Guidelines for Establishing a Center of Excellence


A Center of Excellence is a unit that is accountable to higher expectations of performance and productivity and demonstrates that it is a statewide (or beyond) leader in the area of designation.

A Center of Excellence should have the following attributes:

  1. The Center has a strong performance record and advances the strategic goals of the institution.
  2. The Center is designated by and focused on an area of education, training or research relevant to the State’s needs. This area is clearly and finitely defined, avoiding overly broad descriptions or goals.
  3. The Center provides a range of academic, training and/or research opportunities in its area of expertise. The programs should be nationally accredited, when applicable.
  4. The Center is engaged with the greater community; its programs focus on addressing current issues and provide opportunities to improve the quality of life of Louisiana citizens.
  5. The Center is a hallmark of the institution. Though not necessarily the only source of education, training, research, and/or economic development in the topical area, the Center is recognized as uniquely strong in its focal area.

There are 3 types of Centers of Excellence.

Initial Designation: The unit in charge of this proposed Center of Excellence must fill out a proposal addressing the guidelines provided by the Board of Regents . Initial designation provides a one-year (conditional) term, based on the unit’s demonstration of excellence in both program productivity and private/external recognition. The unit must provide at least three letters of support from business and/or the community.

NOTE: It is recommended that the Office of Academic Affairs (156 Thomas Boyd Hall) be consulted in the developmental stage to help minimize hold ups at later stages of the process.

Once the proposal gets to the Office of Academic Affairs (156 Thomas Boyd Hall), it will be reviewed and if signed by the Executive Vice President and Provost, it will be forwarded to the President’s Office. The proposal will then be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors and if approved, reviewed by the Board of Regents for final approval.

After this one-year term, a department or unit may submit a proposal for continued (full) designation for up to five years. View the Board of Regents proposal template for continued designation. The unit must provide at least three letters of support from business and/or the community.

In addition to the regular renewal process, to be maintained as a Board of Regents’ designated Center of Excellence, its component academic programs (if applicable) must meet Board of Regents’ viability thresholds to be used to trigger review within 4-6 years of implementation: 

Average Completers Program Level
10 (STEM 8) Bachelor and Associate Degree; Diploma Certificate
6 (STEM 5) Master, Graduate Certificate, Post-Master
2.5 (STEM 2) Specialist, Doctorate, Professional, or Post-Doctoral Degree

The routing procedures follow the initial designation proposal process mentioned above.

At a time close to the term limit of the renewal, the Office of Academic Affairs will contact the administrator responsible for the Center of Excellence to begin the continued (full) designation process again.