The Museum Studies Program (MUSE) offers training in the discipline of Museum Studies, and (1) prepares graduates for professional careers in museums and related institutions; (2) encourages innovative multidisciplinary research in museum studies; and (3) seeks opportunities for engagement by students and faculty to enhance the professionalism of museums in the state and the region. The graduate program in Museum Studies provides a comprehensive overview of the discipline, opportunities for mastering core components of museum practice, avenues for exploring museums from an interdisciplinary perspective, solid grounding in contemporary issues facing museums, and possibilities for research to develop new and innovative approaches in the field.
The program is concerned with the principles and practices of acquisition, management, conservation, and utilization of museum and archival collections; the development and implementation of educational, exhibition, and research programs and services for the public; the nature and history of organizations housing collections; and the philosophy and practices of administration pertaining to these organizations.
B. Program Statement
Since 1981, the Museum Studies Program has offered professional training for careers in museums, historical agencies, and related institutions. The Museum Studies Program offers a range of courses that address the theories, history, techniques, and problems common to museums and cultural institutions, as well as the specialized operations of such institutions. Students receive classroom and field training in methods and subject matter in their chosen area of concentration. The University of Kansas offers a broad range of opportunities for museum studies training and experience beyond the classroom, including museums of art, classics, history, natural history, politics, and athletics; archival, manuscript, and rare book collections; historical societies; as well as related administrative and research activities. A graduate of the program is prepared for professional practice in the world of museums.
C. Mission Statement
The mission of the Museum Studies Program is to produce graduates prepared to advance museums, historical and cultural agencies, and similar institutions in the state, region, and nation. Drawing on the expertise of outstanding faculty, the skills of accomplished area museum professionals, and the rich resources of institutions at KU and in nearby communities, the Museum Studies Program:
- Engages in critical examination of museum theory and practice;
- Fosters innovative approaches that extend the potential of museums to serve society; and
- Prepares students for leadership in the diverse, multidisciplinary museum field.
II. Program Structure and Administration
A. Structure and Functions
1. The Museum Studies Program is administered by the Director in consultation with the Museum Studies Executive Committee (see II(B)2) and includes faculty and staff in various roles.
2. The Program is bound in its action by University regulations, particularly as expressed in the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff. Reference should be made to these regulations in all cases since the bylaws and other policies and practices of the department are supplementary to the main body of University regulation.
a. The Director is the administrative and operating head of Museum Studies, the chairperson of the Museum Studies Executive Committee, and an ex officio member of any other Museum Studies committees or subcommittees. The Director is the official representative of Museum Studies with other departments, divisions, programs, and administrators of the University, except in those cases when the Director or the faculty, acting jointly and with the Director's consent, specifically designate another Museum Studies faculty member, instructor, or administrative staff to represent the Director.
b. The Director is responsible for the smooth functioning of the Museum Studies Program. The Director calls Museum Studies Executive Committee meetings, directs and oversees Museum Studies programs, initiates and/or carries through curricular and other changes in the program, manages faculty appointed in MUSE, appoints and oversees Museum Studies staff and lecturers, supervises the Museum Studies budget, applies Museum Studies and University rules as appropriate, and performs other normal tasks as required by the College and other University administrative units.
c. The Director serves at the pleasure of the Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and reports to the contact Associate Dean for the Program.
d. The Director decides strictly administrative matters without consultation.
e. In those cases in which MUSE's position has been clearly reached in consultation with the Museum Studies Executive Committee, the Director acts and speaks for the unit. Consequently, in all matters on which the Director needs to act on behalf of MUSE, it is desirable that the Director should ascertain by consultation the will of MUSE, and act accordingly. Consultation may take many forms. This statement is in no way to be construed as inhibiting the right of the Director to speak as an individual faculty member when appropriate.
f. The Director’s term in office is determined by the Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but is usually for a period of three to five years, renewable. The Director is appointed by the Executive Dean, after an appropriate search conducted by a search committee comprising MUSE faculty and affiliates. Searches are governed by the University and College regulations and procedures and by such additional procedures as may be adopted.
g. The Director is responsible for updating procedures and enacting changes approved by the Museum Studies Executive Committee.
