Michael Reinschmidt Named Director of ASU Museum


Michael Reinschmidt Named Director of ASU Museum

Michael Reinschmidt, an adjunct faculty member in museum studies at the University of Oklahoma, has been named the next director of the Arkansas State University Museum.

Reinschmidt takes over April 11 for longtime director Marti Allen, who is retiring. He'll lead the museum, located on the ASU campus in Jonesboro, as it approaches its 90th anniversary in 2023.

In addition to museum studies, Reinschmidt is an adjunct faculty member in health promotional education at OU's Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. He previously directed the Kauffman Museum at Bethel College in Kansas from 2018-2020.

In that role, Reinschmidt managed the museum’s day-to-day operations and initiated new exhibit development around underutilized but unique artifacts. He also sparked new conversations around themes of migration, environmental and social justice, and pressing community issues, ASU said in a news release.

"Our museum has become such an important part of our local community, having an individual with such a rich background in the management and nurturing of significant history and cultural museums was very important in our selection process," Alan Utter, university provost, said in the release.

Reinschmidt was picked after a search for Allen's successor that yielded an "extremely strong" field of final candidates, according to Jeff Bailey, search committee chair and director of the university's Dean B. Ellis Library. Bailey said Reinschmidt was chosen because of his academic-based approach to leadership and experience with museums that focus on history and culture, particularly indigenous communities. For seven years, Reinschmidt was the administrator of the Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum in Topawa, Arizona. 

"His extensive experience with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act as well as his experience in crafting thoughtful, inspirational presentations across cultural boundaries were important strengths to the committee," Bailey added.

Reinschmidt also has global experience in anthropological research and teaching social sciences, according to the release. He was the first curator of the Korean American Museum in Los Angeles, which is now the Korean American National Museum.

Reinschmidt holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology and American literature from the University of Göttingen in Germany.