Does a museum need 2300 employees?



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the fanciest art museum in New York City and perhaps America, decided it needs to cut back on some of its staff. It has over 2,300 of them

2,300!

Why does a museum need 2300 employees? Let's tally:

1) They need maybe 30 minimum wage employees to roam around and guard the paintings.

2) They need maybe five cashiers, and five people to work in the cafe

3) They need maybe 15 administrative and marketing staff, and maybe five more to work in the gift shop.

4) They need maybe 10 curators.

That's 70 employees. And the Met has over 2,300! No wonder they can't support them!

Just three months after the Metropolitan Museum of Artannounced a hiring freeze and voluntary buyouts, the museum is turning to layoffs as part of an effort to cut its deficit by $30 million, through cost reductions and revenue growth.

On Friday, the Met said that more than 50 employees had taken the buyouts but that it would seek further cuts in its core departments, for a total of at least 100 positions.

Given the Met’s annual attendance of more than six million, annual operating budget of $300 million and endowment of nearly $3 billion, any cracks in its foundation are surprising.

In June, three high-level employees, including the Met’s first chief digital officer, Sree Sreenivasan, stepped down from their posts.

The museum has a "chief digitial officer"? What in the world for? The Met has a website which shows its hours and exhibits. Why do they need more than one lowly paid part time employee to update it occasionally?

I get the feeling the Met has hundreds of employees who make six figure salaries doing very little.

Mr. Campbell, its director and chief executive since 2009, said that he and Mr. Weiss “will be working together” in making layoff decisions and that departures were to be expected at an institution with 55 departments and 2,300 employees.

I get the feeling if the museum was managed properly it could show ten times the art on a tenth of the budget. But like government, big nonprofits have bloated spending that have nothing to do with serving the public.









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