1- The Center for Integrative Mediterranean Studies, referred to henceforth as CIMS, is an interuniversity collaborative association among the University of the Messina (Italy), (henceforth called UniMe), Virginia Commonwealth University (USA), (henceforth called VCU), and of the University of Córdoba, (Spain), (henceforth called UCo). The aforementioned Universities will be considered as founding members of the CIMS in compared reference to future affiliated partner institutions.

2- The central office of the CIMS is in Messina, in space and with staff provided by the UniMe.

3- The CIMS is not a for-profit association.

4- The CIMS aims to analyze institutions and cultures and to improve the well-being and peace of individuals and communities. The CIMS also aims to provide data, information and analysis as support to decision-making and choices in social and economical politics related to the area of the Mediterranean, promoted by European and international organizations. One of the main and unique characteristics of the CIMS is its composition of multiple disciplines.  The CIMS will also afford researchers, scholars and professionals in different disciplines and investigation areas a facility and working atmosphere conducive to excellence in research and teaching. The activities of the CIMS are organized in the following Investigation and Research Areas: Migration; Development and Social Politics; Institutional Design and Democracy; Integrative Systems of Health, Culture and Religious Identities; and Environment. These areas, identified through discussions amongst professors at the three founding Universities, are not exclusive, and it is understood that certain projects may involve joint collaboration between two or more CIMS research commissions and other disciplinary areas as the CIMS grows and extends its research focus in the future.

5- To achieve its aims, the CIMS purpose is to: a) create a specialized documentation and database center to be exploited by researchers, scholars and investigators working on CIMS research projects; b) organize seminars, conferences, symposiums, and special courses associated with the research areas of the CIMS; c) promote the publication and diffusion of scientific research results from the CIMS; d) promote and organize postgraduates studies in collaboration with founding and affiliated partner institutions;
e) promote reciprocal-based exchange of students, teaching staff and researchers; and f) extend and develop relationships with other universities and research centers.

6- The CIMS may be dissolved by consent of the constituent Universities. If one University should elect to leave the CIMS, such a departure will not stop the activity of the Center.  Unless notice is given by a partner institution, the CIMS will automatically renew its collaborative association with all founding and affiliate partner institutions every two years. The first two-year period of the CIMS was concluded on the 31st day of December, 2007.

7- The main financial resources of the CIMS are: a) contributions in equal amount by constituent Universities; b) contributions donated by public or private institutions/agencies; c) grants awarded to the research/teaching purposes and to other activities conducted by the Center; d) internal funding within each founding and affiliate partner university/institution aimed at supporting the research and teaching missions of the Center.

8- Teaching staff and researchers of the constituent Universities may participate in CIMS activities. Invited guest scholars from Mediterranean universities will be able to participate in CIMS activities.

9- The organization of the CIMS consists of: Governing Council, Managing Director/Staff, Executive Directors, Advisory Commissions, and Research Area Directors.

10.1 The Governing Council, comprised of the Rectors/Presidents from all CIMS (founding and affiliated) partner Universities, is the directing and managing authority of the CIMS.

10.2 After the founding of the CIMS, any member of the CIMS Governing Council may recommend the name of a new institution to be considered for affiliated partnership with the Center.  Once a recommendation has been approved by the Governing Council, a visit to the proposed affiliated partner institution by a CIMS delegation -comprised of at least one faculty member and/or administrator from each CIMS member institution- must be made within one calendar year.  Following the visit, a rapport on the research and teaching strengths of the proposed institution as they pertain to the CIMS mission is submitted to the Governing Council and to the Executive Directors for review and comments.  In order for the proposed institution to become an affiliated partner institution of the CIMS, there must be a unanimous vote by all members of the Governing Council.  Following the vote, if positive, a partnership agreement will then be drafted, approved and signed by all members of the Governing Council and by the Rector/President of the new institution joining the CIMS.

