Organized Research Unit Procedures

UCSC Office of Research Organized Research Unit (ORU) Procedures

Procedure for Establishment

To establish an ORU, the faculty members concerned submit a proposal stating the proposed unit's goals and objectives. The proposal should describe what value and capabilities will be added by the new unit, and explain why they cannot be achieved within the existing campus structure. It should make clear how the ORU will be greater than the sum of its parts, for example, by fostering new intellectual collaborations, stimulating new sources of funding, furthering innovative and original research, or performing service and outreach to the public. The proposal should also contain the following information:

• Experience of the core faculty in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research collaborations.

• Research plan for the first year of operation and projections for the five years following.

• Budget estimates for the first year of operation, projections for the five years following, and anticipated sources of funding.

• Names of faculty members who have agreed in writing to participate in the unit's activities.

• Projections of numbers of faculty members and students, professional research appointees, and other personnel for the specified periods.

• Statement about immediate space needs and how they will be met for the first year and realistic projections of future space needs.

• Statement of other resource needs, such as capital equipment and library resources, and how they will be met for the first year, and realistic projections of future resource needs.

• Statement about anticipated benefits of the proposed unit to the teaching programs of the participating faculty members' departments.

• Statement specifying the appropriate administrative unit's commitment of funds, space, and other resources necessary for the successful operation of the proposed ORU. Actual or potential availability of extramural funds shall not serve as the sole basis for proposing, approving, or continuing an ORU.

The proposal should also list similar units that exist elsewhere, describe the relation of the proposed unit to similar units at other campuses of the University of California, and describe the contributions to the field that the proposed unit may be anticipated to make that are not made by existing units.  The proposal is submitted for review via any Dean directly affected by the proposed unit's personnel, space, and equipment demands to the VCR, who seeks the advice of the appropriate divisional Academic Senate committees. In cases of disagreement about whether to establish an ORU, the VCR consults with the Chair of the Academic Senate, but the Chancellor retains final authority for the decision to approve establishment of a new ORU. Establishment of an ORU must carry with it a commitment of space and funding adequate to the mission of the unit.

Procedure for Appointing a Director

The Director of an ORU is appointed by the Chancellor or the VCR who will consult with the Committee on Research on an appropriate nomination procedure. The founding Director of an ORU may be specified in the proposal to establish the ORU. When the appointment of a new Director is for an existing unit, the Advisory Committee should be solicited for nominations.

Five Year Review Process

Periodic reviews of ORUs are necessary to ensure that the research being conducted under the units' auspices is of the highest possible quality and that campus resources are being allocated wisely and in line with campus priorities. Each ORU should be reviewed at intervals of five years or less by an ad hoc review committee. For details, see the Five Year Review Process document provided on the Office of Research ORUs page.

Procedure for Disestablishment

The recommendation for disestablishing an ORU may follow a five-year review of the unit or other process of review established by the VCR. After such campus review the Chancellor approves the request for disestablishment.

Phase-out Period

The phase-out period for an ORU which is to be disestablished should be sufficient to permit an orderly termination or transfer of contractual obligations. Normally, the phase-out period should be at most one full year after the end of the academic year in which the decision is made to disestablish the unit.

Procedure for Name Change

The director of the ORU prepares a proposal describing the rationale for requesting a new name for the unit. The request for a new name usually reflects new directions in the interdisciplinary research sponsored by the unit, the expansion or addition of new knowledge or fields of research to the unit's mission, or the institutionalization of new methodologies of study. After review by the Senate and appropriate campus administrators, the Chancellor approves the name change of the ORU.

Review of Directors

The effectiveness of each Director is reviewed near the end of an initial five-year term, or earlier, as appropriate; when possible, the Director is reviewed as part of the unit's quinquennial review. If the unit is to be continued, the decision whether to continue the appointment of the Director is made by the Chancellor or the VCR. Directorships of ORUs are limited to ten years of continuous tenure in all but extraordinary circumstances.

Annual Report

At the end of each academic year, each ORU should submit a report to the appropriate dean and the VCR. The Chair of the Advisory Committee should be consulted in the preparation of the report. The report should contain the following:

• Names of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers directly contributing to the unit who

(a) are on the unit's payroll, (b) participate--through assistantships, fellowships, or traineeships,

or are otherwise involved in the unit's work.

• Names of faculty members actively engaged in the unit's research or its supervision.

• Extent of student and faculty participation from other campuses or universities.

• Numbers and FTE of professional, technical, administrative, and clerical personnel employed.

• List of publications issued by the unit, including books, journal articles, and reports and reprints issued under its own covers, showing author, title, press run, and production costs.

• Sources and amounts (on an annual basis) of all support funds, including income from the sale of publications and from other services.

• Expenditures from all sources of support funds, distinguishing use of funds for administrative support, direct research, and other specified uses.

• Description and amount of space currently occupied.

• Any other information deemed relevant to the evaluation of a unit's effectiveness, including updated five-year projections of plans and resource requirements where feasible.

Life Span

All ORUs must establish a rationale for continuance, in terms of scholarly or scientific merit and campus priorities, at fifteen year intervals. Campuses have the flexibility of carrying out fifteen-year reviews at the same time as, and in place of, regularly scheduled five-year reviews or at other times established by the Chancellor or Chancellor's designee, in consultation with the Academic Senate. To begin a fifteen- year review, an ORU should develop a formal proposal for continued ORU status, support funds, and space in the context of current campus and University needs and resources. The proposal should state a persuasive rationale for the unit's continuation and should include all of the information required of proposals for ORU establishment, and for Five year review. In addition, the proposal should describe the ORU's achievements over the past 15 years, the contributions the ORU has made to research, graduate and undergraduate education and public service,  and the consequences if the ORU were not continued. The proposal and submitting unit are reviewed by an ad hoc fifteen-year review committee established by the Chancellor or the VCR after consultation with appropriate divisional Academic Senate committees. It is recommended that at least one member from outside the campus sit on the Fifteen-Year Review Committee. The report of the Fifteen-Year Review Committee is reviewed by appropriate campus senate committees and administrative officials. Approval for disestablishment of the ORU is made by the Chancellor.

This document is based on Administrative Policies and Procedures Concerning Organized Research Units, with changes appropriate to UC Santa Cruz: