July 14–15, 2005
ITEM 128-2005-R0705 Approval to Establish an Humanities Institute; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman to Establish an Humanities Institute
EXPLANATION: Montana State University—Bozeman seeks authorization from the Board of Regents to create the MSU—Bozeman Humanities Institute. The long-term goal of this proposal is to create an institute to integrate humanities-based and science-based understandings of the social, political, and cultural significance of the region’s past, present, and future. The Institute would provide opportunities to bring together distinguished faculty for advanced study of emerging cross-disciplinary issues across the humanities, traditionally conceived as involving the “whole of knowledge,” with specific emphasis on the intersection of science with the more traditional humanities disciplines.
This proposal includes a two-year sunset provision if sufficient external funding streams are not secured to support the Institute's activities. The goal in seeking formal approval of the Humanities Institute is to better position the institution to secure the necessary extramural funding to ensure long-term viability of the Institute. A number of foundations have expressed interest in supporting the proposed Humanities Institute but are unwilling to commit resources until the institutional infrastructure to support the Institute is formally established. Sufficient resources have been identified to support the first year of Institute activities, which will focus on fundraising and awareness-building. Indeed, if sufficient funding is not secured to support the Institute’s activities, the center will be dissolved.