Director of Education, Engagement, and Learning – Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University

Job Title:          Dir, Edu, Engagmt & Learning

Job Code:        AB19

FLSA status:    Exempt

Job Family:      No Family

Grade 36:        $59,700 – $99,600

Job Summary

Reporting to the Director/Chief Curator, the Director of Education, Engagement, and Learning leads the museum unit responsible for creating and implementing all Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts (JCSM) engagement/learning programs and initiatives. Responsible for executing the Museum’s vision of a highly creative, outward-facing, visitor-centered institution that welcomes everyone to explore, experience, and engage with the visual arts in service to the university, the region, and the nation.

Serves as the primary liaison with university faculty regarding museum interaction, responsible for increasing social interactivity and creative participation, and ensures delivery of relevant, engaging, authentic, accessible, diverse, and inclusive mission-based experiences, digital resources, and other educational services, on-campus, online, and offsite.

The Julie Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is Auburn University’s 40,000 square-foot modernist museum building and extensive grounds. A pillar of the southern gateway cultural Arts District, the museum greets 35,000 visitors each year, and provides students, faculty and the region impactful opportunities to engage with a wide-ranging visual and decorative arts collection spanning centuries, genres and materials through exhibitions and a wide variety of other programmatic offerings. The museums historically offers hundreds of engagement opportunities each year, both on and off site, ranging from concerts to poetry readings to film screenings to artist/gallery talks to hands-on activities. Audiences include dozens of university classes, preK-12 children and caregivers, retirees, and community-supported programs in person and virtually.

Essential Functions

  1. Manages JCSM’s Education/Engagement/Learning unit, inspiring and nourishing capacity and culture around innovation and creative learning to foster meaningful and transformative experiences for audiences at an institution that celebrates art, film, and cultural discourse, through recruiting, training, mentoring, and supervising a team-oriented and strategically-focused staff (that also includes docents, students, and interns).
  2. Establishes the guiding principles of the museum’s education, engagement, and learning offerings aligned with its mission and vision to actively engage new, diverse, and broad audiences across the region and state connected to museum exhibitions and collections. Develops, implements, and/or manages all education, engagement, and learning offerings for the museum, particularly in collaboration and development of exhibitions, to ensure they are impactful for the targeted audiences. Emphasizes cross-disciplinary, co-creation, and hands-on learning projects to cultivate notions of inclusion, life skills, emotional intelligence, and well-being to expand the understanding of art’s impact on the public sphere. Utilizes supplemental teaching techniques for non-arts curricula including in science, technology, engineering and math. Incorporates new models of cultural participation, artistic practice, potential impact, and the history of museum education that also utilizes technology, tools, and an experimental social environment.
  3. Strengthens the academic role of the museum within the university and grows student/faculty participation, fosters collaboration and agency in and with the museum by conceptualizing and developing flexible, multi-disciplinary programs, activities, and other curricular support. Utilizes best practices in the fields of museum education, art-based pedagogies and visitor studies, continually evaluating results for effectiveness, relevance, and resource prioritization. Incorporates multigenerational learning and participatory experiences that fosters critical and creative thinking skills, experimentation, and global competence.
  • Connects with and/or schedules a broad variety of artists, art historians, writers, poets,musicians/ performers, actors/film makers, and others related to exhibits and the collection to produce engagements such as artist’s talks, scholarly lectures, panels, gallery tours, discussion groups, workshops, social events and other campus-wide presentations, students/faculty interactions and broader community opportunities. Ensures contracts are well negotiated and all obligations are met; the contracted visitors’ experiences, including travel and other hospitality details are smoothly managed; and all requisite payments paperwork and collaboration within the museum, across campus, and beyond is handled in a collegial, timely and efficient manner.
  • Provides vision and programming support to the Director, and collaborates with other senior leadership team members to establish programmatic impact goals to ensure mission and strategic alignment, creative engagement, and learning across all demographics. Specifically, this will manifest in the development of the museum’s exhibition schedule; and the identification of grant opportunities, drafting proposals and other funding requests, and supporting other relevant fundraising initiatives centered on innovative educational programming, research opportunities and community partnerships. Further, conceptualize interactive online educational content and interpretive tools for the museum website, in collaboration with web and digital media staff and others, as well as other digital platforms and format, embracing social media/digital/technology opportunities such as crowd sourcing, augmented reality, and virtual art experiences, evidencing a commitment to new forms of socially-engaged art practice. Collaborates to record selected programs for distribution via website and social media and to inform the execution of marketing, branding, and promotional activities that broaden the museum’s reach and increase stakeholder engagement.
  • Provides innovative leadership to ensure expansion and enrichment of the relationship between the museum and surrounding communities through broad partnerships with school and student groups, undeserved segments, and governmental/non-governmental entities. Brings their voices and needs into museum engagement and learning opportunities for the betterment of civic life in the region, and to explore important philosophical, cultural, and ethical ideas in how the museum can be a space of practice and exploration. Ensures frequent in-person visits with partners to define optimal implementation.
  • Monitors effectiveness, gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative statistics, and other engagement metrics for use in evaluation, reports, and grants and funding proposals. Integrates data collection, measurement, and assessment into museum processes and programs. Ensures timely and collegial responses to questions and feedback from visitors and others.
  • Develops and oversees the unit’s annual budget, particularly tracking expenditures to ensure adherence to set goals.

