Director of Education: Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the world’s leading educational and research institutions. The William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum is the University’s museum of world cultures. Although it opened in its own independent, 55,000 square-foot building in 2002, its roots extend back to predecessor museums that were founded in the 1910s. Its collections include more than 50,000 artifacts from six continents, ranging in date from the Paleolithic to modern times. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 2009, the Spurlock serves over 50,000 patrons each year, including about 12,000 school children from across the state of Illinois, as well as about 1,000 university students, in organized programs and tours.
The Spurlock Museum seeks candidates for the position of Director of Education. Reporting to the Director of the Spurlock Museum, the Director of Education leads the Education Section Staff in developing, delivering, and managing a wide range of interpretive Museum functions in conjunction with other core staff and outside collaborators, including programs, special events, exhibit development, and publications. In addition, the Director of Education takes the Section lead in administrative and instructional duties, including personnel supervision, budget oversight, grant writing, and teaching a college-level class in Museum Education. The Director of Education also builds upon the successful programs of the Education Section, while seeking opportunities to reach out to larger university and community audiences and to raise the profile of the Spurlock Museum.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervise and support Education Section staff members, including the following: hiring, training, assigning/reviewing work, conducting performance evaluations, addressing work issues, approving time, setting work schedules.
  • Lead staff in setting and prioritizing individual and section-wide goals.
  • Oversee, contribute to, and support Education staff in developing the interpretive content of educational programs, events, publications, and online resources.
  • Oversee and actively participate in program and event delivery and evaluation.
  • Direct visitor studies and initiatives for audience development.
  • Plan and manage the budget of the Education Section.
  • Write and oversee grants in support of educational programs.
  • Plan and approve staffing levels and job descriptions for hourly Education staff and volunteers.
  • Create various statistical summaries used in reports and grant proposals.
  • Pursue selected campus initiatives related to educational programs and events and serve as a liaison for developing the Museum as a resource for scholarship and education.
  • Work collaboratively with the Museum’s Director, Coordinator of Special Events, and the heads of Collections, Registration, Information Technology, and Security Sections (the Core Committee) in the planning and pursuit of long-term, Museum-wide initiatives.
  • Serve as a member of the Exhibits Committee and work in support of exhibit development.
  • Work with Exhibit Committee members, curators, and other scholars to develop interpretive focus, organization, and content of exhibits.
  • Serve, as needed, as exhibit coordinator for installations in the permanent galleries, the Campbell Gallery, the Hundley Central Core Gallery, and other public spaces.
  • Plan educational elements for exhibits using traditional and new media, including interactives and targeted programs.
  • Represent the Education Section in Core Committee work, including Museum-wide strategic planning, budget development, and the development of museum policy.
  • Participate in the work of the Acquisitions Committee and oversee work done with the Museum’s Teaching Collection.
  • Develop and teach a biennial undergraduate Museum Education course in the University of Illinois Museum Studies Program.
  • Work evenings and weekends for educational events and programs.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in education, museum studies, or a related discipline; background in anthropology, history, cultural studies, or related social sciences
  • 3 years of experience working with education or public programs in a museum setting
  • 2 years of experience in a supervisory role
  • Strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to communicate well both orally and in written form with visitors and colleagues of different ages, interests, and backgrounds
  • Administrative and grant-writing experience
  • Knowledge of current museum and informal educational practices, as well as visitor studies
  • Ability to effectively supervise staff while contributing to a positive, collaborative, and healthy work environment
  • Research, writing, editing, and information management skills
  • Proven project planning, coordination, and evaluation skills
  • Proven ability to work well within deadlines on multiple and varied projects simultaneously

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in exhibit development
  • Proficiency with digital technology, new and emerging media, and current social media

This is a full-time, 12-month, benefits-eligible, Academic Professional position. Eligibility for benefits are contingent on your citizenship or work authorization. For full details on eligibility requirements, please reference

Salary is commensurate with experience. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date.

Application Procedures:

Create your candidate profile at and upload

  • Cover letter,
  • CV or resume addressing your qualifications as they align with the job description,
  • Writing sample (e.g., gallery guide, museum newsletter article, or lesson plan), limited to 5 pages,
  • Description of your specific involvement (duties performed) in a museum exhibit, if applicable, limited to 1page,
  • Descriptive listing of grants applied for and awarded,
  • Description of your specific involvement (duties performed ) for one museum project that you have coordinated and evaluated, limited to 2 pages, and
  • Names and contact information of three professional references.

To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of 04/20/2016. Review of applications may begin before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after the close date. For further information regarding the position, you may contact Karen Flesher at For more information about the Spurlock Museum, visit our website: For technical assistance with the online application process, call 217-333-6747 or email
The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran,  status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (

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