Director for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU

At the PSU Foundation, we believe in the power of higher education to transform lives. We are a mission-driven organization focused on advancing Portland State University through relationships, community connections and philanthropy. As part of our team, you’ll join a group of passionate, committed and engaged individuals working to empower students, faculty and the communities we serve. Join us.

The Opportunity:

The PSU Foundation is currently searching, for a limited term of one to three years, for a creative, thoughtful and detail-oriented Director for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU. The Director will create long term success for the museum through a variety of responsibilities including collaboration with guest curators to create spirited exhibitions and programs; positioning exhibitions and programs as an academic/curricular resource for all PSU schools and colleges; development of connections with local and regional partners; establishing policies and procedures; developing an operating budget for fiscal success; and collaborating with the PSU Foundation on donor engagement, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

The Museum Director will report to the Assistant Vice President for Development & PSU Arts, with a dotted line report to the Vice Provost for Academic Budget and Planning of the University. The Director will ensure the museum is utilized by all PSU schools and colleges and that exhibitions and programs embody the mission and vision of the museum and PSU. This is a one-year, limited term position with the possibility of extending the term for two additional years.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in art history, museum studies, or a related field, and at least four years of experience in a similar position at a museum, gallery, or cultural institution, OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing or curating accessible and inclusive exhibitions for diverse audiences that promote a student-centered approach to programming.
  • Experience developing and managing an annual operating budget.
  • Experience in higher education or non-profit environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with collections management.
  • Experience with exhibition design, installation, and fabrication.
  • Professional experience at a university museum or gallery.
  • Experience with the development and implementation of strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated vision and resourcefulness.
  • Experience with object-based teaching.
  • Ability to successfully complete a background check.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends for museum special events.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, galleries, or similar organizations.

Characteristics and Cultural Competencies:

  • Ability to manage multiple projects and duties simultaneously while paying careful attention to details and meeting deadlines.
  • Customer service-oriented partner skilled at building productive professional relationships.
  • Results-oriented professional who can set, pursue and achieve goals.
  • Creative thinker with high degree of integrity and loyalty.
  • Strong affinity for the mission of higher education and belief in the importance and power of the arts and arts education.
  • Creates an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.
  • Functions and communicates effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities and cultural backgrounds.
  • Seeks opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural and inclusive settings with a willingness to change for continual improvement.
  • Is committed to these core values that guide our ethical, professional approach to our work: collaboration, integrity, transparency, empowerment, donor centric.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and cultural sensitivity in professional settings.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including the ability to make a compelling case for support with prospective supporters and distill information for specialized audiences and the general public.
  • Proven success with fundraising and audience development.
  • Ability to interact with a broad range of individuals including students, faculty, artists, lenders, trustees and donors.

Essential Duties:

Exhibition & Program Management

  • Serves as artistic director, managing a minimum of four annual exhibitions and associated programming within the museum, collaborating with guest curators, contractors, faculty, and students.
  • Oversees a variety of associated exhibitions at the Broadway Gallery at Lincoln Hall.

Outreach, Engagement & Development

  • Collaborates with PSU Foundation development colleagues to:
    • Identify, engage, cultivate, solicit and steward donors, to build a philanthropic base of support for the museum.
    • Build strong relationships with donors and prospective donors.
    • Prepare proposals and related materials for prospective supporters and foundation grant opportunities.
    • Establish and manage a volunteer Leadership Council of philanthropic supporters.
  • Cultivates local, regional and national connections with scholars and museum colleagues and community partners.
  • Represents the museum through membership at local, regional and national organizations.
  • Promotes knowledge of the PSU art collection through relevant marketing campaigns, advertising, and publications. 
  • Serves as the spokesperson and advocate for the museum, responding to inquiries from the media and leading special tours.

Strategic Operations and Personnel Management

  • Develops and manages the museum’s operating budget.
  • Supervises up to two full time employees and indirectly manages five to ten student employees.
  • Leads visioning, long-term and strategic planning to accomplish the museum’s mission.

Collections Management

  • Manages the PSU art collection, documenting the collection and promoting it through tours, publications and exhibitions.
  • Serves on the PSU Art Advisory Committee (collection and accession advisory committee).

Other Duties as Assigned

  • Performs additional duties as assigned to serve the museum and university.
  • Upholds PSU and PSUF brand standards.

Other Essential Information:

  • Proposed Start Date: October 1, 2020
  • Department: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (PSU) / PSU Arts Development (PSUF)
  • Work Days/Hours: Full-time
  • Benefits Eligible. For a full list of our awesome offered benefits, please visit:
  • Pay Grade Level: Six ($75,888 to $85,787 dependent on experience.)

PSU Foundation an EEO employer. To learn more about the foundation, our strategic direction and our financial impacts, please visit:

Ready to apply? We are looking forward to hearing from you! Please visit to apply. This position will close on August 24, 2020.