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This column is adapted from I. Michael Heyman's remarks to the institution's staff and friends during his installation as tenth Secretary on September 19.
Every Secretarial era reflects unique circumstances and poses its own opportunities and problems. At present, resources are relatively short. My recent predecessors until a few years ago could count on a generous Congress and Executive Branch. Public fiscal prospects are bleaker now. Agency budgets are largely capped. Appropriation subcommittees must stay within set limits. While we must argue vigorously for special treatment, realism counsels that we not depend solely on public revenues to grow substantially in the near future. We must work very hard to guard against erosion of our base budget and for adequate resources to fired the heavy future obligations that the Smithsonian, the Congress and the Office of the President have jointly undertaken, such as the completion and full staffing of the National Museum of the American Indian.
This means that the Smithsonian must rely more heavily in the future on private support from individuals and corporations. A systematic effort to increase private support has started well under Secretary Adams. We must enhance that success by working closely with donor groups--ones that already exist and others that will come together in the future especially in support of each of our museums and other major activities. And we must enlarge …