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History Strategic Plan 2020-2023

At Boise State University’s Department of History, we are passionate about the value of history. Studying history provides us with the perspective to understand not just the past, but also ourselves and the world we live in today. Furthermore, historical understanding prepares us for future challenges and opportunities as citizens, scholars, and professionals.

The Department of History is committed to creating a broad-based community of scholars whose ideas, expertise, and active support will strengthen our service to students and our position throughout the university and community through excellence in:

      • Responsiveness – to the needs of our students and our changing world
      • Clarity – about our courses, our programs, and our discipline
      • Relevance – to our students’ intellectual and professional development and to the needs of the communities within which we work and live
      • Cooperation – within our department, with faculty in other departments/units, with our community partners, and with our peers and scholarly community
      • Diversity and Inclusivity – in our curriculum and in our department and university culture
      • Advocacy – for the unique and important value of history as a discipline
      • Engagement – with our students and our communities, meeting them where they are

The Department of History seeks to fulfill these commitments in all we do, and especially through four interconnected goals set out in this strategic plan, which aligns with the University’s Strategic Plan (

      1. Deliver curriculum that addresses the diverse needs, interests and identities of the students (aligns with University goal “Improve educational access and student success”).
      2. Elevate our graduate program to a position of regional distinction in quality and relevance (aligns with University goal “Trailblaze programs and partnerships”).
      3. Produce innovative, vital, and exciting scholarship (aligns with University goals “Innovation for Institutional Impact” and “Advance Research and Creative Activity”).
      4. Foster a vibrant and visible department (aligns with University goal “Foster Thriving Community”).

Goal 1: Deliver curriculum that addresses the diverse needs, interests and identities of the students.

The Department of History offers classes, internships, and other educational experiences that speak to the breadth of human experience in both the past and present. Our teaching expertise ranges from Ancient Rome to current events. The Department is committed to ensuring that students can find themselves and their interests in our classes and in our faculty.

      • Strategy: Bring forward hidden curriculum.
      • Strategy: Increase faculty collaboration and interaction.
      • Strategy: Effectively incorporate assessment, evaluation, and feedback from students, faculty, administration, and the community.

Goal 2: Elevate our graduate program to regional distinction in quality and relevance.

Our graduate program — one of Boise State’s first such programs — has evolved to prepare advanced students for a variety of paths, including careers in public history, continuation to a Ph.D., and continued education for teachers and other community members. The Department will work to enhance and improve our graduate program so that Boise State is well known regionally for relevance and quality in graduate history education.

      • Strategy: Streamline the program and curriculum.
      • Strategy: Develop curriculum and educational experiences that respond to the needs and interests of potential students and employers of our graduates.

Goal 3: Produce vital and exciting scholarship.

The Department of History cultivates excellence in historical research, analysis, and communication. Our faculty and students have produced outstanding scholarship in myriad fields and in a variety of forms, from academic books published by university presses to museum exhibits designed for a popular audience. The department will continue to support this work and further encourage the production of scholarship that addresses questions and challenges both for society and within our discipline.

      • Strategy: Engage and work with scholars both within and outside the department.
      • Strategy: secure resources to support research and scholarship.

Goal 4: Cultivate a vibrant and visible department.

The Department of History has a lot to offer our campus and our community: essential and fascinating curriculum, important and innovative research, accomplished and engaging faculty, smart and hard-working students, a commitment to community engagement, and a fun department culture! We want to build on our strengths, and we want people on and off campus to be aware of and participate in the exciting things happening in our department. We want to be known as an open department of interesting people (faculty, students, and staff) doing important work in a welcoming environment. Our campus and community also have a lot to offer us. We recognize how the Department of History and our students benefit from the valuable contributions of, and relationships with, individuals on campus and in the community. Our goal is to actively engage more of these individuals in our work, so that their ideas, expertise, and active support will strengthen our service to students and our position throughout the university and community.

      • Strategy: Develop and implement a comprehensive, consistent and coherent marketing and communication plan and process.
      • Strategy: Encourage collegiality and interaction among history faculty and students.
      • Strategy: Engage individuals on and off campus whose programmatic contributions, professional expertise and organizational affiliations can be leveraged for the benefit of our students and department.