Jill Hartz named to national museum accrediting commission

Jill Hartz

The board of directors of the American Alliance of Museums has appointed Jill Hartz, executive director of the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, as a new accreditation commissioner.

Hartz begins her five-year term as accreditation commissioner in January. She has been at the helm of the UO art museum since 2008.

“The Alliance has a steady flow of academic art museums in the pipeline for accreditation and re-accreditation, so it’s important to have that expertise on the accreditation commission.  Jill brings that expertise, and so much more,” said alliance board member and nominating committee chair Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Iolani Palace in Honolulu.

The accreditation commission is the body responsible for making independent decisions regarding accredited status. It meets three times a year and is made up of museum professionals that collectively bring a range of experience and expertise in the museum field. Commissioners serve as volunteers.

“In the academic world, accreditation is a widely recognized indicator of excellence,” Hartz said. “Our university presidents and provosts well understand what accreditation means. So, by pursuing it, we help to show that our museums are as important as the degree-granting areas of the university.”

Hartz added that her upcoming service as an accreditation commissioner is a good fit for this stage of her career.

“I understand a lot about accreditation now, having led three museums through it, and I know that it’s not a cookie-cutter process,” she said. “And I believe in accreditation as a process for building excellence in our institutions.”

Before joining UO museum, Hartz was the director of the University of Virginia Art Museum (now Fralin Museum of Art) for a decade and also worked at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum of Art in various capacities for 10 years.

During her career she has devoted a substantial amount of volunteer time to advance the professionalism, role and visibility of academic museums, including having served on the board of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries for more than 10 years, including two terms as president. She has served as an active peer reviewer for both the Museum Assessment Program and Accreditation for more than 20 years.