Director – South Dakota Art Museum

The South Dakota Art Museum at South Dakota State University invites applications for the position of Director of the South Dakota Art Museum.  The search committee seeks individuals who are visionary, creative, scholarly, and motivated to engage diverse audiences through art.  

 Since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum has been a destination for people from around the world to enjoy the artistic legacy of South Dakota.  Exhibitions are curated from the Museum’s extensive collection of Harvey Dunn and Paul Goble paintings, Native American art, Marghab Linens, fine art prints from the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s in the Cockerline Collection, as well as from the Museum’s wide connections to emerging and internationally known artists and traveling exhibitions.

 The South Dakota Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  The Museum is consistently recognized for the quality of its exhibitions and educational programs, including being named one of the top 25 museums and galleries in the U.S. in 2017, 2018, and 2019 by American Art Awards.


  • Provide strategic leadership for all aspects of the daily operation of the Museum;
  • Prepare and implement budget requests and manage all financial affairs of the Museum with appropriate input from the South Dakota State University Administration, SDSU Foundation, and Museum Advisory Board; 
  • Hire and supervise all Museum staff, including the Coordinator of Exhibitions, Collections Coordinator, Marketing and Membership Coordinator, the Museum Store Manager, and other support staff as needed; 
  • Provide guidance for the Museum Guild and other volunteers; 
  • Provide leadership for Museum facility enhancement projects;
  • Develop and implement long-range plans to build and maintain Museum collections, support exhibitions, build and maintain capacity for facilities and personnel, and educational activities; 
  • Maintain and cultivate a strong fundraising program in conjunction with the South Dakota State University Foundation to enhance financial support for the Museum and its initiatives;  
  • Collaborate with art institutions and organizations across the state to expand awareness of the Museum and improve understanding and support for the arts throughout the state of South Dakota via touring exhibitions, education, and outreach.  Further, to develop and present educational programs and workshops, offer tours, and work in collaboration with faculty to expand Visual Thinking Strategies education and training within the state, region, nation, and world; 
  • Collaboratively support SDSU’s Museum Studies program; 
  • Administer the South Dakota Art Museum Internship program; 
  • In collaboration with SDSU’s Department of Facilities and Services, develop appropriate plans for the proper maintenance, repair and utilization of the facility.


The successful candidate will have an earned Master’s degree in Fine Arts, Art History, Museum Management, Business Administration or related area or an applicable Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of relevant experience by date of application. 

Other Preferred Qualifications Include: 

  • An appreciation and understanding of the art and culture of the region including Native American art and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation act as it relates to artwork in the collection; 
  • A record of successful fundraising activity, including private gifts and grants; 
  • Ability to work effectively to collaborate and cultivate continued partnerships and relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including students, the general public, donors, students and volunteers; 
  • Expanded outreach into the University, community and state; 
  • Experience with strategic planning and establishing strategic goals; 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; 
  • Demonstrated creative approach to problems solving and the ability to approach a situation with new perceptions; 
  • Demonstrated ability or potential to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate educational materials and direct effective programs that engage a diverse audience; 
  • A commitment to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination and harassment as articulated by federal law and university policy; 
  • Demonstrated record of successful management as a director of a museum or a major department within a large museum operation; 
  • Experience with financial management of museum operations; 
  • Experience with construction projects as it relates to museum facilities; 
  • Knowledge of how a museum collection is collected and preserved. 

Application Process

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (letter of interest, resume/CV, and the names and contact information of five or more references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to January 15, 2021. 

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President

Erin Raines, Principal

770-804-1996 ext. 102 or 117|


Ranked as the No. 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students.

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

 Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

 The Brookings community is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota. 

 The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grades, one middle school and a high school. Children may walk home from school, participate in after-school programs or be bused to the nearby Boys and Girls Club.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.