In its 112 years of existence (the Historical Society is 28 years older than the state itself), the society has spun itself into a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. There are seven divisions. Four are geographical and have their own museums and boards. Then there is the exhibits division. And the publications division. And the administrative division. And there is the Arizona Historical Society Foundation, which raised money for the society.
All of the divisions answer to the Arizona Historical Society board of directors, the only state board with no legislative or gubernatorial appointees. The board appoints its own members.
Note 1: (from Wickipedia.com )
Kafkaesque is an eponym used to describe concepts, situations and ideas which are reminiscent of the literary work of the Austro-Hungarian writer Franz Kafka. The term implies senseless, disorienting, and menacing complexity. It can describe an intentional distortion of reality by powerful but anonymous bureaucrats.
“An eponym is the name of a person, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named. One who is referred to as eponymous is someone who gives his or her name to something.”
Note 2: (from ARS 41-821)
“The society shall have a president, a treasurer, a board of directors, and other officers who shall be elected by the members of the society at times and by methods the bylaws of the society prescribe”.
The statute appears to include no other statement about how the board members are selected or appointed. Apparently reporter Sterling was correct. The AHS reports to no one. It is funded by the state, but not managed by the state. How unique.