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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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MAC director fired after less than a year

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture fired its executive director on Tuesday, less than a year after recruiting him to Spokane. Forrest B. Rodgers confirmed that the executive committee of the museum’s board terminated him on Tuesday. It’s unclear if the museum’s full board voted on the termination. Rodgers, 60, was hired last summer and started his new job Aug. 1 after years of financial turmoil and threatened closures as a result of state budget cuts. He is the former president and CEO of the High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore. and former executive director of the Central Washington University Foundation. Chris Schnug, the president of the museum’s board, said that there was a “change” in leadership at the museum on Tuesday, but she declined to provide details about Rodgers’ departure. “This is an ongoing personnel matter, and I’m not at liberty to provide any more details at this moment,” Schnug said. She said John Drexel, the museum’s chief financial officer, has been appointed the MAC’s interim director. Rodgers said he wasn’t fired for cause and was told that the board was looking for a new direction. “I know that there were different views about how to manage the museum’s uncertain finances,” Rodgers said. Rodgers said the board proposed a termination agreement, which he is reviewing with an attorney. “I am proud of the work toward the two most critical goals that I was recruited to achieve,” Rodgers said. Those goals, he said, were stabilizing the museum’s funding and “improving our mission performance – that is to say, increasing attendance and our community engagement.” He said he had been asked in the last six weeks to prepare recommendations for stabilizing the museum’s finances for the board’s May 2 meeting. He said he has mostly completed his concepts for the report, but “apparently they don’t reflect the leadership the executive committee seeks.”
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