The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is still without a director after two and-a-half years, due to a battle between the private Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives, the Orange County Register reports.
The National Archives nominated Mark Atwood Lawrence, an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. However, Lawrence–a critic of Nixon’s approach to the Vietnam War–could not see eye-to-eye with the foundation.
The only person to have served as the library’s director thus far has Tim Naftali, who often differed with Nixon’s family and close supporters. Naftali has his own theory as to why the search is taking so long; he thinks the foundation doesn’t want to name a new director because it wants control over a planned $15 million renovation.
He told the Register, “My concern is that if the foundation ever got the opportunity to write the text for the museum, it would use all those arguments that have been disproved by declassified documents and tapes over 35 years.”
The National Archives and Records Administration told the Register that it is partnering with an executive recruitment firm to look for more candidates. David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, appoints the directors at each of the 13 presidential libraries.
In the meantime, the current acting director of the library lives and works 3,000 miles away, according to the Register.