Executive Director – University of Richmond Museums, VA


The University of Richmond invites applications for the position of Executive Director of University Museums. We are looking for an engaging and experienced museum professional, committed to exhibiting, collecting, and promoting excellent visual art on campus and realizing UR Museums as one of Richmond’s premier art destinations.  We are seeking a strong advocate for heightened visibility and impact of arts on the UR campus and in the community through inspiring, inclusive, and effective leadership of the University Museums team.  The Executive Director reports to the Dean of School of Arts and Sciences.


The University of Richmond is a private university, located just a short drive from downtown Richmond, Virginia. Through its five schools and wide array of campus programming, the University combines the best qualities of a small liberal arts college and a large university. With nearly 4,000 students, an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, and more than 90 percent of traditional undergraduate students living on campus, the University is focused on preparing students “to live lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a global and pluralistic society.” 

The University of Richmond is committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to modeling an inclusive campus community which values the expression of difference in ways that promote excellence in teaching, learning, personal development, and institutional success. Our academic community strongly encourages applications that are in keeping with this commitment. 


The University of Richmond Museums, which resides within the School of Arts and Sciences, consists of the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, and the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature. The annual Museums operating budget is $1.1 million and the Executive Director supervises eight staff.

Aligned with the mission and values of the University of Richmond, these three museums provide diverse exhibitions and programming centered on art, culture, history, and natural history that reflect the strengths of the collections. The Harnett Museum of Art has a collection of roughly 750 paintings, sculpture and prints dating from the 1500’s through today. The Harnett Print Study Center houses over 6,500 prints, drawings, photographs, artist books, and other works on paper.  The Lora Robins Gallery features the  collection of thousands of shells, minerals and  fossils as well as decorative arts, ceramics, and other cultural material. In addition to exhibitions, the Museums engage with these audiences through lectures, workshops, gallery talks, and tours, often collaborating with other departments within the University.


Richmond is both the capital of Virginia and an arts and culture capital.   The cultural landscape of Richmond includes a thriving Arts District that encompasses the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, and The Valentine.  Additional notable Richmond cultural institutions include the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet, the Richmond Forum and the annual Richmond Folk Festival. The University of Richmond maintains strong partnerships with all of these organizations, and many others. Public art and monuments are also woven into the landscape and part of ongoing local dialogue. In 2020, The New York Times named the altered Robert E. Lee Statue the most influential work of American protest art since World War II.


The chosen candidate will:

Formulate a strategic plan that assesses strengths of the Museums, identifies areas for improvement, crafts a compelling vision of inclusive excellence, aligning with University’s strategic priorities.

Demonstrate strategic leadership with an ability to clearly and compellingly articulate a viable, resonating vision that can attract widespread support among students, faculty, staff within the School of Arts and Sciences, and University-wide. 

Direct and coordinate the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of corporate, foundation and individual donors, or capital campaign initiatives to ensure the Museums has the financial resources needed to accomplish its mission and ensure long term sustainability. 

Build strong relationships among faculty, staff and other key stakeholders in order to maximize the learning outcomes for students inside and outside the classroom. 

Develop, mentor, empower and hire a diverse staff to think, plan and act in a collaborative, inclusive and innovative manner consistent with UR mission;  manage staff effectively to ensure excellence in collections, exhibits, on-site and outreach education, development, retail and marketing, communications and facilities and to create engaging and relevant museum content and experiences for 21st century audiences. 

Serve as the external face of the Museums in building its profile as a distinctive UR asset and source of and innovation within the University and regionally. This will involve building and cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships with a variety of organizations representing the museums, tourism, business  and academic communities regionally and nationally as appropriate. 


Education:  An advanced degree in the visual arts, museum studies, material culture and/or a commensurate degree.   


Minimum of five years of executive administrative experience, ideally within an academic museum organization.

Strong leadership skills and ability to develop and sustain a clarity of vision and strategic focus; ability to balance competing demands well; effectively plan, establish, articulate, and maintain effective organizational and operational priorities. 

Experience in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Ability to analyze complex financial statements and statistical data. 

Demonstrated ability to advocate for the arts on and off campus; excellent writing and speaking skills; knowledge of trends in arts and arts management, particularly in academic environment.

For more information on The Museums at the University of Richmond, see https://museums.richmond.edu/. Applicants should apply online at http://jobs.richmond.edu and submit a cover letter and a current curriculum vitae. At a later stage in the search, candidates will be asked to provide letters of recommendation to be submitted to the University’s Human Resources department at URHR@richmond.edu.

Please address any questions about the position to search committee chairs, Tanja Softić (tsoftic@richmond.edu ) and Paul Brohan (pbrohan@richmond.edu). Review of applications begins on November 30 and continues until the position is filled.

Categories: Job Postings