Friday, January 30, 2009

More Museum Job Losses

A bad end to the month, as the American Museum of Natural History becomes the latest museum to lay off staff in response to the ongoing fiscal crunch. Wide ranging staff cuts over the last few days have hit almost every section of the Museum, including science departments that have traditionally been shielded from job losses. Still no word on the final numbers, but it includes a number of my former colleagues and at least one good friend.


  1. Horible as it is, this is a perfect time to measure museums' real priorities, as reflected in layoff decisions. What positions are considered "core" and "essential"? Which are sacrificed first? Once you get beyond positions safeguarded by their function of generating net income, what is seen as mission-essential? It is sad how often the "priorities" identified in institutional plans are throw oer when crisis hits. Now, more than ever, is when those priorities should guide decision making.

  2. A good point, but it'll need to wait until the dust has settled. It's hard to get a clear picture of who has gone outright versus who has had their position changed to part-time and there's a dearth of official information. The New York Post published a short article yesterday, commenting on the job losses in the light of Ellen Futter's salary and bonuses - amusing, but not particularly helpful.