The Chairman of the Board for the Fund for the Arts says CEO Allan Cowen’s impending departure will not likely hurt fundraising, because the campaign is largely run by other members of the fund’s staff.
Cowen will retire at the end of April, following increasing complaints about his behavior and the fund’s distribution of money. In a statement Monday, Murphy praised Cowen’s management of successful fundraising campaigns, and Tuesday, he said interim president Barbara Sexton Smith will be capable of taking over.
“The campaign is institutionalized at this point,” he says. “The running of the campaign over the last number of years, Barbara has really driven it. Allen has been involved in more niche arrangements and thinking and strategy discussions. It’s pretty well been run by the staff.”
Murphy and the fund’s executive committee met today (Tuesday). They discussed whether to conduct a national search for Cowen’s replacement, or interview local candidates first, as Murphy recommended. Several committee members favored a national search.