Archibald Gets Consulting Contract, Attorney Fees after Resigning from Missouri History Museum

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS Robert Archibald, the president of the Missouri History Museum, will receive a $270,000 consulting contract and money for attorney fees but will not have official duties or even an office after he leaves at the end of the month.

"We need him to help with the ongoing fundraising that he's been very involved with," said John Roberts, chairman of the museum's board of trustees.

Roberts and other trustees met Friday morning to discuss Archibald's resignation and finalize his separation deal. The longtime president of the museum was under contract through 2013, but he is leaving in the wake of controversies over a land deal and his compensation. His last day will be Dec. 31.

In addition to the six-month consulting contract, Archibald will receive up to $5,000 in attorney fees for the negotiation of his separation agreement, but he will not receive benefits after Dec. 31.

The trustees' executive committee released a statement after its meeting Friday to say it was accepting Archibald's resignation "with deep regret."

Trustees believe "his leadership has been the single most important factor in the emergence of the Missouri History Museum as a national leader," the statement said.

The trustees did not have details about a search for a replacement and said they did not know if anyone would take over on an interim basis.

"We haven't gotten that far yet," said Trustee Frank Steeves. "I think those decisions will be made over the next couple of days."

Steeves said no one pressured Archibald to resign and that he had tried unsuccessfully to talk Archibald out of stepping down.

"This would be really hard on anybody," Steeves said. "I think he is looking at his health. He's looking at his family. He's looking at life circumstances and, as he always has, he's looking at what is best for this institution."

Archibald attended the meeting but declined to speak to reporters afterward. In his resignation letter, he wrote that stepping down "is in the best interest of the museum to which I have given 25 years of service."

Archibald's resignation comes as the institution faces fundraising issues because of the recent controversies, and as the St. Louis Board of Aldermen prepares to hold public hearings on the museum's finances and leadership.

Archibald's tenure began to unravel in September, when an audit report raised questions about a 2006 land deal on Delmar Boulevard.

The museum bought the one-acre parcel for $875,000 from former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. …