Skip to content

Director of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:




Date Posted:


Job Summary

The University of Colorado Boulder invites applications for the Director of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

The Director is the administrative head of the Museum with primary responsibility for leadership by offering new ideas and strategies for the future, working with staff and faculty toward a shared vision for the Museum, and by overseeing its management and financial operations. Candidates will be expected to have a thorough understanding of how natural history museums work as a research facility, cultural heritage organization, and public interface to science. The Director also serves as a teaching faculty member in the Graduate Program in Museum and Field Studies which is housed in the Museum. The Director will have a tenure home in a relevant department, with associated research and education duties, and may also serve as Curator in an appropriate section of the Museum based on experience and desire.

The University expects applicants to have an outstanding record of scholarly achievement that demonstrates a commitment to and leadership in research, training, and outreach activities. This includes supporting research and translating research findings to practitioners, policy makers, and the broader public that address local, regional, national, or international challenges. Applicants also should have a strong commitment and a demonstrated record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within and beyond the Museum.

The Museum Director is appointed by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the University of Colorado Boulder on the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, with the advice of the Search Committee, Institute Directorate and faculty and staff of the Museum. The Director’s term will be for four years, with possibility of renewal. The position reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The CU Museum of Natural History fosters exploration and appreciation of the natural environment and human cultures through research, teaching, and community outreach. We provide academic training for graduate students in Museum and Field Studies; build, conserve, and interpret research collections; and offer exhibits and educational programs for the University and the public.

Founded in 1902, the Museum employs more than fifty faculty and staff as curators, collection managers, public program specialists, designers, instructors, and administrators. The Museum maintains collections in all fields of natural history as well as human history. The Museum is divided into sections, which administer specific parts of the collections: Anthropology (Archaeological and Ethnological materials), Botany (Plant collections), Entomology (Insect collections), Paleontology (Fossils and associated materials), and Invertebrate Zoology (Invertebrates other than insects) and Vertebrate Zoology.

The Museum's collection has grown from a handful of objects to nearly five million. The CU Museum of Natural History has the largest natural history collection in the Rocky Mountain region. The museum was first accredited in 2003 and received re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 2019, an achievement earned by less than 5% of museums in the U.S.

The Museum has five exhibition galleries where visitors can explore natural and human history through engaging and interactive displays. Our youngest visitors enjoy Family Corners where everything is hands-on.

More information about the Museum is available at

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Leads all elements of the Museum’s work: research, collections, exhibitions, and the graduate program in Museum and Field Studies. This includes:
  • Providing budgetary oversight and allocating resources (funds, space, effort) among the various activities of the Museum.
  • Staying abreast of the evolving museum professional landscape to best cultivate and amplify innovation in the Museum, leveraging new approaches and technologies where appropriate.
  • Developing, promoting, and coordinating long-range planning for the Museum with special attention to innovation and technology for next generation museum infrastructure.
  • Providing for the enduring stewardship, development of museum collections and cultural resources and their associated data and increasing access to these collections and resources across the state of Colorado, nationally and internationally.
  • Fostering continuing cooperation with Indigenous peoples and adherence to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). 
  • Promoting collaborative exhibits of archaeological, historical or artistic collections of historically underrepresented groups in the US and the State of Colorado, including Indigenous groups and the Hispanic population (21% of the population of the state).
  • Continuing to uphold the high-level museum standards that maintain the Museum’s accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.
Leads, hires, supervises, motivates and mentors Museum faculty and staff, overseeing professional development and personal career growth with the aim of supporting and nurturing flexible, cohesive, and high-performing teams and individuals. This includes developing and implementing processes supporting inclusion, diversity and equity, with the aim of developing and sustaining an inclusive and equitable internal climate.

Effectively collaborates, coordinates and communicates with museum faculty and staff, as well as other museum stakeholders. This includes:
  • Ensuring that museum policies and practices are equitable and transparently communicated and enacted.
  • Convening and working with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History's Advisory Board to advance museum goals, further its impact, and improve operations.
  • Representing the Museum at university meetings, including meetings of the Institutes Directors and meetings of Program Directors and Department Chairs.
  • Working with chairs of departments where Museum faculty hold tenure to ensure high quality hiring practices, equitable research, teaching and service loads, and is the point of contact between the chairs of these departments and the Museum related to tenure and promotion.
Effectively promotes the Museum’s interests to a wide range of public constituencies (media, fundraising activities etc.). This includes:
  • Working with appropriate donors, agencies, and other constituencies to raise external funds to enhance the activities of the Museum and serves as lead consultant on evaluating major gifts of in-kind artifacts from prospective donors.
  • Working with museum faculty to develop culture and capacity for grant-seeking that furthers the museum’s reach and mission and contributes to faculty professional development and advancement.
Contributes to the research and education mission of the University of Colorado Boulder. As a tenured faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Director will maintain an active research program in their areas of expertise and interests and contribute to the educational mission of the University. Contributions to the educational mission include serving as teaching faculty in the Graduate Program in Museum and Field Studies and advising students in this program.

What You Should Know

All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

The position will be a year-round appointment. The formal teaching assignment is typically one course per academic year. The hiring range for this position is $160,000-$200,000. Relocation is available.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be successful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Thorough understanding of how museums work as a research facility, cultural heritage organization, and public interface to science.
  • Record of outstanding scholarly achievement in a related area of academic research.
  • Evidence of experience in or future capacity for research and administrative leadership.
  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Geological Sciences, Education, Art History or other museum-related fields.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. CV
  3. Four statements combined in a single PDF on the applicants’ record and vision regarding each of the following key areas of effort:
    • Leadership/Administration/Museum experience
    • Education/Mentoring/Training/Public outreach
    • Research
    • Justice/Equity/Diversity/Inclusion.
    • Note: Each statement should not exceed 3 pages in length. In addition to a separate statement, candidates are encouraged to address principles or activities related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in their research, education, and leadership statements.
During the application process, applicants will be asked to provide contact information for three confidential letter of recommendation providers. These letters will be requested at a later point as the search progresses. 

Please apply by September 5, 2022 (midnight). Review of applications will begin Tuesday, September 6, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. The desired start date for this position is July 1, 2023.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: