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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.


Re-Introducing the History Leadership Institute

Indiana Historical Society.

For the past sixty years, the History Leadership Institute has been the preeminent professional development opportunity for mid- and advanced-career professionals at history organizations of all types and sizes. It began as a six-week residential program at Colonial Williamsburg to train individuals with academic history backgrounds in the nuts and bolts of administration; over the past several decades, the program has evolved considerably, with its content, format, and audience transforming to meet the needs of a dynamic, growing field.

Just in the past few years, AASLH has ushered in several major enhancements to the program. Under the leadership of director Max van Balgooy, the History Leadership Institute has increased its focus on the major issues and questions facing history organizations. The yearly seminar challenges history professionals to ask not “Are we doing things right?” but rather to ask “Are we doing the right things?” This shift in focus was accompanied by the change to the current name in 2018. Simultaneously, we also began conducting deeper research to determine how HLI could best serve the field, announcing earlier this year that the program would move from November to June and would redouble its efforts to advance diversity, inclusion, and access.

We are excited today to share further details of these changes and begin accepting applications for the class of 2020. Beginning next June, the seminar will include two weeks of online learning, followed by a two-week in-person experience. The virtual online component will allow the select group of Associates to engage in both live and asynchronous conversations around major questions and readings. Immediately following, Associates will convene in-person for a two-week residential seminar hosted by the Indiana Historical Society. While in Indianapolis, Associates will join nationally-recognized experts working on the field’s leading edge to tackle the most pressing challenges confronting history institutions and develop strategies for addressing them. Both online and in-person, HLI’s cohort of Associates will dive deep into a broad range of current and future national issues facing the history and museum community. Additional details are as follows:

  • Program Dates: June 1­–13, 2020 (online); June 14–27, 2020 (residential).
  • Location: Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Lodging: Associates will be housed in two-bedroom, two-bathroom suites at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
  • Cost: $3,500/person, including tuition and lodging.
  • Scholarships: Two full-cost scholarships are available. More information here.
  • Application Deadline: December 15, 2019. Apply here.

We believe these changes will make the program more accessible and better meet the evolving needs of today’s professionals while continuing HLI’s long tradition of preparing individuals to lead institutions and the field.

In addition to this newly re-envisioned seminar, the History Leadership Institute has begun new ventures to expand its impact as well. The History Leadership Forum will take place each year at the AASLH Annual Meeting. In this workshop, history leaders from around the country will have an opportunity to explore a critical issue or cutting-edge approach to enhance the effectiveness and impact of their organizations. This year in Philadelphia, longtime HLI facilitator Julie Johnson will lead the forum, focusing on how to empower leaders at all levels of an organization.

In future years, AASLH also plans to introduce a History Leadership Symposium. Our hope is that the symposium, which will be scheduled in response to the needs of the field and available funding, will convene about two dozen experts and experienced leaders from throughout the history community to address a single major issue. Participants would be encouraged to use the symposium discussion as a launching point for articles, white papers, Technical Leaflets, or other products that can serve the wider field. Both the forum and symposium represent opportunities to engage a much wider range of history leaders than the small group of Associates who attend the annual seminar.

We believe this new vision for the History Leadership Institute will reaffirm its offerings as the premier professional development opportunities for mid- and advanced-career history professionals. HLI’s suite of programs will provide people at all management levels the tools, ideas, and connections to advance their careers, their organizations, and the broader field.

Learn more at www.historyleadership.org.


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.