Texas Tech University


[Moderate revision–posted 5/8/23 (replaces 9/11/18 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 30.03: Museum of Texas Tech University

DATE: May 8, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and a standardized approach concerning the organization and responsibilities of the Museum of Texas Tech University.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in October of even-numbered years by the Executive Director of the Museum and the Vice Provost for Outreach & Engagement with substantive revisions forwarded to the Provost and Senior Vice President.


1.  The Museum Complex

a.    The Museum of Texas Tech University complex includes the main museum building, the Moody Planetarium, the Natural Science Research Laboratory, and the Lubbock Lake Landmark.

b.    The museum is an integral part of the total university academic program and a vital conduit to the community, providing a unique teaching and learning environment through the preservation and presentation of scientific, historical, and cultural heritage and providing exhibitions, events, and programming to the public. The museum is a valuable resource for undergraduate, graduate, and individual study courses; faculty and students of the Heritage and Museum Sciences Program; and researchers. The graduate program is housed in the museum and integrated into museum operations. Student opportunities further enhance the value of the museum to university departments. These facilities serve as a unifying agent for research and exhibit programs and the academic activities of departments. The general public is able to share in the academic activities of the museum through special tours and programs that supplement regular visiting hours. The non-university community is able to enjoy public programs designed for all visitors, as well as those offered as a result of the academic program in museum science.

(1)    The museum has established the following strategic goals:

(a)    Generate excellence in public and academic programming;

(b)    Expand and deepen community engagement and expand audience engagement at the state, national, and international levels;

(c)    Foster and enhance collections-based research;

(d)    Engage in sustainable funding, including cultivation of a larger donor base and creating revenue streams;

(e)    Acquire and maintain quality collections; and

(f)    Sustain high standards of museum professional practices.

(2)    The museum features educational exhibits from its collections of art, natural sciences, history, clothing and textiles, ethnology, archaeology, paleontology, geology, and astronomy. Traveling exhibits expand and enhance these rotating exhibits.

2.  Activities and Facilities of the Museum

a.    The activities and facilities of the Museum of Texas Tech University are a part of the teaching, research, and outreach function of the university.

b.    The museum as a research institution conducts regional to international transdisciplinary research in accord with its mission statement and scope of collections. The collections, in turn, reflect the research focus of the museum.

c.    The Museum of Texas Tech University Association contributes to the museum's development by securing donations or purchasing art. The association also serves as a conduit for monetary gifts with which to enlarge the museum facility or for grants that support art acquisitions, exhibits, public programming, and collections care.

d.    The university serves as the holder of title to the following properties utilized in the operation of the Museum of Texas Tech University:

(1)    The museum building(s);

(2)    Equipment and installations;

(3)    All materials and collections purchased with state funds and all materials and collections secured by staff whose salaries are paid by state funds; and

(4)    All materials and collections specifically donated to the university.

e.    The museum strives to maintain accreditation already earned and overseen by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in Washington, D.C., and also reflects in practice the priorities established by the AAM. This includes the current emphasis on visitor experience, visitor service, public programming, and outreach.

f.    The leadership, staff, and students of the museum seek to create an atmosphere that demonstrates best professional standards of ethics, transparency, respect, and collaboration and are held accountable for their efforts.

3.  Museum Governance

a.    The museum is administered by an Executive Director who is recommended by the Provost and Senior Vice President to the university President and approved by the Chancellor and the Board of Regents.

b.   The Museum of Texas Tech University Association has the opportunity to provide advice and consultation in the process of selecting the Executive Director of the Museum.

4.  Use of Museum Space and Facilities

a.   The Museum of Texas Tech University offers a variety of programs and activities as well as serving as an extension of the research and instructional academic functions of the university. Selected facilities of the museum may be made available for special purposes on approval of the Executive Director.

b.    The collections of the museum are held in trust for the people of the state of Texas. Use of museum collections for loan purposes (exhibition, research, conservation) must follow established museum procedures and be approved by the appropriate collections curator and the Executive Director.

Operating Policies & Procedures