The Board of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) has adopted certain Corporate Policies and Procedures within which the corporation and the AURA Centers are expected to operate. This Manual sets forth those AURA Corporate Policies and Procedures have been adopted, either formally or through evolutionary development and acceptance.
When referring generically to the research centers managed by AURA, the terms "AURA-managed Centers," "AURA Centers" and "Centers" are used. Observatories refers to the National Optical Astronomical Observatories (NOAO), National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the International Gemini Project both operated by AURA under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). The term "Institute" is used to designate the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) operated by AURA under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Specific identification or applicability of policies to the Observatories, the Institute, or all AURA Centers has been made within each of the relevant individual policies in this Manual.
Each AURA-managed Center has its own operating policies, procedures and organizational responsibilities to govern day-to-day operations. These center policies must be in conformance with AURA Policies as stated in this Manual, except where modifications to AURA Corporate Policies or special additions unique to that Observatory or Institute have been duly authorized. This delegation of authority and responsibility for detailed implementation of broadly stated Corporate policies lends assurance that operating guidelines are developed which within the parameters of Board-approved policies.
AURA corporate policies are intended to reflect the changing needs of the corporation. They are not immutable. Existing policies can, and will, be changed and new policies developed, as the need arises. Suggestions will be welcomed on the need for clarification, change, or recision of existing policies, or development of new and additional policies.
As policies and procedures are added or modified, new or additional pages will be distributed to reflect the date of change.