An Organized Research Unit (ORU) is an academic unit the University has established to provide a supportive infrastructure for interdisciplinary research complementary to the academic goals of departments of instruction and research. The functions of an ORU are to facilitate research and research collaborations; disseminate research results through research conferences, meetings, and other activities; strengthen graduate and undergraduate education by providing students with training opportunities and access to facilities; seek extramural research funds; and carry out university and public service programs related to the ORU's research expertise. 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.
To establish a Center within an Organized Research Unit (ORU), the faculty members concerned should submit a brief proposal stating the proposed unit's goals and objectives. The proposal should describe the value and capabilities that will be added by the new unit. It should make clear how the Center might foster new intellectual collaborations, stimulate new sources of funding, and/or further innovative and original research. The proposal should also contain the following information:
The proposal is first submitted to the ORU director for endorsement. The ORU director's endorsement implies the commitment of administrative support and space, if needed, to the unit. The director's statement of support for establishment of the Center should include a plan for timely review. The plan should contain benchmarks and metrics for the evaluative review that will result in a recommendation for continuation or disestablishment.
The proposal is then submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Research who seeks the counsel and advice of the appropriate Provost and/or Deans and department chairs, and divisional Academic Senate committees, usually the Council on Planning and Budget and the Council on Research and Instructional Resources. The Vice Chancellor for Research retains final authority in establishing the Center.
Each ORU 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. Specifically, the Advisory Committee provides counsel to the Director on all matters pertaining to the unit, including budgetary matters and personnel. The charge to the committee also includes active participation in the planning and evaluation of the ORU's programs and activities. The Chair of the Advisory Committee, and as many other members as practical should meet with five-year review committees and otherwise be available for consultation by the five-year review committee during the course of its review. The Advisory Committee is made up predominantly of faculty members, but may include some members from the professional research series and may have some members from outside the University. The Advisory Committee is appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research.
In accordance with the UCOP Policies and Procedures Concerning Organized Research Units, the Office of Research requests that each ORU prepare an annual report. See the Call for Annual Reports for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year.