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Centers at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s centers and institutes advance the university’s research, instruction, and outreach missions by bringing together faculty, staff, and students across disciplinary lines to tackle complex challenges.

The university’s seven research institutes provide unique opportunities for transdisciplinary research at scale. Virginia Tech centers provide a more focused means of promoting research, discovery, and improving the human condition. 

Virginia Tech’s centers and institutes must:

  • Fulfill a need that cannot be adequately addressed through existing organizational units;
  • Have a clear, unique mission and strategic vision that is directly tied to the mission of Virginia Tech and the administrative unit in which the center is housed;
  • Have an identified director who is equipped to effectively lead the center;
  • Have sufficient breadth of faculty participation to ensure that its success does not depend either intellectually or financially on a single individual;
  • Have well-defined governance structure and expectations of participants;
  • Have strong support from its administrative leadership and participating units;
  • Have a comprehensive financial plan to operate sustainably;
  • Have concrete goals and metrics for progress and success; and
  • Have a unique, descriptive name that does not overlap with other centers and units at Virginia Tech.

Center Requirements

There are a few oversight and reporting requirements for all centers:

  • All centers are required to produce an annual report to share with their administrator and stakeholders committee (if applicable). This report is also submitted to the Provost office for archiving. An optional template for this report is available.
  • The administrator should annually review the performance of centers and their directors.
  • All centers and their directors should be reviewed every five years by a review committee. The results of this review should inform a new strategic plan, and may drive changes to the center, potentially including closing the center. See the following resources for periodic reviews for more information.
  • Centers must keep their charters up-to-date, and submit them to the (email address) when  they are changed. Charters may be changed at any time through consensus of the administrator and director (and stakeholder committee, as appropriate), but must be revised at least every five years in response to the periodic review of the center. 
  • Some changes to centers require additional review, see policy 13005 for details.
  • Centers are subject to periodic audits.