The has announced a strategic restructuring plan that includes an 11 percent reduction in personnel and efforts to reduce its dependence on its endowment.
Under the plan approved unanimously by the museum's board, eight open positions will not be filled, while nineteen full-time and two part-time positions will be eliminated. IMA is providing severance packages and outplacement services to those affected by the restructuring. In addition, the museum, which currently relies on its endowment — valued at $116 million as of June 30 — for more than 70 percent of its $22.5 million operating budget, will focus on increasing gifts and earned income. The museum's endowment lost $100 million between 2008 and 2009. The staff reduction is expected to save $1.7 million, the reports.
Since the appointment last fall of Charles L. Venable as its CEO, IMA has renewed its focus on audience engagement. In addition to training gallery guards to serve as guides and relocating the welcome desk, the museum is crafting strategies for attracting larger local and regional audiences and enriching the visitor experience. "As an institution, the board wants the IMA to be recognized not only for the vibrant and engaging programming it brings to our constituents, but also for our exemplary stewardship of the financial resources that have been entrusted to us and are meant to be perpetual," said IMA board chair June M. McCormack.
"These are difficult changes, but it is imperative that we reduce our reliance on the endowment so future generations can benefit from it," said Venable. "In my opinion, endowments ideally should not be used to support more than 50 percent of operations as a rule, with the other half being supported through donations and earned revenue. It pains me greatly that we have to make staffing reductions at this juncture, but it was clear that they were necessary. The IMA staff is very talented and the board and I are grateful for the contributions of those who are leaving their employment at the IMA today, and we wish them well."