Executive Director Search – The Museum of Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Opportunity to work with one of the largest university museum collections in the U.S., encompassing science, social science, history, and visual art.  Develop and implement a 21st-century museum vision at a 90-year-old West Texas cultural destination serving Texas Tech University, the region, state, and international research communities.  Be part of a Tier 1 research university with 38,000 students in a growing Sunbelt city of 263,000.


The Museum of Texas Tech University (the Museum) seeks an inspiring leader with a track record of building resources and integrating diverse operations to serve broad constituencies and leverage long-term assets.  The next director of the Museum will be a strategic thinker and a pragmatic manager with keen intellectual curiosity.  They will have the vision and skillset to plan, negotiate, coordinate and grow museum support and operations to even better serve the university, global research communities, and museum visitors.

Founded in 1929, the Museum has one of the largest collections of any university museum in the U.S., with over 8 million objects and focused on 6 areas: anthropology, visual art, clothing and textiles, history, paleontology, and natural sciences.  Additionally, the Museum encompasses the Lubbock Lake Landmark (LLL), a world-renowned archaeological and natural-history preserve; the internationally-known Natural Science Research Laboratory (NSRL), with its cutting-edge genetic resources collection; the growing Artist Printmaker/Photographer Research Collection (AP/RC); and the Moody Planetarium.  The Heritage and Museum Sciences Master’s degree program, one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind in the U.S., is housed in the Museum.

With an annual budget of $3.2M and 64 full- and part-time faculty, staff and student employees, the Museum serves Texas Tech University (TTU)  faculty, staff and students, the citizens of Lubbock, the wider West Texas region, and a global community of research scholars.  With strong roots in research and teaching, the Museum and its encyclopedic collections continue to serve as a basis for curatorial and academic research, while also connecting with community audiences to showcase new research and interpret cultural, scientific and artistic ideas through changing exhibitions and robust educational programs.

The incoming museum director must not only be a visionary thinker, but also a skilled fundraiser and a deft manager with a strong ability to analyze and solve problems and oversee operations of a large, multi-faceted museum organization.  The Executive Director has overall charge of the Museum’s budget, finances, personnel, and operations and reports to the Provost through the Senior Vice Provost.  With a new $12M museum addition ready to break ground in 2020, the new Executive Director will help oversee construction, bring in new operating and capital funds, and develop a long-term strategic financial plan to strengthen endowment and amplify staff resources in the coming years.  With Lubbock and West Texas forecasting growth and a diversifying population demographic over the next decade, the Museum has an opportunity to articulate the value of place, to explore the heritage and ecology of the region, and to celebrate the histories, arts, cultures, and geographies of the Southwest U.S.  Texas Tech University is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and the Museum is poised to increase bilingual outreach and programs for its visitors.


  • Work with a supportive University administration that has a strategic goal to “transform lives in the community,” and is described as “leading with a culture of ‘yes.’”
  • Work with one of the largest university museum collections in the U.S. – a multi-faceted collection from arts to dinosaurs, encompassing the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and visual arts, from pre-history to today.
  • Strengthen and grow the Museum’s interdisciplinary research programs and increase the visibility of its collections for research, in particular the NSRL collection of genetic resource material and the AP/RC.
  • Lead a museum that serves broad audiences, from scholars to the general public, and that includes several other operations, including the LLL, the NSRL and the graduate Heritage and Museum Sciences program.
  • In finding new resources, create opportunities for new staffing positions to enhance programming, marketing, development and collections care.
  • Finish the construction of a new $12M addition, adding an additional 18,000 square feet of exhibition and storage space, along with Heritage and Museum Sciences office-and-lab space.
  • Work with the Museum of Texas Tech University Association (the Museum Association), a long-standing nonprofit whose mission is to serve the Museum, and which acts in part as a private “foundation” to garner and hold private resources and collections for a state university.
  • Significantly strengthen cultural programming, including making the Museum more sensitive and welcoming to diverse audiences, and further develop contemporary visitor experiences.
  • Participate in Texas Tech University’s visionary centennial plans to explore the feasibility of a major expansion for research and interpretation.


  • Provide thoughtful and dynamic leadership that engages and inspires stakeholders, faculty, and staff, enhances the visitor experience for broad audiences, and continues to clarify the museum’s role at TTU and in the community.
  • Oversee the Museum’s exhibitions, education and research programs, and enhance opportunities for traveling exhibitions, partnerships, loans, and interdisciplinary research.
  • Review and fine-tune the Museum’s manifold operations, setting priorities and maintaining standards of excellence and innovation.
  • Strengthen nationally important programs under the Museum’s umbrella, including the NSRL and the LLL.
  • Lead the Museum’s development efforts; identify and cultivate new private, government, and institutional sources of revenue; establish and implement plans to grow endowment and strengthen operational income streams. Coordinate with TTU’s Office of Advancement and the Museum Association to identify and cultivate donors in accordance with the policies of Texas Tech University.
  • Oversee efforts to increase funding generated from grants and sponsorships that support Museum programs, exhibits, research and operations.
  • Be an astute financial manager, able to develop and keep a balanced budget and comfortable with complex financial reporting. Work with appropriate university departments and staff to develop budgets and reports on the Museum’s financial situation.
  • Provide leadership to a high-powered staff whose specialties encompass diverse disciplines. Steward a high-caliber product and sense of accountability from staff.
  • Strengthen all outreach platforms, including marketing, publications, digitization and education programming, and develop human resources to adequately deliver sophisticated museum products and experiences.
  • Help oversee the construction of a new $12M wing, slated to break ground in 2020.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the Museum’s next strategic plan to accomplish its goals and objectives and align the Museum’s strategic plan with that of the University.
  • Ensure the Museum’s collections are properly stored, preserved and exhibited and that effective collection policy is maintained by curatorial staff.
  • Uphold the Museum’s commitment to ethical standards, legal responsibilities and best practices established by museum accreditation, state and federal law and international law.


