Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: Vice-President, Finance and Resources / Vice-President, Research / Provost and Vice-President Academic 
Authorization: Board of GovernorsUniversity Council
Approval Date: Mar 1, 2004


The University encourages the establishment of centres to enhance the academic interests of the University and its faculty in the pursuit of research, teaching, scholarly and artistic work, and to meet the needs of the community at large. For purposes of orderly functioning, this policy sets out definitions and principles for the creation, monitoring and review of centres.


Preamble: The University of Saskatchewan encourages the establishment of centres to enhance the academic interests of the University and its faculty in the pursuit of research, teaching, scholarly and artistic work, and to meet the needs of the community at large.

Centres are intended to strengthen, coordinate or facilitate scholarly purposes or activities not readily undertaken within the University's departmental and unit structures, and are intended to offer new areas of activity consistent with the University's strategic direction and priorities. The University values the strengths and many contributions of existing centres, and seeks to ensure their ongoing success. To this end and in keeping with good governance, the University has a responsibility to establish the appropriate mechanisms to give assurance of relevance and continued viability in a changing environment, and to acknowledge the high demands for accountability and transparency. The existing policy on centres, developed in 1997, has been revised and updated, to facilitate the creation of centres, protect their integrity, and improve essential communication within the University, required with Integrated Planning and for full accountability. These objectives and terms are fully consistent with the establishment and management of similar entities at other universities in Canada and the United States.

The University recognizes creation of centres as indicative of the vitality, creativity and inventiveness of the academic community, and supports such enterprise to the fullest extent possible. For the purposes of orderly functioning this policy sets out definitions and principles for the creation, monitoring and review of centres. Companion Guidelines to assist in streamlining the processes involved will be developed to support and assist all University of Saskatchewan centres.

1.0 Definition of a Centre

The University currently hosts a variety of centres, variously known as centres, institutes, units, organizations, networks, or programs, including incorporated entities.

For purposes of this policy, a centre is a formally structured organization which is not a division, department or college, but which is established within or in conjunction with the University of Saskatchewan, for the pursuit or support of: scholarly, artistic, scientific, or technological objectives; teaching; or outreach.

This should include, but not necessarily be limited to 1) performing disciplinary or multi-disciplinary research, teaching, scholarly or artistic activity; 2) offering new curricular and extra-curricular educational opportunities; 3) demonstrating or stimulating research, scholarly, artistic or business opportunities; 4) providing outreach activities.

2.0 Accountability

Each Centre must have a clear line of accountability to a Dean or Vice-President.

Drawing on existing policy and practice, and for ease of identifying future reporting responsibilities consistent with Integrated Planning, centres will be designated as Type A, Type B, Type C or Type D.

Type A

Type A centres are those that are organizationally part of one college, and report to a Dean, and do not involve substantial resources. These centres involve activities that complement and enhance the work of primarily one college, and could involve multi-disciplinary and multi-faculty work. The activities of such centres should be congruent with approved College Plans and would be established with the Dean's endorsement and Council approval. Responsibility for funding of these centres rests with the college. (Informal association of faculty that have no claim on tangible resources, but use the University name or facilities should make known their objectives to the relevant dean).

Type B

Type B centres are those that involve activities beyond the scope of a single college and/or involve significant resources and will require the endorsement of the Deans involved, the appropriate Vice-President (usually the Vice-President Research) and Provost's Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP) before seeking the approval of Council. These centres are organizationally part of the University and are subject to University management and control, reporting to a designated Dean or an appropriate Vice-President (usually the Vice-President Research).

Type C

Type C centres are centres that are incorporated and legally distinct from the University, and which have academic/research implications for the University. These centres must have the authorization of the Vice-Presidents and secure Council approval with respect to the academic and research matters before being recommended to the Board of Governors. These centres may be either a cooperative relationship involving the sharing of resources, or a landlord-tenant relationship, reflecting the academic interest of the University in the centre's activities and recognizing the University's community obligation to promote the greatest community use of its facilities and resources. These centres will report on their academic and research activities to a Dean to the extent possible, and/or to an appropriate Vice-President. A financial report must also be provided to the Vice-President (Finance and Resources) for the Board, and all legal requirements of incorporated entities met.

Type D

Type D centres are legally incorporated entities, established to promote the best interests of the University, but which are not engaged in the University's academic affairs. Such centres may be proposed by a college or administrative unit, and their establishment would require the approval of the Vice-President Finance and Resources, and/or appropriate Deans or Vice-President, PCIP and the Board of Governors. Type D centres would report on an annual basis to the appropriate Dean and/or Vice-President and to the Board of Governors of the University.

3.0 Financing

The financial support of a centre should be based on at least medium-term (3-5 years) financial support by government, community, industry and/or the University. The financial viability should not be based solely on a short-term grant or contract.

The cost structure of a centre should be identified, including such items as administrative and infrastructure support, IT, multimedia and Library costs.

The responsible Dean or Vice-President of a centre should be aware of its budget plans, and in seeking additional donations the centre should be aware of and be consistent with the University's fundraising plan, coordinating fundraising needs with the University.

4.0 Management

All University centres must have a management structure (manager or management board and/or a named executive officer). The scale of the management structure will be dependent on the category type of the centre and may range from a single individual to a highly structured board.

5.0 Reporting Requirements

Type A, B and C centres shall report at least annually to the responsible Dean or Vice-President.

Reporting will include activities and accomplishments, finances and budget/business plan for the coming year.

Type D centres will report through the Vice-President Finance and Resources or relevant Vice-President as required by the Board of Governors.

6.0 Review of a Centre

Each centre will be subject to a systematic review in a form appropriate to its activities, as determined by the Dean or Vice-President to whom it reports.

7.0 Integrated Planning

Each centre will be involved in Integrated Planning through the units with which it interacts, with the centre plan, usually as part of a College Plan, or unit plan, conveyed by the responsible Dean or Vice-President.

8.0 Standing Subcommittee of Planning on Centres

A standing Subcommittee on Centres will be created.
· To facilitate the creation of new centres
· To monitor adherence to the Policy
· To develop and review the Policy and Guidelines
· To oversee the disestablishment of centres
· To maintain a list of active centres

Membership on this Subcommittee will be drawn from the Planning, Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work, and Budget Committees of Council, the Offices of the three Vice-Presidents and will be supported by the University Secretary's Office. The Subcommittee will report to Council through the Planning Committee.

9.0 Implementation and Transition

Upon approval of this policy, it will become effective immediately with respect to proposals for new centres.

Early implementation of the new policy for existing centres is necessary to assist in Integrated Planning and to satisfy the legal requirements of the institution's auditors and the expectations of the Board of Governors to exercise its stewardship obligations.

A transitional period is envisaged to establish the appropriate category for each centre and to ensure full integration into the planning initiatives and thrust of the academic enterprise, as well as to provide the opportunity to benefit from resources available.

10.0 Guidelines

Guidelines shall be developed by the Standing Subcommittee on Centres to facilitate the implementation of this Policy.

Guidelines adopted by the Board of Governors on June 12, 1997, currently exist regarding Type D incorporation.

Procedure summary

Guidelines for submission of proposals for the creation of a centre are available from the University Secretary's Office.

Centres Subcommittee


If you have questions about this policy please contact:

Contact Person: University Secretary
Phone: 306-966-4632