Centers and Institutes

Dean O. Smith

in Managing the Research University

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199793259
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896813 | DOI:
Centers and Institutes

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As major venues for interdisciplinary research programs, centers and institutes are loosely defined units that bring together faculty members from different departments and disciplines with the hope of generating novel academic contributions. Membership in an academic center or institute is generally secondary to a primary appointment in a traditional department, which has financial and personnel policy implications. With few exceptions centers and institutes originate from the faculty members and not the administration. This includes the establishment of soft-money centers or institutes that arise in the context of a gift or grant award. For example, several federal funding agencies award grants explicitly to establish a center or institute. Mechanisms of financial support, performance review, and dissolution are analyzed critically. The chapter concludes with a discussion of service centers. Most of them charge fees for their services based on the actual costs of running the center; they are recharge centers. However, they may generate taxable unrelated business income.

Keywords: interdisciplinary; membership; appointment; soft money; financial support; review; dissolution; service center; recharge center; unrelated business income

Chapter.  6978 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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