Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 at 3:42 pm in Uncategorized.
A new executive director at the once-headed-for-closure Coyote Point Museum could be announced as soon as Thursday morning, according to Linda Lanier, the museum’s president of the board of the trustees. The board of trustees will meet Wednesday night to take a final vote on the new hire.
“We are absolutely so solidly unanimous that this is the person with the skill set we need at this point in time,” Lanier said.
Lanier said that 47 candidates applied for the position. The pool was narrowed to 17, and five finalists were chosen, all of whom came to the museum for extensive interviews.
Meanwhile, the museum has restructured its education department, and recently laid off a staff member in the process. But Lanier insisted that the change does not represent a shrinking priority of education at the environmental center.
“There was a staffing change made, but it had nothing to do with our focus on education,” Lanier said. “That’s our focus, that’s always been our focus – the education department.”
Michelle Martin, the museum’s acting executive director, said that they did away with the education department structure of a director of and three staff members (though for the last six months, there had only been two).
“We changed our staff model because we were gearing up to do more,” Martin said. “We had to look at a new model because that wasn’t working.”
Instead, the museum will have two people in management positions in the department and hire six people who will be permanent part-time employees, a structure that Martin said will allow for better flexibility for staffing the department’s various educational endeavors, which can occur throughout the day and on weekends.
Beginning in April, the museum will be adding live wildlife shows, with six performances a week, as well as an invertebrate touch pool in the environmental hall (shown above) complete with starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. The department also plans to hire about 10 temporary counselors for its summer camp programs, Martin said.
The 52-year-old museum was on the brink of closure when it made its mounting deficit — some $745,000 — public in July. Headed by Lanier, the grass roots Campaign to Save Coyote Point swooped in with a plan to save the museum and $558,000 in pledges from more than 800 donors. The group secured another $500,000 in grants to help bring the museum into the black. Lanier and the museum’s new board are now overseeing an overhaul of the museum’s exhibits to emphasize environmental threats, balancing the budget and significantly increasing fundraising efforts for the endowment.
The museum had been through eight directors in the last decade.
”This place is really turning around,” Martin said.