Director of the National Music Museum – The University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota and the Board of Trustees of the National Music Museum are seeking a dynamic professional to serve as the Director of the National Music Museum (NMM) at the University of South Dakota (USD).

Requires a professional with the stature and track record to fulfill all responsibilities of the Director’s job.


  • Provide administrative leadership for the Museum, working collaboratively with its Board, staff, and the College of Fine Arts to continue the growth and development of the Museum as a world leader in outreach, research, education, and preservation of the history of musical instruments.
  • Provide leadership and fundraising support for the current capital campaign to complete funding for the new facilities, and for future endowments. Raise funds for annual operations, including increasing membership and grant funding.
  • Continue implementing strategic plan and report progress to board and staff.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the university campus and its education programs.
  • Oversee the continuation of successful museum offerings and the development of new programs and exhibitions, including new collection-installations in the new and renovated facilities.
  • Work with and engage a Board of thirty members.
  • Manage a professional staff of fourteen, and foster a professional and collegial environment.
  • Oversee high standards for the care, display, and interpretation of important collections and loans.
  • Develop and monitor the $1.5M annual budget.
  • Work with staff and the marketing committee to enhance marketing of the museum as a world-class institution and destination, and on initiatives to enlarge membership and visitation and for the grand opening in 2021.
  • Partner with staff assigned to the current expansion and renovation project to open the new museum; and oversee the facilities, including the NMM’s Carnegie-library 1910 climate-controlled building, where 1,100 representative instruments are exhibited in 9 galleries, a new future 16,000 square-foot addition to the Carnegie building to open in 2021, and a new Preservation Center/storage facility opening in 2019.
  • Oversee the Master of Music degree program in the History of Musical Instruments (a prestigious program and the only one in the US, from which musical instrument curators at the Metropolitan Museum in NY and the MFA in Boston and other curators have graduated).


  • Graduate degree in the field of musicology, museum studies, ethnomusicology, arts administration, business or a related field required.
  • At least three years of experience in museum administration, music administration, or other non-profit organization administration preferred.
  • Experience with non-profit fundraising for operations and capital, including private-donor development, grant-writing, and membership development giving at a scale appropriate to this museum is preferred.
  • Communication and people skills to engage the Board, membership, donors, and the public, and to serve as the face of the Museum desirable.
  • Knowledge of new trends in nonprofit administration to engage new, younger audiences and exhibit experience is desirable.
  • Knowledge of and passion for music history and for rare and historical musical instruments desirable.

Applicants who are selected for interviews must be able to show proof that they are eligible and qualified to work in the United States by the time of hire. Sponsorship is not available.

This position is a full-time, twelve-month administrative job with the salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. USD offers benefits package. The person in this position reports to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Appointment begins on or about February 2019.

Applications will only be accepted on-line at Include on the website: application letter, resume, one-page statement on how the applicant would lead the museum in the 21st century and thoughts on creating new educational programming, and names and contact information of five current references.

Inquiries and nominations, contact:
Marilyn Hoffman or Connie Rosemont
Museum Search & Reference
For details and updates, visit:

Review of applications will begin October 24, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled.

USD is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students.

The NMM is the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of 15,000+ rare and historic American, European and non-Western musical instruments. It is the premier institution of its kind, well-known internationally, with research scholars visiting from Paris, London, Dusseldorf, The Hague, Mexico City, and New York. It holds many of the earliest, best preserved, and most historically important musical instruments known. said, “Bob Dylan’s and Johnny Cash’s guitars meet Stradivarius violins at this dazzling museum.”*  The NMM is associated with the USD Department of Music as a unit within the College of Fine Arts. Programs range from concerts and lectures to school tours. Multi-media tours allow visitors to see videos and hear instruments and curators. For the right person, this is a “died and gone to heaven” job. Visit and take a virtual tour.

*Forbes lists the NMM as #8 on its international “Worth It” list, where #2 is the Hotel Le Bristol, Paris. #6 is a hotel suite at Dar Ahlam, Morocco near Marrakech; and #9 is the Epic Pass, a national season pass for unlimited skiing at top-tier mountains such as Vail and Tahoe.

Enjoy the life-style of a small (population 10,000), safe university town and the option to teach at the state’s flagship liberal-arts university (enrollment over 10,000), founded in 1862. USD Vermillion encompasses the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine Arts, the Schools of Business, Law, Medicine, and Education, as well as the Graduate School. USD offers 132 undergraduate programs, majors and minors and 65 graduate programs. Visit USD is healthy, growing, and financially stable.

Vermillion, SD, lies atop a bluff on the Missouri River and is known for its parks and intellectual, cultural, and recreational amenities, plus a winery. Home to Native peoples for centuries, today’s Vermillion was founded in 1859 by French fur traders. The city and regional towns have excellent schools. Enjoy the low cost-of-housing and choose a Victorian mansion or Arts-and-Crafts bungalow in a lovely residential neighborhood near the University and cycle to work.

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