With General Assembly Session Concluded, Gunston Hall Executive Director Search Can Now Begin
The Governor's budget included a provision that will allow the Executive Director to receive a higher salary, and the money will come from private donors.
The search for a new executive director for Gunston Hall Plantation can finally begin. The recently concluded 2013 Virginia General Assembly approved Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's budget, which includes a provision allowing the executive director to receive a portion of his salary from private donations.
"The recruitment for executive director will begin now that the General Assembly's work has concluded," Interim-Executive Director Patrick Ladden told Patch. "It will be a nationwide search. A search committee is in place and the process will include advertising in major museum locations such as the American Alliance for Museums, American Association for State and Local History, American Historical Association and through state and other sources."
A Board of Regents oversees the former home of George Mason, and have found it difficult to find suitable candidates due to a salary cap of just more than $80,000 a year. The donations will allow for the salary to be six figures.
The last director of Gunston Hall was David Reese, who was fired last year by the Board of Regents.
According to page 524 of the Governor's budget:
"With the written approval of the Governor, the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Natural History, The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Gunston Hall, the Library Board, and the Virginia College Savings Plan Board may supplement the salary of the Director of each museum, the Librarian of Virginia and the Director of the Virginia College Savings Plan Board from nonstate funds.
"In approving a supplement, the Governor should be guided by criteria which provide a reasonable limit on the total additional income and the criteria should include, without limitation, a consideration of the salaries paid to similar officials at comparable museum and libraries of other states. The respective Boards shall report approved supplements to the Department of Human Resource Management for retention in its records."
The Board of Regents will hold their semi-annual meeting the first full weekend in April at Gunston Hall. The group will spend the next few months developing the Plantation's five-year strategic plan, and the draft document is expected to be released this spring or summer.