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Governor Includes Budget Provision to Supplement Gunston Hall Director Salary With Private Donations

The ideal salary will be six figures.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has included a provision in his budget that will allow the future executive director of Gunston Hall Plantation to receive a portion of his salary from private donors. As it stands, the Board of Regents, who oversee the former home of George Mason, are finding it difficult to find suitable candidates for the open position, due to a salary cap of just more than $80,000 a year.

The exact salary that the Regents want for the position has not been made publicly known. 

"We know that since Northern Virginia is more expensive than many other places in the country, that to attract the right applicant you probably have to offer a better salary," said Gunston Hall interim director Patrick Ladden.

"The anticipation is that the salary is not high enough to attract the kind of applicant pool that the Regents want."

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."

Gunston Hall is currently developing its five-year strategic plan, and the draft document is expected for release this spring or summer.   

Tim Sargeant is one of three members on the Gunston Hall Board of Visitors. "I think what we're seeing is a good strategic planning process to move Gunston Hall forward, to make it as viable and attractive as it can be," he told Patch.

The last director of Gunston Hall was David Reese, who was fired last year by the Board of Regents.  

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Sally Spangler February 05, 2013 at 03:51 PM
In other words - Gunston Hall would be just another charity to milk gullible people to pay a regular dole to the Director's yearly salary. I can only hope that a 000,000 pay would not mean the director would turn Gunston Hall into something it wasn't - the home of a VERY RICH owner as Mount Vernon is now! Mt Vernon has many irons in a constant fire to make money to bring visitors and get them to buy some gew-gaw that may have been part of George Washington's life.
Bertie February 06, 2013 at 12:05 AM
I guess it will be 2015 or 2016 before GH gets a new director. I wish everyone would stop using 80K as the Director's salary. The Director of GH also gets a FREE house and FREE utilties. And, on top of that, walks to work. Logically, if the director is not paid enough, what about the rest of the employees? On another note, how can I have any respect for an organization that is using "utilize" in their brand-new mission statement.....

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