Faculty Senate UMass Amherst seal
Photo of Old Chapel

Review Procedures for Establishing Institutes, Centers or Similar Organizations:
Creation and Approval of Centers and Institutes

Campus approval of new Centers and Institutes shall be based, at minimum, on the appropriateness of the Center or Institute to the mission and goals of the campus, and adequacy of resources, including capital investment. The establishment of a new center or institute shall require the approval of the University President upon recommendation of the campus Chancellor and the Provost or other Vice Chancellor, following review and recommendation by the Faculty Senate according to its Approval Procedure Guide (June, 1997).

Interim approval can be granted, temporarily, pending confirmation of funding, by the Chancellor and Provost, based on a written request by the proposers which includes all information necessary for Faculty Senate review. This Interim approval is conditional and temporary, and requires subsequent formal Faculty Senate recommendation and formal approval by the Provost, Chancellor and the University President.

Proposal Content (General)

A proposal to establish any center or institute may be initiated by one or more faculty members or by the University administration. All proposals should provide the information described below.

If responses to the items in the Institutes and Centers Approval Form (Form T) do not do so, other parts of the proposal should clearly address the following points:

  1. the purpose to be served and the needs to be met by the proposed entity;
  2. the existence of an adequate concentration of talent;
  3. the consistency with departmental college and or campus long range plans;
  4. the proposed relationship with other academic units on the campus, including the use of faculty on released time.

Resource Implications

Such proposals should also address the potential resource needs of the proposed unit, including personnel, equipment, office and other space, telephones, library resources and use of the University Computing Center .

Approval Procedure

The formal approval process will begin with the submission of 50 copies of a detailed proposal (Form T) New Institutes & Centers Approval Form, to the Rules Committee of the Faculty Senate, with (Form S) New Institutes & Centers Signature Sheet, and a brief executive summary. The summary will be used in a 30-Day Letter. The proposal must then be reviewed at the following levels (See Form S):

  1. By the Faculty governance structure, including appropriate Faculty Senate councils and or committees, culminating in the approval by the Faculty Senate. If the proposers have not named a department or college affiliation for the new unit, Faculty Senate councils or committees shall consult the relevant academic department(s) and obtain the approval thereof
  2. By the Provost
  3. By the Chancellor
  4. By the University President

If the proposal is approved, a copy of the signature sheet (Form S) and any conditions of formation will be forwarded to the originators of the proposal and all who signed it. If the proposal is not approved, a written statement will be sent by the Provost to the originators and the signers. In either case, all memoranda, the original proposal and the signature sheet will be placed in the permanent file for this proposed entity, held in the Provost's Office. If any institute or center is proposed to be housed on the Amherst campus by some outside agency, legal body, or office (persons other than faculty members or administrators on the University of Massachusetts at Amherst campus), the date and circumstances must be recorded in writing, along with an official submission to the Faculty Senate as described above, and records relating to it placed in the Provost's Office.


Regardless of the source of funds, all tenure-track appointments affiliated with institutes, centers or similar organizations carry academic rank shall be reviewed and recommended by appropriate faculty peer groups (i.e., Departmental Faculty personnel and School or College Faculty personnel committees). In the case of other professional appointments, the appropriate school or college administrator and Department administrators shall be advised of the appointments.

Allocation of Space

The allocation of space for Institutes, Centers or similar organizations shall be treated in precisely the same way as other academic units.

Definitions and Distinctions
Evaluation of Existing Centers and Institutes

Approval Guide Contents





Academic Matters
Academic Priorities
Campus Physical Planning
General Education
International Studies
Program and Budget
Research Library
Status of Diversity
Status of Women
Student Affairs and University Life
Undergraduate Education
University Relations and Advancement
University Service, Public Service and Outreach


Admissions and Records
Committee on Committees
University Computer and Electronic Communications
University Press
University Writing

Ad Hoc Committees