In the United States, universities of high quality generally have a large number of centers and institutes in operation. Creating viable centers and institutes is one way by which IUP can move forward.

A center is an organization formed by IUP and dedicated to a specific program. It draws resources from IUP together in a common effort, providing a liaison unit that can serve university students, university personnel, state and local officials, business, industry and professional interests, and/or the public at large.

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It utilizes a staff of specialists and the services of personnel from one or more academic and university service departments to provide organized leadership and a unified program. Activities related to the center may include non-credit courses, student internships, student practicums, conferences, training, research, and extension services, as well as publications, service, and public information programs.

An institute may have a broader scope and may encompass more than one center. An institute may serve as the vehicle for stimulating cooperation and resource sharing among similar units as they focus on specific problems.

Among the possible advantages of centers and institutes to IUP are the following:

  1. Centers and institutes increase intellectual excitement on the campus.
  2. Centers and institutes enable students to work closely with faculty on projects of educational value.
  3. Centers and institutes can bring external funding into the university in the form of fees, contracts, and grants.
  4. Centers and institutes stimulate faculty to become more involved in their professions, in research, and in writing proposals for extramural funding.
  5. Centers and institutes enhance IUP's services to both internal and external constituencies, most particularly the residents of Indiana County, as well as the Commonwealth and the nation.
  6. Centers and institutes facilitate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to important topics and concerns.

Policies and Guidelines

  1. Centers and institutes shall have a mission statement, goals, and objectives that are compatible with IUP's mission and goal statements.
  2. Where appropriate, centers and institutes should involve students in their activities and must demonstrate the benefits of these activities for student academic development.
  3. Centers and institutes shall identify the range of activities they are proposing.
  4. Centers and institutes shall have a defined service area and target population. Where multiple services are offered, they may have different service areas and target populations.
  5. There shall be evidence (documentation) of the need for services to be offered. Among the forms which a needs assessment may take are analyses of surveys, testimony from leaders of the target population, secondary sources, analyses performed by professional organizations, etc.
  6. Centers and institutes shall provide an analysis of potential duplication with other services (public, private, and university-sponsored) available in the proposed service area as well as of relationships between the proposed center, the community, and community services.
  7. Up-to-date vitae of all professional personnel involved in a center or institute shall always be on file.
  8. Each center or institute will operate on a self-supporting basis utilizing external and/or internally generated funds. Internally generated funds may include funding allocations pledged by the sponsoring department, other departments, or offices of the university. An annual balanced budget will be prepared by the center or institute, reflecting projected income and expenditures. Expenditures are to include all costs associated with the operation of the center or institute, including but not be limited to, salaries, employee benefits, student employment, supplies, and equipment. Income generated through user fees, fees for service, grants, and contracts will be forwarded to the Treasurer's Office. All income generated will be credited to the center or institute cost center by the comptroller.
  9. IUP personnel employed by centers or institutes may receive compensation for services rendered through the university Payroll Office. The salary for employees will be identified through the center's budget proposal and shall not exceed the individual employee's established rate of pay. The employee's primary supervisor must certify that the work performed for the center or institute is in addition to and not part of the employee's primary job responsibilities or duties. IUP employees may receive released time from their primary duties to perform work in centers or institutes upon the recommendation of the Provost, with the center or institute reimbursing the university through a fund transfer. Employees on released time will not receive extra compensation for the same work. No IUP employee may earn more than 20 percent of base pay per academic year in additional compensation from center or institute activities; in addition, summer contracts to IUP employees may not exceed an ordinary summer load of 12 contract weeks regardless of the source of funding. All personnel positions shall be funded from income generated by the center or institute and will be classified as temporary positions.
  10. All space and facility needs must be identified and resolved at the time a proposal is submitted.
  11. All questions about liability needs and issues shall be fully answered. Students and faculty on the University payroll receive standard liability coverage. Persons providing services without compensation from the university must secure individual liability insurance coverage.
  12. Where applicable, centers and institutes shall provide a fee schedule and estimated income to be generated on a fiscal year basis.
  13. Centers and institutes shall have comprehensive plans for exploring and/or securing external grant and contract funding.
  14. The nature of administrative and organizational control shall be detailed for each center and institute, including lines of authority and the possibility of an advisory board. All centers shall fall under IUP direction.
  15. An annual review of the center's budget shall be completed by the respective vice president.
  16. All established centers and institutes are required to submit an annual report to the appropriate vice president containing the following:
    1. Nature of services provided.
    2. If quantifiable, the number of clients served.
    3. The nature of student involvement.
    4. The number of students involved and extent of their involvement (in hours, cases prepared, etc.).
    5. The personnel commitment to the operation of this unit.
    6. The financial operating commitment to this unit.
    7. Sources of funding (e.g., assigned complement, college operating budget transfer, etc.).
    8. Comments (e.g., expectations for the future, desired changes in direction, etc.).
  17. There must be a periodic evaluation of the center at least every five years by the respective Vice President. A center not fulfilling its purpose shall have its mission redirected or be dissolved.


  1. Any unit wishing to propose a center or substantially modify a center shall submit a proposal which addresses all of the policies and guidelines above to the respective vice president.
  2. Upon approval of the appropriate vice president, he/she shall submit the proposal for review and recommendation to the president's senior staff. Upon the recommendation of the senior staff and the approval of the president, the proposed center and institute will be submitted to the Council of Trustees for information. The appropriate vice president should also insure that the proposers of the center or institute are notified. Others that should be notified include the Graduate School (IRACS) and the Office of Public Relations.

(Revised: November 2, 1998)