Term Paper: Museum Budget Cuts One-Page Memo to Staff

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Museum Budget Cuts

One-Page Memo to Staff Members Indicating Where Cuts Will Impact the Museum:

MEMO to STAFF FROM the DIRECTOR:

My fellow employees, the Montana Museum of Native American Art is facing a financial crisis. Unfortunately, with the loss of the major funding sources, the museum is now facing a 40% cutback. As you may have already heard, we will be making necessary cuts in staff and services in order to allow the museum to survive and eventually thrive again. Although we must make these cuts because of financial reasons, we hope that you will remain with us in spirit as we seek to continue serving the public and eventually return to full staffing and services. We do not know how long this may take, but we will meanwhile be seeking additional sources of funding and aid. There are federal grants which may be available, and private donors to support us with their time and money as they are able. These and other possibilities remain to be seen in the future and, though it may take time to accomplish, we will pursue these avenues of revenue, in order to return to full service.

As you know, the severe cut in our budget means almost half of our staff must leave us, which means a substantial loss of positions in the museum. We are sad to see our fellow employees go, but cuts must be made in all areas of staffing. I, too, am taking a huge cut in salary, in order to help save the Museum.

It is a sad moment for me, my fellow employees of Montana Museum of Native American Art, to have to inform you officially of this turn of events. I only hope you will remember us fondly and continue to support us as a vital part of our community. I wish you all well.

Sincerely, Your Director

Confidential One-Page Memo to Board Members Explaining Decisions on Cuts:

Many laws affect the functioning of a museum. It behooves us to know these laws and to go by them, as changes are made in our status and staffing. With the guidelines we have before us and the financial strictures we now face, the members of the Board and I have determined that drastic measures must be taken to alleviate our financial situation and shall be as follows:

Considering that 40% of our budget must be cut, two of our four Senior Curators will be downsized, as well as six of the twelve junior middle managers (two Commercial, two Marketing and one Junior Middle Manager). The Senior Curator and I are taking a $30,000 cut in pay and hope our families will understand. The positions of two of the four assistant keepers, two of the four assistant curators and one of the two heads of design and photography must be cut.

We will, fortunately, be able to keep over half of the remaining personnel, plus the positions of two assistant keepers (out of four), two assistant curators (out of four) and one head of design and photography (out of two), one office manager (out of two) and the technical staff, including the supervisor, senior technician, supervisory staff, the senior secretary and a graduate trainee. The senior switchboard operator will also remain, as well as two junior trainees. In the skilled grade area, however, we will still employ only one of the two craftspersons, the salaries and wages clerk, the computer operator and all three attendants/security guards. Most of the others in these areas will be downsized. The two receptionists who have served us so well will remain with us, but we must get used to being without our driver and our general clerk, who will both be leaving us.

We are not the only museum facing a financial crisis. There are museums throughout the nation and continent, such as the one in Hawaii, that are facing the same problems. It is our goal to keep the doors open not only by downsizing individuals, but by cutting the budget by half in the areas of cleaning, landscaping and repair and only utilize these services (which have been contracted out) as needed. As far as advertising, additional security for special occasions and entertainment go, in these areas, we must forego any further expenditures altogether. It will be up to the public to support us as we go into the next year without many of the special events and decorations which have welcomed sightseers to the museum in the past. The required cuts will realize $800,000 in annualized funds for the Museum.

Serving you and serving the public with you, I am Sincerely yours,

The Director.

Two-Page Speech to Be Given to the Public at a Large Rally That Has Been Called in Support of the Museum:

Thank you for gathering here in support of the Montana Museum of Native American Art. It does my heart good to look out on your sympathetic faces and realize that you are all here to encourage and help us in these dark days.

We will need your help. We have begun downsizing, which I'm sure will be publicized and discussed privately among you. This will affect a large portion of our community and put hardships on undeserving families. It is a difficult task which I will be undertaking in the next few days as I talk to our staff and dedicated workers here at the Museum. In the Handbook on Museum Management, it discusses how, in times of emergency, the Team Leader or Director, has to decide who stays on the team and who doesn't. He is also responsible for job assignments and reporting structures. On the other hand, he is the one who receives the blame or glory when a team performs.

I feel the weight of these sad circumstances on my shoulders as I try to decide what to do in this situation. Fortunately, I have a dedicated Board and staff, all of whom have come with me through some difficult times in the past. I know I can depend upon them for guidance and wise words. It is their influence and knowledge that will guide me to do what is right in the days ahead. We face some daunting tasks together, you and I, as we try to keep the doors to our beloved Museum open.

My staff and I plan to begin recruitment and training of volunteers, who will be trained to assist in the running of the museum. They may staff the museum shop, lead tours of the art, plan and carry out social events, decorate, keep the yardwork up, and even do archiving and planning of exhibitions. It will be their first exciting event to sponsor a museum show which is extremely popular and has already toured to sell-out crowds at the Milwaukee Public Museum. "Body Parts" is its name and it is a display of human corpses and organs preserved through a special silicone process.

We urge you to come and bring a friend to honor and appreciate the heritage of our fellow Native Americans. We will not even entertain the idea of deaccessioning and returning or getting rid of any of the museum objects. Even though there will now be a small entrance fee, I do hope it will not be prohibitive. As a matter of fact, if the cost of entering the museum is too costly for any one of you, please let me know and we will work a deal. How about that? It is important that we have each one of you visit our valuable collection to enjoy its history and beauty.

This is a most regrettable situation, as the economy tightens around us. Our main goal in the face of this adversity is to keep the doors open for the public, displaying and protecting the collection of Native Indian Art which has been so carefully gathered by our curators and donors in spite of the sacrifices which must be made in order to do so. I sincerely regret this sad turn of events. This is one of the hardest moments in my career, and I sincerely hope that you understand and support these desperate measures, which are taken only to be able to keep the doors of our beloved museum open.

A thank you for your support and assistance in these difficult changes, which will begin on the first of the month and will continue for six months. After six months, the Board has planned to review our financial situation and see if improvements may be made to the strategy which we have decided upon.

Thank you again for all you have done today and will do in the future to support our Museum!

Chart displaying where budget cuts will be:

No. Of Employees in Rank Before Crisis (After Crisis)

Rank, and Title of Employees Before Crisis

Total Salaries

Total After Crisis)

Total Cut in Salaries

Director with overall responsibility

Rank II Senior Manager

Rank III Senior Curator:

Rank IV Junior… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Museum Budget Cuts One-Page Memo to Staff."  Essaytown.com.  November 30, 2007.  Accessed November 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/museum-budget-cuts-one-page-memo-staff/3332.