CODE OF ETHICS
SAMUEL P. HARN MUSEUM OF ART
Revised and Updated, June 2006
From the Code of Ethics previously approved on July 27, 1997
By Dr. Elizabeth D. Capaldi, Provost
1. Mission Statement
4. Public Accountability
5. Finance and Development
7. Educational Programs and Special Events
8. Marketing and Public Relations
Dr. Rebecca M. Nagy
Director, Samuel P. Ham Museum of Art
Dr. nie M. Fouke
Provost, University of Florida
1. Mission Statement
The Samuel P. Ham Museum ofArt promotes the power of the arts to inspire and educate people
and enrich their lives. To this purpose the Museum builds and maintains exemplary art
collections and produces a wide variety of challenging, innovative exhibitions and stimulating
educational programs. As an integral part of the University ofFlorida, the Museum advances
teaching and research and serves as a catalyst for creative engagement between the University
and diverse local, state, national and international audiences.
The Samuel P. Ham Museum of Art first opened to the public in 1990 as a unit of the University
of Florida, having been established by the donation of private dollars that were equally matched
by funds from the State of Florida. The Har was Florida's first major art museum in a state
university setting and is one of the largest university art museums in the southeastern United
The Ham Museum supports and advances the mission of the University of Florida to offer broad-
based, inclusive public education, leading edge research and service to the citizens of Florida and
the nation. The UF Board of Trustees is committed to sustain the Har Museum of Art as an
integral part of the university and as an exceptional cultural resource for the State of Florida.
The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to ensure that the governing authority, staff, advisory
bodies and volunteers of the Har Museum of Art legally, ethically and effectively carry out their
responsibilities in support of the missions of the museum and the university.
Implementation of the Code of Ethics:
The UF Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs approves the museum's Code of
Ethics and ensures that members of the governing authority adhere to its provisions in their
oversight of and dealings with the museum. The museum's Code of Ethics is included in the
Employee Handbook provided to each newly appointed museum staff member. It is the
responsibility of each department head to ensure that staff members in his or her department are
familiar with and adhere to the code. As part of the annual work appraisal, each employee signs a
statement confirming that he or she has reviewed the Code of Ethics and will comply with its
provisions in the coming year. The director or other senior staff member who works with each
advisory group is responsible for ensuring that the relevant sections of the code are familiar to
members of that group and that the code is upheld. Members of the president-appointed Har
National Art Council and the provost-appointed Committee on the Collections receive a copy of
the code at time of appointment and are asked to familiarize themselves with the code,
particularly those sections pertaining to collections and donor relations. Each staff member
supervising volunteers, including docents and interns, is responsible for familiarizing them with
the relevant sections of the code and ensuring that they comply with its provisions.
As a unit of the University of Florida, the Harn Museum of Art has as its official governing
authority the UF Board of Trustees and the university's academic administration in the persons
of the UF President and the UF Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The
provost and vice president for academic affairs serves on behalf of the UF Board of Trustees and
the UF President to oversee the affairs of the museum and the director of the museum reports
directly to the provost. The governing authority entrusts the director with responsibility for
developing the mission, vision and goals of the museum. In turn, the director works closely with
museum staff and seeks counsel from members of advisory bodies and volunteers to develop and
refine the mission, vision and goals and to ensure their implementation.
All those who work for or on behalf of the Harn Museum of Art understand and support its
mission and public trust responsibilities. The museum's collections and programs and its
physical, human and financial resources are developed, maintained, protected and interpreted in
support of this mission. The development and preservation of the collection and its use to support
the educational goals of teaching and research are cardinal responsibilities of the museum.
The museum has written policies that govern its operations. These policies, approved by the
provost representing the governing authority, support the mission, vision and goals of the
museum as defined in its long-range plan. Members of the governing authority, staff, advisory
bodies and volunteers of the museum must be united in their commitment to the institution's
purposes and responsibilities as reflected therein.
Hiring and termination practices as defined by the University of Florida follow procedures set
forth in University of Florida regulations and collective bargaining agreements. The University
of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age,
disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations,
and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act.
