Unit Mission Statement
The Department of History advances public knowledge and understanding of the past as it informs the present and future. We offer a multidisciplinary approach that combines our global cultural heritage with long-neglected voices, uses a range of tools and perspectives, and provides the knowledge and skills necessary for informed decision making.
We provide a student-centered program that is committed to excellent teaching, scholarship, and service. Through our commitment to the liberal arts tradition, we help students develop skills of inquiry, reflection, critical analysis, dialogue, and expression. We are dedicated to inspiring all our students - be they our History and Group Social Studies majors or students we encounter in our general education courses - to pursue excellence in their chosen professions and serve the broader local, regional, national, and international communities in which they live.
As a community of scholars, we help to enlarge the state of knowledge in our field through our active engagement in intellectual and creative pursuits. We recognize that active scholarship enriches our teaching and enables to serve students, the university, and the broader community. We bring the historian's perspective to courses in the University Honors College and other interdisciplinary programs; we participate actively in preparing teachers of History and Social Studies as well as preparing our majors for further study and careers in a variety of fields. We promote faculty and student participation in national and international inquiry and discourse. We are dedicated to serving the broader West Michigan community through our engagement in local and regional history forums.
Goal 1: Achieve exemplary teaching that is recognized throughout the nation.
Goal 2: Establish a Master of Arts program in history suited to the needs of the West Michigan community.
Goal 3: Develop a model undergraduate and graduate curriculum that emphasizes historical knowledge, research skills, and an understanding of historians' ways of knowing.
Goal 4: Encourage and support nationally and internationally recognized faculty scholarship.
Goal 5: Increase faculty diversity in the department to serve the needs of a diverse student body.
Goal 6: Solidify existing partnerships and develop new liaisons with the local, regional, and scholarly communities.
Goal 7: Foster and support a vibrant intellectual culture in the department.