Caroline Clements, December 1, 2023
NU State Museum earns reaccreditation from American Alliance of Museums
The University of Nebraska State Museum has been awarded reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Only 8% of the nation’s natural history museums are accredited. The NU State Museum has been accredited since the 1970s.
“For many Nebraskans, especially our K-12 students, the state museum is the ‘front door’ to the university,” said Sherri Jones, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development. “Through its innovative programming and comprehensive exhibits, the museum is a vital resource for Nebraskans to engage with research and discovery at UNL. Achieving reaccreditation is a well-deserved honor.”
Accreditation is a rigorous process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. NU State Museum staff from all four sites: Research Collections (Lincoln), Morrill Hall (Lincoln), Ashfall Fossil Beds (Royal, Nebraska) and Trailside Museum (Crawford, Nebraska) participated in the museum’s reaccreditation process.
Alliance accreditation recognizes a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 years, the AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable to provide the best possible service to the public.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”
Susan Weller, director of the NU State Museum, said: “I am especially proud that the museum was commended for its community partnerships and accessibility to Nebraska communities throughout the state.”
Both Ashfall Fossil Beds and Trailside Museum are closed for the winter seasons and will reopen in spring 2024. Morrill Hall will reopen to the public in late January. Learn more about the museum sites.