University assesses value of its 200-plus centers and institutes

Emma Nelson

The University of Minnesota has completed an evaluation of 241 centers and institutes across all five campuses as part of President Eric Kaler’s ongoing mission of “operational excellence.”

Results show that 175 are effective, while 21 require further review. Twenty-three were either closed or on their way to closing, and 22 shouldn’t have been included on the list of “centers” or “institutes.”

Each institute was evaluated on four criteria, including the uniqueness of its mission, where its funding comes from and its overall value to the University.

In total the institutes, including 40 not included in the first phase of review, get $68.7 million from University operation and maintenance funding and $142.2 million from other sources of revenue.

The review, which Kaler asked for in March, is the first step of a longer process. The second phase will focus on consolidating similar institutes and services. The 25 institutes that use the most University funding will also be examined more closely.

The first review involved work by deans from the 20 colleges at the Twin Cities campus as well as chancellors from satellite campuses.