A reminder about KU's new academic centers policy

From: Simon Atkinson, Vice Chancellor for Research
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 2:18 p.m.
To: Deans, directors & department chairs


In the transition from the academic year to summer, the rhythms of our research, scholarship and creative activity often shift. We may take a deep breath for the first time in many months and find time to think strategically.

As you envision the future of your work at the individual, unit or interdisciplinary level, I want to make sure you’re familiar with KU’s new policy addressing the Establishment & Termination of Academic Centers. The policy, approved in April after a period of community review, requires notification to deans and center directors of proposed new academic/research centers. Those leaders must take steps to ensure that:

  • New unit centers do not duplicate, compete with, or otherwise undermine any centers or activities in other units.
  • Unit centers support or enhance activities for which a unit center structure, designation and visibility is necessary.
  • There is a transparent process of consultation with other unit leaders before creation of a unit center is recommended by the unit leader, as well as a mechanism to resolve disagreements between units.

Any centers created outside of this policy or the University Research Centers and Institutes (Designation of) and Review of Research Centers policies are not permitted and must not be acknowledged or recognized as KU centers in official KU materials, websites or social media. Unit centers already in existence are immediately subject to this policy and must be reviewed accordingly within five years of the policy approval date.

Unit leaders have a special responsibility to carry out this policy and its requirements. Please familiarize yourself with the policy and let us know if you have questions.

Thank you for all you do to support and enrich the KU community.


Simon Atkinson
Vice Chancellor for Research