Collections Under Threat: University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History

From the University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History’s Facebook page:
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

“Dear Friends,

Because this Facebook page is considered a University site, I have been asked to repost my announcement correcting statements that were inaccurate or misleading. My apologies for the confusion.

The Dean of the College and School Director were notified verbally and then by email last week that the two research collections would have to be divested. State appropriations have been cut more than 50% since 2008 and ULM has struggled to provide public services. The collections have not been used for research by our students and faculty much in the last few years but are being used in classes. Research use has largely been done by others from loans.

It was suggested that a teaching collection that could fit in a typical classroom could be saved to meet teaching needs.

A 48 hour deadline was set only to find space on campus to relocate the collections. If no space is found, the collections need to be donated to other institutions by mid-July. In the unlikely case that no new home could be found, disposal would be required to meet the construction deadlines for the renovation of Brown Stadium.”

The information below was brought to our attention by our friends at ICOM-UMAC:

From the University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History’s Facebook page, dated today (March 28):

“Dear Friends,

It is my sad duty to report to you that the ULM administration has decided to divest the research collections in the Museum of Natural History. This includes the 6 million fish specimens in the Neil Douglas fish collection and the nearly 500,000 plant specimens in the R. Dale Thomas plant collection. They find no value in the collections and no value of the collections to the university. The College was given 48 hours to suggest an alternate location for the collections so that Brown Stadium can be renovated for the track team. With only about 20 hours left, we have found no magic solution yet. To add insult to injury on what was a very hard day, we were told that if the collections are not relocated to other institutions, the collections will be destroyed at the end of July.

While we weep that our own institution would turn its back on 50+ years of hard work and dedication, we will not abandon the collections to the dumpsters. They did not have the courage to inform us face-to-face, but we have the courage to persevere through these dark times.

Oh, in other sad news, we were informed that there will not be any expansion of the public displays in Hanna Hall.”

Not sure what we can all do about this, but I’m betting this is not going to be the last time we see this sort of sudden decision to eliminate collections under the new political climate.”

Categories: General Announcement