The Friends of the Arkansas State Archives has produced this measured video plea of support for the agency, roiled recently by the resignation of long-time archivist Dr. Lisa Speer who found, as others have, it difficult to work for Heritage Department Director Stacy Hurst. Hurst’s agency took over supervision of the archives after Asa Hutchinson took office.
The video merely asks people to encourage elected officials to pick a good archivist (there’s concern that hiring rules promulgated by Hurst will allow her to waive a previous requirement of a Ph.D. for the director). It also asks for full staffing and budget support. Hurst has argued the agency suffered no loss of money under her administration, but her defense also overstated support for the archives from a sales tax that goes to parks, tourism and preservation efforts.