Ed MacDonald

UPEI history professor Ed MacDonald chaired the committee looking into the future of the Institute of Island Studies. (UPEI)

The University of Prince Edward Island is putting new life into the Institute of Island Studies, with the long-term goal of the institute earning enough revenue to support itself.

UPEI will publish a report Tuesday outlining recommendations for the future, and provided an advance copy to CBC News.

The Institute of Island Studies has been operating for almost 30 years. Last spring, however, the director's position was eliminated during budget cuts, leading to concern about the institute's future. Following expressions of concern by many on campus, UPEI appointed a committee to plan for the institute's future.

Some of the recommendations of that committee, due to be published Tuesday, include creating a centre that would govern not only the institute, but also the affiliated programs, the Island Press and some other university offshoots.

It suggests the institute should sustain itself through grants.

"In the medium to long-term it's hoped that the institute will be able to  earn a revenue equivalent to the staffing costs," said history professor Ed MacDonald, who chaired the committee.

Christian LaCroix, UPEI VP Academic, said in the short term the university is hiring an interim director, and that director would likely be a tenured faculty member.

"Which is a good idea because it's embedded in the university, it's secured in the university," said LaCroix.

"In terms of staffing the office, we'll have to look at the best way to model that."

Lacroix said the university has to decide how it will move forward with the other recommendations. He said the university is committed to supporting the Institute until it can generate enough money to be self sustaining.