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Review Procedures for Establishing Institutes, Centers or Similar Organizations:
Evaluation of Existing Centers and Institutes:
Detailed Guidelines for Periodic Evaluation of an Existing Center or Institute

A.  Evaluation Committee

The following describes the role of the Evaluation Committee in completing the process of reviewing Centers and Institutes in compliance with University and Trustee policy.

Committee Members & Functions

  1. The Centers and Institutes Evaluation Committee shall include the Provost (Chair), the Vice Chancellor for Research (Vice Chair), and one faculty representative from each college and school on the Amherst campus.
  2. Each faculty representative shall be appointed by the respective Dean and shall be a full-time member of the faculty with the rank of Associate Professor or higher.
  3. Faculty representative s shall serve for a two year term; faculty members may be reappointed for a maximum of five terms (10 years).
  4. Faculty appointed by the Deans to serve on this Committee shall not be a Director of an existing Center or Institute; they may, however, participate in the activities of one or more of the campus-based Centers or Institutes. Care should be taken in these appointments to avoid obvious conflict of interest situations, and any faculty member who finds him/herself in such a situation should immediately discuss the appointment with the Chair or Vice Chair.

Duties and Responsibilities of Committee Members

A timetable for the review cycle will be established by the Provost's Office each academic year. Instructions for the Self-Study to be conducted by the Director of each Center/Institute under review will be sent to the Center/Institute Director by the Provost's Office well in advance of review. On a case-by-case basis, individual evaluation criteria for the self-study and review may be added or discarded at the discretion of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research.

  1. A pair of Committee members will be designated as the Review Team to conduct the primary review of an individual Center or Institute. One Review Team member shall serve as the principal reviewer of a Center/Institute and the second member shall serve as the secondary reviewer. Each faculty member will normally be expected to serve as primary reviewer only once during each two-year term on the Evaluation Committee.
  2. Each Review Team (Primary and Secondary Reviewers) will meet with the Director, faculty members, and staff of the Center/Institute under evaluation at the beginning of the process to discuss the Evaluation Committees procedures and evaluation criteria.
  3. The Review Team will review all written materials submitted by the Center/Institute under evaluation, and draft a brief report to the Evaluation Committee concerning the viability of the Center/Institute. The Primary Reviewer will have the principal responsibility for organizing the activities of the Review Team, calling meetings, conducting interviews and briefing sessions and drafting a report to the Full Evaluation Committee. The Review Team is expected to include one of the following suggestions in the report: a) approval for continuation; b) conditional approval for continuation, subject to certain requested changes in procedures, etc.; c) conditional termination, reversible upon the implementation of specified changes; d) termination.
  4. After completing its evaluation report, but prior to its presentation to the Evaluation Committee, the Review team should meet or otherwise communicate with the appropriate Center/Institute Director(s), the relevant Dean(s) and Department Head(s)/Chair(s) (if applicable) to discuss the evaluation report and whichever recommendation the Team intends to submit. The Director(s), Dean(s) and Department Head(s)/Chair(s) may submit their own comments in response to the Review Team's report, and these comments will accompany the Review Team report to the full Evaluation Committee.
  5. Center Directors may also request to meet with the Evaluation Committee. That request should be made in writing within 14 days of the discussion of the Review Team's report (step 4 above). The Chair of the Evaluation Committee may then schedule a meeting for the Center/Institute Director with the full Evaluation Committee. This meeting shall take place prior to a decision by the full Evaluation Committee.
  6. In cases where there is a positive report from the Review Team and a poll of all Evaluation Committee Members reveals unanimous approval of continuation for the Center/Institute under consideration, the Chair may forgo a scheduled meeting.
  7. The Evaluation Committee, after receiving each report of the Review Teams, shall make recommendations to the Provost regarding the future of the specific Center/Institute under evaluation.

Sen. Doc. 97-027 requires that the Provost submit a report concerning the review of each Center or Institute to the Faculty Senate for review and recommendation. Recommendations to continue a Center or Institute must be approved by the President upon recommendation by the Chancellor and Provost.

Detailed Guidelines: Criteria and Measurements for Self-Study Report

General Guidelines

Definitions and Distinctions
Creation and Approval of Centers and Institutes

Approval Guide Contents





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