There are currently five institutes that report to the vice president for research and economic development. These are the Microelectronics Research and Communications Institute (MRCI); the Environmental Biotechnology Institute (EBI); the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT); the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI); and the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI). In addition, the Center for Advanced Microelectronics and Biomolecular Research (CAMBR) is structured, supported and reports in the same way as the other five institutes.
There also are other entities called institutes, such as the Martin Institute within the College of Language Arts and Social Sciences. The number of centers, laboratories, core facilities, and the like is unknown. There is no formal record of a review of many of these entities, most of which have been in existence for at least 10 years.
Over the past decade, the number of these entities has grown steadily with the creation of the Blue Ribbon and other initiatives. In parallel, the number of recharge centers also has continued to grow1
. Currently, the procedures for the establishment, review and closure of any of these entities is not clearly defined within the University of Idaho. In fact, many entities operate with little oversight and have not been reviewed to determine their continued relevance to the mission of the University and its academic units.
As a first step in this process, the University has established a series of guidelines, procedures and processes that govern the creation, operation and closure of these entities. A second accompanying document details the application and review process for the creation of these entities and a timeline for processes specific to existing entities. These procedures must be effective in guiding the University in the use of its resources while engaging faculty members without hindering them in the use of their creative talents to support the University’s mission.
Recharge and cost centers are organizational units or activities that provide goods and services primarily to University operations and, secondarily, to external users, and charge users for these services like lab analysis, equipment use and data analysis; these will be addressed separately, and therefore will not be discussed in this document.