MU Faculty Council addresses communication breakdown in MU museum relocation

Thursday, August 22, 2013 | 8:36 p.m. CDT; updated 4:51 p.m. CDT, Sunday, August 25, 2013

*CORRECTION: The Museum of Art and Archeology at MU is scheduled to move to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center for renovations later this year. The Museum of Anthropology is scheduled to move there in the spring. The timeline was incorrect in an earlier version of this article.

COLUMBIA — At the first meeting of the school year, the MU Faculty Council discussed its distance from the decision to relocate two university museums.

Members of the council commented on their lack of involvement in the administrative decision to move the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Museum of Anthropology with Michael Sykuta, a representative for the Campus Planning Committee.

The CPC is a group of faculty and staff charged with advising Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Jacquelyn Jones "on the facility needs of the campus," according to its website.

*Sykuta said he believed faculty on CPC did not have enough direct input in the decision to renovate Jesse, Swallow and Pickard Halls. The Museum of Art and Archaeology in Pickard Hall and the Museum of Anthropology in Swallow Hall will relocate during renovations.

He said the decision to move the museums was not brought up in any meeting he attended, although he said he was not present at every meeting. CPC meets at least three times per year.

"This is kind of a difficulty of how you marry a committee of people who serve for three years with a 30-year planning process," Sykuta said. "It's difficult to trace immediate results to anybody who has any institutional memory of the organization."

*Sykuta and the council members' discussion revolved around the lack of communication between the administration and the committees that should have been involved in the decision. The Museum of Art and Archaeology will move to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center on Business Loop 70 West and the Museum of Anthropology will join it in the spring.

"I'm a little bothered that you're saying that this move, which discomforted a number of people, is out of the purview of your committee," Faculty Council member Harry Tyrer said. "If that's the case, then we've got to fix something in the committee structure."

Faculty Council Chairman Craig Roberts said he was disappointed that the CPC was given little opportunity to weigh in and was informed only after the decision was final.

"This is a committee that is supposed to be involved in the decision process, particularly when the decisions involve curriculum, and this involved curriculum," Roberts said.

Council members expressed some confusion about whether other campus committees were involved in the decision. Members said they want Faculty Council to look into the issue further.

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.

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