A stack of books and binders is shown behind a purple banner with the text

Leadership and Administration for History Organizations

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

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

Details

COURSE DATES: March 2 - April 26, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 - February 23, 2020; 20 participant limit

REGISTER HERE

Course Logistics

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.

Participant Outcomes

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.

Instructor

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.


A stack of books and binders is shown behind a purple banner with the text

Online Course: Leadership and Administration for History Organizations

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.

Administration and leadership matter, regardless the size or focus of your organization. This online course covers governance and administrative structure, nonprofit status, mission and vision, board and staff responsibilities, the relationship between board and staff, strategic planning, human resource management, and leadership.

Details

DATES: July 1 - August 23, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: January 31 - June 21, 2019; 20 Person Limit

REGISTER HERE

Logistics:

FORMAT: Online, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks; 3-4 hours per week

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly one-hour online chats (schedule to be determined based on student availability); weekly assignments; final course assignment

MATERIALS: Two required texts (see below).

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Description & Outcomes:

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 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.

Participant Outcomes

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.

Sample Curriculum

  • 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

Texts Used (sold separately)

Required Texts:

Anne W. Ackerson and Joan Baldwin, Leadership Matters, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780759121850/Leadership-Matters

Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Ireland (revised by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko), Museum Administration 2.0, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442255524/Museum-Administration-2.0

Who Should Attend:

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.

Instructor

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.


Webinar: Get Ready to Plan Strategically!

Strategic planning can be a daunting task for many organizations. Lack of time or resources are frequently cited barriers to planning, yet having no mission-driven direction tied to performance measures is risky. This 90-minute webinar will cut through the mystery and (perceived) misery of planning to introduce participants to the process and language of strategic planning.

In “Get Ready to Plan Strategically!” guest speaker Anne Ackerson will discuss the important preparations necessary for meaningful and productive strategic planning. She will also present models for strategic plan formats, address community input and visioning.

This AASLH webinar is part of the StEPs Lab webinar series offered to both StEPs participants and all others interested in the topic of strategic planning. Applying what you learn in a StEPs Lab to your policies and practices helps your organization make meaningful progress. Learn more about StEPs, AASLH’s self-study, self-paced assessment program designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions.

This is StEPs Lab 18.

Details:

DATE: June 25, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 Members / $65 Nonmembers / $15 discount for StEPs participants with promo code found on StEPs Community website

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes:

After taking part in this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the difference between strategic and long range planning;
  • Learn other planning definitions like vision, goals, objectives, and tasks and understand the importance of being unified and consistent in the terms your planning group will use;
  • Learn what needs to be done before board, staff, and others gather for the first strategic planning session;
  • Understand that there are a variety of strategic plan formats and your organization should choose one that meets its needs, and
  • Be inspired to trust in the strategic planning process, see it through to the completion of the plan, and use it!

Speaker:

image

Anne Ackerson is co-author with Joan H. Baldwin of the publications Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace and Leadership Matters: Conversations with History Museum Leaders. Ackerson is also a co-founder of the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM).


Online Course: Leadership and Administration in History Organizations

Administration and leadership matter, regardless the size or focus of your organization. This online course covers governance and administrative structure, nonprofit status, mission and vision, board and staff responsibilities, the relationship between board and staff, strategic planning, human resource management, and leadership.

Details:

Dates: January 9-March 6, 2017

Cost: $199 AASLH Members/ $300 Nonmembers

Course is Full. Please check back in late 2017 for dates on the 2018 course offering.

Full Online Course Description:

During the eight weeks of this course, modules will cover 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.  The course includes a combination of topical reading assignments and related weekly assignments and online and telephone chats held at 7:30 pm eastern each Tuesday of the course.  A course assignment is due the last week of class.

Sample Curriculum

Week 1:  Course overview; an inside look at nonprofits, public trust and governance
Week 2:  All About Museum Boards
Week 3:  The Importance of Museum Vision and Mission
Week 4:  Administrative and Management Responsibilities
Week 5:  Human Resource Management
Week 6:  Why Leadership Matters
Week 7:  Charting Your Museum's Future
Week 8:  Putting It All Together

Texts Used

Ackerson, Leadership Matters

Genoways and Ireland, Museum Administration

At the end of this course you will understand:

  • the governance structure of most nonprofit museums;
  • the importance of museum mission, vision, change, and strategic planning;
  • the major roles and responsibilities of the board and staff;
  • how to create a more effective board through assessment and education;
  • the administrative and management duties of museum directors;
  • the key issues in human resource management;
  • why leadership matters and what is the most effective leadership approach; 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 both the staff, board and volunteer levels, 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 student or interns. 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.

Small Museum Pro: Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro certificate from AASLH.

Course is Full. Please check back in late 2017 for dates on the 2018 course offering.

About the Instructor: 

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.

Course is Full. Please check back in late 2017 for dates on the 2018 course offering.

 


Leadership Matters at Every Level

I wasn’t the typical student in the most recent Leadership and Administration in History Organizations online course through AASLH. I’m not a director of a museum. I’m not a vice-president. I’m not even a manager. My museum doesn’t remotely qualify as small, nor is does it deal solely in history content. But my status as an educator at a mid-size natural history museum only encouraged a more engaged and active participation in the course, and offered me a unique takeaway. The Leadership and Administration in History Organizations (LAHO) course drew directors and leaders from history organizations across the country, all who wanted to learn more about the inner workings of their own organizations and how to better serve their boards, staff, volunteers, and communities.

31phccinM9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_We gathered online nine weeks ago, guided by experienced museum leader Anne W. Ackerson. Anne guided us through online discussions, weekly assignments, and a final project that allowed us to investigate our organizations’ foundations, examine internal policies, and understand the importance of our roles as leaders. The course was structured to lead us through administrative processes from the ground up; we began with foundational documents, defining non-profit status and goals, slowly moved through board development, governance, guiding mission statements and ended by planning for the future with strategic plan thinking.

I was thrilled to be a part of this course and learning alongside museum professionals in different stages in their careers, in different types of organizations, and all facing similar challenges. This course allowed all participants to learn from each other’s experiences and to share successes and failures. The weekly online chats with my course mates helped me understand the unique positions that so many museums find themselves in and reinforced to me that museum professionals are some of the most willing to share. Because of my position within my museum, I didn’t realize the scope and depth of many of our organizational and governing policies. During the LAHO course, I was empowered to get up close and personal to the foundational principles of my museum. This course equipped me with the tools to interrogate our mission statement, identifying ways we excel at fulfilling it and places where we can uphold it more. But possibly the most important takeaway I got from the eight weeks of Anne’s guidance was the role I play within my organization. No, I am not a director, vice president, or manager, but I can lead from where I am. And I can encourage my peers to do the same.

F7OLW2SG0C (1)No matter your position within an organization, no matter if you are in a large natural history museum, or a small history museum, give yourself the opportunity to take this, or a similar, course. You may be like me and not see the immediate necessity of staff and board relations or human resources policies, but I guarantee that you’ll leave the course better equipped to understand your museum and the field we all work in. You’ll change your thinking to reflect bigger, more long-term impacts of programming, and find ways to challenge past practices. No matter your experience you’ll leave this course empowered to be a better professional.

________

Leadership and Administration in History Organizations was part of the AASLH Continuing Education Series, a roster of unique and recurring webinars, online courses, and onsite workshops designed for history professionals. Our next Leadership and Administration online course will be held from Jan. 9- Mar 6. 2017. Registration is now open. is Project Management for History Professionals. Visit our Event Calendar for a full list of upcoming continuing education opportunities.