Many members of faculty are engaged in the ethical issues raised by the discovery and conservation of monuments and artifacts, and in the management practices of heritage specialists in relationship to legal frameworks and stakeholder communities. Heritage is by definition inherited, but that inheritance is often contested and rights to heritage are often infringed. Heritage implies ownership and yet in the modern world multiple communities feel they have a stake in the past. Heritage increasingly also refers to the heritage industry and the commodification of the past. Heritage is, on the other hand, often central to community identity and may have important roles to play in post-conflict reconciliation.
Lynn Meskell has worked on these issues extensively in the Middle East and South Africa (see The Nature of Culture: The New South Africa; and Global Heritage: A Reader) and is at present studying the World Heritage management of UNESCO based in Paris. Ian Hodder has written about the application of human rights in heritage conflict and has explored ideas of community participation at Catalhoyuk in Turkey. Barbara Voss, with prior career experience in cultural resource management, works closely with heritage managers and government archaeologists in the San Francisco Bay area to foster site preservation and community involvement in heritage policy and practice. Her projects such as the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project are developed in collaboration with community partners and integrate public archaeology with research practice. John Rick, leads conservation and community articulation in the World Heritage site of Chavin de Huantar, confronting a range of pragmatic issues touching on heritage. Bill Durham works on threats from tourism and migration to the Galapagos World Heritage Site, and on ways for promoting sustainable development in the archipelago.