National Search Will Resume in January 2021

A national search for the next director and chief curator of the Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota Twin Cities will move forward in January 2021. Provost and Executive Vice President Rachel T. A. Croson has convened a renewed search committee that will support the relaunch of the process that was begun last spring.

This renewed search continues in its goal to identify a visionary leader who will preserve and enhance the Weisman as a dynamically engaged teaching museum integrated with the University’s academic mission. The committee will build on previous work to ensure a broad and inclusive search process, develop a strong and diverse pool of candidates, and provide advisory recommendations to Provost Croson, with the goal of identifying the next leader of WAM by the end of spring semester.

Several listening sessions will be held to refresh and update all that was learned from the many sessions held last year. Watch for opportunities to participate. Public and UMN campus community input will help to shape the position profile and guide the recruitment of candidates.

Thanks are due to Professor Thomas Fisher and Regent Emerita Dr. Patricia Simmons for agreeing to serve as co-chairs of the renewed search committee. We are also pleased to have the ongoing assistance of national search consultants Sheryl Ash, Benjamin Tobin, and Chloe Kanas of Isaacson, Miller.

The renewed search committee, appointed by Provost Croson and set to formally convene in January, includes:

Thomas Fisher, Director, Minnesota Design Center; Professor and Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design; committee co-chair
Patricia Simmons, Emerita Regent, University of Minnesota; committee co-chair
Steve Apfelbacher, Former President (retired), Ehlers & Associates Inc.; past chair, WAM Colleagues Advisory Board
Christine Baeumler, Professor, Interdisciplinary Art and Social Practice
Leslie Barlow, Lecturer, Art; visual artist and arts educator
Katherine Covey, Director of Student Engagement and Programs, Weisman Art Museum
Stuart Deets, PhD candidate and teaching assistant, Art History; WAM student program assistant (WAM Collective)
Cynthia Ihlenfeld, Artist and Community Volunteer; Member of WAM Colleagues Advisory Board and Capital Campaign Co-Chair
Jessica Lopez Lyman, Assistant Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies
Jennifer Marshall, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Art History
Diane Mullin, Senior Curator, Weisman Art Museum
Eric Newman, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Neuroscience; member, WAM Colleagues Advisory Board
Jennifer Newsom, Professor of Art; visual artist
Patti Phillips, Director of Development, Weisman Art Museum
Amelious Whyte, Director of Public Engagement, College of Liberal Arts; chair, WAM Colleagues Advisory Board



The University of Minnesota, in early 2020, launched a national search for a new director and chief curator of the Weisman Art Museum. A search committee was named by the executive vice president and provost, with Sheryl Ash and Benjamin Tobin of the national search firm Isaacson, Miller engaged to assist in the recruitment and screening of candidates. After a pause in the search, due to the pandemic, the search process is set to resume in early 2021.

About Weisman Art Museum

About the University of Minnesota


For more information about the search process, please contact:
Kate Tyler,
Assistant to the provost and lead professional staff to search committee


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