Definitions, Establishment and Operation
There are currently three institutes that report to the vice president for Research and Economic Development. These are the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST); the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI); and the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI).
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 and renewal of these entities.
The university is home to 11 sanctioned institutes and centers that report to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, as of December 2015.
There also are other entities called institutes, such as the Martin Institute within the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, which do not fall under this process.
Existing entities undergo formal review processes as follows:
Each entity is required to submit a written annual progress report to the responsible administrative official and an electronic copy to the Office of the Vice President of Research and Economic Development. This document is to serve as the basis for an annual review.
The report should focus on the progress made during the year with regard to achieving the stated goals and objectives of the entity, as well as the use of any university funds assigned to the unit. The review provides timely oversight and feedback to the director and the participating faculty and staff, as well as ensures quality performance and appropriate financial stewardship of university resources.
The advisory committee associated with each entity will review the progress report. The advisory group will provide a written evaluation of the entity to the director with copies to the responsible administrative official and the vice president of research and economic development.
Each entity will undergo a comprehensive periodic review that will normally occur in the final year of the entity’s established period of existence. This review can be triggered earlier by the responsible administrator if, in his or her opinion, there is a reason to do so.
Responsibility for this review is at the administrative level at which the entity was created. For Level III entities, the review must include input from external reviewers who are recognized experts in the area of specialization of the entity as well as appropriate deans.
The outcome of the comprehensive review may be: continuation of the entity for another period of time not to exceed five years with a revised strategic plan; reassignment of the reporting level with a continuation not to exceed five years and a new strategic plan; or closure of the entity. Significant changes in the status of an entity may require approval by the State Board of Education/Board of Regents of the University of Idaho.
Entities created with outside funding or as a condition of an award will normally close with the expiration of the funding. However, the entity may choose to undergo a comprehensive review with the result being one of the three options listed above.
Members of Level III entities may submit proposals through their entity provided the topic of the proposal is within the vision and mission of the entity. Proposals that do not fall within the vision and mission of the entity will be submitted through the faculty member’s home department. Members of Level II and Level I entities will submit proposals through normal channels.
An entity is the generic name for an institute, center, laboratory, etc., that is engaged in scholarship and creative activities (FSH 1565 C-2) in a defined area. It is not an academic unit and, therefore, is not responsible for academic degree programs although there may be strong affiliations. Entities are categorized as Level I, Level II or Level III (See explanation of levels).
A unit is the generic name for an administrative organizational structure that can be responsible for the creation, management and closure of an entity (e.g., college, school, office, department, etc.).
A responsible administrative official is the person to whom the entity reports. This could be, but is not limited to, a vice president, dean or chair.
An entity can be established at the university (Level III), college (Level II) or department (Level I) level. An entity that spans more than one college or discipline (as defined here) must be created at either the university or college level. This requires more than faculty participation from multiple colleges. It must include tangible support, such as funds, space and support staff assigned to the entity whose salary is from a college or release time for a faculty member.
Application materials are available under Application and Review Process.
- The Provost and Executive Vice President and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development will jointly determine the appropriate level for applications after consultation with Provost’s Council.
- All universitywide entities must be approved by the relevant deans, the appropriate vice president and the president of the university before being submitted to the State Board of Education/Board of Regents of the University of Idaho for final approval.
- In the case of Level II entities, a panel of deans whose faculty members are associated with the entity must approve the application before sending the application to the provost and executive vice president and the vice president for Research and Economic Development for final approval. A Level II entity will report to the dean whose college most closely aligns with the entity’s strategic plan. In some cases, these entities may require approval by the president and also the State Board of Education/Board of Regents of the University of Idaho.
- A dean and relevant department chairs must approve Level I entities.