Art Director – University of California Merced

Job ID   39841   Location   Merced   Full/Part Time   Full Time   Hiring Range   Approved Salary Range is $70,000 – $85,000   Job Closing Date   Initial applicant review will be on or around August 15, 2022. Posting may close any time without notice.  

This position is a campus-based role and requires that the incumbent hold a valid CA Driver’s License and sufficient flexibility to navigate regional travel.   This is a 1-year contract appointment. As with all UC Merced full-time contract appointments, you would be eligible for benefits. This contract is renewable.  

About UC Merced   The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and professional development. With bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable, and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.   Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities for highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.   In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project nearly doubled the physical capacity of the campus, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. In 2018, UC Merced opened the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.   To set the course of UC Merced’s evolution, in 2021 UC Merced will enact its first-ever 10-year strategic plan. This plan will guide how the values of equity and justice influence our pathway toward earning Carnegie R1 research status, growing enrollment, upholding our identity as a minority-serving institution, and operationalizing how commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted within each campus unit. UC Merced is expected to engage in sophisticated thinking, planning, and implementation of actions that effectively diversify the professoriate and staff, improve campus climate for all campus constituency groups, and strengthen our equity, diversity, and inclusion infrastructure and capacity.  

About the Job   The University Art Director (Director) position oversees and develops programs and initiatives for both visual and performing arts that create meaningful opportunities for arts learning and engagement in a higher education environment. Reporting directly to the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Chancellor and working closely with leadership across the University, the Director provides leadership for the University’s performing and visual arts program that represents UC Merced’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, innovation, and positive societal impact.   The Director will implement a clear strategic vision inclusive of performing and visual arts, building collaborations between staff, faculty, artists, and community, and drawing on strengths in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. Through their knowledge of art administration, the Director will manage, implement, and enhance cross-departmental initiatives to advance equity and access, and integrate new systems and technologies. This position will collaborate with the University community, serving as an advocate for the arts, providing transformative leadership, and building consensus and common purpose. The Director will manage the University Art Gallery on campus and develop and sustain a robust arts program that will raise the profile of UC Merced regionally, statewide, and nationally as well as create important opportunities for philanthropic engagement.   Art education team leadership, oversight, and support for the following items:   • Oversight and management of a broad suite of educational art programming, including revenue-generating and value-added programs, ensuring that they are inclusive, accessible, inquiry-based, and mission-focused.   • Determine fundraising needs and goals while overseeing the fiscal management of endowments, investments, and gift reporting.   • Responsible for effective communication and meaningful collaboration with all University and community partners.   • Responsible for aligning art education initiatives with the University’s mission and strategic plan.   • Responsible for developing and cultivating productive relationships with university and community partners to enhance the visual and performing arts reach and impact. Partners include national, state, and local agencies; University departments; educational institutions, business, and industry; museums and galleries; artists and educators; and other non-profit and community organizations.   • Responsible for supporting visitor services, general operations, exhibition installation, special projects, and events.   • Responsible for presenting lectures, workshops, demonstrations, guided tours, digital presentations, and other related programming.   • Responsible for contracting, risk management, and maintenance requirements in support of art installations, commissions, and acquisitions.   Management   • Directs the activities of the arts program at the highest level with a major impact on the overall goals and effectiveness of the program.   • Oversees full complement of arts programming, which includes overseeing arts performances, university curated/traveling art exhibitions, ancillary arts education programming, and outreach programs, including K-12 programming.   • Supervises and manages the development of performing arts programs, including artistic and educational objectives, goals, and strategies.   • Directs the development and creation of university curated art exhibitions from inception through installation.   • Guides visual arts collection development efforts by setting and overseeing policies and procedures, including oversight of recommendations for acquisitions, deaccessions, and conservation.   • Directs the short- and long-term strategy, planning, and organizational development of the fledgling arts program to enhance UC Merced’s reputation.   • Designs strategies to ensure proper marketing and outreach of programs to drive exposure and attendance.   • Leads collaborative efforts with internal/external constituencies, including the University Library, Center for the Humanities, Global Arts Studies Program, the City of Merced, regional school districts, and other higher education institutions.   • Supervises and guides professional staff and support staff.   • Manages the program’s budget, including budget development and monitoring.   • Attend functions and meetings and serve as program leader on internal/external committees.   Community Affairs   • Guides, directs, and manages programs charged with identifying, building, nurturing, and maintaining effective relationships with external key constituencies, including government and local agencies.   • Obtains advice and input from external constituencies regarding issues impacting the arts program.   • Serve on boards, where applicable, to develop and leverage relationships for the campus.   • Oversees outreach programs and strategies related to community relations matters with the objective of establishing/maintaining a level of visibility and creditability with various constituents that will turn into tangible support for the arts program.   • Other duties as assigned to achieve the program’s and university’s mission and vision.   *LI-RM1   Qualifications   • Bachelor’s degree and five years of progressively responsible experience in an arts organization in a higher education environment or similar program, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.   • Licenses Valid CA Driver License Required   CRITICAL EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCIES:   • Experience with all aspects of art exhibition programming, schedules.   • Knowledge of principles, practices, and trends in arts-education, arts curriculum, and community programming.   • Knowledge of standard curatorial and collection management practices including principles of conservation/preservation.   • Demonstrated experience in communicating with a variety of audiences (i.e., faculty, staff, students, volunteers).   • Proven ability to work effectively with a diverse population.   • Persuasive oral and written communication skills to prepare and present solicitation strategies, proposals and other marketing materials.   • Experience with donor cultivation and stewardship.   • Ability to create of strategic plans for fundraising and other advancement programs.   • Ability to effectively promote campus gallery exhibition programming: coordinate gallery marketing materials, maintain social media marketing needs; and maintain mailing list.   • Budget and project management experience.   • Ability to take long-range approach.   • Significant staff and volunteer management experience including recruitment, hiring, training, and evaluating personnel and the ability to lead in a team environment.   • Excellent problem recognition, avoidance and resolution skills in multiple arenas.   • Excellent organizational and analytical skills. Ability to perform effectively in a fast-paced environment and under deadlines.   • Ability to manage the upkeep and inventory of the University’s permanent collection.   • Experience in holding membership and participating in professional art organizations.   Background Check   Background check and fingerprinting may be required.   Policy Statement  

How to Apply:   An online application is required for each position to apply. The University of California, Merced is aware that some web-based application processes may be cumbersome for differently abled applicants. Where appropriate, alternative accommodations will be provided. For applicants with disabilities who need additional assistance using TAM, or reasonable accommodations during the interview or search process, please contact  

Employment Opportunity:   The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, or other protected categories covered by the UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. UC Merced intentionally promotes and maintains a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace by demonstrating it neither condones nor tolerates employment practices that discriminate against or harass any person or specific group of persons on the basis listed above. We seek candidates who will support our vision to cultivate a vibrant, equity-minded, inclusive excellence university community. When applying to UC Merced, we strongly encourage you to reflect on our Principles of Community and our 2021 strategic plan.  

Vaccination Program Policy:   As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.  

Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy:   The University of California, Merced is a smoke and tobacco free workplace. Information and the Smoke and Tobacco Free policy is available at  

E-Verify:   All employers who receive Federal contracts and grants are required to comply with E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify electronically verifies employment eligibility by comparing information provided on the I-9 form to records in the DHS and SSA databases. Certain positions funded by federal contracts/subcontracts requires UC Merced to notify job applicants that an E-Verify check will be conducted and the successful candidate must pass the E-Verify check.  

Pay, Benefits & Work Schedule:   For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University of California visit:

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