Creating a Center or Institute

Centers and institutes are organizational units of the UMass Amherst campus created to implement academic and training programs, clinical or community service, or research activities that cannot ordinarily be accomodated within existing department structures. Centers and Institutes cannot award degrees or offer majors or courses for regular University credit, nor can they hire tenure-track or tenured faculty. 

An institute is a distinct and free-standing unit of substantial size. Institutes may engage in a wide variety of research, public service, and instructional activities, typically in areas of broad concern. Institutes are frequently interdisciplinary and embrace ideas and personnel from various departments, colleges, and schools. Ordinarily, institutes report to a Vice Chancellor or Provost.

A center is ordinarily a subordinate unit within an existing department, school, college or institute whose department head/chair, director or dean has management oversight and appointing authority. Centers should make a significate contribution to the major academic unit of which they are a part. 

Those seeking to propose a new Center or Institute should consult the UMass Amherst Centers and Institutes webpage and contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement for instructions.  Please DO NOT put a proposal for interim approval on the Course and Curriculum Management System (CCMS).