These practices relate to recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, demotion,
compensation, retention, discipline, separation and/or other employment practices.
4. Public Accountability
The UF Board of Trustees has established the following Ethics Policy for the university: "All
trustees, officers, and employees of the University of Florida will adhere to the highest ethical
and business practices. All actions of the trustees, officers, and employees of the University shall
be in compliance with the law, including the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees,
Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, and the University of Florida Guidelines, Policies and Procedures
on Outside Activities." The trustees and senior officers of the university, including the director of
the Harn Museum, must affirm in writing on an annual basis their commitment to this policy.
Professional standards and best practices inform and guide museum operations. Staff members
adhere to the standards generally accepted by their peers and professional associations, including
but not limited to the American Association of Museums and the Association of Art Museum
Directors, and make every effort to stay abreast of developments and accepted standards in their
fields and their areas of responsibility.
Employment with the Harn Museum is a public trust and involves great responsibility. In all
activities museum staff members must act with integrity and in accordance with stringent ethical
principles and the highest standards of objectivity.
Every museum staff member is entitled to engage in the full range of professional and personal
activities with a measure of personal independence equal to that granted comparable
professionals in other disciplines and consistent with his/her professional and staff
responsibilities. At the same time, museum staff may not engage in outside activities and hold
financial interests which represent a conflict of interest with the museum and/or the university,
including such conflicts as defined in applicable law, university regulations, or collective
agreements. Loyalty to the museum must be paramount, since the museum enjoys public
visibility and its employees enjoy a generous measure of public esteem. To the public, museum
staff members are never wholly separated from their institution. Employees can never consider
themselves or their activities wholly independent of the museum. They must be concerned not
only with their personal motivations and interests but also with the way in which such actions
might be construed by the outside observer.
Any and all materials or items developed, written, designed, drawn, painted, constructed or
installed by employees or volunteers while carrying out their responsibilities to the Ham
Museum are considered to be the property of the museum (University of Florida) with the
museum having all rights to the property. An exception to museum (university) ownership exists
for the scholarly articles and monographs of faculty members and museum curators.
Staff members should deal with the public efficiently and courteously at all times and deal
promptly with all correspondence and enquiries. Subject to the requirements of confidentiality,
they should share their expertise in dealing with enquiries from the general public and
specialists, allowing serious researchers full access to any material or documentation in their
care, with the exception of confidential or appraisal information.
Staff members must protect all confidential information relating to the source of material owned
by or on loan to the museum, as well as security arrangements of the museum, or the security
arrangements of private collections or any place visited in the course of official duties.
Confidentiality must also be respected in relation to any item brought to the museum for
identification by donors or potential donors. Information on such items should not be passed to
another museum, to a dealer, or to any other person except in any legal obligation to assist the
police or other proper authorities in investigating possible stolen or illicitly acquired or
transferred property. Staff members are responsible for observing the prevailing law concerning
the security of confidential records and information, and the privacy of individuals or groups
who support the museum.
Generally members of the governing authority, staff, advisory bodies and volunteers of the Harn
Museum should refrain from all acts or activities which may be construed as conflicts of interest.
Staff members must follow all state laws and university rules concerning outside activities and
conflicts of interest. Staff members shall not, at any time, engage in any activity for profit, such
as dealing in art, providing paid authentications for works of art or having an undisclosed interest
in a property being acquired by the museum. Should a conflict of interest arise between the needs
of the museum and the individual, those of the museum shall prevail.
Museum staff members and their families must avoid even the appearance of misconduct in their
museum duties by refusing any gift, favor or other dispensations that could be interpreted to
influence their professional performance. It is expected that any form of compensation, gift or
other item of considerable value received in good faith by a museum worker from anyone who
has dealings with the museum will be duly reported to the director.
Private collecting of works of art by the director and staff of the museum is an appropriate
activity and may enhance expertise but should never conflict with the interests of the museum.
Because the possibility of conflict exists, the issue should be openly discussed by all those
involved. The museum must always be given the first opportunity to purchase any work of art.
