MPM Aligning Itself for the Future

MPM logo

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenni Tetzlaff, Director of Marketing & Communications, 414-278-2784,


Milwaukee, Wis. - The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) announced today that it is undertaking a 
staffing restructure to strengthen the financial position of the Museum and prepare it for changes 

The changes President and CEO Dennis Kois announced today will position MPM for the challenges of 
the decades ahead and safeguard the Museum for generations of Milwaukeeans to come. MPM will be 
reducing its staff by 15 positions, while also creating several new positions that are aligned with 
advancing its scientific mission. Overall the staffing changes will reduce MPM’s expenses by more 
than 1 million dollars, or 8%.

Kois noted:
“In order to secure MPM's future, we must ensure we are fiscally sustainable in the here and now. 
That is particularly important given that our endowment is very small relative to other museums our 
size. While MPM has been having great success recently—with attendance, revenue, membership and 
fundraising all up from 2014 to present—we must ensure we have the resources needed to invest in 
our future.”

The success Kois reference is evidenced by the fact that since 2014, MPM has increased:
-     Overall attendance by 33%
-     Planetarium/theater attendance by 101%
-     Admissions revenue by 38%
-     Membership revenue by 21%
-     Retail revenue by 41%
-     Unrestricted fundraising by 13%

Despite that success, however, the Museum needs to align its staffing and expenses for future 
needs. Kois stated that the restructuring will impact positions ranging from senior management to 
front line staff. As part of the restructuring the Museum will be adding several new positions in 
areas such as collections digitization, collections and research, and digital media design over the 

For 2017, MPM’s operating budget is 14.2 million dollars and the Museum currently has 141 staff 
(prior to these reductions). Between 2014 and 2016 total expenses at MPM have grown from $13.65 
million to $14.27 million, or 4.5%. In 2016, salaries and benefits made up 57% of the Museum’s 

MPM has acknowledged publicly that leadership has been investigating whether to construct a new 
museum building downtown to replace the failing, 60 year old County-owned building MPM currently 
occupies. That evaluation has been underway for the past two years and has involved Gallagher & 
Associates, a museum consultancy in Washington, DC, along with extensive community input.

Kois, who joined the Museum in 2014, noted that as part of maintaining fiscal discipline at MPM he 
and the Museum’s Vice Presidents have voluntarily taken a pay cut.

For press inquiries, contact:
Jennifer Tetzlaff, Director of Marketing and Communications,, 414-278-2784
Hillary Olson, Vice President of Audience and Community Engagement,, 414-278-2733


About the Milwaukee Public Museum (
The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin. The museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884. MPM has three floors 
of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a 
rain forest and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Theater 
and Planetarium. The museum houses more than 4 million objects and hosts nearly half a million 
visitors each year.

The MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit company, and its 
facilities and collections are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of 
the public.