Save the UT Natural History Museum

Save the UT Natural History Museum

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Christin Johnson started this petition to University of Texas at Austin and

While UT plans to direct $6 million dollars toward a brand new conservative think-tank, it is asking the rest of the university to make drastic budget cuts. Among the likely casualties is Austin's only (and exceptional) natural history museum, which opened in 1936 at a groundbreaking ceremony hosted by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Bridget Grumet writes the following for the Austin American-Statesman:

" The latest state budget slashed the funding for the museum, a place where generations of visitors have craned their necks at the massive winged Pterosaur hanging in the great hall and gazed down the throat of a razor-toothed Mosasaur menacing the first floor.

If UT doesn’t figure out a new plan to fund the museum, director Edward Theriot told me, 'we’ve got two years, and then we’re closed.' [...]

UT has [great] resources at its fingertips to place the Texas Memorial Museum on a more sustainable path. And it should — not only because science museums improve students’ understanding of key concepts, expose people to STEM career paths and boost lifelong learning. The museum is worth saving because it is a piece of state history itself. "

The interim dean of the university claims to be pursuing ways to keep the museum open, "including replacing state funds in the long term with [...] ticket sales, gift shop experiences and donations," despite the fact that the museum already charges for admission, has a gift shop, and receives donations, Grumet writes. "As long as it had some state funding, the museum covered its costs and even had a small reserve." (It's affordable. The state gave the museum less than $76,000 this past year and, according to Gov. Abbott, Texas' budget surplus is over $1 billion.)

Let's push the university and the office of the governor to acknowledge the immense educational and historical value of this museum, not with empty words but with promises of actual funding. Sign your name to support this museum, its staff, the history it preserves, and the people it educates. 

Source: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/columns/2021/12/04/grumet-show-your-texas-pride-supporting-ut-museum/8856541002/?fbclid=IwAR3lGinEFtu8tMe479HJzop6VAUhCwozqPBWY10TMzS2OMv4vaL9KVKWGVM 

Museum website: https://tmm.utexas.edu 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!