University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Mission Statement

The Institute for Advanced Study supports innovative research and creative activity across disciplines, facilitates collaboration, fosters critical engagement with issues and ideas, and builds generative relationships between the University and the larger communities locally and globally.

Vision Statement

Through its programs and community engagement, the IAS practices inclusivity and employs creativity, specialized expertise, and diverse ways of knowing to transform knowledge production and education for the 21st century. We convene critical conversations around issues of the public good in a just and equitable society to inform our research and teaching. The IAS strives to be an intellectual community and generative space for building collaboration within and beyond the University. It aims to bring people together across all the University’s colleges and campuses, transcending disciplinary and institutional boundaries, to engage complex problems facing the state, nation, and globe.


The IAS embraces core principles to guide our work and aspirations:

  • Inclusivity and Diversity: We recognize that diverse peoples and ways of knowing have previously been excluded from the academy to the impoverishment of human knowledge and wellbeing. We actively seek out and support the inclusion of diverse perspectives and peoples in education and the production of new knowledge.
  • Interdisciplinary Engagement: The IAS seeks to bring wide-ranging disciplines together to define critical questions, problems, and interdisciplinary approaches for research from the earliest stages of the process, not as an afterthought. We believe interdisciplinarity benefits creativity and learning, and can also serve to deepen disciplinary questions and methods.
  • Collaboration: We support and facilitate collaboration—the power of collective thinking, understanding, and action—across disciplines and professions, institutions, and all types of boundaries. The IAS models collaboration in our programming and relationships.
  • Full Exploration of the Realms of Knowledge: We encourage research and creative activity on all scales without narrow instrumental application, recognizing that we cannot know what knowledge may ignite imagination and have utility and value for society in the future.
  • Serving the Public Good: The IAS is an intellectual and physical space where the University and the larger community intersect. We convene critical conversations to examine collective values and the role of a land-grant institution in defining and promoting the public good and a just and equitable society, with full recognition of the contested nature of the “public” and its interests. We encourage community engagement to inform our scholarship and to transfer the benefits of academic research and production to the larger world.


The Institute for Advanced Study has a faculty director who is charged with leading the development and implementation of the Institute’s priorities and supervising the Institute’s day-to-day management. The IAS is governed by an Advisory Board of faculty and senior University staff. The Institute’s director reports to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of six All-University Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes at the University of Minnesota. It is a member of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.


Since its inception in 2005, the Institute for Advanced Study has supported and encouraged interdisciplinary and collaborative work, creating intellectual community across and beyond the boundaries of the University. As a University-wide interdisciplinary center, it is a resource for scholars, artists, professionals, and students who are engaged in a wide variety of study and practice. It also serves as a bridge between the University and the wider community as a place where people meet and ideas are exchanged.