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Director of Education and Public Programs
Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana
Date Posted 04/27/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Museum of the Rockies seeks a creative and experienced museum professional to be its next Director of Education and Public Programs (DEPP). The DEPP is a critical member of the museum’s leadership team and will need to bring to the position an in-depth understanding of the museum field, educational practices, interpretation in formal and informal exhibits, an enthusiastic drive for innovation and entrepreneurial activities, customer service, communication, emotional intelligence, inclusivity of different audiences, and the enjoyment of working collaboratively as a team member. The DEPP is responsible for the development, implementation, and management of formal and informal educational and interpretive programs at the museum.

The DEPP specifically oversees the following programs and activities:

  • School, youth, family, and adult programs
  • Virtual programs for school, youth, families, and adults
  • The museum volunteer program
  • The Living History Farm interpretation and programs
  • The Martin Children’s Discovery Center
  • Formal and informal museum programs and events

In addition to these responsibilities, the DEPP leads a professional educational team in developing out-of-the-box inspiring and engaging experiences that cultivate curiosity, critical thinking, and an understanding of the crucial role science and culture plays in our lives.

Museum of the Rockies (MOR) is Montana’s most visited museum. In 2019, the museum received over 220,000 general visitors and served an additional 87,000 visitors through school, youth, and public programs. During COVID, the museum has remained active and open except for a 2.5-month period in the spring of 2020. Despite understandable capacity and safety limitations, MOR has been able to serve the visiting public and significantly expand its virtual programs. MOR is a college-level division of Montana State University, an independent 501( c )( 3 ) organization, a Smithsonian Affiliate, an accredited AAM museum, and a repository for state and federal fossils. The interdisciplinary museum has one of the finest collections of paleontology in the world and a significant cultural collection from the Northern Rocky region. Located on a 22-acre museum site, it includes a 120,000-square-foot-facility, the state-of-the-art Taylor Planetarium, the 220 seat Hager Auditorium, Martin Children’s Discovery Center, and Living History Farm, along with an off-site 553-acre paleontology preserve.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Oversee the personnel and fiscal management for of the museum’s Education and Public Programs Department.
  • Develop and coordinate educational programs that meet the needs of all museum constituents including K-12 schools, teachers, adult classes and lectures, university programs and internships, and youth and family programs.
  • Under the direction of the Executive Director, and with the guidance of the strategic plan, expand the museum’s reputation for excellence through innovative and original educational programming that supports the museum’s exhibits, research, and initiatives.
  • Assess programs including program evaluation, preparing reports documenting programs and attendance, and evaluating the financial feasibility and sustainability of programs.
  • Manage and develop creative, participatory experiences and visitor engagement throughout the museum including audio and web-based tours and interpretation, virtual programs, play-based learning areas, the Martin Children’s Discovery Center, and the Outdoor Education Area.
  • Collaborate with university, school districts, and state and regional partners to enhance the museum’s educational mission in Montana, and cultivate relationships with community organizations and staff to expand the museum’s impact and educational mission.
  • Fundraise in support of education and public programs in coordination with the Director of Philanthropy and the Executive Director.
  • Oversee the volunteer program to ensure that it meets the museum’s institutional needs, including proper fiscal management, training, evaluation, and support of operational requirements as determined by the Executive Director and strategic plan.
  • Oversee the Living History program to include supervising Living History Manager, staff and volunteer management, program oversight, interpretation, and budgeting.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director on museum-wide projects and initiatives (i.e., exhibits, special events, etc.), develop rapport with Board of Trustee members and university leadership.
  • Provide direction and set expectations for team projects and scope of work.
  • Establish and communicate expectations of staff, partners, budgets, and timelines.
  • Serve as liaison with current project partners.
  • Position the museum as an educational leader through conferences, webinars, etc.
  • Lead dissemination of findings through conferences, webinars, etc.
  • Help ensure that the museum continues to strive for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion with its programs, staff, and public interactions.
  • Work with the Executive Director and other team members to build capacity for sustainable, forward-thinking revenue models that embrace museum trends and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Flexibility to assume duties as assigned related to educational and public programs.
Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  • Master’s degree in museum studies, education, or similar subject.
  • Significant experience creating and leading sustainable educational programs in a museum environment
  • A minimum of 5 years of management experience with a complex education program, budget, and direct reports.
  • Experience developing programs that engage the public across all ages.
  • A track record of educational success developing programs, implementing events, and building or sustaining collaborations.
  • Experience managing an annual budget of at least $100,000; and the ability to develop project budgets and projections.
  • Experience with STEAM education and curriculum development.
  • Experience in managing staff, volunteers, and interns.
Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills
  • Experience with various databases.
  • Proposal and grant writing skills.
  • Interdisciplinary experience creating and managing programs and curriculum around science, history, and art.
  • Experience with paleontology, American history, museum interpretation, living history, and/or museum theater.
  • Experience with virtual programs.
  • Certification with the National Association of Interpretation.
The Successful Candidate Will

The successful candidate will be creative, professional, and have a thirst to creatively engage, inspire, and educate diverse audiences. They will have a positive, can-do attitude, and demonstrate effective staff development and organizational skills in areas such as hiring, coaching, collaboration, problem solving and goal setting; empower a diverse team of experienced and skilled staff to think, act, and plan in a collaborative manner; evaluate and balance competing needs of the organization and effectively advocate for different departments; possess the ability to multi-task and solve problems; communicate effectively with a diverse set of constituents orally and in writing; use good judgment and fairness in dealing with financial and personnel issues; have the ability to plan strategically while keeping track of details, and maintain a positive outlook to engender confidence among staff and colleagues and lead by example.

He/she/they will have an in-depth knowledge of current museum education principles, best practices, program evaluation, and a commitment to inclusive programing, and will have the ability to develop, plan, prioritize and implement short-and long-range goals, and meet deadlines.

He/she/they will show evidence of commitment to excellent customer service and professional educational interpretation in a non-profit environment, and have established relationships within MSU and/or local, statewide and regional education community that will support the museum’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

Flexibility to work weekends and evenings and to respond to emergencies whenever they occur.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of the duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Northing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

This position has supervisory duties?
Number of Vacancies
Desired Start Date
Upon completion of a successful search.
Position End Date (if temporary)
Open Date
Close Date
Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on April 12, 2021; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

In addition to the required cover letter and resume, candidates should provide a sample program or public event plan with a 1 to 2-page explanation of the program to include: intended audience, why it is innovative, and a cost/benefit analysis.

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; recruitment@montana.edu .

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

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