Granholm Announces Retirement of HAL Director Bill Anderson, Extends Appreciation for his Outstanding Leadership

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

December 15, 2008

Hoffman will take over as interim director

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Dr. Bill Anderson will retire as director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL) at the end of the year.  Anderson has served as director of the department since it was established in August 2001.   

"Bill Anderson is an outstanding public servant who has been tireless in his support of the state of Michigan and our history," Granholm said.  "His tenure has spanned two administrations during which he has been a champion for history, the arts and our libraries.  He has never missed an opportunity to tell us why these programs are so important to our state's quality of life.  He has been a great advisor, and I wish him only the best."

Under Anderson's leadership, the department has remained strong despite the state's challenged economy that has resulted in smaller general fund appropriations in recent times.

"I am most proud of the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit that HAL employees have demonstrated," Anderson said.  "They have faced our challenge with determination to do more with less."

During Anderson's tenure as HAL's director, the department has increased its impact and contribution to the revitalization of the economy by adopting an organizational culture of enterprise, relationship building and partnerships that have produced many enterprising initiatives under Anderson's leadership, including:

  • the governor's Idlewild Revitalization Initiative and collaborative relationships with Travel Michigan, the Michigan Municipal League, the Cabinet Tourism Council, and Michigan State University;

  • a greater recognition and engagement of organizations and communities throughout Michigan in capitalizing on cultural resources to help drive the economy;

  • the partnership of the Library of Michigan and Macy's in sponsoring the Michigan Adventure Pass program, allowing library visitors to acquire free admission to many museums in southeast Michigan.

  • a partnership between Target and the Library of Michigan to provide over 5,000 copies of a children's book and reading guide to every elementary school, public library and Headstart program;

  • by Mackinac State Historic Park's re-engineering the visitor experience at Historic Mill Creek to become its Discovery Park and thereby increasing admissions by 30 percent in its first year;

  • after the Michigan Historical Center lost all of its general funding for its educational programming, its foundation has filled the gap by raising $50,000 annually;

  • to ensure all children have access to Michigan's cultural treasures, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has provided grants to pay transportation costs for field trips to cultural institutions;

  • funding support for Main Street communities, a Preserve America grant in Idlewild, historic preservation, and cultural economic development planning.

"This has been a tremendous experience and privilege to serve as founding director of the Department of History, Art and Libraries and as a member of Governor Granholm's Cabinet," Anderson said.

Anderson holds three degrees - a bachelor of arts from Michigan State University, a masters of arts from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University.

Prior to joining HAL, Anderson served as community college president of Carl Sandberg College in Illinois and West Shore Community College in Michigan.

Current Deputy Director of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries Mark H. Hoffman will serve as interim director of the department.  Hoffman has been the deputy director since the department was formed in 2001.  Prior to that, Mr. Hoffman worked for the Bureau of State Lottery and the Michigan House of Representatives.  He holds a bachelor of arts from Michigan State University.

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