The Missouri History Museum could name a new president early next month after narrowing the field of Bob Archibald's possible successors to two candidates.
In a Monday meeting of the board of trustees, board chairman John Roberts announced that the museum plans to bring each candidate to St. Louis just after the new year. The week of Jan. 6 is under consideration if the prospects are available. No further information about the candidates was revealed.
Their two-day visits would include meetings with museum management, the trustees and the commissioners of the museum’s subdistrict, along with other face-t0-face interactions of their choosing, according to Roberts.
“They might like to visit with some of the presidents of the other cultural institutions,” Roberts said.
Following the visits, a panel of six museum representatives -- Roberts, interim president Bob Cox, chair of the museum subdistrict Romondous Stover, search committee chair Donna Wilkinson and two trustees of Roberts’ choosing -- will discuss the prospects and decide on one candidate to recommend to the board of trustees.
Should the visits take place the week of Jan. 6, the board could vote on the panel's recommendation as early as Friday, Jan. 10. Subdistrict commission members would then vote on whether to approve the board’s decision, after which the choice would be made public.
The need for a timely decision is hastened by the plans of many decision-makers to head for warmer climates as soon as they can, according to Roberts. But a quick decision would also allow the board to put the matter behind them.
“Quite frankly, I’d just like to just get it done and move it along,” Roberts said.
Former president Archibald resigned in late 2012 after issues arose about his compensation and the museum’s 2006 purchase of property at 5863 Delmar Blvd.
The search committee was assisted by the Phillips Oppenheim search firm, which was paid $100,000. The new president is expected to be in place by March 1, interim president Cox told the trustees.