Museum Studies

Jay Rounds, Ph. D.


Jay Rounds, Ph. D. received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1979, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He joined the Department in fall 1997 as Des Lee Professor of Museum Studies and Community History. He holds joint appointments with the departments of Art and Art History and History, as well as with the Missouri Historical Society. Reflecting his diverse background, he has published and presented research papers in a wide variety of fields, including museology, criminal justice, organizational theory and ethnohistory. His current research focuses on the changing social role of museums and museums as places for the making of meaning. Dr. Rounds' career has combined academic research with extensive practical experience in social action. He did his B.A. at Universidad de las Americas, in Mexico, to facilitate an interest in the Aztecs and Maya that led to a series of publications on the socio-political evolution of the Aztec state, and 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. On the practice side, he has served as Chief Curator of the California Museum of Science and Industry, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, and Executive Director of the Museum of Creativity. Dr. Rounds has led development of some 170,000 square feet of complex interactive exhibitry for museums and world fair pavilions, and has served as a consultant on museum development projects in the United States, Canada, Asia, England and Australia. 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. Rounds served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Museum Exhibition and as editor of the association's journal "Exhibitionist", from 1999-2002. "