Dr. Jay Round


E. Desmond Lee Professor of Museum Studies
Director, Graduate Program in Museum Studies
University of Missouri - St. Louis

jayrPhone: 314/516-5473

Education: Ph.D., (Anthropology)  University of California, Los Angeles (1979).
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Organizations Theory, Graduate School of Business,
   Stanford University (1979- 80)
B.A., (Anthropology) Universidad de las Americas, Cholula, Mexico (1976)

Dr. Rounds has been active in museums and historical organizations since joining the staff of the California Museum of Science and Industry (now the California Science Center) in 1982. As Chief Curator, he led strategic planning and exhibition design for a complete reinvention of the museum. Since then he has served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, and as Executive Director of the Museum of Creativity project of the Milken Family Foundation. In 1997 he joined the faculty of the University of Missouri-St. Louis as founding director of the new Graduate Program in Museum Studies, and as the first incumbent of the only endowed chair in Museum Studies in the United States. At UMSL he holds joint appointments in the Departments of Anthropology, History, and Art History.

Prior to moving into the museum field, Dr. Rounds had served as Director of Central Planning for the Massachusetts Department of Correction, and had led research on long-term processes of change in social policy organizations as a member of UCLA’s Socio-Behavioral Research Group  and as a consultant to the Rand Corporation.

Dr. Rounds has led planning and development for more than 200,000 square feet of museum exhibits and world fair pavilions, and has served as a consultant on museum planning projects in the United States, Canada, England, Australia and Asia. He has been active in the historic preservation movement, co-chairing a national coalition of eighteen organizations fighting destruction of important historic districts, and chairing the Neighborhood Preservation Task Force of the city of Los Angeles, California. He served for four years as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Museum Exhibition, and as editor of the Association’s journal, Exhibitionist. Currently he is a member of the Editorial Board  of Curator: The Museum Journal.

Dr. Rounds has published widely on a variety of museum topics, including analysis of the museum studies literature; application of organizations theory to understanding museums; creativity and change in museums; and innovative approaches to understanding visitor behavior. At present he is writing two books: How Museums Change, which analyzes the nature and processes of change in American museums from the 1780s to the present; and What Museums Do: Rethinking the Accountability Conundrum.