The University of Arizona

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Patti J. King
Senior Associate, Academic Affairs
Office of Academic Affairs
MLK 320
The University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210128
Tucson, AZ 85721-0128

Phone: (520) 621-4107
Fax: (520) 621-1008

Creating, Reorganizing, or Changing Non-Academic Units

Guidelines regarding the establishment, change, or disestablishment of
units which do not offer academic courses and/or programs

In June 2006, the Arizona Board of Regents made changes to Board policy, altering the ways that centers and institutes are approved. The Regents have delegated to the Presidents of the Universities authority to approve the establishment, change, or disestablishment of centers and institutes which do not offer academic programs or course. The Regents also established an annual reporting mechanism whereby universities would report organizational changes that took place in the prior year as well as provide a forecast of intended organizational changes for the coming academic year. The annual reporting process would take place at either the August or September ABOR meeting.

Although Board approval for the establishment, change, or disestablishment of units which do not offer academic courses and/or programs has been delegated to the Presidents of the Universities, all other prior approval steps remain the same.

The steps are:

Department(s) Approval(s)
College(s) Approval(s)
Informational Review by Academic Deans
Provost Management Group Approval
Information shared by Tri-University Chief Academic Officers

It is the responsibility of the head of the proposed unit to describe the process and criteria by which the unit will be evaluated. The unit will be expected to provide annual reports in conformity with the Universityís annual report process. The annual report will be compiled and submitted through the appropriate deanís office to the Office of the Provost. Additionally, the proposing unit must describe the process it wishes to follow for a more comprehensive review, to take place every three to five years, and no later than every five years. When writing the proposal to create the unit, it will be the responsibility of both the proposing unit and the deanís office to which the unit will report to articulate when the comprehensive review will take place and the evaluative criteria to be used in the comprehensive review. The proposing unit and the deanís office will conduct the review and report to the Office of the Provost the outcomes of the review, including recommendations to continue, not continue, or refocus the unit.

This change in Board policy applies to the establishment/disestablishment/name changes of units that are not offering academic courses and/or degree programs, that is, units that are established to facilitate research and/or outreach initiatives. Creating, changing, or disestablishing an academic unit that offers academic courses and/or degree programs uses the same template form but follows a separate process and requires formal Regental approval. As broad considerations, proposals will be reviewed internally on the basis of:

  • Clearly stated mission, goals, and objectives of the unit
  • Demonstrable partnerships and partnership support that arise from the creation of the unit (e.g., how does formal creation of this unit directly promote the fostering of collaborative and synergistic research and outreach beyond what is already happening on campus with existing entities?)
  • Alignment of the proposed unitís purpose to the reporting unit and the Universityís strategic goals
  • Documented support from affiliated faculty, department heads, and deans. At the college level, alignment of the proposed unitís goals and objectives to the collegeís recruitment plan and programmatic priorities
  • Clear statement of the evaluative criteria to be used in the comprehensive review (How will the proposed unit demonstrate success?)

Format and Guidelines for New Organizational Unit(s) or Reorganizations of Existing Unit(s)

Guidelines for Requesting Changes to an Existing Organizational Unit (deletions, simple merger, transfer, and renaming)

ABOR definitions of organizational units

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