University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) was established in fall 2005 by the College of Liberal Arts with funding provided by the President’s Interdisciplinary Initiative on Arts and Humanities. Designed as an integrative venue for interdisciplinary collaboration, exploration, and scholarship, the IAS was intended to bring researchers from across the University into dialogue with one another, and to serve as an incubator of new ideas.


The IAS was envisioned as a place where faculty, students, and community members could take intellectual risks, challenge theoretical assumptions, integrate different forms of knowledge, and take on important questions aimed at reshaping fundamental understandings of the human condition. It was created to advance inter-disciplinary and collaborative research and creative work among scholars, scientists, and artists at the University and in the broader community, and to provide opportunities for sharing that work with colleagues and the broader public. It is designed to fund new (and potentially risky) projects; it does not provide funding for well-established projects. In its first five years, the IAS has succeeded brilliantly at meeting these objectives.

IAS from CLA to SCA and beyond

In 2008 the IAS moved from the College of Liberal Arts to the newly formed Office of Scholarly and Cultural Affairs (SCA). This reorganization has made its all-University mandate more visible and has facilitated closer collaboration with other SCA units, the Weisman Art Museum and Northrop Concerts and Lectures. In 2008 the IAS was named one of six all-University Interdisciplinary Centers. The IAS takes its interdisciplinary mandate seriously: faculty from every college on the Twin Cities campus (except for dentistry) and from coordinate campuses in Morris, Duluth, and Crookston have participated in IAS activities. The IAS now reports directly to the Provost. The IAS moved from the Nolte Center, a charming structure built in 1936, to the newly renovated Northrop, where it has resided since December 2013.