Over the past year, we have been reviewing and revising of our Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Goals and Objectives. We engaged faculty, students, and stakeholders in this important process. I would like to share some highlights of the process.
The new Mission establishes our three primary purposes: (1) to engage in critical examination of museum theory and practice, (2) to foster innovative approaches that extend the potential of museums to serve society; and (3) to prepare students for leadership in the diverse, multidisciplinary museum field.
This mission is informed by the program’s basic values. These values emphasize how our program is related to the museum profession as a whole. Our Values Statement asserts that museums serve society best when they create dynamic settings where:
- material evidence opens new pathways for understanding the past, the present, and the future;
- knowledge and understanding becomes accessible and inspiring for diverse audiences;
- important topics facing society are openly presented, discussed, and challenged; and
- reflection on fundamental topics such as representation, equity, and access is ongoing.
With museums’ potential as our inspiration, we affirm our intention to:
- produce graduates who have gained scholarly expertise as well as practical knowledge, skills, and confidence;
- emphasize the fundamentally multidisciplinary nature of museum studies;
- advance professional best practices in all facets of museum work;
- advocate responsible stewardship of natural, artistic, historic, and cultural resources;
- challenge expectations about the role of museums in society;
- embrace engagement and inclusivity with all people and communities;
- encourage collaboration among colleagues and stakeholders; and
- support research that strengthens theory and practice in museum studies.
These are exciting times to be providing the next generation with the tools to make a difference in museums. Our field is actively reexamining fundamental tenets in everything from collecting to communicating. We are reconsidering museums' relationships and responsibilities with regard to social, cultural, and natural dynamics. There is an openness to innovation and creativity that feels new and promising. We look forward to implementing this mission in the years ahead.
Peter H. Welsh
Director, Museum Studies