LAFAYETTE — Lance Harris will begin his one-year appointment as interim director of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum effective Feb. 3, university officials announced late Tuesday evening.

Harris replaces Mark Tullos, who recently accepted a position as assistant secretary and director of the Louisiana State Museum.

“Lance will maintain our forward momentum and advance important initiatives, such as the foundation of the Hilliard Society, the acquisition of major works of art, and museum accreditation,” stated Carolyn Bruder, UL Lafayette’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

The university is organizing a search committee to fill the director post and a call for applicants will begin in the “near future,” Bruder said in a news release.

Harris joins the museum as it prepares for the completion of its accreditation process with the American Alliance of Museums and as the museum launches a new fundraising group, the Hilliard Society.

He’ll also oversee the museum’s exhibits, programs and tours and efforts to expand cooperative programming with university students and faculty.

The efforts include strengthening educational opportunities for K-12 students in the region and developing relationships with supporters, volunteers and donors, according to the release.

Harris previously worked as director of curatorial service and museum division director for 17 museums under the purview of the Louisiana Department of State.

Prior to that, he was registrar and collections manager for the Louisiana Art and Science Museum in Baton Rouge.

He holds a dual master of arts degree in history and anthropology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

He also earned a bachelor of arts degree in the same disciplines from the school.

In 2008, he received the Newcomers Museum Award given by the Louisiana Association of Museums.

For more information about the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum,visit: