Director, Museum of Art & Archaeology – University of Missouri, Columbia

Position Title:                        Director, Museum of Art & Archaeology

Program/Department:         University of Missouri-Columbia

Position Location:                 Columbia, MO

Reports To:                           Dean, College of Arts and Science    

FLSA Status:                         Exempt

Salary:                                    Commensurate with qualifications and experience; full benefits

Application deadline is:       Open Until filled

Start Date:                             Negotiable

The Museum of Art & Archaeology

The award-winning Museum of Art & Archaeology (MAA), fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, features work from diverse aesthetic and cultural origins encompassing over 6,000 years of human history on six continents. The over 16,000 items in the MAA include extensive materials from the ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine eras; European and American fine art from the 13th century to the present, including a Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of European paintings; objects representing Asian, African, Oceanic, and ancient American cultures; and assemblages excavated by MAA-led archaeological missions.

The Museum of Art & Archaeology is part of the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science and serves the entire MU campus community. Its mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit works of art that illuminate the past, grapple with the present, and envision the future. Through object-based learning and interdisciplinary interactions, it fosters respect for diverse cultures and different points of view and offers a safe space for contending with today’s most pressing issues. As a twenty-first century land grant museum, it works to advance scholarship through its exhibition practices and peer-reviewed journal, Muse; to facilitate collaborations between faculty, students, schools, colleges, research centers, and local, national, and international partners; and to provide programming that stimulates curiosity, develops visual literacy, and cultivates global citizenship for its varied audiences. 

MAA’s size and structure is critical to its mission; it is small enough to be flexible and responsive and large enough to create a dynamic and diverse learning community. The University of Missouri is one of the few research institutions in the nation that has all its colleges and schools on one campus and near one another. This provides ample opportunities for the museum to initiate and facilitate potent interdisciplinary engagement between scholars, professional practitioners, and students in the areas of architecture, business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. In doing so, the museum challenges traditional boundaries and defines and redefines the role of art and material culture in everyday life.

Position Summary

The Director will be charged with developing an innovative vision and executing a strategic plan to generate and implement an educational and curatorial mission for a twenty-first-century land grant university museum. This is an exciting moment in the history of the museum as it moves into the historic Ellis Library at the heart of campus and prepares for a period of revitalization and growth.

The Director oversees all aspects of the MAA and the associated Missouri Folk Arts Program. The director represents the organization to local, regional, national, and international communities and leads efforts to partner with other museums and cultural institutions. This 12-month appointment requires vision, leadership, fundraising, and the ability to advance MU’s research and teaching mission through interdisciplinary collaboration. The director will hold a non-tenure track faculty position in a relevant department. A Master’s Degree in a related field is required, along with significant administrative experience and a demonstrated understanding of the academic mission of a comprehensive research university and the role of the arts within it. The Directoris the primary contact for stakeholders on broad issues related to MAA, reports to the Dean of the College of Arts & Science, and works in close coordination with the museum’s three advisory and support groups: Museum Associates, Faculty Advisory Committee, and the Museum Advisory Council of Students.


Preference will be given to candidates able to demonstrate a history of the following skills and competencies:

  1. Management and Leadership: Candidates should foster a culture of cooperation, mutual respect, and continuous growth. They should motivate and support the museum’s dedicated staff and provide professional development opportunities. They should steward and increase support for all museum operations and institute best practices to maintain proper conditions for the conservation, preservation, exhibition, and storage of artwork and the ever-growing collection. They should apply sound financial practices and strategically employ the museum’s assets. Finally, they should maintain, integrate, and develop the museum’s technology, systems, and operations, including its general website, digital database, social media, and interactive exhibition practices.
  • Strategic and Creative Vision: Candidates should have a broad knowledge of contemporary museum and exhibition practice and engage it inventively. They should be passionate and persuasive advocates for the fundamental role of museums at research universities and committed to reimaging the role of the arts at a land-grant institution in the 21st century. They should ensure the MAA’s ongoing relevance and appeal to all its constituencies through creative, compelling, and multidisciplinary programming and collaborations that leverage diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Commitment to Research, Education, and Outreach: Candidates should be committed to advancing the arts and design at a comprehensive, research-intensive university and connecting the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and programs to the institution’s mission and strategic plan. They should promote arts-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice in the living and learning environments of every discipline, college, and entity on campus. They should also contribute to the teaching, development, and growth of the School of Visual Studies’ interdisciplinary Museum Studies program.
  • Cultivating Relationships: Candidates should embody a collaborative spirit, fostering communication across the university to strengthen interdisciplinary teaching and learning. They should develop and enhance alliances with community partners and local organizations to enrich the museum’s programming and community engagement. They should seek to make the MAA an inclusive and welcoming space where visitors can see themselves represented in the permanent collection, programming, and exhibitions, and where its diverse communities can congregate for celebrations and difficult dialogues.
  • Resource Development: Candidates should actively pursue the development of new revenue streams; grant opportunities; and endowment fundraising. They should have strong interpersonal, media, and presentation skills to inspire and elicit support from the museum’s advisory groups and volunteers, as well as a broad spectrum of people from different social and cultural backgrounds.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline
  • Three years of experience in museum management

Candidates will be evaluated on

  • Highest degree attained
  • Years of experience in museum management
  • Ability to direct and assume accountability for Museum operations
  • Manage financial accounts and capital inventory in accordance with university procedures
  • Collaborate with the leadership of other units in fulfillment of the Museum’s priorities
  • Accountability for collections and operations in accordance with state and federal laws
  • Ability to consistently perform in a land grant, research I university, exercising sound judgement as well as maintaining high personal and institutional standards
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion
  • Established professional reputation and vigorous networks in area of expertise (scholarship, curation, etc.)
  • Established record of fundraising, grant-writing, and public engagement
  • Experience with stewardship and donor cultivation
  • Strong and dynamic leader to work across, with, and under various and diverse stakeholders, with awareness and respect for differences
  • Fluent understanding of social media.
  • Understanding of graphic and web design
  • Experience with online exhibits and virtualization/augmented reality to enhance museum experience
  • Experience with teaching and mentoring students at the university level
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in diverse contexts
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including extended hours, weekends, and holidays

Application Requirements

Please apply online at: (Job ID: 39399)

Use the online application and be prepared to upload the following:

  1. Letter of application that clearly addresses key qualifications as well as the candidate’s commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion
  2. Current, comprehensive CV or resumé
  3. The names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three (3) professional references who can confirm the candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin on January 3, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants may contact one of the Co-Chairs of the Search Committee, Stephanie Shonekan ( or Candace Sall ( ­­­­­­­­­­­with any questions regarding the job duties and Human Resource Services ( with any questions regarding the application process.

This position is eligible for University benefits.  The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts.  For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at

An equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer

Diversity Commitment

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence.

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