The Office of the Provost at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, invites applications and nominations for the Jefferson Chapman Executive Director of the Frank H. McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture. 

General Description:

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the state’s flagship research institution, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates and a premier graduate institution. Enrolling more than 28,000 students, the campus is located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in beautiful East Tennessee. As a land-grant university, UT Knoxville fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement. The McClung Museum advances the university’s strategic mission “to move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world.” The museum, which is accredited by the American Association of Museums, has hosted more than 1.4 million visitors. In addition to its innovative exhibitions and outstanding educational programs serving the public, the university, and K-12 schools, the museum’s collections have been the source for myriad theses, dissertations, and scholarly publications. The museum is home to several distinguished collections relating to archaeology, arts and culture, malacology, and paleoethnobotany, some of which are among the largest collections of their kind in the world. The museum also maintains an active loan program and hosts several traveling exhibits per year on a variety of themes. See:

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Jefferson Chapman Executive Director of the McClung Museum provides leadership and oversees the operations of the museum. The Executive Director has primary responsibility for donor and public relations and is responsible for professional practices such as acquisitions, deaccessions, preservation, and research interpretation. The Executive Director will provide the vision and personal leadership for institutional growth and development. The Executive Director will develop strategies and initiatives to fulfill the museum’s mission “to advance understanding and appreciation of the earth and its peoples through the collection, preservation, study, interpretation and exhibition of objects and data.” The Executive Director insures that the strategic and operational functions of the museum directly support and further the university’s strategic priorities as documented in Vol Vision 2020 (see

The Executive Director will develop strategies and lead initiatives of the museum and will ensure that collections accord with the highest professional and ethical standards. The Executive Director will supervise activities of museum staff and foster an environment of collaboration, mutual respect, and teamwork while demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity as a core value of the museum. The Executive Director is responsible for the development, coordination, approval, and execution of policies, methods, and procedures. The Executive Director will serve as spokesperson for and advocate of the museum; will cultivate donor relationships; and will strive to enhance the museum’s public image in order to expand engagement and support. UT Knoxville is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the university.


MINIMUM EDUCATION  Master’s degree required.


  • Progressively responsible administrative experience in a museum or related educational/research organization, including senior management and leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated success developing strategies and initiatives which directly impact organizational growth and stability.
  • Established record of professional accomplishments.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, audience development, and institutional planning.
  • Experience managing organizational budget and financial resources.
  • Experience leading and managing curatorial as well as other museum staff.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.



  • Oversee and manage museum budget.
  • Develop strategies that will increase the museum audience and contribute to its financial stability and growth.
  • Supervise and direct the activities of professional and non-professional staff in all areas of the museum’s operations.
  • Develop, coordinate, approve, and execute policies, methods, and procedures.
  • Collaborate with appropriate curators to ensure compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to collections and collections activities.
  • Oversee maintenance, display, and general welfare of the collections in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards.
  • Serve as spokesperson and advocate of the museum; effectively represent the museum within the university and the external community, as well as to governmental, civic, and private agencies.
  • Work closely with museum’s director of external relations to secure funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governmental agencies.
  • Develop, implement, and oversee programs and activities that directly support and further the university’s strategic priorities.


  • Excellent managerial, planning, organizational, and administrative skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills.
  • High level of presentation and negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Commitment to maintaining appropriate professional activities in relevant state, national, and other professional organizations.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision, and strategic direction.
  • Ability to inspire and motivate staff, volunteers, and donors.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a broad audience: representatives of private and public organizations; members of boards, foundations, commissions, and support groups; organizational managers, museum staff, and the general public.

Compensation is commensurate with the importance of the role and the candidate’s experience. University of Tennessee, Knoxville offers a competitive benefits package.

START DATE Summer 2019


Bill Appleton of Management Consultants for the Arts, is the consultant assisting University of Tennessee, Knoxville on this search. To be considered for this position, you must submit pertinent information and attach a current résumé, a one-page narrative describing interest and experience, and three professional references utilizing our online application system. Once all your materials have been submitted online, you will receive a confirmation of your submission via the email address you have provided in the application.

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services.  All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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