Organized Research Units (ORUs)


Definition and Purpose

Organized Research Units (ORUs) are academic units the University has established to provide a supportive infrastructure for interdisciplinary research complementary to the academic goals of departments of instruction and research. ORUs facilitate multidisciplinary and collaborative research by faculty, non-faculty professional researchers, and post-doctoral scholars and scientists. With core budgetary support from the University, ORUs leverage external funds from governmental agencies, private and corporate foundations, and industry. An ORU may not offer formal courses for credit for students of the University or for the public unless it has been specifically empowered to do so by the President after consultation with the Academic Senate and the appropriate Chancellors. ORUs contribute to graduate training and education through the involvement of students in faculty research and through direct sponsorship of graduate student research. Most ORUs also offer opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research activities, and by doing so, enrich the undergraduate learning experience at UC.

Lines of Responsibility

An Organized Research Unit serving a single campus is responsible to the Chancellor or Chancellor's designee for administration, budget, space, personnel, and scholarship. The Chancellor's designee will be either a Dean or the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). Hereafter the designee is termed the responsible administrator and the other party (Dean or VCR) is called the reviewer. When all the research activity lies within one Division, the responsible administrator usually will be the relevant Dean. When the research activity lies in multiple divisions, the EVC will assign the VCR as either the responsible administrator or reviewer, and one of the relevant Deans as the other.

Administration, Budgetary Support and Personnel

Each ORU is headed by a Director who is a tenured member of the faculty and who may receive an administrative stipend in addition to the faculty salary, except that a faculty member who already earns such a stipend through another appointment (e.g., as associate dean) shall not receive a second stipend. The Director is aided by a standing Advisory Committee, chaired by a faculty member other than the Director, which meets regularly and participates actively in setting the unit's goals and in critically evaluating its effectiveness on a continuing basis. The Advisory Committee is appointed by the reviewer. The charge to the committee and its functions, membership, and reporting requirements are determined by the appointing officer but should include active participation in the planning and evaluation of the ORU's programs and activities.

In recognition of the role played by ORUs in the educational process, provision is made in the campus budget for the unit's core administrative support, Director's stipend, staff salaries, supplies and expenses, equipment and facilities, and general assistance. All permanent positions--professional, technical, administrative, or clerical--may be established and filled, regardless of the availability of funds, only after specific review and authorization of the proposed positions and of the candidates for them in accordance with University policies and procedures.

Procedure for Establishment

To establish an ORU, the faculty members concerned should submit a proposal, via any Dean directly affected, to the VCR. The VCR will seek the advice of the appropriate Academic Senate committees. In case of disagreement, the VCR consults with the Chair of the Academic Senate, but the Chancellor retains final authority on establishment approval. Establishment must carry with it a commitment of funding and space adequate to the mission of the unit.

For more details on the ORU establishment proposal and related, please review the Organized Research Unit Procedures.

Review the ORU Review Process for detailed information.