At the very start of the year, the still fairly new head of the Smithsonian, Wayne Clough, put a lock down on spending at the famed institution, stopping almost all new hiring and ceasing all raises and bonuses. Just a couple of months later, he was back at it, extending hours at the more popular museums and offering up new ideas to keep the money from drying up (sadly, he can’t take credit for The Smithsonian Collection line of department store furniture). But as we’ve been constantly reading since about this time last year, things aren’t easy for museums at the moment and so another cost-cutting measure at the Smithsonian has come to light. Modern Art Notes was slipped an e-mail sent from Alison McNally, Under Secretary for Finance and Administration, to all the Institution’s employees explaining that they would be offering voluntary buyout packages for “an amount equal to an employee’s calculated severance pay entitlement or $25,000, whichever is less” and decided upon between this past Monday and November 30th. So it looks like some more trimming is in store. But as for how many employees decided to take the leap, we’ll have to wait and see.
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