Getty Leadership Institute: Transition Update


Letter from CGU's President, December 2012

As the President of Claremont Graduate University (CGU), I want to provide alumni, friends, colleagues and others interested in the future of the Getty Leadership Institute (GLI) with an update on transition activities.

As many of you already know, GLI became part of CGU in January 2010, supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation. In August of this year, the Getty Foundation announced a second three-year, $1.95 million grant to CGU for continued support of the GLI through 2015 (see press release). We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Getty Foundation.  The goals for this new era of the GLI include the selection of a new executive director to succeed Philip Nowlen, who is retiring at the end of 2012. I personally wish to thank Phil Nowlen for his long and distinguished tenure. Under his careful and dedicated guidance, GLI became widely respected for providing executive leadership opportunities for museum professionals globally.  We have convened a search committee, who with the executive search firm Russell Reynolds, are working hard to find the right executive director to lead GLI going forward.  I hope that the position will be filled by mid-2013.

The next three years will be a crucial period for the Getty Leadership Institute as the program undergoes a change in leadership while simultaneously refining its training model and exploring new avenues of partnership in Claremont and around the world. In particular, we envision refocusing the Museum Leadership Institute more specifically on museums that collect and exhibit works of art. Moreover, we will address important trends in the museum field such as the growing demands for collaboration, accessibility, and technology. We are confident that with the input of experts in the academic and museum field the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University will grow and further solidify its role as the world’s preeminent program for the creation of visionary museum leaders.

As we take this pause to recruit new leadership, re-envision the program, and prepare ourselves for the 2014 academic year we have downsized our support staff.  I send my best wishes and deep gratitude to MiJin Hong, Leonie Fedel, and Emily Jaksa as they pursue other opportunities.  Rest assured this difficult decision is by no means a reflection on their work or their effectiveness.  Rather, it is a consequence of an expected reduction in workload during 2013. Their professionalism and dedication to the museum field through the work of the GLI has been exemplary and greatly appreciated.  Leonie Fedel will remain at CGU for the first part of 2013 in a temporary role to stay in touch with alumni, prospective class members, and to assist the new executive director as they take the helm with the GLI. I wish to thank Phil Nowlen and his team for all their work to date, including transitioning GLI from the Getty to CGU in 2010. Over the years, not only have the GLI staff strengthened the professional careers of countless individuals, but by extension improved the leadership of those museums and the broader cultural sector too. Under their care, GLI has developed into an organization of the highest reputation.

CGU is the oldest graduate-only institution in the United States, with academic centers in the humanities, social sciences, psychology, mathematics, botany, fine arts, education, information science, management and executive management. The Getty Foundation selected CGU as its partner because of CGU’s established reputation for quality graduate education, particularly in leadership and management studies, as well as expertise with international programs, open partnership environment, and its proximity to the Getty.  Relevant university faculty expertise lies within the internationally recognized Drucker-Ito School of Management, which is increasingly focused on fostering excellence in leadership and management in the creative industries, as well as in the School of Arts and Humanities, which has a well-regarded degree-granting program in arts management and museum studies.

I am confident that after this year of re-envisioning and transformation, GLI will emerge better placed to move forward as the definitive leadership development program for museum leaders globally. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me, via the GLI’s email, if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,

Debbie Freund, CGU President


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