Supervisory Responsibility

Full supervisory responsibility for other employees is a major responsibility and includes training, evaluating, and making or recommending pay, promotion or other employment decisions.

The above essential functions are representative of major duties of positions in this job classification. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary based upon departmental needs. Other duties may be assigned similar to the above consistent with the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. Not all of the duties may be assigned to a position.

Minimum Required Education and Experience

Minimum Focus of Education/Experience


Master’s Degree

Degree in Arts Education, Public Humanities, Cultural Studies, Museum Studies, or related field.

Experience (yrs.)

5                                            Experience in Art/history, museum teaching and multi-sensory, object interpretation strategies. 2 years of increasing management responsibility, recognition at regional or national level of engagement work, and major projects/initiatives at a university that required collaboration and resulted in increased awareness of and participation in its museum.

Substitutions allowed for Education:

Indicated education is required; no substitutions allowed.

Substitutions allowed for Experience:

Indicated experience is required; no substitutions allowed.

Minimum Required Knowledge

Knowledge of art/history, museum teaching and object interpretation strategies; broad understanding of the field of visual arts, including a range of historical periods, cultures and artistic trends, and a willingness to learn about subjects and material outside of established areas of expertise.

Deep knowledge of, extensive experience in and demonstrable commitment to arts education, especially in a university museum setting. Familiarity with pedagogical and engagement trends in the areas of academic/university, adult and family learning.

Knowledge of field trends and best practices for stakeholder experience related to visual arts and its multi-disciplinary intersections.

Knowledge of current cultural field best practices, art-based pedagogies, and visitor studies paired with associated implementation efforts and projects.

Certification or Licensure Requirements

None Required.

Physical Requirements/ADA

Occasional and/or light lifting required. Limited exposure to elements such as heat, cold, noise, dust, dirt, chemicals, etc., but none to the point of being disagreeable. May involve minor safety hazards where likely result would be cuts, bruises, etc.

Routine deadlines; usually sufficient lead time; variance in work volume seasonal and predictable; priorities can be anticipated; some interruptions are present; involves occasional exposure to demands and pressures from persons other than immediate supervisor.

Job frequently requires standing, walking, sitting, reaching, talking, hearing, handling objects with hands, . Job occasionally requires climbing or balancing, stooping/kneeling/crouching/crawling, and lifting up to

10 pounds.

Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Date:                     2/15/2021

Categories: Job Postings