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Museum reaccredited by national association

Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: 907-474-6941

12/17/08

The University of Alaska Museum of the North has been reaccredited by the American Association of Museums. Accreditation is the highest national recognition for a museum.

The AAM accreditation program recognizes museums for their commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional development. Of the nation's nearly 17,500 museums, fewer than 800 are accredited. The University of Alaska Museum of the North has been accredited since 1973 and is one of five museums in Alaska with this recognition.

"This is a great honor for the museum and for Alaska," says museum director Aldona Jonaitis. "It is a reflection on the quality of our programs and staff as well as the dedication and support from our community."

All museums must undergo a subsequent review at least every10 years to maintain their status. The museum's most recent reaccreditation process began in June 2006 and included an intensive yearlong self-study followed by a peer review team site visit. AAM's Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, met last month to review the self-study and visiting committee report before voting to reaccredit the museum.

In its written report, the peer review team noted that the museum was "a great asset to the State of Alaska... performing many of its functions in an exemplary manner..." The written report concluded, "With its rich history, iconic new facility and commitment to serving the community, the museum will continue to be an important part of Alaska, and an important model of a university museum that meets high standards for research and collections and at the same time for community engagement and visitor services."

CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.

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