT approval of CI discontinuation.

Changes to the Name, Mission, or Personnel of CI

During the normal operation of a CI, it is expected that there will be evolutionary changes to the CI’s Charter and personnel. If the original mission, goals and objectives of the CI have expanded or changed significantly, the unit may update its original Charter and/or any other governing documents and submit them (with endorsement by the RA) for review and approval by the VCR and the Chancellor.

All such changes must be promptly reported by the CI Director in writing to the RA, AVC, and Coordinator for review. For changes in personnel, such as the CI Director, the RA will report the change to the AVC and Coordinator, and formal approval of the appointment will be considered by the VCR.

Any changes to the name and/or mission of the CI must be reviewed and approved by the RA, AVC and Coordinator, appropriate oversight bodies, VCR and by the Chancellor. The CI Director must submit a memo to the RA justifying the need for the proposed changes and illustrating how they will better reflect and enhance the current activities of the CI. A request for a change in name may not be used to make major changes to the fundamental mission(s) of the CI as stated in its request to establish the CI. If the focus of a CI is no longer appropriate, the CI must be disestablished as provided above in Article IV.

Prior to requesting a change in name, extraordinary care must be taken by the CI to ensure that the name does not connote an overlap of functional mission with other CIs on campus or in the UNC system. Justification for a name change must address any such similarities.

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Article V. Financial Management of CI

  1. Each CI should have a separate OUC (Organizational Unit Code) in order to maintain clear accounting and facilitate financial reporting. Please follow instructions of NC State Budget Office in regards to requesting a new OUC.
  2. Funding to CIs via Membership Agreements  and Amendments to them must be processed in accordance with routine University procedures for proposal submission (via PINS/RADAR) with request to be routed to the Coordinator.
  3. The annual period for paying membership dues must be clearly identified in the membership agreement based on calendar (January 1 – December 31) or fiscal (July 1 – June 30) year and must be the same for all members. Members joining at times other than those outlined in the standard membership agreement will be charged for prorated dues for the incomplete first year. Billing is done 30 days prior to the start date of each membership year. It is advisable that the CI’s Director encourages industrial members to pay their annual dues at the beginning of each year of membership in lump sum. If any special payment arrangements for a particular member need to be established this must be discussed with the Coordinator and will be considered on case-by-case basis.
  4. Annual dues of Membership CI will be deposited in a pooled (termed “various industries”) account. This prime account is used as a “holding” account for membership funds. Annual membership dues should be appropriated to fund individual projects, the administrative budget and future encumbrances (e.g. planned procurement of large-scale instrumentation for the benefit of membership projects, etc). A clear breakdown of how membership dues will be allocated should be noted in the  minutes of the CI’s annual IAB meeting. Each CI should make a decision at their annual meeting about the percentage of membership dues (up to 16.5%) that will be used during the upcoming year for administrative purposes. This ratio cannot be changed more often than yearly. Proposal for funding a CI administrative account will be submitted via PINS/RADAR with request to be routed to the Coordinator. C and G will establish a separate account for the administration of the CI. This administrative account will receive the IAB-approved level of administrative funding from the membership pool account free of overhead. Remaining funds in the pooled membership dues can be distributed to support research or other CI projects (e.g., Core, subawards) via moving them into individual projects accounts carrying a reduced overhead charge of 10% applied to Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) but exclusive of the amount of each subcontract above $25,000 (Memo on Indirect Cost Rate for Centers and Institutes). C and G will reconcile the membership pool account against member payments on a monthly basis. No expenditures should be transacted against the membership pool account. All expenditures must be transacted against individual projects accounts. Any expenditures noted on the membership pool account during the monthly C and G reconciliation must be moved to an appropriate individual project account.
  5. Additional funds provided by one or several members for Enhancement projects will be set up in separate accounts and are subject to a reduced 10% overhead applied to MTDC. Any residual funds left upon completion of an Enhancement project will be moved back into a pooled membership dues account and be available for re-distribution following the scenario described above in Article V, Paragraph 4.
  6. Any residual membership funds that left in the pooled membership dues account upon formal closing/disestablishment of a membership CI will be transferred (net of the 10% overhead) to the appropriate college/school/unit for resolution of outstanding institutional commitments and its future use will be determined by the RA.
  7. Additional information/guidelines concerning the day-to-day management of CI funds can be found on the Research Administration website.
  8. Upon the approval of the VCR, and a unanimous vote of the membership, up to 10% of annual membership dues may be moved to a university gift account (ledger 7) for graduate student support (termed “student support account”) and/or for CI membership marketing purposes (termed “marketing account”) only. If Center’s IAB approves allocation to both – student support and marketing two separate accounts in ledger 7 must be created. The IAB must clearly define the scope and nature of the graduate student support and how much to move to that account as well as how much, if any, should be moved to a marketing account. Collectively these amounts must not exceed 10% of the total membership dues in a given year with exceptions considered by the Office of Research and Innovation for amounts above 10% in the initial year of student support establishment. The direction of a certain portion of membership dues to an endowment for graduate students to work on CI thrusts has a direct impact on research output and represents a very beneficial use of membership dues. Direction of funds towards marketing has only the potential for additional or sustained support and though important should be avoided when possible. No other fund type is allowable (e.g., you may not transfer such funds to a ledger 6 account).
  9. Non-Core CI Projects are subject to the Federally-negotiated Facilities & Administration (F&A) rate agreement.

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