Governing Documents: Academic
Effective Date:
April 1, 2009
Revised Date:
Review Date:
April 1, 2019
Approving Body:
University of Manitoba Act:
Section #34 (l)
Vice-President (Academic) and Provost
University Secretary
Applies to:
Senate members; Faculty/School Councils

1.0 Reason for Policy

To set out the conditions and general guidelines on the establishment and administration of academic centres and institutes that focus primarily on education and education-related activities (e.g., program development, teaching, service and outreach). These guidelines are administered on behalf of the Senate Committee on Academic Review (SCAR) by the Office of the Vice-President (Academic) & Provost.

2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 Definitions:

2.1.1 Academic Centre/Institute

An academic centre/institute is a formally structured organizational unit of the University. It is established under the authority of the Board of Governors, normally on the recommendation of the Senate of the University. The purpose of an academic centre/institute is to focus on education and education-related activities, and to encourage academic program innovations and collaborations among disciplines and between Departments, Faculties and Schools. Academic centres/institutes also provide unique educational opportunities for students and may develop service and outreach activities relevant to the community at large.

Academic centres/institutes normally provide for the strengthening, coordination or facilitation of educational activities not readily undertaken within the University’s department structure, building upon the expertise, competence and staff interest existing at the University.

Academic centres/institutes are generally expected to:

a) have clearly identified goals and objectives;

b) have some degree of permanence, transcending collaboration on a particular, limited project/program;

c) bring together educators from different disciplines and/or areas of specialization within a particular discipline;

d) attract visiting professors and other educators; and

e) cooperate with educators at other universities and/or institutions.

On occasion, academic centres/institutes may involve formal partnerships with other universities and/or institutions. University involvement in such joint centres/institutes is subject to formal agreement.

2.2 Policy Governing the Establishment of Academic Centres/Institutes

2.2.1 Every academic centre/institute within the University is accountable through its director to a University officer - a department head, dean, or the Vice-President (Academic) & Provost as appropriate. Financial responsibility for the centre/institute is vested with this University officer. Faculty/School deans/directors shall report to the Vice-President (Academic) & Provost on all matters related to academic centres/institutes.

2.2.2 The director of an academic centre/institute is administratively responsible for the academic centre/institute. Directors will exercise general supervision over the operation of the unit with specific responsibilities varying with the size of the unit as well as the complexity of its policies and operations.

For any joint Faculty/School initiative, the director shall be responsible to whichever department head, dean or director [or the Vice-President (Academic) & Provost] is so designated either in the initial proposal to create such a unit, or as subsequently recommended and approved. In general, only those units which cannot appropriately be administered at the department or faculty level shall be the responsibility of the Vice-President (Academic) & Provost.

2.2.3 All academic centres/institutes shall be financially secure with core funding derived from either the University or other sources. In this regard, while the University may provide support to academic centres/institutes through its operating budget, academic centres/institutes are expected to seek external funding to support their activities.

2.2.4 Academic centres/institutes shall not normally require the hiring of new full-time academic faculty. Each member, including the director, should hold an appointment in an academic department. If release time is required this should be done under terms and conditions agreeable to the appointee’s department and faculty. Selection of an academic centre/institute director is the responsibility of the University officer to whom the director will report.

2.2.5 While the organizational and administrative structures of academic centres/institutes vary as a function of their objectives, size and funding arrangements, all academic centres/institutes shall normally have an advisory committee. The specific terms of reference of such committees may vary from one unit to another; however, the general purpose of these committees is to provide advice on the unit’s activities and programs.

2.2.6 All University academic centre/institutes must conform to University policies and procedures.


3.0 Accountability

3.1 The University Secretary is responsible for advising the President that a formal review of the Policy is required.

4.0 Secondary Documents

4.1 The President may approve Procedures which are secondary to and comply with this Policy.

5.0 Review

5.1 Formal Policy reviews will be conducted every ten (10) years. The next scheduled review date for this Policy is April 1, 2019.

5.2 In the interim, this Policy may be revised or rescinded if:

(a) the Approving Body deems necessary; or
(b) the relevant Bylaw, Regulations or Policy is revised or rescinded.

5.3 If this Policy is revised or rescinded, all Secondary Documents will be reviewed as soon as reasonably possible in order to ensure that they:

(a) comply with the revised Policy; or
(b) are in turn rescinded.

6.0 Effect on Previous Statements

6.1 This Policy supersedes:

(a) all previous Board/Senate Policies, Procedures, and resolutions on the subject matter herein;
(b) all previous Administration Policies, Procedures, and directives on the subject matter contained herein;


7.0 Cross References

Academic Centres and Institutes Procedures