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