Note: The Louisiana higher education system has been under assault by the state government for years and I believe it is the canary in the coal mine for a very plausible possible future we face with a defunded and under attack US education system. How long until curated cultural resources are under attack?
The University of Louisiana at Monroe, Museum of Natural History said in a facebook post today (below) that university administrators have demanded that 6.5 million plant and fish specimens find a new home on campus within 48 hours, find a place to donate them too, or be will be destroyed mid-July. Space is needed for the track team to expand and host meets which will "Help the local economy and generate revenue for the university".
It is my sad duty to report to you that the ULM administration has decided to divest the research collections in the Museum of Natural History. This includes the 6 million fish specimens in the Neil Douglas fish collection and the nearly 500,000 plant specimens in the R. Dale Thomas plant collection. They find no value in the collections and no value of the collections to the university. The College was given 48 hours to suggest an alternate location for the collections on campus so that Brown Stadium can be renovated for the track team. With only about 20 hours left, we have found no magic solution yet. To add insult to injury on what was a very hard day, we were told that if the collections are not donated to other institutions, the collections will be destroyed at the end of July.
While we weep that our own institution would turn its back on 50+ years of hard work and dedication, we will not abandon the collections to the dumpsters. They did not have the courage to inform us face-to-face, but we have the courage to persevere through these dark times.