  • A graduate degree in a discipline related to one of the Museum’s range of functions or operations; minimum Master’s in relevant field, PhD preferred.
  • Strong interest in the sciences preferred, especially the natural sciences, with interdisciplinary interests crossing into the arts and history.
  • 8 years’ experience as a museum director or at a senior management level at a large museum or equivalent cultural institution.
  • A record of fundraising successes including cultivating relationships with private donors, foundations and other funding sources, and raising money for endowment and operations.
  • Excellent financial management skills and demonstrated success with operational budgeting and reporting, multi-stream revenue development, and long-term financial planning.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively advance the mission and vision of the Museum.


  • An articulate and dynamic manager with proven success in developing cooperative and effective relationships with stakeholders, donors and staff.
  • A collaborative and collegial thought leader, someone who celebrates and fosters staff and community input.
  • A self-starter, resourceful and pragmatic, focused on delivering services and creating the plan to get there.
  • An intellectually curious mind, deeply interested in the connections between science, the arts, and culture and how those can be manifested in museum activities.
  • A personality that enjoys fundraising and someone comfortable fostering relationships and participating in social interactions with donors in a variety of settings.


All application materials must be submitted online through the Texas Tech University career application site, Requisition #19058BR at https://bit.ly/2oqIwmL. Submit a letter of application, current curriculum vitae or résumé, salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information (Word documents preferred).  References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant.  Nominations or questions should be addressed to Connie Rosemont, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference, the retained executive-search firm, at: SearchandRef@museum-search.com.  For further details, see: www.museum-search.com/open-searches. Screening of applications will continue until the completion of the search process, but applications are suggested by November 18, 2019.  Position open until filled.

As an EEO/AA employer, the Texas Tech University System and its components will not discriminate in our employment practices based on an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or status as a protected veteran.


Founded in 1929, the Museum is AAM-accredited and houses over 8 million objects in collections focused on 6 areas: anthropology, art, clothing and textiles, history, paleontology and the natural sciences.  The Museum includes 8 permanent-collection and 8 temporary-exhibition galleries covering 43,600 square feet of exhibition space.  It shares and interprets its collection of scientific and cultural material through an interdisciplinary lens with a strong focus on the history and geography of the southwestern U.S. and the global reach of science.  The Museum is also home to the Moody Planetarium, the Natural Sciences Research Laboratory (NSRL) and the Lubbock Lake Landmark (LLL).  The NSRL has a significant mammal collection, a large invertebrate collection, and a collection of genetic resource material widely loaned for domestic and international research.  Lubbock Lake Landmark is an archaeological history site 3 miles from the main museum and a natural history preserve.

The Museum welcomes 150,000 visitors annually and has a robust education program, particularly for K-12 students, and also has highly-attended family programs.  The Museum houses the Heritage and Museum Sciences master’s program, one of the oldest and best-known such programs in the U.S. The Museum’s governance shifted to Texas Tech University, part of the state university system, in 1970, though the art collections remain owned by the Museum of Texas Tech University Association and held in trust at the Museum. The Museum Association plays a vital role in supporting the Museum through grant-writing, program support, and a membership program.


Texas Tech University is classified as “Carnegie Tier 1” in the Very High Research Activity (R1) category with an enrollment of more than 38,000 students.  The university offers 150 undergraduate, 100 master’s and 50 doctoral-degree programs in 10 colleges plus the School of Law, Medical School, and the Graduate School.  Additionally, 40 online and regional programs are offered through TTU Worldwide eLearning and at 5 other teaching sites: El Paso, Junction, Fredericksburg, Marble Falls/Highland Lakes, and Waco. Texas Tech employs approximately 7,000 faculty and staff.  The University is growing rapidly, with numerous disciplines rising in academic advancement.  Texas Tech recently surpassed the Hispanic student population threshold necessary for designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).


With a rapidly growing city population in excess of 263,000 and a metro-area of 350,000, Lubbock is located in the West Texas high plains and lies approximately halfway between Dallas-Fort Worth and Albuquerque-Santa Fe (a five-hour drive to each).  Geographically, it is part of the Llano Estacado, one of the largest tablelands in North America, encompassing parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas.  It enjoys an annual average of 263 days of sunshine.

Lubbock is the regional hub of government, finance, health care, and education, with agriculture and oil as its primary economic bases.  The city boasts a rich cultural life, including an expanding arts community, a symphony and ballet, several museums, 4 community theaters, and a rich musical heritage.  There is an art corridor that celebrates a “First Friday Art Trail” attracting approximately 1,500 visitors per month.  Other notable museums and cultural institutions in Lubbock include the Buddy Holly Center, Silent Wings Museum, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, American Wind Power Center, Louise Underwood Center for the Arts, Charles Adams Studio Project, Caviel African-American Museum, Texas Tech’s School of Art-Landmark Arts Program, and Texas Tech’s National Ranching Heritage Center.

There are ample outdoor park facilities.  The region is known for tennis, top-notch golf courses, and excellent youth, collegiate, and community sports.  Lubbock has excellent public and private schools, and the community is described as warm and friendly, with a can-do “frontier attitude” and a service/charitable orientation.  If you move to Lubbock, your neighbors are likely to give you a welcoming pig roast.

As a regional hub, Lubbock is served by an airport just minutes from downtown and has a major regional medical center and university hospital across the street from the Museum.  There are several wineries in and around Lubbock, artisanal breweries, and a robust restaurant culture.


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