The Honorable the Members of the Cultural Education Trusteeship Committee



Christine W. Ward, Acting Deputy Commissioner         




Status of Museum Renewal



January 22, 2007



Goals 2,3,4 and 5





Executive Summary


Issue for Discussion


          Are the plans, funding and operations of the State Archives, State Library and State Museum aligned with the priorities set by the Regents and by recently enacted law?  What are the greatest challenges in moving ahead?


Proposed Handling


          The February 2007 meeting of the Cultural Education Committee in its trusteeship role will focus on issues related to use of the Cultural Education Trust Fund ($40 million) to begin both the renewal of the State Museum and the construction of a new collections storage and research facility.  We will also review the Regents’ Governance Statement and discuss its implications for the Regents’ trusteeship role over the operations of the three Cultural Education collecting institutions – the State Museum, Archives and Library, including a regular review of the operating budgets for the institutions, their staffing capacity and their ability to focus resources on strategic priorities.


Procedural History


          At their annual retreat in July 2005, the Regents agreed that exercising its role as trustees for the three major cultural institutions under its direct oversight required an extended meeting at least three times a year. Those meetings would be specifically devoted to the Regents fiduciary and governance responsibilities. The February trusteeship meeting follows directly after the conclusion of the regular Regents meeting. A second meeting will be held in June and a third in October.


Background Information


          Last year’s budget made $40 million available to renew the exhibit program in the Museum and to begin work on a new facility for research and collections. Along with the funding authorization, the bill called for the establishment of a Cultural Education Trust, with a Board of 5 persons.  The Trust Board will approve and recommend to the Board of Regents the plans for both the renewal and the new facility for the Regents approval.


Of the five members, the Governor and each branch of the legislature appoint one member. The Board includes two Regents: the Chancellor serves as Chair and Regent Karen Brooks Hopkins has been appointed by the Commissioner.  John Egan has been appointed by the Senate Majority Leader.  At your meeting, we will update you on activities related to both the Museum renewal and the collection storage and research facility and seek your guidance on issues associated with the projects.


The Committee will also review the recently revised Regents Statement on Governance (attached) which has implications for you as trustees of the three collecting institutions.  Your consideration of your governance role as trustees of the Museum, Library and Archives, will help staff to identify appropriate issues to come before you at future meetings.  At the end of the meeting, Committee members will be invited to raise additional issues and recommend to the Chair agenda items for the June meeting.




           The Regents should direct the staff in development of information needed in advance of the Cultural Education Trust Board’s recommendations for the new research and collections facility and the renewal of the Museum exhibits.  They should also direct the staff in development of future agenda items that are aligned with the governance standards for trustees of collecting institutions.


Timetable for Implementation


          If the Cultural Education Trust Board is in place by the spring with enough time to review and approve plans for presentation to you in June, the implementation of those plans would begin almost immediately after your approval.  Both will be multi-year plans with benchmarks to be determined within each plan.