The Ham Museum is committed to the highest ethical principles in all relationships with
business suppliers. Any museum staff member who is authorized to spend museum funds should
do so with impartiality, honesty and with regard only for the best interests of the museum.
5. Finance and Development
Financial affairs and reporting at the Ham Museum are overseen by the director of finance and
operations in support of the museum's mission, vision and goals. In all financial matters, the
museum complies with the Directives and Procedures of the Division of Finance and Accounting
of the University of Florida Controller's Office and supports its mission and statement of
purpose: "It is the primary purpose of the University of Florida Controller's Office (Division of
Finance and Accounting) to maintain public trust and confidence in the University of Florida by
safeguarding institutional resources and providing quality financial, accounting, and operational
support to vested stakeholders and to consistently advance the vision/core mission of the
University of Florida."
Development functions of the Harn Museum are conducted in concert with the University of
Florida Foundation and are overseen by the director and the director of development, whose
salary and expenses are shared by the museum and the foundation. Accordingly, development
activities are conducted in support of the mission of the Ham Museum and in accordance with
the mission of the UF Foundation: "The mission of the University of Florida Foundation is to
support and enhance the University of Florida by encouraging alumni and friends to provide
funds and other resources for the University's benefit, to manage those assets and to provide
volunteer leadership in support of the University's objectives." Furthermore, fundraising
activities of the Harn Museum are pursued in accordance with the Policy on Ethics in
Fundraising found in the University of Florida Fundraising Policy: "The University of Florida
Foundation is dedicated to the highest standards of ethical conduct in fundraising. Staff members
advocate these standards by incorporating them into all fundraising activities and by serving as
models of professionalism to others. The University of Florida Foundation supports and
encourages its staff members in these efforts by providing appropriate opportunities for training,
education and leadership. Staff members, through training and orientation, are expected to be
familiar with professional standards of ethics, including the Donor Bill of Rights [found in the
Appendix of the University of Florida Fundraising Policy]."
Members of the governing authority, staff, advisory boards and volunteers must respect and
maintain the confidentiality of all donor and development information, discussions and materials.
With the exception of the Annual Report or other museum materials provided for public
distribution, it will be considered a breach of confidence to share such materials or information
with other organizations or individuals outside the museum and university.
Museum collections will be developed, maintained, exhibited and interpreted in support of the
museum's mission and in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the museum's
Collection Management Policy and the Plans for Development of the Collection.
All items accepted temporarily or permanently by the museum will be properly and fully
documented to facilitate provenance, identification, interpretation and conservation. The registrar
will ensure that insurance coverage is adequate for the permanent collection, objects in transit,
loan items and other objects not owned by the museum but temporarily in its custody.
The museum provides safe, secure and functional facilities for the care of its collections.
Attention will be paid to preventative conservation methods and techniques, including the
provision of suitable environmental protection against the known or artificial causes of
deterioration of works of art. Decisions about conservation or restoration require cooperation
among the director, curators and registrar, who must be familiar with current ethical issues and
professional best practices for conservation and restoration. Procedures are established for
periodic evaluation of the condition of the collections and for their general and specific
maintenance in keeping with professionally accepted standards.
The collection exists for the benefit of present and future generations and should be as accessible
as is prudent for the protection of each object. Every effort will be made to respond to serious
requests for information and visual documentation about objects. The registrar, along with the
curators, must ensure that objects from the collection are examined and viewed in a manner not
detrimental to the objects. Sensitive or confidential material in the museum's records must not be
accessible to unauthorized persons.
The Plans for Developing the Collection, with a section for each of the five core collecting areas,
identify the collection priorities of the museum and serve as a basis for identification and
consideration of potential purchases and appropriate gifts. These plans were drafted by the
curators in consultation with the director and endorsed by the provost-appointed Committee on
the Collections. Annually the plans are revised and updated by the curators in consultation with
the director. After review and discussion with the Committee on the Collections, further
revisions are made, if needed. The Committee on the Collections then endorses the revised and
The director and curators are responsible for the identification of possible acquisitions in
accordance with the Plans for Developing the Collection. To the extent possible, gifts and
bequests should be unrestricted. That being said, any conditions or limitations relating to an
acquisition should be clearly described in the deed of gift or other written documentation.
