Skove makes abrupt departure from Blanden

Margaret Skove, the director of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in Fort Dodge, unexpectedly resigned, city officials said Tuesday,

Saturday was her last day on the job.

Jim Vollmer, the city’s human resources director, told the museum’s board Tuesday evening that Skove came to his office last week, asked for retirement paperwork and said that Saturday would be her last day at work.

”She just came in, requested the forms and said she was going to leave,” Vollmer said.

He said Skove gave him the completed forms on Monday.

Skove was not at the board meeting. A telephone number for her could not be found Tuesday.

Dr. Ken Adams, the chairman of the museum’s board, said none of the board members received any notice from Skove regarding her departure.

Skove served as director of the museum at 920 Third Ave. S. twice. Her first tenure was from 1994 to 1999. She left to become executive director of the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, W. Va. She later served as the executive director of the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C., before returning to the Fort Dodge museum in 2004.

According to Adams, Skove had planned to retire in about a year. He said the board members had planned to talk to her about the process of finding her replacement during Tuesday’s meeting.

He added that she was also scheduled to have her annual performance review with the board.

The board voted to accept Skove’s resignation.

City Manager David Fierke recommended that Barb Shultz, the director of the Fort Dodge Public Library, be appointed as interim director of the museum.

”She knows the system,” he told the board. ”She knows payroll. She knows how to run a building.”

Vollmer said he has already talked to Shultz about the possibility of also serving as interim director of the museum. He said she expressed interest in doing so.’

The board asked Vollmer to confirm that Shultz is willing to serve as interim director. It also asked him to see if the library board of trustees would allow her to do that.

Board members also expressed interest in asking Maureen Seamonds, who recently retired as a humanities professor at Iowa Central Community College, about working part-time at the museum.