Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The MAC Wants Forrest Rodgers Back

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

When the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) fired Forrest Rodgers, its executive director, back in May it ignited a firestorm in the Spokane community that included angry public meetings, rallies to bring the director back and some changes in the board’s leadership. That firestorm might soon be doused (or somewhat doused) with news this afternoon that the MAC’s board of trustees has voted to reinstate Rodgers.

In a meeting today, the board voted 11-3 to bring Rodgers back, as long as he drops the lawsuit he has pending against the museum, according to minutes from the meeting. He’ll also get back pay for the time between his firing and returning to the job and return to his previous salary.

Rodgers, over the phone from his former hometown of Bend, Ore., says he hasn’t had a chance to look over the proposed settlement or confab with his lawyer about the offer. Nevertheless, he did say he wants to get back in the saddle at the MAC.

“I certainly expect to return to the MAC. As I’ve said before — and I mean it with every fiber of my being — I want to do the job I was recruited to do,” says Rodgers.

Rodgers can’t, however, confirm when his legal representation would be able to formalize the settlement.

Among the three dissenting votes was Chris Schnug, who was recently replaced at her post as president of the board. Bruce Howard, the new board president, voted for the motion to reinstate Rodgers.

While the move by the board could bring this dust-up to a close, Rodgers says that if he indeed retakes the reins of the MAC, there are still challenges ahead, especially concerning the museum’s funding.

“I’d like to be back at work sooner or later. As I’ve said all along, we now have 11-and-a-half months of funding from the state. Within the next month or two we need a thoughtful plan as how to approach the 2012-2013 legislature,” says Rodgers.

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