Centers and institutes further the university’s instructional, research and public service missions in ways that cannot be addressed through traditional structures, such as departments, schools and colleges. They offer programs or opportunities that cannot be offered at least as well through existing structures. The key ingredient of any center or institute is “value added.”
Both centers and institutes provide an organizational base for university mission-related activities in one or more academic areas. They pursue activities that may include interdisciplinary research involving faculty and students from a variety of internal administrative structures, offering continuing education activities related to their area(s) of interest, or facilitating efforts of the department, school, college or university to obtain extramural funding in specific areas. Both serve as a link between the academic community and the professional community in the area(s) of interest.