2. Positioning of USIU-Africa Criteria
The center should create high external visibility for USIU-Africa through its reputation. This visibility could be achieved as a result of the center's high standing relative to other similar centers or the center's "uniqueness." The accomplishments and prestige of the center's faculty are the primary drivers of external visibility and reputation. Three areas of interest would include increasing of fiscal returns, development of human capital, and bolstering of the university’s mission.
- Increasing of Fiscal Returns. Centers return financial resources to the University by charging certain faculty and staff salaries to grants, through cost recovery on awards administered by the center and, in some instances, through tuition generated from workshop programs. Indirect fiscal return is also anticipated since Centers generate or stimulate a substantial volume of research activity that is attributed to a school or program because; the award is administered by the Center. It is important, therefore, to determine the total grant activity of a Center - and hence its total fiscal return to the University.
- Development of Human Capital. The Centers' cutting-edge research programs, premiere faculty, overall prestige, and shared facilities can enhance the University's ability to recruit top-notch faculty and students. The prestige of a Center clearly adds to the overall visibility and prestige of the University. Centers often support research facilities which are available for use by other faculty university-wide. Centers offer opportunities for return on intellectual property that result from original and creative Center activities.
- Bolstering the University’s Mission. But above all, the Center's objectives and programs should be aligned with the university's mission and strategic planning framework. A Center that demonstrably advances the University’s priority programs and meets many, if not all, of the general criteria for strategic initiatives cited in the plan is most likely to attract both faculty and internal resources. It should also support the academic mission. Centers are not intended to replace schools and programs in the delivery of academic programs. However, if a Center supports the overall academic mission of the University, it has a higher likelihood of effective collaborations with schools and programs, and it will attract greater faculty and student participation. Support of the academic mission may take the form of funding graduate students and fellows, providing graduate and undergraduate research opportunities, offering classes and/or sponsoring seminars and colloquia, and providing a forum for interdisciplinary interactions.