Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Director of Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum

University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Closing Date
Application review begins 31 August 2020

The University of Kansas (KU) seeks outstanding applicants for the position of director of its Biodiversity Institute (BI) & Natural History Museum (KUNHM). The director sets the strategic direction for the BI with regard to research, education and outreach and holds a 20% joint appointment as a tenured faculty member in an appropriate academic department. The director has unique opportunities to develop a personal research program synergistically within the BI and collaboratively with a large and diverse KU research community.

This is an endowed directorship. Funds from the endowment provide the director with additional resources to advance the BI’s mission. The formal name of the directorship will be announced in 2021.

The KU Biodiversity Institute is an internationally recognized center for research and graduate education in systematics, evolutionary biology, paleontology and archaeology. In addition to the collection and curation of recent and fossil animals and plants, the BI is a world leader in the field of biodiversity informatics, including the development of global data architectures and platforms for the processing and research analysis of species data.

The KU Natural History Museum is the iconic public face of the BI and serves public audiences including K-12 schools, families and adults, the university, and the informal science education community. The Natural History Museum shares, interprets and educates diverse audiences about the natural world through engaging and innovative exhibits, programming and projects.


Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) description of work experience and educational experiences in CV and (2) record of accomplishments and productivity addressed in CV:

  • Doctorate degree from an accredited college or university and eligibility for tenured appointment at the rank of full professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology or a related academic department.
  • Experience serving as an academic leader and team builder, developing and enhancing research and educational relationships among faculty, staff, alumni and affiliated units/partners.
  • Demonstrated teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and a commitment to teaching excellence.
  • Demonstrated record of scholarly achievement in a field related to biodiversity, as demonstrated by refereed publications and/or research grants with the promise of continued activity.
  • Demonstrated experience in the administration of an organization, including the management oversight of finances, personnel and program development.
  • Evidence of obtaining financial support through competition for public or private sources.
  • Excellent communication skills as demonstrated through application materials and interviews.
  • Experience working with multidisciplinary constituencies.
  • Record of promoting diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least five years administrative experience, including budgeting, personnel management and program development.
  • Demonstrated vision for the future of collections-based research and the role of museums.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of museum operations, including collection management, public education, exhibits, and research.
  • Demonstrated professional association with the national and international museum community as evidenced by a record of service in a museum or through museum activities of an appropriate professional organization.
  • Experience in graduate or undergraduate mentoring in a scientific discipline or museum studies program.
  • Administrative experience in a comprehensive doctoral degree-granting university, university museum, or other natural history museum.
  • Administrative-level knowledge of subdisciplines of biodiversity informatics and the international biological museum data community.
  • Record of entrepreneurial leadership.

To Apply

Apply online at https://employment.ku.edu/academic/17429BR. Visit research.ku.edu/director-kus-biodiversity-institute-natural-history-museum for more information on this position.

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