Starting an Academic Center at NYIT

Those members of the NYIT community who would like to propose such collaborative relationships ("Centers") as administrative units — either within or outside academic schools — to support the development and conduct of research, to foster innovations in teaching methodology, to facilitate curricular enhancements/improvements, and/or to expand service to the university and/or the community — should follow the procedures described on this site.

Note: Centers are expected to be supported largely by external funding, and not to exert significant claims on university resources.


Two Types of Centers

Academic centers focus on research, teaching and/or service and can exist either inside or outside individual schools.

Academic Centers inside an academic school are generally composed of faculty or subject matter within the disciplinary boundaries of the school. All centers that predated the publication of NYIT 2030 are of this kind, such as the Center for Water Resources Management in the School of Engineering & Computing Sciences or the Center for Human Resource Studies in the School of Management. Their purposes include research, scholarship, and/or service and they are supported largely by external funding or small amounts from the academic school's budget. Faculty propose these centers to their deans, who recommend approval to the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs.

Cross-Disciplinary Academic Centers outside academic schools, in the spirit of NYIT 2030, are formed to create synergies from institutional multi-disciplinary strengths and establish NYIT's reputation in new areas.

Topics of these centers cross traditional disciplinary boundaries:

  • Faculty participation comes from three or more academic schools;

  • Reporting relationship may be to a vice president or the president;

  • They are created through an institution-wide selection process;

  • They may become separate budget entities and receive start-up investment from the university; they are required to become financially sustainable within three to five years.

  • They may create and award degrees and/or certificates.

Note: Service "Centers" provide service to the institution; although they share the name "center," they are administrative units (e.g., Center for Teaching and Learning). They are supported by the university and encouraged but not counted on to generate external funding.

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Establishing a Center: Step 1:
Proposal Development

The steps for proposing a new center are the same for centers within and outside academic schools; the final decision for the former (within a school) rests with the Dean and the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs (VPHMA), for the latter (outside a school) with the Provost/VPHMA and the President.

A formal proposal for the establishment of a new center — either within a school/college or outside one — is prepared by a team of faculty with one member chosen by the team to serve as director. The proposal must include:

  • Rationale: Document how and why this Center will allow NYIT to do something new, innovative, and/or better than can be accomplished within existing administrative units.

  • Membership and Affiliation: Must include faculty members from at least 3 disciplines and must specify requirements for affiliation (e.g., minimum expectations for grant writing, research productivity, etc.).

  • 3-Year Business Plan: Should include start-up costs, ongoing expenses, space, and other resource requirements; Revenue projections should be realistic and include an analysis of external funding prospects and other revenue sources in some detail.

  • Anticipated 3-year Outcomes: Describe what accomplishments can be expected by the end of the Center's third year; suggest metrics for assessment of Center activities and programs.


Establishing a Center: Step #2:
Review and Approval

Academic centers inside academic schools are reviewed and recommended by the Dean and approved by the Provost and/or Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs (depending on the disciplines involved).

Review by the Dean

Proposals for Centers within a school or college are submitted by the faculty team to the dean where Center-affiliated faculty are housed. The dean will review the proposal and provide his/her recommendation to the provost/vice-president for health sciences and medical affairs based on the following:

  • The importance of the research, training, and instructional directions of the Center, including why this new entity is necessary to pursue those directions;

  • The overlap of Center's vision and mission with existing departments and Centers;

  • Availability of adequate resources within the school/college;

  • Strength of the long-term program and funding plans;

  • Administrative organization including faculty appointment and assessment procedures.

The dean will confirm what resources (if any) are necessary to create and maintain the Center and will explain the source of those resources. These may be extramural funds, department or school/college discretionary funds, and/or small, short-term commitments from the school's annual operating budget. The dean is also responsible for identifying the source of any additional space, if required. A statement from the dean identifying and committing funding and space should be attached to the proposal and submitted for review and approval.

Approval by the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs

The Provost/ Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs will decide whether or not to approve the creation of a new Center based on (1) review of the proposal, (2) recommendations of the relevant dean(s), and (3) any further consultation deemed necessary.

NYIT Cross-Disciplinary Centers outside academic schools are reviewed and recommended by the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs; and approved by the President.

The same steps and criteria are used to propose Centers outside schools except that the review is conducted at the vice-presidential level and the approval comes from the President.

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Program Review of Centers

There will be annual reviews of centers conducted by Deans, the Provost, and VPHMA. There will be a major review of new centers three years following their creation. Center reviews will follow the institutional Program Portfolio Review process. In addition to the standard review criteria (mission, quality, market, and financial viability), review of Centers will also focus on:

  • The continuing importance of the intellectual contributions of the Center.

  • The level of faculty and student activity and participation.

  • The Center's ability to attract interest of faculty members from multiple departments or administrative centers.

  • Effective management of the Center.

  • Sources and amount of internal and external funding.

Upon receiving the review report concerning centers within a school/college, the dean(s) of the involved school/college(s), in consultation with others as appropriate, will choose one of the following administrative actions to recommend to the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs: maintain the Center in its current state; institute a broader scale review; change the definition, operators and/or director of the Center; terminate the Center.

Upon the review of NYIT Cross-Disciplinary Centers, the Provost and/or VPHMA (depending on the disciplines) will make similar recommendations to the President.

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