An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course
History museum leadership is more complex and demanding than ever before, requiring updated and innovative ways to meet mission and keep organizations healthy. Thoughtful, intentional museum administration and leadership matters, regardless of the size or focus of your organization.
During the eight weeks of this course, modules addressing governance and administrative structures, nonprofit status and the public trust, mission and vision, the relationship between board and staff, including their roles and responsibilities; strategic planning, human resource development and management, and leadership will be covered.
The course is divided into eight weekly segments and includes a combination of topical reading assignments and related weekly assignments and online chats. A final course assignment is due the last week of class.
- Week 1: Course overview; an inside look at nonprofits, public trust and governance
- Week 2: Museum Boards, Their Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations, and Their Relationship to Museum Staff
- Week 3: The Importance of Museum Vision and Mission
- Week 4: Administrative and Management Responsibilities, Relationships, Structures, Systems and Networks
- Week 5: Human Resource Management – Building Effective Teams and Mentoring
- Week 6: Why Leadership Matters, At All Levels
- Week 7: Charting Your Museum’s Future and Measuring Effectiveness
- Week 8: Putting It All Together: Where the Field is Heading and How You Fit In
COURSE DATES: March 2 – April 26, 2020
COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers
OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 – February 23, 2020; 20 participant limit
FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course
LENGTH: 8 weeks
PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly one-hour online chats (schedule to be determined based on student availability); weekly assignments; final course assignment. Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week on the course.
MATERIALS: Two required texts: Leadership Matters: Leading Museums in an Age of Discord, Second Edition, Anne W. Ackerson and Joan H. Baldwin, 2019 and Museum Administration 2.0, Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Irleland, Revised by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, 2016. (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)
CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.
After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of Leadership and Administration including the following:
- the public trust role and governance structure of most nonprofit museums;
- the importance of museum mission, vision, change, and strategic planning;
- the major administrative and leadership roles and responsibilities of the board and staff;
- the key issues in human resource management, including building effective teams
- why leadership matters at all levels;
- charting your museum’s future and measuring effectiveness; and
- where the museum field is heading in the future.
Who Should Take This Course
Successful participants will be individuals in institutional leadership positions at the staff, board, and volunteer levels (where volunteers supervise others), who have significant decision-making responsibilities and who have the ability to affect positive, substantive change within their organizations. This course is not appropriate for students, interns, or volunteers who do not have managerial responsibilities. We recommend that only one person per institution take this course at a time. To read about a participant’s experience, take a look at this blog post by a Leadership and Administration student: Leadership Matters At Every Level.
In a career spanning three decades, Anne Ackerson has served as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in central and eastern New York, the director of the Museum Association of New York, and now currently serves as the executive director of the National Council of State Archivists.
In 1997 Anne began an independent consulting practice focusing on organizational development issues for the smaller nonprofit cultural institution. She writes regularly about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design. She is a frequent workshop/webinar presenter on issues of museum ethics, executive leadership, financial management, and board roles and responsibilities. In addition to teaching this course, she developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for the American Association of State and Local History’s StEPS program, a national standards program for history museums.