APS #1008


Procedures for the Establishment of Institutes

Brief Description

To set forth guidelines for the establishment, renaming, or closure of institutes.

Policy Profile

APS Policy Title: 
Procedures for the Establishment of Institutes
APS Number: 
Effective Date: 
January 1, 2018
Approved By: 
President Bruce D. Benson
Responsible University Officer: 
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, 303-860-5623
APS 1008 - Procedures for the Establishment of Centers, Institutes, Laboratories and Bureaus - July 11, 2016
Last Reviewed/Updated date: 
January 1, 2018
Applies to: 
All campuses

I. Introduction

Research institutes provide a valuable resource for expanding opportunities for student learning and for faculty research and leadership and service. The purpose of this administrative policy statement is to set forth guidelines for the establishment of institutes, and if necessary, the renaming or closure of institutes.

Consistent with Regent Law and Policy, prior versions of this APS required Board of Regents approval to establish an institute. Changes to Regent Law and Policy effective January 1, 2018, eliminated this requirement and this APS has been revised accordingly.

II. Policy Statement

  1. Approval of New Institutes
    1. Approval authority for a new institute resides with the campus chancellor.
    2. Campuses shall have processes for the approval of new institutes. The process shall require a program plan that describes the purpose and proposed administrative and fiscal structure of the organization.
    3. An assessment of potential university liabilities by the campus legal counsel must accompany the request for approval.
    4. The Board of Regents shall be informed when a new institute is approved.
  2. Institute Name Changes
    1. Institute name changes shall be approved by the chancellor.
  3. Institute Closure
    1. The campus chancellor shall have the authority to approve the closure of an institute. The Board of Regents will be notified of any such decision.

III. Institute Operations

  1. Faculty at various ranks (including adjoint faculty and other special faculty such as research associates) may participate in the activities of institutes in accordance with the by-laws of the organization. Regular tenure-track faculty members hold their appointment in their primary unit. In accordance with regent policy, non-tenure-track faculty (specialty track, adjoint, adjunct, research faculty, etc.) are on at-will, limited, or indeterminate appointments based upon available funding and satisfactory performance.
  2. Written documentation of the fiscal control provisions (i.e., accounting procedures, use of general funds, terms and conditions of expenditure and authorization, agreements for indirect cost recovery, etc.) shall be required for each institute.
  3. The chancellor approves any appointment of directors and other chief administrative officers of institutes.

IV. Definitions

  1. INSTITUTES - An institute is defined as a single or multi-disciplinary unit that is organized for the primary purpose of research and creative work. The mentoring of students within the research and creative work is an important goal of institutes. Likewise, providing public and professional leadership and service related to the fields of the institute is expected. Institutes are characterized by organizational permanency, programmatic autonomy, a broad program of study, and an annual operating budget that is fiscally independent of other academic units. They are expected to have substantial external funding (typically over $1 million/year), commitments for associated faculty lines, evidence of long-term sustainability, a program of research training, and substantial infrastructure. Faculty and research/teaching staff in institutes usually participate in interdisciplinary graduate/undergraduate education programs. Institutes report to the campus chief academic officer or their designee and go through rigorous program review similar to that for academic departments.

V. History

  • Adopted: February 28, 1984.
  • Revised: July 1, 1993; July 1, 1999; October 1, 2006; February 1, 2012; The term “service” was replaced with the term “leadership and service” effective April 30, 2014, per resolution of the CU Board of Regents; July 11, 2016; January 1, 2018 (modified based on changes to Regent Policy
    effective January 1, 2018); The term “at-will” was added to section III.A on January 23, 2020, to reflect regent policy.
  • Last Reviewed:  January 1, 2018.