11 The Managing Director will be the designate to legally represent the CIMS. The Managing Director would receive a two year renewable contract from the CIMS. The Managing Director is chosen by the Governing Council of the constituent Universities according to the criteria and modalities determined by them. The Managing Director supervises the development of CIMS activities and its efficient operation. The Managing Director is responsible for communication between the CIMS and all partner institutions. The Managing Director will be assisted by a secretary and an administrative staff.  In case of absence or impediment, the representation of the CIMS will be remitted to the Governing Council. The Governing Council can delegate functions of the Managing Director to the Executive Directors.

12- The Executive Directors, each appointed by the Rector/President of their respective Universities, will supervise the work of the six Research Area Directors at their institutions. The Executive Directors will also collaborate closely with the members of their University?s CIMS Advisory Commission.  The Executive Director is charged with the responsibility of coordinating all research, teaching and CIMS activities through the office of the CIMS Managing Director.  Executive Directors are expected to maintain regular communication with other CIMS Executive Directors at partner institutions.

13 ? The Advisory Commissions of the CIMS at each partner institution consist of individuals named by the Executive Director and approved by that institution?s Rector/President.  Members of the Advisory Commission perform various functions aimed to assist the Executive Director in the advancement, development and promotion of the Center.

14- Each of the six Research Area Directors of a partner institution is recommended by that University?s Executive Director and approved by the Rector/President.  The Executive Directors review and supervise the Research Area Directors at their respective institutions.

15- Executive Directors and the Research Area Directors, as well as members of Advisory Commissions, serve with no financial compensation from the Center.  Certain expenses and reimbursements may be authorized by the Center.  Each member institution may decide its own support mechanisms for these positions.

16- The financial budget of the CIMS will end on the 31st day of December each year.


1.    Migration
A)    Cultural Interstices: (e.g. History of Voyages, Population Mobility and Explorers in the Mediterranean Basin; Personal Statutes and Multiculturalism)
B)    Economics of Migration: (e.g. Demographics; Instruments to Stop Organized International Crime)
C)    Legal and Health Issues of Migration: (e.g. Legal Conditions of Third State Immigrants; Mediterranean Diseases)

2.    Development and Social Policies
A)    Social Justice: (e.g. Health Care and Health Delivery; Internet and Criminality)
B)    Labor and Regional Development: (e.g. Urban and Regional Planning; Industry and Labor Relations; European Structural Fund Policy; Segmented Labor Market)
C)    Legal, Social and Medical Protection

3.    Institutional Design and Democracy
A)    Political Thought: (e.g. Comparative Constitutional History; History of Political Thought; History of Legal Culture)
B)    Mass Communication in the Political Process

4.    Integrative Systems of Health
A)    Neurosciences: (e.g. Neurosurgery; Psychiatry; Neurobiology; Neuroanatomy)
B)    Specific Diseases: (e.g. Genetic; Infectious; Dietary Deficiencies; Organ Failures/Transplantation; Tumors/Immunology)
C)    Health Care and Health Delivery: (e.g. Epidemiology: Bioethics; Integrated Hospital Systems (Emergency Care); Mediterranean Diet [diet related vascular disease: lipids, metabolism, diabetics II, etc.); History of Medical Science
D)    Legal and Economic Aspect/Database Management

5.    Cultural and Religious Identities
A)    Conflict and Peace Studies: (e.g. Inter-religious/cultural dialogue, Religious Movements; Educational Systems and Religious Freedom)
B)    Languages and Intercultural Communication; Translation
C)    Politics of Culture: (e.g. Influence of Art and Media; Systems of Integration, Assimilation, etc.)

6.    Environment
A)    Marine Biology and Sciences: (e.g. Law of the Sea)
B)    Diet and Food Production: (e.g. Plant Research; Origin, Quality Control and Safeguards)
C)    Environmental Policy (e.g. Budgetary Policy; Consumer Protection and Environmental Liability)