Acquisitions are further limited to those objects for which the museum has the ability to provide
full and proper care. Special care is required in considering any offer of an item either for sale or
as a tax-benefit gift from members of the staff, their relatives or close associates.
The museum will not knowingly acquire any object which has been stolen or removed in
contravention of treaties and international conventions to which the United States is a signatory,
or illegally imported into the United States. Neither will it acquire any object with indication that
its removal has caused recent damage or destruction of its original site or involved less than
proper disclosure to its owner or governmental entity.
If the museum should come into possession of an object that can be demonstrated to have been
exported or otherwise transferred in violation of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of
Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural
Property (1970) and the country of origin seeks its return and demonstrates that the object is part
of the country's cultural heritage, the museum shall, if legally free to do so, take responsible
steps to cooperate in the return of the object to the country of origin.
The museum respects the terms of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the
Event ofArmed Conflict (The Hague Convention, 1954) and in support of this convention,
abstains from purchasing or otherwise acquiring cultural objects from any occupied country.
In the interest of constantly improving the collections and maintaining a high standard of
aesthetic quality and historical importance, the museum exercises the right to deaccession objects
that do not meet the standards enumerated in the museum's Plans for Developing the Collection
and Collection Management Policy. If the director and curators determine that any object or
group of objects should be proposed for deaccessioning, they will present a proposal to the
Committee on the Collections for their approval.
The director, in consultation with the curators, shall recommend the most appropriate method of
disposal for a deaccessioned object to the Committee on the Collections. The method of disposal
must be approved by the committee before action can be taken. Any form of disposal will be
conducted in accordance with university policy and any applicable state and federal laws as well
as the professional guidelines established by the American Association of Museums and the
Association of Art Museum Directors. Complete and accurate records, including photographs
and documentation of the circumstance of disposal, shall be maintained on each object removed
from the collection, in accordance with the museum's Collection Management Policy.
To avoid any conflict of interest, museum staff members, or members of their families, may
never receive or purchase for their own or another individuals' collections, even at public
auction, objects deaccessioned from the museum's collections. Similarly, no such person shall be
permitted to appropriate in any way items from the museum's collections even temporarily, for
any personal collection or for any kind of personal use.
Because development of the collections was the initial intent of the donor of an object or of the
funds for acquisition, the monies (principal and interest) received from the sale of any
accessioned work of art shall be applied solely to the purchase of works of art. Funds received
from insurance claims for the loss of a work of art shall be used only for new purchases.
Donor credit from sold work should be transferred faithfully to objects acquired with such funds.
7. Educational Programs and Special Events
As an integral part of the University of Florida, the museum advances teaching and research and
serves as a catalyst for creative engagement between the university and diverse local, state,
national and international audiences. Accordingly, educational programs are based on sound
scholarly research and best practices in the field, present accurate information and are not
culturally biased. Because the museum's audiences include university faculty, students and staff
as well as diverse community audiences of various ages from young children to seniors and from
differing socio-economic backgrounds, educational programs are equally varied and diverse in
order to respond to the concerns, interests, values and needs of these audiences.
Special events are held in order to promote goals of museum development in the areas of
membership and fundraising and also to support the museum's mission and goals for service and
outreach to the University of Florida and the wider community. Special events will always
support and promote the mission, vision and goals of the Harn Museum.
In accordance with university policies and ADA guidelines, the museum ensures that its facilities
and programs are accessible to those with special needs.
8. Marketing and Public Relations
Statements to the media will be made by the director or by members of the senior staff who have
been authorized by the director to make statements to the media on behalf of the museum.
The marketing and public relations staff deal with the media in a truthful, business-like and
equitable manner. All information provided to the public will be consistent with museum policy
and support the museum's mission.