2. Museum Studies Executive Committee
a. Given the historically small number of faculty appointed in the program as tenured and tenure-track professors, teaching professors, and multi-term lecturers; and in recognition of the contributions made to teaching and advising in the program by the staff at university museums, the Museum Studies Executive Committee is convened to advise the Director and represents the interests of varied stakeholders in the program.
b. The Museum Studies Executive Committee (MSEC) advises the Director concerning program affairs including (but not necessarily limited to): development of program policies, oversight of the academic quality of the program, establishment of admissions criteria and standards, and budgetary and curricular concerns that affect the program as a whole. The academic design of the program is established by guidelines set by the MSEC.
c. The MSEC is convened and chaired by the Museum Studies Director.
d. The MSEC is composed of all tenured and tenure-track professors, teaching professors, and multi-term lecturers with FTE appointments in the program, two non-faculty representatives of campus museums, and the President of the Museum Studies Student Organization (MSO).
e. Campus museum representatives are appointed upon recommendation by the Museum Studies Director and serve a three-year term, with the possibility of one renewal term.
f. Campus museum representatives should be selected on the basis of:
(1) Their ability to advise students concerning academic courses and programs of study in preparation for entry into the museum field.
(2) Their ability to advise students on careers in museums, cultural or historical agencies, archives, or related institutions.
(3) Their ability to tend to MSEC business.
(4) Their experience or expertise in museums or museum-related institutions.
(5) Their ability to represent the diversity of disciplines and institutions affiliated with the Museum Studies Program.
g. The President of the MSO is elected annually by the graduate students and serves a one-year term to represent the interests of the student caucus. Should the MSO fail to elect a president, the Director will appoint a second-year student to represent student interests.
(1) The MSO President has a vote on most matters; however, should personnel or hiring decisions arise, the MSO President may express the views of the student body, but does not participate in voting.
h. In the case of necessary absences, an appropriate alternate (i.e., another campus museum representative, an officer of the MSO) may be designated to serve as a voting member for that meeting.
i. Meetings of the Museum Studies Executive Committee
(1) The Museum Studies Executive Committee meeting is attended by all members of the MSEC and is open to other faculty and staff of the program.
(2) The MSEC will meet at least once per semester and, in practice, should meet once a month to attend to regular business.
(3) The Director will provide an agenda for the meeting no later than 48 hours in advance, with all supporting documentation for any matters on the agenda subject to the same deadline. Minutes of the meeting will be taken by administrative staff; copies of the minutes will be distributed to the MSEC following the meeting and kept on file.
(4) Extraordinary MSEC meetings may be called by the Director or the MSEC as necessary according to the guidelines stipulated in II.2.j.(3).
(5) MSEC meetings are held with the purposes of keeping the committee members informed of the status of the Program; to solicit input and advice to assist the Director; and to discuss and vote on Museum Studies policy changes.
(6) If necessary, the MSEC may meet in closed executive session.
(7) Voting Rights of Members of the MSEC
(a) A quorum at all MSEC meetings shall consist of not less than one-half plus one of the voting members of the body.
(b) If, except for revisions of these Bylaws (see IV.A below) or of the Program Description (see IV.B below), any business before the MSEC requires a formal vote, a majority of the voting membership must be present and a majority of those voting shall decide the issue.
(c) Except in special circumstances generally recognized in parliamentary practice (Robert's Rules of Order being the standard reference), each member of the MSEC may vote on any motion before the MSEC.
3. Other Committees:
a. Admissions Committee.
(1) An Admissions Committee will be established each year to review applications to the Master’s program.
(2) The Admissions Committee will be composed of the Director and at least three Museum Studies faculty and affiliates. The members will be appointed by the Director, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
(3) Other KU faculty may, on occasion, be asked to review applications from students whose interests or background are relevant to the faculty member’s expertise.
(4) The Director evaluates applications for the Certificate program and, if necessary, seeks counsel from MUSE faculty and staff.
b. Advisory Board
(1) Membership: Individuals who have expertise or interest in Museum Studies and who have the desire to help the Museum Studies Program fulfill its mission. Such members may include but are not limited to: KU faculty, KU museum professionals, alumni, representatives from state and regional professional museum organizations, local professionals, and scholars outside of KU.
(2) Duties: The Advisory Board will meet once a year and receive a report from the Director and other faculty about the program and its activities. Members of the Advisory Board are asked to make recommendations to improve the program. Recommendations are non-binding until approved by the Executive Committee.
c. Other committees may be appointed as necessary by the Director.
a. The Museum Studies Program includes different member categories.
b. Affiliate members include courtesy faculty and staff employed by the university who teach courses, advise students, and otherwise support the mission of the Museum Studies Program. Although these individuals do not have FTE appointments in the program, their efforts are essential to the Museum Studies Program’s mission. The appointment of affiliate faculty members is initiated by the Director and program staff in accordance with Human Resource Management policies pertaining to affiliates under “Courtesy Faculty and Staff.”
c. Lecturers may be appointed from within or beyond the university according to program budget and programmatic need.
2. Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities
a. Museum Studies Executive Committee meetings are called by the Director as needed.
b. All decisions will be taken by majority vote (one-half plus one of voting members present or who have submitted votes by proxy), assuming presence of a quorum.
c. Teaching: Museum Studies faculty can conduct directed readings or independent studies with Museum Studies students, serve as primary advisors of students seeking a degree or certificate through the Museum Studies Program, and teach core courses according to programmatic need.
d. Affiliate members can serve on student committees; teach courses in the program; provide sections of directed readings and independent studies; and provide opportunities in campus museums and laboratories for students in the program.
e. The Director will manage the program’s affiliate faculty rolls, assessing new affiliates, the continuation of affiliate status, and recommended discontinuance, in consultation with the Executive Committee, as necessary.
1. Provisions of this section pertain to faculty members with the title lecturer, not those appointed as multi-term lecturers.
2. Lecturers are recruited by the Director in accordance with University guidelines for conducting a lecturer pool search.
3. Salaries for lecturers are negotiated by the Director in accordance with College guidance.
4. Lecturers must be qualified for appointment to the University graduate faculty.
E. Policy Making:
1. The Museum Studies Director, in consultation with the MSEC, sets policy for the Museum Studies Program and is responsible for establishing rules for the governance of MUSE, providing that such rules do not violate University Senate Rules and Regulations and Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations.
2. The MSEC sets the academic requirements for the program, while adhering to University regulations.
3. Guidelines for administering exceptions to requirements:
a. All requests for exceptions to program requirements, such as credit hour reduction and course substitution requests, are to be initiated by a petition from the student to the MSEC. The petition is to be in the form of a letter detailing all pertinent factors.
b. Following consideration of the petition by the MSEC, and depending on the nature of any exception granted, the student may be requested to file a second petition with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
III. Student Affairs
A. Status of Students in MUSE
Degree-seeking and certificate students in the graduate program are considered to be Students of the Museum Studies Program.
B. Election of Student Representatives
1. At the end of each academic year the Museum Studies Student Organization (MSO) will elect a representative to the Museum Studies Executive Committee, who may or may not also be the President of the Museum Studies Organization.
2. If the student caucus fails to elect a representative in a timely fashion, or if the student representative is unable to fulfill their duties, the Director will appoint a temporary Student Representative pending the election of a permanent representative.
3. All Museum Studies policy-making committees (including the MSEC) will include at least one student representative.
1. Students in the Museum Studies Program are advised by their M.A. Committee Chair, the Museum Studies Director, and the Graduate Coordinator.
2. Students in the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies Program are advised by the Museum Studies Director and administrative staff. Those pursuing the final product option will determine a committee and primary adviser.
D. Petitions and Grievances.
1. Student Academic Misconduct
a. Cases of academic misconduct by students in the Museum Studies Program which result in assessment of sanctions (described in University Senate Rules and Regulations, Article II, Section 7), up to and including receiving an F in the course, shall be handled between the individual instructor and the student, in consultation with the Director as necessary. The result shall be reported to the Program Director. The mediatory power in appeals from these cases, and in involving charges of academic misconduct against an instructor, is vested in the Director. Appeals from mediatory decisions, and recommendations by the Director for sanctions against students more severe than loss of grade, shall be made to the Executive Dean of the College.
2. Grade Appeals
a. A student lodging an appeal under Article II, Section 4 of the University Senate Rules and Regulations should present their appeal, in writing, with appropriate documentation attached, to the Director, who will seek advice from the Executive Committee as necessary and rule on it within a reasonable period of time.
E. Grievance Procedures
Pursuant to Article XII of the University Senate Code and Articles V and VI of the University Senate Rules and Regulations of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, the Museum Studies Program has established procedures to hear grievances arising within program among faculty, staff, and students. These procedures are formally located in the policy library at: http://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/grievance-procedure-museum-studies
. Appeal of a grievance heard at a subordinate unit level is to the Judicial Board, not to the College. This procedure shall not be used to hear disputes assigned to other hearing bodies under USRR Article VI, Section 4.
IV. Revision of the Bylaws and Program Statement
A. Revisions of these Bylaws may be accomplished by circulation of the proposed amendment(s), in writing, according to the agenda guidelines and deadlines defined above. Revisions will be discussed at a meeting of the MSEC, followed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting members present, at which two-thirds of the voting membership of the MSEC shall constitute a quorum.
B. Revisions of the Program Statement may be accomplished by circulation of the proposed amendment, in writing, according to the agenda guidelines and deadlines defined above. Revisions will be discussed at a meeting of the MSEC, followed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting members present, at which two-thirds of the voting membership of the MSEC shall constitute a quorum.
It is a responsibility of the Director to see that the program statement is kept current and is available to members of the University community and the wider public who may be interested in the program.