Director and Assistant/Associate Professor – Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College invites applications for the Director of the Center of Southwest Studies, a teaching and research archives, library and museum, with an anticipated start date as early as January 2022 and to be determined with the candidate. The successful candidate will hold an academic Assistant/Associate Professor appointment concurrent with the directorship; the appointment is expected to be a tenure-track position, with a five-year term as Director, with the possibility of a directorship reappointment upon successful review. We seek a dynamic individual who can lead the Center, building on its core values of student success, community engagement, and relationships with Indigenous communities. 

Reporting to the Provost, the Director of the Center provides vision and leadership on campus, within the Four Corners Region, and nationally, while integrating the Center’s collections and resources into both the curriculum and life of the campus. The next Director and Assistant/Associate Professor will join the campus community at a particularly important time as the implementation of the recently endorsed College strategic plan is underway. The Center’s student internships and programs are central to the strategic plan’s focus on experiential learning; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the development of new curricular pathways. The next Director will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of engaged faculty from multiple disciplines, including a new minor being developed in Southwest Studies, and to explore new forms of collaborative partnerships with the support of the Office of Academic Affairs. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, Native American & Indigenous Studies, U.S. History, Art History, or related field, with a Southwest focus in field; a combination of education and appropriate museum, public history, or cultural heritage leadership experience may be considered. 
  • A minimum of three years in a leadership role. 
  • Candidates must meet the criteria for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor, with the rank of appointment commensurate with qualifications and experience. 
  • The successful candidate must have a demonstrated commitment to progressive museum and archival best practices; strategic and innovative thinking and vision. 
  • Demonstrated expertise in the American Southwest’s diverse past and present.
  • Demonstrated leadership and administrative skills and experience.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in fostering inclusive hiring practices and collaborative and respectful working environments. 
  • Awareness of and/or experience with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) compliance. 

  Preferred Qualifications

  • Five or more years experience in a leadership role in museums, public history or cultural heritage.
  • Demonstrated experience working with Indigenous communities in the Southwest and the ability to establish and build upon existing relationships with these communities.
  • A commitment to developing productive relationships across a college campus and with communities beyond the college at all levels. 
  • A track record of success in obtaining significant grants, ability and experience with fundraising, development, and donor stewardship.
  • A strong scholarly record.
  • A record of successful teaching and supervision of students.

Major Responsibilities

  • Reporting to the Provost, the Director is responsible for overseeing the mission and long-term vision for the Center of Southwest Studies, including: management of the Center’s professional staff and operations; collaborating with the curatorial staff to develop the Center’s institutional plan for programming, staffing, collections management, and growth; working with the Advisory Board and staff to define overall vision and long-range goals for the Center; and working with staff to develop exhibitions and public programs. 
  • The Director is expected to lead the Center in demonstrating an ongoing commitment to fostering a collaborative, respectful, and inclusive environment for students, staff, faculty, and community and Indigenous partners. 
  • In collaboration with the Budget Office and Advancement Office, the Director oversees the Center’s fiscal responsibilities to the College and external funders, including: approving annual budget plans for student internships, exhibitions and public programs; approving research and projects grants; authorizing significant expenditures in accordance with policies and guidelines; and, ensuring operations and programming initiatives are undertaken with available resources. 
  • The Director is responsible for overseeing fund development and fundraising for the Center’s operations; student internships; exhibits and programming; collections care and preservation; and additional special projects.
  • The Director works closely with the Advancement Office on stewardship of the Center’s major donors and to cultivate relationships with individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government funding agencies. 
  • The Director is responsible for maintaining all legal requirements pertaining to the Center’s collections to ensure FLC compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA); including ongoing consultations and repatriations. 
  • The Director assumes the role of a tenure-line professor within a home academic department and participates in the scholarly life of the department.
  • The Director is expected to engage in scholarly research and to engage in teaching and mentoring undergraduate students by teaching one course per semester in conjunction with the course needs and requirements of the Director’s home academic department.  
  • The Director leads, supervises, and evaluates the performance of the archives manager and museum curator, engaging in strategic planning to achieve each division’s annual goals.  
  • The Director works closely with the Center’s Advisory Board and serves on the FLC NAGPRA Committee, the Center’s Collections Committee, the Colorado Humanities Roundtable, the Four Corners Museum Association, and other committees as assigned.   
  • The Director connects with the local educational community, encouraging collaborations with regional elementary and secondary schools.
  • The Director maintains a visible presence in the local, state, regional, and national professional community and conducts public lectures in areas of expertise.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential function

  • Ability to work with moderate noise (i.e. office with computers, phone, and printers, light traffic).
  • Ability to work in a confined area.
  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period of time.
  • Ability to juggle a variety of administrative tasks simultaneously. 
  • Ability to manage a team of professionals with differing opinions and levels of training and experience. 

Physical Demands

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, walk, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer work and working with collection objects.
  • Light to moderate lifting is required.


Travel to professional conferences; locally and out of state to visit donors, collectors and Native American tribes; and, to attend events and programs at other institutions. 


The salary range is $80,000-$90,000 for a 12-month full-time appointment, plus a comprehensive benefits package

Application Process

A complete application packet includes:

  • A cover letter addressing interest in and qualifications for the position that summarizes your experience in and approach to administrative and leadership roles in museums and/or archives; include a statement of your teaching philosophy/practice along with evidence of teaching effectiveness; describe your experience working with Indigenous communities and diverse bodies of stakeholders; and, list your contributions, or potential contributions, to creating and advancing a culture of equity and inclusion. 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Names and contact information for three current, professional references. 

Submit materials as one PDF file via email to: 

Application materials received on or before October 29, 2021, will receive full consideration.  The position will remain open until filled. 

The successful candidate will be required to submit original, official college transcripts, and pass a background check. 

Online Application Information:

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