[Taxacom] Natural History Collections Under Fire

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Wed Mar 29 11:23:25 CDT 2017

On 3/29/17 8:19 AM, John Grehan wrote:
> Last week Pani told leaders of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences,
> which manages the museum, of the decision. He met with them again this
> week. He said the collections, except for some of the teaching specimens,
> will be donated and relocated by mid-July. The CAES people asked for 48
> hours to determine if space on campus could be found and the entire
> collection retained.
Contrast this with what the collection staff stated:

"The College was given 48 hours to suggest an alternate location for the 
collections so that Brown Stadium can be renovated for the track team." 
and "we were told that if the collections are not relocated to other 
institutions, the collections will be destroyed at the end of July." and 
"They did not have the courage to inform us face-to-face".

Someone is not telling the whole truth here, and one has to suspect it 
is the administrator, who did not identify where the specimens were to 
be donated, says there was a meeting, and omitted the ultimatum. The 
staff posting, on the other hand, smacks of sincerity and desperation, 
and says there was no meeting; of the two versions of the story, I give 
it more credence, though I stand to be corrected if anyone knows better.

As a follow-up, I might point something out that no one has mentioned:

Another recent news item that got significant attention was the donation 
of a collection of 1.25 million weevils and planthoppers to ASU, valued 
at 10 million dollars.


At that rate, the collections at ULM are worth between 50 and 100 
million dollars (surely fish and plants are worth more per specimen than 
weevils, at least in the public's perception).

Let's think for a moment about the Board of Trustees at ULM; *how do 
they feel about ULM administrators saying that if they cannot find a 
place to give away nearly 100 million dollars' worth of ULM assets, that 
those assets will be destroyed?*

If these people only care about dollars, is this not the exact kind of 
argument that could get them to reverse this decision? Would the Board 
of Trustees not be the first point of contact to start such a reversal 
in motion, if the admins have already made their decision?


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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