Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning – The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) seeks a creative, dynamic Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning to help develop and lead an ambitious, highly creative strategic direction and provide oversight for how the public experiences the Museum, and learning in and from it.

UMMA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to sustain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.

For full consideration please provide a resume, with cover letter, describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position requirements at

Basic Function and Responsibilities

This position reports to the Museum Director and is a member of the Management Team. S/he advocates for the public, engages community and student groups, and actively curates the public spaces of the Museum to address the needs and interests of a broad, engaged public. Areas of focus include positioning UMMA as a site of dynamic public intellectual life around art and visual culture; strengthening student participation and agency in and with the museum; oversight of docent and other learning programs; and interpretive and technology projects.  With the Museum Director and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, the Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning works collaboratively on the direction of the overall artistic program to ensure it’s created with a broad and diverse public actively in mind.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy and Innovation: Establish and communicate public experience and learning philosophy and methodologies, ensuring they become key components of institutional identity and culture. Foster innovation, strategic focus, and experimentation in developing, enhancing and assessing programs and initiatives that actively encourage new and diverse audiences to engage with the museum and its collections and programs. Provide thoughtful leadership for how front-line staff and volunteer groups engage with the Museum, including docents, interns, the Student Engagement Council, student docents, and student navigators. Provide strategic direction for how the museum’s physical space, online presence, and resources promote social and intellectual participation by a breadth of people. Contribute significantly to training of all museum staff including security officers, to ensure the public feels welcomed by all staff.

Advocacy for the Public: Develop strong, long-term partnerships with community, school and student groups to strengthen their role in the museum, and bring their voices and needs into the Museum.  Work collaboratively with the Senior Manager of Museum Technology and the Director of Marketing and Communications to integrate data collection and assessment into museum processes and programs to understand who our public is and their qualitative experience of the museum.  S/he will base their work on current research and best practices in the fields of museum education, art history, exhibition management, and visitor studies, evaluating their results both qualitatively and quantitatively to determine approaches that best meet the goals of the museum.

Collaboration: Lead by example and encourage ever greater levels of collaboration among Museum staff, especially through partnerships with curators and the Museum’s departments of Communication and Marketing, Curatorial Affairs, Exhibitions, and Development. Build collaborations with student and community groups and key units on campus.

Leadership and Team Building: Articulate and advocate for the departmental vision and priorities clearly and effectively to all constituencies. Maintain a team-oriented departmental culture with a clear structure, including transparency on how each individual’s role supports departmental goals, open lines of communication and lines of accountability. Participate in fundraising to expand and support department priorities. Represent the Museum on campus, in the community and to peers locally and nationally.

Management: Responsible for the day-to-day management of the department and oversees an annual budget of nearly $500,000. As a member of the Museum’s senior management team, s/he will participate in strategic planning, budgeting, and decision-making for the Museum overall while working closely and collaboratively with other divisions of the museum. Enhance the quality and maximize the effectiveness of existing programs. Continuously evaluate and review existing programs for effectiveness, relevance, and to prioritize resources.

Required Qualifications

Requires a Master’s degree in arts education, museum studies, humanities, fine arts, education or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Must have five or more years leadership experience in an arts/culture environment, designing and planning programs and experiences for diverse audiences. Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion, and broadening access to art and culture for a broad public. Knowledge of current theory and practice in public programs, social practice, and informal learning… Prior supervisory and budget management experience, excellent communication and organizational and computer skills, and the ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

This position requires significant contact and communication with Museum staff, volunteers, campus colleagues (faculty and students), and the public. Duties require frequent interactions with individuals listed previously as well as with donors, and other educational professionals. Discretion and sound judgment are required. Must be able to relate to individuals with a variety of backgrounds, and positively and with integrity represent the Museum.


The University of Michigan Museum of Art seeks to transform individual and civic life by promoting the discovery, contemplation, and enjoyment of the art of our world.

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

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