Assistant to the Director – Spencer Museum of Art


Position Overview

The Spencer Museum of Art explores the capacity of art to spark curiosity, inspire creativity, and create connections among people. The Museum, located on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, houses an internationally known collection that is deep and diverse, currently numbering more than 45,000 artworks and artifacts in all media. The Assistant to the Director supports the Director’s work to advance Museum initiatives through tasks such as research of museum practices and facilitating dynamic and innovative with a diverse range of community partners. The work in this position is instrumental in strengthening museum practices to achieve institutional goals.
The Assistant to the Director is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Director’s office. Primary duties include coordinating the Director’s schedule and travel, assisting with special projects, and participating in development-related administration. The Assistant to the Director may also prepare collection- and program-related materials and facilitate data analysis and preparation for meetings and presentations. Strong communication and writing skills, confidentiality, adaptability, and flexibility are imperative.

Job Description

50%       Writing and Administration

  • Manage Director’s office and otherwise relieve the Director of administrative, clerical, scheduling, and business details by overseeing day-to-day operations; update Director on project statuses and other relevant information.
  • Arrange and process all travel for the Director, including working with the Museum’s Operations department and Campus Administration & Operations Shared Service Center (CAO-SSC) to complete travel authorizations and financial transactions using a University credit card.
  • Research and summarize disparate materials into succinct and accurate reports and documents, and assist with editing documents for the Director and the institution at large.
  • Draft letters, memos, reports, and other correspondence for the Director, synthesizing museum-wide information of exhibitions, events, and programming.
  • Organize, attend, and/or take notes for meetings as assigned by the Director, including by not limited to weekly Curatorial and Collection meetings and bi-monthly Spencer Social Action for Impact meetings.
  • Manage the Address Module in the Spencer MuseumPlus database, maintaining constituent addresses and contact information for museum-wide use; support the Advancement office in address management for the donor database, Raiser’s Edge.
  • Develop proficiency with all Museum databases and software programs for the purpose of gathering, synthesizing, and organizing information.
  • Monitor relevant news and information sources to gather noteworthy happenings in the community, university, and art/museum fields to share the Director; draft relevant correspondence as directed.
  • Serve as staff liaison for the Director to the Provost’s and Chancellor’s Offices.
  • Assist administrative staff with general office duties including answering main telephone line.
  • Provide strong technological support for the Director, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office Suite to create materials for lectures, talks, and presentations.

25%       Special Projects and Research

  • Research and draft documents; edit and review documents as needed.
  • Conduct and organize research on the museum collection, art museum trends—including diversity, equity, access, and inclusion—and other content-specific areas.
  • Produce visual aids that summarize and present content and data.
  • Assist the Director with Blackboard and grading, in the event of the Director teaching a course.
  • Work collaboratively with interdepartmental museum teams on projects related to museum administration and special initiatives.

20%       Development

  • Assist in arranging development related meetings, events, and travel, including drafting correspondence to donors.
  • Work with the Advancement and Planning Department as needed in coordinating advancement-related tasks.
  • Assist in maintaining donor files and database relative to the activities of the Director; track correspondence, information, and meetings related to donors, donor prospects, and foundations electronically using appropriate Museum database and filing systems.
  • Provide planned and impromptu tours of the collection and facility to visitors and guests of the Director.
  • In collaboration with the Advancement and Planning Department, organize receptions and events (catering, invitations, and overseeing) for donors, prospects, and the National Advisory board.

5%         Other Duties as Assigned

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in any field.
  2. At least one year of experience working in an administrative position.
  3. Excellent writing and editing skills, as evidenced in application materials.
  4. Experience creating concise reports and written documents, drawing together a variety of information and presenting finished products with great accuracy as evidenced in application materials.
  5. Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Pro, and general digital literacy for troubleshooting technical problems.
  6. Work experience requiring organizational skills and attention to detail as evidenced by work history and application materials.

Position Requirements – Available to work occasional evening and weekend hours with advance notice.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience presenting qualitative and quantitative information in a visual format.
  2. Experience arranging domestic and international travel.
  3. Experience working with databases.
  4. Experience that required use of digital and library research skills.
  5. Experience with an art museum.
  6. Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  7. Evidence of reliability and punctuality.

Contact Information to Applicants

Jennifer Talbott,, 785-864-0135

Additional Candidate Instruction

A complete application consists of a cover letter, resume, three professional references and a writing sample of 2-3 pages that demonstrates professional writing skills.  Please use your cover letter to address how you meet the required and preferred qualifications.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  An online University of Kansas application must be completed to be considered for this position.

Review of applications begins January 21, 2019.  To ensure consideration apply on or before Sunday January 20, 2019.

Advertised Salary Range


Anticipated Start Date


Work Location

University of Kansas – Lawrence