Director of Academic and Public Initiatives – Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art seeks a Director of Academic and Public Initiatives to foster collaboration on the Cornell campus, in central New York, and around the world. We are searching for an individual who delights in developing and sustaining relationships with traditional partners in the arts community as well as those across fields and interests – to advance innovative teaching, research, student programs, and community engagement. We are looking for an adroit manager who can effectively lead a department of 8 museum educators and approximately 30 Cornell students. As a member of the Johnson Museum’s senior leadership team, this person will report to the Director and help shape the strategic directions of the Museum.

As an academic art museum, especially one that is part of a land-grant institution, the Johnson Museum provides rich opportunities for learning and engagement with original works of art. To cultivate these opportunities, we are searching for an individual who can spark conversation between the Johnson and partners both on and off campus. This person will work to cultivate new relationships and deepen current endeavors with faculty and students at Cornell, with civic and cultural organizations in the thriving Finger Lakes region, and with museums and universities regionally and globally. We are looking for someone who is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment, helping to add to the Johnson Museum community of belonging.

The Director of Academic and Public Initiatives will participate as a key member of the Johnson’s senior management team and contribute to strategic and long-term planning for the institution. This individual will contribute to outreach efforts in support of public relations and communications efforts broadly. In cooperation with the Museum’s Director of Development, this person will support efforts to raise funds for education initiatives by writing grants and reporting on major grants and gift activity, as well as working with individual supporters. The Director of Academic and Public Initiatives will:

  1. Direct, oversee and develop education programs to support critical inquiry and appreciation of the arts for: Cornell classes working with the museum, co-curricular student groups, K-12 school and teacher programs, community groups, and visitors of all ages. Dynamically and creatively connect museum activities with university priorities, campus-wide initiatives, and community currents. Work with museum leadership on long term planning of educational goals and audience focus. Manage Faculty Advisory Committee and represent the Museum in University groups, and various external constituents e.g. Ithaca’s Discovery Trail, etc.
  2. Design a Museum Training Program that draws on the strengths of the current internship program, creating an inspired cohort of students ranging from freshmen interns to post-baccalaureate fellows. Convene students across Cornell’s schools (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell SC Johnson School of Business, College of Engineering, College of Human Ecology, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell Law School, College of Veterinary Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine) to promote the Johnson Museum as a site for both research and respite.
  3. Lead a team of museum education professionals who are responsible for interdisciplinary teaching, engagement, and outreach programs. Direct the research practice of the education team and share findings broadly. Ensure a balanced and sustainable schedule of activity. Assume fiscal leadership of department. Plan, maintain, and assess budgets in coordination with the Deputy Director/Director of Finance and Administration.
  4. Create opportunities at the Johnson Museum for research and development to advance museum practice in innovative and creative ways, working in collaboration with artists, students, and other practitioners. Experiment with emerging technologies and keep pace with new thinking on digital interpretation.

Approve and coordinate education publicity materials, promote communication and cooperation between staff members and other museum departments, write grant applications applying to education programs and/or oversee the grant applications written by other education staff members.

Required Qualifications:

Advanced graduate degree in art history or a related humanities discipline.

Record of object-based teaching or program development required. Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience in museums or higher education setting.

Preferred Qualifications:

PhD preferred.

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