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New MoU between University and Museum

A redeveloped memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Otago and Otago Museum is set to further invigorate already strong ties between the two institutions, stretching back nearly 150 years.

Museum Director Dr Ian Griffin and University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne say the purpose of the new five-year MoU, which has just been signed, is to contribute to the research, teaching and community services of both institutions through collaborative activity.

“From the University's perspective this is recognition of the knowledge, expertise and resources the Otago Museum offers,” says Professor Hayne. 

“We have often tapped into that in the past and this memorandum of understanding is a way of updating and formalising an already close relationship.

“The MoU outlines our desire to invite Otago Museum staff to deliver lectures, supervise postgraduate students or undertake collaborative research with University of Otago staff. It also opens the way to granting Museum staff honorary academic titles.”

Dr Griffin says he is delighted and honoured to have signed the MOU on behalf of the Otago Museum. 

“The University of Otago has a storied history of world-class research and teaching innovation, and to this day its researchers are pushing back the frontiers of knowledge in many areas of academia. Having direct access to some of the great minds of this generation enables the Museum team to develop exhibitions and programmes that seek to inspire the next generation of creative Kiwis. 

“Over the past three years the Museum has greatly valued our partnership with the University, which has given rise to some extraordinary and high impact collaborative projects, including the National programme of Education and Outreach for the Dodd Walls Centre for Research Excellence and 'Lab in a Box', led by the University of Otago, which takes the University’s research to communities across the South Island," he says.

“As both institutions approach their 150th birthdays it’s appropriate that we re-state and renew our partnership. While I’m delighted at the achievements our partnership has made over the past three years, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few years.”

Under the MoU both the Museum and University are also looking to identify further areas of potential collaboration, including the development and delivery of joint teaching and research programmes.