Faculty Director, Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology

Associate Professor Benjamin Porter has informed me of his decision to step down as Faculty Director of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology (PAHMA) at the end of the 2019 fall semester in order to return to research and teaching. I invite nominations of tenured Berkeley faculty by October 4, 2019.

Under Porter’s leadership, the Museum realized its goal to be a place where cultures connect in uncommon ways, through exciting exhibits of the rich holdings of the collection, through hosting teaching and research involving scholars from our campus community and beyond, and through public education and outreach. The ideal of connection found expression, to cite one example, in the exhibit “Face to Face: Looking at Objects that Look at You,” a product of a new program designed by Porter and his staff that invites campus and community stakeholders to participate in the Museum’s exhibit curation. Porter spearheaded a $2.2 million capital project to renovate the Hearst Museum’s gallery, completing a dramatic move of the Museum’s global collection to renovated facilities, and brought the collection to a greater audience by launching a new website with an online searchable collections portal. He continued the Museum’s Native American Advisory Council, and took steps to insure that the museum was accessible to descendent communities around the world. Under his guidance, the Council of Faculty Curators grew, and the Hearst Museum Advisory Board was instituted; the Councils and Board provide valued counsel to the Museum on a wide range of issues. Finally, the Museum’s preeminent standing was reconfirmed when Porter successfully shepherded the Museum through a successful institutional re-accreditation process by the American Alliance of Museums in 2018.

Porter will be joined in September by a new Executive Director, Dr. Caroline Fernald, who comes to us from the directorship of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico. Fernald will manage the administrative functions of the Museum, allowing Porter to focus on the programmatic and other duties assigned to the Faculty Director. Upon his departure from the Museum at the end of the calendar year, we intend to hire a new Faculty Director who will assume the role of visionary leader in collaboration with Fernald and the Museum staff, curators, and other stakeholders. I invite nominations of tenured Berkeley faculty who are highly qualified and willing to serve in this part-time administrative role. The candidate should have a well-established research and professional reputation, leadership and administrative abilities, as well as a deep familiarity and involvement w ith museum collections. This appointment is for an initial five-year term effective January 1, 2020 and provides teaching relief and additional compensation.

Founded in 1901, the PAHMA is accredited by the American Association of Museums and has one of the finest archaeology and ethnology collections in the nation. The collections stem back to initial efforts by Phoebe A. Hearst and are comprised of approximately 3.8 million objects from around the world with particular strengths in Native California, ancient Egypt, ancient Peru, Africa, and Oceania. Approximately 131,000 catalog entries of photographs, sound recordings, film, works of art, and paper archives complement the core collections of objects of material culture.

The Faculty Director reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and is expected to work closely with faculty curators and the Hearst Museum Board in maintaining the policies, priorities, fundraising, and the strategic direction of t he Museum. The Faculty Director is responsible for the Museum’s fiscal health as well as its human and physical resources. They will ensure that collections are properly managed and remain accessible as appropriate to teachers, researchers and stakeholder communities. The Faculty Director will also work in close consultation with the campus’ Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA committee to ensure successful implementation of UC Berkeley’s Native American repatriation program.

Please submit nominations by completing the online nomination form no later than Friday October 4, 2019. Self nominations are welcome. The appointed search advisory committee will not be provided the names of those who submit nominations or know whether individuals have been self nominated. All nominations will be reviewed by the search advisory c ommittee that will select the top nominees to solicit interest in becoming a formal candidate, and through the interview process, recommend 2-3 candidate to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research for final selection.

Please join me in thanking Benjamin for his outstanding service to the Museum and wishing him well in his continued work in the Berkeley campus community and beyond.


Linda Haverty Rugg
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research