The institute is envisioned as a place where faculty, graduate students, and visitors can draw on common scholarly ground to examine diverse approaches to the study and the teaching of history. The specific goals of the Institute include:
- Fostering a setting where faculty and graduate students participate together in vigorous intellectual exchange that builds on the diversity of the department;
- Bringing distinguished visitors to campus for a seminar and lecture series;
- Creating a center for examining historical research and teaching relevant to current themes and issues;
- Supporting scholars and postdoctoral fellows to visit campus and participate in Institute programming.