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Colgate University
  • Position Number: 1697475
  • Location: Hamilton, NY
  • Position Type: Liberal Arts - Anthropology

Colgate University

Curator, Longyear Museum of Anthropology

Requisition Number: 2019S121P
Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
Division: Dean of the Faculty
Department: Longyear Museum of Anthropology

Department Statement:
Colgate University seeks a curator of the Longyear Museum of Anthropology (LMA). The LMA is part of Colgates University Museums, along with the Picker Art Gallery (PAG); Colgate also has a range of other university collections, including the Linsley Museum of Geology, that also promotes teaching, learning, and research. The curator will work closely with University Museums staff and will have the opportunity for collaborative engagement with the curator of the PAG.

The LMA curators responsibilities include but are not limited to the study, care, use, interpretation, scholarship, publication, and stewardship of the Longyear Museum of Anthropology collection. The successful candidate will join an exciting discussion of long-term planning and transition in Colgates third century vision,in anticipation of a future campus-wide arts, creativity, and innovation initiative that seeks to engage students and faculty in object teaching-learning, not only within anthropology, but across various interdisciplinary programs and other disciplinary departments across campus. In joining this initiative, the successful candidate will receive appropriate support to advance combined work as a curator-teacher-scholar.

The LMA plays a significant role in the teaching mission and the reputation of one of the countrys leading liberal arts universities, with a student population of about 3,000 and a faculty of 300. The LMA is located on Colgate Universitys beautiful campus in Hamilton, New York. Its collection features more than 20,000 objects. Established in the 1950s within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology by archaeologist John Longyear, the LMA collections have diversified and grown to include archaeological and ethnographic art and artifacts from North America, Pre-Columbian Middle and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia as well as contemporary art of indigenous peoples. The Americas collections include indigenous artifacts and art objects, from prehistoric stone tools to Peruvian pottery, from Plains Indian beadwork to Mohawk baskets. The African materials constitute the largest and most comprehensive repository of African material culture in Central New York. The holdings include works from indigenous cultures of the Pacific Islands, as well as Asian and Indonesian objects. The LMA curator will play a central role in articulating the ethical and scholarly concerns involved in working with objects that have ties to indigenous and other colonized peoples. Work will involve fostering dialogue and collaborations with the local Oneida Nation and other Native American communities.
Applicants with dual-career considerations can find postings of other employment opportunities at Colgate and at other institutions of higher education in upstate New York at Colgate takes great pride in sustaining a collaborative work environment that provides a comprehensive total rewards benefit package.

Support the teaching mission of the university and the LMA, by working closely with the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Africana and Latin American Studies Program, the Native American Studies Program, Museum Studies and other related academic units, to facilitate access to the collections and the use of objects in teaching.

Accountabilities include:

  • Bringing materials into the classroom, as well as facilitating visits by groups of students to exhibits and collections storage spaces.
  • Facilitate access to the collections by faculty and students doing advanced research utilizing these materials.
  • Work closely with faculty to develop exhibits that support and enhance the curriculum, linked to specific courses and topics, and which respond to changing priorities in the teaching of anthropology and the decolonizing initiatives of the discipline.
  • Sustain a curator-teacher-scholar model that involves working closely with student interns, and the possibility of periodically teaching a museum curating course.
  • Publish collections-based research.
  • Direct and support the museum's daily curatorial programs
  • Maintain contacts with Colgate professors, local communities, scholars, museum professionals, and collecting institutions.
  • Work with other museum staff members to assure NAGPRA compliance, as well as corresponding respectful collaboration with Native American communities.
  • Implement best practices for anthropology museums in the areas of curatorship, collection development, exhibitions, and research.
  • Develop and manage an active exhibition and educational program.
  • Develop a vision for the collection, evaluate current standards of collection care, assess preventive conservation goals, maintain collection records, and be responsible for proposing acquisitions and deaccessions.
  • Represent the LMA at professional organizations. Work with Colgate faculty and local constituencies in regard to the Third Century integrated arts initiatives and the place of the LMA within these plans.
  • Cultivate dialogue with local Native American communities in relation to LMA collections. Develop and implement strategic goals related to collection and exhibition management. Engage Colgate's students and faculty while working closely with other museum staff.
  • Work with University Museums' staff, which may include a curatorial assistant, a collections manager, a NAGPRA assistant, a preparator, and students on work-study and as interns. Also, foster and sustain relationships with collectors, donors, volunteers, and the public.
  • Establish goals for the program(s) that are clearly stated and communicated, linked to the university's mission and institutional priorities, responsive to opportunities and challenges, and reflective of conclusions drawn from assessment results and current best practices. Periodically assess the effectiveness of programs, services, and operations toward achieving stated goals.
    Ensure that the following programmatic responsibilities are guided by the university's mission, institutional priorities, and stated program goals, and also compliant with university, federal, state, and other relevant policies and regulations:
  • Planning, allocation, and stewardship of resources [financial, physical, technical and human]
  • Design and delivery of programs and services
  • Development and implementation of procedures and policies
  • Oversight and execution of operations
  • Decision making
  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Risk and crisis management

    Technical Competencies
    Demonstrated ability to develop original exhibitions that engage with the curriculum, as well as to plan and manage a long-term calendar of exhibitions, programming, and publications; ability to care for and steward the archaeological and ethnological cultural heritage collections in a professional manner and following museum best practices.

    Demonstrates a specialized knowledge of anthropological collections in at least one of the LMAs collecting areas; ability to conduct collections-based scholarly research, publish, and oversee a plan for the care and management of the collection.

    NAGPRA Compliance
    Demonstrated knowledge of NAGPRA and the ability to execute a program that ensures compliance and respects the cultural heritage of objects.

    Demonstrated expertise in the skills required for effective program management, such as leadership, communication, organization, and team building. Ability to effectively plan, allocate and steward resources in relation to program needs.

    Demonstrated ability to effectively utilize collections management databases (e.g. TMS). Demonstrated general office productivity computer skills.

    Instruction / Education
    Demonstrated ability to train/mentor Colgate students in terms of curatorial practices, to collaborate with faculty, and to teach in the field of museum studies. Ability to teach from collections/exhibitions in a gallery setting.

    Behavioral Competencies
    Personal Accountability for Results
    Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback.

    Effective Communication
    Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.

    Problem Solving and Decision Making
    Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.

    Change Management
    Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.

    Leadership and Teamwork
    Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves conflicts among team members.

    Creativity and Innovation
    Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.

    Diversity and Inclusion
    Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.

    Understands the impact of decision making and personal behavior in achieving the universitys commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral campus; supports and advances the universitys sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.

    Professional Experience/Qualifications

    Preferred Qualifications
    Ph.D. in Anthropology or other related fields of expertise that connect with the LMAs collections. Experience in anthropological fieldwork. Experience working with Native American communities.

    URL for LMA

    MA required, preferably in Anthropology, MA in other related fields of expertise will be considered.


    Physical Requirements

    Other Information
    Additional application instructions:

    Applicants are required to provide a brief sample of writing that demonstrates their abilities (ex: published essays, brochure text) along with a cover letter, CV, and list of three professional references.

    Colgate strives to be a community supportive of diverse perspectives and identities. Candidates should describe in their cover letter how their curatorial work might support the universitys commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    Review of applications will begin December 1, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.

    Work Schedule:

    Job Open Date:

    Job Close Date:

    Open Until Filled

    Special Instructions Summary

    EEO Statement
    It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

    Clery Act
    The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgates Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:

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