Campus Centers & Institutes
Internal Centers, Institutes and Research Units
Internal Center Characteristics
A "center" provides an organizational base for research in a given academic area or closely related areas. It often provides a vehicle for interdisciplinary research in a given area involving faculty and students from a variety of internal administrative structures. It may be involved in the offering of continuing education activities related to its area(s) of interest. The "center" structure may facilitate efforts of the college or university to obtain extramural funding in specific areas. It serves as a formalized link between the academic and professional communities in the area(s) of focus. A "center" is not an autonomous structure within the internal statutory organization of a college or university. It is administratively most often an appendage of one of the traditional administrative structures, such as a department. A "center" is not involved in the independent offering of credit course or degree programs.
An "institute" shares the center's focus on research, provision of opportunity for interdisciplinary activity, involvement in continuing education activities, value in facilitating efforts to obtain extramural funding, and service as a link between the academic and professional communities. It is however, a far more formalized structure and may be equivalent to an autonomous unit within the internal structure of the college or university such as a department, division, school or (university level) college. It will, unlike a "center", be involved in the offering of credit courses and may offer degree programs.