Friday, November 05, 2010

Postdoctoral Museum Studies Coordinator

POSITION SUMMARY: Utah State University seeks to implement a new RCDE (USU Distance Education) Museum Studies certification program (for more info on RCDE, see

This two-year, 24-credit program will initially be housed on the main, Logan, Utah USU campus ( and will target two populations: (1) USU graduate and undergraduate students on the Logan and USU Distance campuses; and (2) museum professionals and volunteers at Utah's 250+ museums. After two years, the program will reach a national audience through online course offerings (, and, based on the needs of the program and the desires of the position holder, relocation to one of the campuses may be possible. The successful candidate will work with other museum studies professionals at Utah State University, the state of Utah's Office of Museum Services (, and the Utah Museums Association ( to launch this program of study.

The ideal candidate will be someone interested in helping craft this program and also in teaching, via the RCDE "broadcast" system ( four classes per academic year that serve the program. The candidate will also have an interest--at the end of two years in a postdoctoral capacity--in the creation of a successful program that supports transitioning the postdoctoral position to a more permanent position.

The postdoctoral position is a one-year appointment. However, USU and collaborative partners intend to continue funding (contingent on budgets) to extend the postdoctoral position for a second year. This will permit the successful candidate to teach the full rotation of courses in the certification program and to launch what we hope to be the permanent, revenue-generating program of study.

This is a special position for someone with a passion for museums and for training museum specialists of today and tomorrow. The successful applicant will interact with many different constituents, from traditional university students seeking futures in museums to retirees trying their best to run small museums in various Utah communities with little or no training. This position represents an opportunity for someone to build a program from the ground up--not entirely from scratch, because it will rest on a very strong foundation and many professionals will help mentor the successful candidate--but enough that he or she should feel highly vested in its success at the end of two years.

What we hope to see (and help make, and believe will) happen, is this: the two-year postdoctoral scholar will implement the program, the program will generate an enormous amount of interest on the part of students, and then the postdoctoral scholar will transition to a permanent and financially better supported (through online course revenue) position as one of the preeminent museum studies educator sin the state of Utah, and who enjoys close working relationships with museum professionals state-wide.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 1. Help develop a 24-credit academic museum studies certification program to be earned by USU students on the main and branch campuses (a prototype is in place, but we want the successful candidate to help shape the offerings)

2. Help develop a 12-credit "museum professional" museum studies certification program, consisting of a subset of the 24-credit version, that can be earned by people currently working or volunteering at museums but lacking vital training. The professional certificate will be granted by the Utah Office of Museum Services and/or the Utah Museums Association.

3. Teach, via USU's broadcast system (which reaches in live time campuses across Utah) four classes per academic year (2 fall, 2 spring) in the field of museum studies. As part of the teaching load, mentor students in internships of various sorts (exhibit production, administration, outreach, etc.) that may take place in museums across the state of Utah.

4. As courses are being taught via the broadcast medium, develop online versions that will be available to serve the program after the two-year broadcast-based inaugural certification program ends.

Additional Salary Information: $32,000 + excellent benefits; also negotiable at a higher salary without benefits

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Ph.D. in museum studies, anthropology, folklore, or a related content field. 2. Work, internship or volunteer experience in a museum setting. 3. Ability to establish a strong rapport with people from different backgrounds.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Experience teaching museum studies coursework. 2. A master's degree or certification in museum studies. 3. Experience with distance-based coursework (but note that USU-Logan has a center designed expressly to help candidates develop such classes, and so experience is not required) 4. Broad knowledge of and/or experience in various elements of museum administration, object care and interpretation.

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