Just like the rest of the world, the Hood Museum of Art experienced many resignations during the COVID-19 period. We began fiscal year 2022 with only thirty-four staff members. As we tried to rebuild our staff throughout the year, we accumulated six additional resignations. Fortunately, we successfully hired nineteen new staff members and promoted seven individuals. We employed fifty-two people total during the year, three of whom held temporary staff positions, two part-time positions, and forty-seven full-time positions. We ended the year with forty-six total staff members.
Most remarkable was the addition of the three inaugural Hood Museum Board of Advisors Mutual Learning Fellows. Aiming to encourage, build, and sustain diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, we created a three-person, board-funded mutual learning cohort comprising positions in the museum's Education and Public Programming, Registration and Collections Care, and Curatorial and Exhibitions areas. The fellowship is designed for entry-level candidates who wish to work in the arts and culture sector and are interested in museum technology, but who do not have the advanced degrees or professional experience often required for similar job postings at other institutions. Instead, following an apprenticeship model, this program emphasizes intensive on-the-job learning, with each member of the cohort spending all three years of the program within one area. Mutual Learning Fellows will develop literacy in the digital tools used by the museum and will serve as a bridge to the digital realm within their assigned areas. They will also gain a deep understanding of museum operations through observation and hands-on learning. By utilizing digital platforms, the fellows will support and work with their assigned areas and other colleagues on mission-critical projects such as exhibition planning, collections care and growth, and public education and outreach. As individual interests emerge, cohort members will be encouraged to initiate and develop digital projects of their own designs. In preparation for welcoming the fellows, all museum staff took intensive Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) training. Staff serving as advisors and supervisors attended additional, targeted sessions on supporting professional development, coaching, and communications.
Equally impressive, the Hood Museum also welcomed five new curators whose experience and expertise will activate new possibilities in our collection, spaces, and staff by expanding the art and audiences with, about, and from whom we learn. In particular, these five curators will reimagine the collection's influence and potential to forge meaningful connections across disciplines, peoples, and local and global communities. They will pursue critical scholarship, exhibitions, publications, and enhanced access while developing ethical and sustainable practices for owning, cataloging, and utilizing the museum's holdings.
Lastly, the Hood Museum rebuilt its entire exhibitions team, starting with a new head of exhibitions. We hired three new preparators and promoted one preparator to a lead position. This new group participated in team-building exercises and trainings for lighting and mount making from external experts in order to develop a solid foundation and a strong, diverse skillset that will ensure their success as they support the ambitious new curatorial staff.
The hires for FY22 compromise 41 percent of the total staff with whom we ended the year. While it is a great deal of work to onboard so many new staff members, the rewards and excitement that come with their new perspectives far outweigh any challenges as we turn our sights to FY23.