Master of Public Administration
Department or Program
The purpose of this paper is to assess the process for exhibition design and installation in a case study of an Illinois state-funded University Museum. The case study methodology focused on the administration of a self-administered interview questionnaire to professional staff using a review of contemporary research and current practices of select US museums within the region to provide a basis for recommendations and improvements centered around questionnaire results. This study views different aspects of the exhibit design and installation processes at this museum, including internal communication, museum hierarchy, budgetary restrictions, and volunteers. The analysis shows that the state-funded University Museum runs relatively efficiently with their current verbal design and installation processes. If adopted, recommendations may potentially further improvement in the efficiency of the exhibition process. Recommendations include: the use of RFP forms, the formalization of the design process by appointing a staff member with the authority to make final decisions on design, the use of available employees more like an assembly line process for exhibitions, and the informing of all staff as to the current state of the budget at all times. Mainly, staff interviews stress the importance of formal communication in meeting exhibition process objectives.