A printable PDF of this information can be found here. 


These Interim Guidelines are intended to guide Faculty Senate in approving a proposed Center.  They are not criteria, but instead are guidelines to help inform and frame Senate’s consideration of center proposals pending the adoption of a formal process by MSU.

In this document, “entity” means a center, institute, bureau, station or similar entity requiring approval by the Board of Regents pursuant to Policy 218, 220 and/or other applicable Regents policy.


i.            Designation

A.      The entity should be appropriately designated (i.e. as a center, institute, etc.) in accordance with MSU policy.


ii.            Contribution to the Mission of the University

A.      The entity should have the potential to make significant contributions to the teaching, research/creative activity, and/or engagement missions of the University

B.      The entity should have the potential to enhance the reputation of the University by providing state-wide, regional, national, or international leadership in teaching, research/creative activity, and/or engagement.

C.      The entity demonstrates a commitment to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

D.      The entity has a systematic plan for regular assessment of its contributions to the mission of the University.


iii.            Governance

A.      The entity has policies that ensure research, academic, and curricular independence, including an explicit commitment to compliance with all MSU policies.

B.      The entity has systematic and credible mechanisms for regular independent review of its activities, that include an external advisory council and/or an external review board. 

C.      If the entity hires faculty and/or staff, the entity has hiring processes that ensure independence from the entity’s external funding source(s).

D.      The entity will issue a public annual report of funding sources, expenditures, and measurable outcomes.

iv.            Financial Stability

A.      The entity should have a plan for becoming self-supporting through external funding and other revenue sources after a reasonable initial period (approximately 3-5 years).

B.      The entity should have a contingency plan for how it will manage potential major funding shortfalls that could threaten the entity’s continuity (e.g. unexpected withdrawal of funds by the primary funding source).