One of the great ideas to come out of the MA2010 conference this year was a thought for CAUMAC to initiate a series of awards for University Vice-Chancellors based on specific instances of their institution's treatment of institutional collections. Vice-Chancellors are the appropriate recipients of these awards as they are ultimately responsible for what occurs in their institutions. It follows that examples of good stewardship should be celebrated and examples of bad stewardship acknowledged as evidence of improvements that are needed in our part of the sector.
By extending the Cinderella metaphor, CAUMAC could establish a series of awards, a CAUMAC Prince Award could be given to a Vice-Chancellor whose institution shows exemplary progressive support for institutional collections through some particular action that demonstrates good stewardship. Correspondingly, a CAUMAC Pumpkin Award can be given to a Vice-Chancellor whose institution shows a disregard for the welfare of institutional collections through some specific action.
We probably should not award more than one each per year, perhaps at each Museums Australia conference. It might be best done by accepting nominations from CAUMAC members for an award in either category and setting up an awards subcommittee to judge the entries. Vice-Chancellors nominated for a Pumpkin should get the opportunity to answer criticisms of their actions and make a case as to why they should not receive such an "accolade".
It was even suggested that we should seek to personally present each award to the respective Vice-Chancellors involved. This could be captured on film "Chaser" style and shared with our membership. A CAUMAC News Release can be distributed with each award.
Be interested to hear what you think.