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Coffee Gatherings


Curatorial Work as Academic Labor | Recording and Resources

On Tuesday, September 24, at 3 PM (EST), our Coffee Gathering featured Meredith Lynn, Assistant Curator at Florida State University, and Claire L. Kovacs, Curator of Binghamton University Art Museum. To better understand the range of job descriptions and promotional review criteria that apply to those who do curatorial work at academic museums or galleries, Lynn and Kovacs created a survey to gather information from their colleagues in academic museums and galleries. They presented their findings at AAMG in 2019 and again last week in the Coffee Gathering.

Meredith Lynn is an artist, curator, and educator based in Tallahassee, Florida. In her art practice, she frequently explores the historical, political, and social issues surrounding land management and ownership. Her curatorial specialty is contemporary art, with a particular focus in interactive and new media art. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Northern Lights, and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs and most recently shown at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Arcata, California and the Wiregrass Museum in Dothan, Alabama. She is the curator of the Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University where she also teaches in the Department of Art.

Claire L. Kovacs is the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at Binghamton University. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Case Western Reserve University – all in art history. She has curated exhibitions at the Figge Art Museum, Coe College, Krasl Art Center, DePaul University, and at Augustana College, where she was (until recently) the Director of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art. Her strategies for curatorial work and programming emphasize the ways that academic museums explore contemporary issues, foster interdisciplinary inquiry, create space for a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, and function as a site of dynamic community engagement. She underscores intersectional equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in her curatorial work. Her research practice grapples with ways that art historical research can support ‘The Common Good’ (to borrow a phrase from the NEH), using curatorial practice and writing as a mechanism by which to amplify under-told stories.

Negotiation Resources

Association of Art Museum DirectorsAAMD Salary Survey, 2019.

Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want. Bantam Books, 2008.

Gender Equity In Museums’ 5 Things You Need to Know

Museum Workers’ Salaries’ Google Sheet

POWarts Salary Survey 2019


Presentation Sources

AAMG Professional Practices for Academic Museums & Galleries.  Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, 2017.

Bozeman, Barry, and Monica Gaughan. “Job Satisfaction among University Faculty: Individual, Work, and Institutional Determinants.”  The Journal of Higher Education 82, no. 2 (April 2011): 154–186.

Campbell, Corbin M., and KerryAnn O’Meara. “Faculty Agency: Departmental Contexts That Matter in Faculty Careers.”  Research in Higher Education 55 (2014): 49–74.

Glesne, Corrine.  The Campus Art Museum: A Qualitative Study. IV. Challenges and Conditions of Success for Campus Art Museums.  The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 2012.

Harris, Michael S., and Matthew Hartley. “Witch-Hunting at Crucible University: The Power and Peril of Competing Organizational Ideologies.”  The Journal of Higher Education 82, no. 6 (December 2011): 691–719.

Hermanowicz, Joseph C. “Classifying Universities and Their Departments: A Social World Perspective.”  The Journal of Higher Education 76, no. 1 (February 2005): 26–55.

Horton, Susan. “High Aspirations: Differences in Employee Satisfaction Between University Faculty and Staff.” Applied Research in Quality of Life 1 (2006): 315–322.

Jackson, J. Kasi, Melissa Latimer, and Rachel Stoiko. “The Dynamic between Knowledge Production and Faculty Evaluation: Perceptions of the Promotion and Tenure Process across Disciplines.”  Innovative Higher Education 42 (2017): 193–205.

Kosteas, Vasilios D. “Job Satisfaction and Promotions.”  Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society 50, no. 1 (January 2011): 174–194.

Lawrence, Janet H., Sergio Celis, and Molly Ott. “Is the Tenure Process Fair?: What Faculty Think.”  The Journal of Higher Education 85, no. 2 (April 2014): 155–192.

Logan, Dave, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright.  Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization.  New York: HarperCollins, 2011.

Moorman, R.H. “Relationship between Organizational Justice and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: Do Fairness Perceptions Influence Employee Citizenship?” Journal of Applied Psychology 76 (n.d.): 845–855.

Museum Workers Share Their Salaries and Urge Industry-Wide Reform, n.d.

Ponjuan, Luis, Valerie Martin Conley, and Cathy Trower. “Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues.”  The Journal of Higher Education 82, no. 3 (June 2011): 319–346.

POWarts Salary Survey, n.d.

Survey Results: Academic Museum Reporting Structures: Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, 2017.

Youn, Ted I.K., and Tanya M. Price. “Learning from the Experience of Others: The Evolution of Faculty Tenure and Promotion Rules in Comprehensive Institutions.”  The Journal of Higher Education 80, no. 2 (April 2009): 204–237.

Professional Organizations 

Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC)

AAMC Mentorship Program

Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG)

The Getty Leadership Institute

The Getty Leadership Institute – NextGen 


CAA Resources Discussed

CAA’s Guidelines for Retention and Tenure of Art and Design Faculty 

108th CAA Annual Conference in Chicago