The CU Museum of Natural History has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. CU Museum was initially accredited in 2003 and all museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.
Alliance accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.
“We are very proud to be reaccredited by the American Alliance of Museums and the institutional integrity that it certifies” said Museum Director Patrick Kociolek. “Every day, we educate children, adults and new museum professionals; conduct world class research; develop, make accessible and conserve collections; and promote stewardship and appreciation of the natural world through engaging exhibits and programs.”
“The comprehensive process of self-study and review took over 2 years and required the hard work and input of all the CU Museum faculty, staff, students, advisory board members and administration,” Kociolek said. “We appreciate the recognition and look forward to continuing our important work!”
Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, more than 1070 are currently accredited. CU Museum of Natural History is one of only 24 museums accredited in Colorado and the only AAM accredited museum in Boulder.
Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”