Texas Tech University (TTU) Provost Michael Galyean has announced that Aaron David Pan will be the next executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University. Pan’s appointment, after a nationwide search, also includes faculty duties at TTU as Associate Professor of Practice, and begins on May 18, 2020.
Pan assumes his duties from Jill Hoffman, interim Executive Director, who led the museum through the transition period, and in May will resume her role as the museum’s Assistant Director for Visitor Experience. “Jill’s contributions have been commendable and key to a smooth transition, and we thank her for capably doing double duty until the new executive director is in place,” says TTU’s Senior Vice Provost Rob Stewart.
Currently Executive Director of the Don Harrington Discovery Center, an interactive science center and museum in Amarillo, Pan was also the Curator of Science at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History from 2008 to 2012.
“Aaron was selected after a rigorous national search, with the enthusiasm of the search committee and the endorsement of Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec,” Galyean says. “With more than 12 years in museum work, at both large and small museums, Aaron impressed us with his accomplishments, particularly his success at increasing museum visitorship and membership at the Don Harrington Center. He has a track record of attracting significant financial support for the Discovery Center. His museum experience and his academic credentials, which include participating in international research teams and actively publishing, are an exceptional match to our goals.”
Pan, formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, received his doctoral degree in geology in 2007 from the Program in Paleobotany, Department of Geological Sciences (now the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences) at SMU. His bachelor’s degree is in Creative Studies (biology emphasis) with high honors from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Pan is also a research associate of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth (BRIT), where he conducts active research and publishes in paleobotany, entomology and malacology.
Pan states: “It is a distinct honor to be invited to join the prestigious and multifaceted Museum of Texas Tech, with its dedicated and distinguished staff, enthusiastic and cooperative Museum Association and a supportive and farsighted university administration. My success is due to the relationships I have built, an amazing staff at the Discovery Center and very supportive and active communities like Amarillo and Fort Worth. However, this is an opportunity I could not resist when recruited, and I am eager to work with Texas Tech, the vibrant Lubbock community and other museum partners to lead the next exciting chapter in the museum’s life.”
For more on Pan’s appointment, and to learn more about the Museum of Texas Tech University, please visit its website here.