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Job ID: 144345

Director Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum, Professor
University of Kansas

Date Posted Jul. 9, 2020
Title Director Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum, Professor
University University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS, United States
Department Biodiversity Institute
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Professor
  • Natural Sciences
    Biology - General
    Sciences - General

The Biodiversity Institute consists of the divisions of Archaeology, Biodiversity Modeling, Botany (McGregor Herbarium), Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Informatics, Invertebrate Paleontology, Invertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy, Ornithology, Paleobotany, and Vertebrate Paleontology. These divisions collaborate with the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geology, and Anthropology, and the Museum Studies Program in research, education, and public service programs. The Biodiversity Institute employs 20 (11.5 FTE) curators and research scientists, many of whom are on joint appointments in related academic departments, along with 19 adjunct, courtesy, and emeritus faculty. They collectively provide a rich intellectual resource for the museum’s 4 postdoctoral staff, 44 graduate students, and 50 undergraduate students. The Biodiversity Institute also employs 10 professional collection care and support staff (9.75 FTE); 6 public programs staff (6.0 FTE); and 5 administrative staff (5.0 FTE).

Responsibilities – Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum Director (0.8 FTE)


Provide leadership in strategic planning and organizational structure, to facilitate the execution of the BI’s mission. Administrative duties include preparation and evaluation of the budget; management and distribution of annual operating funds, endowment income, and other funds beyond state allocations; preparation of annual reports, mission statements and other documents requested by the Vice Chancellor for Research; recruitment and retention of top talent; and performance evaluation of academic and unclassified professional staff ensuring a community of collegiality and excellence. The director fosters the professional development of collections care; coordinates the activities among the divisions; presides over meetings of the advisory board; and represents the BI to the university community, the systematics community, external agencies, and the public.


Facilitate the education and research mission of the BI, and promote an open, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of students, staff, affiliates, and visitors. The director fosters the intellectual growth and development of graduate and undergraduate students associated with the BI, cooperates with degree granting departments, and enhances support of students. The director may sponsor graduate students and serve on graduate student committees. The director furthers the development of the BI as an international center for collections-based research, knowledge dissemination, and information technology by encouraging and advocating for high-quality research in systematic biology and related fields as well as obtains a broad understanding of the role of the BI in the university community and natural sciences. The position is expected to assess priorities of current research and the directions of future research for the unit. The director promotes the free interchange of ideas and provides intellectual leadership to the BI community and promotes appropriate use of the BI’s resources and information by governmental and private agencies. The director is encouraged to maintain an independent program of research and scholarly productivity.


Support the museum’s education, outreach, and exhibit programs. The director furthers the contribution of the KU Natural History Museum to the education and service missions of the BI and the broader university, and to the field of informal science education. The director advocates on behalf of the museum at the university level, in the state and region, and promotes collaboration with other KU entities and external organizations.


Encourage the advancement of state-of-the-art practices in the care of the BI’s collections to ensure the collections and their associated data are valued for research, education and service. The director promotes the visibility, engagement, and awareness of the value of the BI’s collections to campus, state, and international stakeholders. The director advances short- and long-term strategies for collections storage, access, and curation. The director promotes responsible collection growth and cultivates BI collections leadership in international cyberinfrastructures.


Provide strong leadership and active engagement in strengthening the financial resources available, and in building a broad base of support for the BI and KU Natural History Museum within and outside the university. The director should be an effective advocate of the BI to university administration, KU Endowment Association, KU alumni, and outside the university. The director should aggressively pursue external funding from federal, state, and local government, community, and foundation-based sources. The director should encourage maximum use of the resources of the Biodiversity Institute Advisory Board and membership, and encourage an innovative, entrepreneurial approach in marketing the museum to the public.

Responsibilities – Faculty (0.2 FTE)

The director serves as a tenured, full Professor in the appropriate academic unit with a 20% appointment. Tenured faculty members are expected to meet satisfactory standards of performance in three areas of responsibility- teaching/advising, research, and service-and to carry out those responsibilities in accordance with the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. In a given year, contributions to research, teaching/advising, and service may be balanced, or added emphasis may be placed on one or more components.

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