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April 10, 2014

Gordon Galleries Curator Among Museum Executives Chosen for Getty Leadership Institute

kudos1-lgRamona Austin

Ramona Austin, curator of Old Dominion's Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries, is one of 39 museum leaders from the United States and eight countries around the world selected to participate in the 2014 Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders.

The Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University (GLI) announced the selection. Participants, chosen from a pool of 60 applicants, demonstrated an impressive record of achievement in their roles as museum leaders in their first five to seven years of senior-level management, but face significant issues in the immediate future as they influence policy and effect change at their institutions and in the wider art museum field.

"The goal of the institute is to provide attendees with strategies for the arts to take back to their parent organizations, and here at ODU, we are moving forward in the arts on campus," said Austin.

The GLI 2014 Executive Education Program features a comprehensive and intensive curriculum aimed at deepening participants' leadership skills in order to manage change and forge success in the global museum field. For the first time, the 2014 program offers a blended learning environment with one week of asynchronous online learning in April and two weeks of classwork in June in residence on the Claremont Graduate University campus in Claremont, Calif.

Now in its 35th year, the GLI Executive Education Program is the world's foremost professional development program designed especially for senior-level museum executives. The 2014 cohort comes from collecting and non-collecting visual arts institutions from around the world. Included in the group are executives from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institution and the Phillips Collection.

University museums are represented by the directors of the art museums at the University of Utah, University of Texas, University of Washington, University of Navarra, Spain, California State University, Long Beach, and Reed College. Among the international participants are leaders from the Royal Academy of Art in London, Chatsworth House and Lismore Castle, United Kingdom, the Helsinki Art Museum in Finland, and the Palace Museum and the Shaanxi History Museum in China.

Participants are primarily museum directors, but also include those who lead museum curatorial, education, exhibitions, collections, research, development and public programming initiatives. Senior- level managers from leadership education programs and botanical gardens fill out the class to ensure a diversity of perspectives and experiences for group discussions.

Faculty comes from the top ranks of educational institutions including the University of Southern California, the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College and the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Guest lecturers include leaders from southern California art museums. Rigorous coursework includes modules on fundraising, strategy, marketing and social consumerism.

The curriculum blends museum site practicums at Los Angeles area institutions with classroom learning. Faculty members facilitate thoughtful analysis, exercises and discussions using case studies based on current events and trends. The curriculum fosters learning through both theory and practice and aims to enhance museum leadership at the individual, institutional and societal levels.