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INTERNAL POSTING ONLY: Director of Galleries and Collections - Art Gallery

Apply now Job no: 493300
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Allendale
Categories: Art Gallery

***This is an internal posting only available to current employees of Grand Valley State University.***

Summary:  The Director of Galleries and Collections reports to the Office of the Provost and provides adaptive leadership, innovative vision, strategic direction, and budget oversight, as well as fostering a positive and thriving environment for staff within the Art Gallery team. The position serves as a mentor to staff, students, and the greater museum community and is the lead role in long-range departmental strategic planning efforts, in support of the university’s strategic plan, and in accordance to professional standards of the American Alliance of Museums.  The Director serves as an institutional liaison and promotes long-term relationships with supporters, faculty, students, staff, donors, philanthropists, and the greater community.

About the GVSU Art Gallery:  Spanning all GVSU campuses and included in every GVSU building is art on public display for the purpose of direct visual literacy learning and classroom curriculum integration. The Art Gallery manages this campus-wide collection and creates innovative exhibitions and public programming that aligns with university principles of a liberal arts education and the seven core values: Excellence, Integrity, Inquiry, Inclusiveness, Community, Sustainability, and Innovation. We call this our borderless-museum and it provides our community with unparalleled access to original works of art both physically and intellectually.

The Art Gallery is a leader in both the higher education and museums fields for digital initiatives and places emphasis on agile design to maximize community impact and build long-term sustainable art access. This innovative approach to art accessibility, places the GVSU student at the center of experience and visual learning to promote lifelong creative and critical thinking skills.

About GVSU:  Grand Valley State University is a public, liberal arts university in west Michigan, enrolling nearly 24,000 students and offering over 130 degrees.  Its largest programs are in health professions, business, engineering, and liberal arts.  The university has over 1000 full-time faculty a general fund budget of over $350 million.  GVSU is regularly recognized for its commitment to sustainability.

In the GVSU workplace, critical competencies include a focus on service, attention to details, quality of work and communication, adaptability, appropriate use of time, effective collaboration, and continuous improvement.  Employees are expected to accept leadership, coaching and instructions from others; demonstrate commitment to all stakeholders through, respect, knowledge, responsiveness and courtesy; embrace change and ambiguity; possess a process improvement mindset; learn and share new information; generate new ideas; use good reasoning and trust their own judgment; and display poise and effectiveness when meeting with and presenting to others.

Required Qualifications:

  • Possession of bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Comparable experience leading and managing within a similar-sized team or department (5-10 people), with experience in higher education and/or AAM-accredited museum institutions.
  • Demonstrated experience in an organization that engages in the community, is known for innovative educational programming, and cultivates strong community support.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, lead and develop staff, and to build positive organizational teams.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact with others with respect and empathy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, collaboratively, and to promote teamwork among colleagues.
  • Outstanding public speaking, oral and written communication skills, as well as familiarity with the use of digital media.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Understanding of nonprofit best practices; an ability to think in terms of systems, to develop efficient and effective workflow; data-driven financial acumen.
  • Understanding of digital initiatives and data systems that connect Art Gallery collections to GVSU educational programming and instructional activities.
  • Understanding of arts, cultural or civic organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience as a fundraising strategist, directly cultivating, soliciting and stewarding new and potential donors, working with community leaders and internal fundraisers with measurable success increasing institutional revenue.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

Leadership & Management

  • Provides adaptive leadership, innovative vision, strategic direction, budget oversight, and staff management for the department.
  • Ensures the daily operations of all operations and programs are professionally and efficiently organized and administered, including the development of workflows, systems, and processes so that the entire team are working with clear and consistent goals.
  • Provides administrative oversight of the budget including grant writing and management of special projects; staffing needs; contractual services; and equipment, materials and supplies.
  • Ensures proper integrity of art gallery facilities, including exhibition venues, collection storage, and preparatory spaces, in compliance with museum best practices and standards, and maintains welcoming, accessible and inviting spaces for the community to gather, create, celebrate and learn.
  • Manages and participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for the Art Gallery; recommends and administers policies and procedures.
  • Provides expertise in the curation of visual arts for the purpose of developing the university’s collections, exhibitions and outreach programs.
  • Ensures the perspectives and concerns of staff, administration and stakeholders are fully considered, working closely with the Office of the Provost to address high-level organizational opportunities/ issues. The climate should be such that high-quality, diverse staff are recruited and maintained.
  • Maintains an understanding of evolving needs and priorities of the campus community to ensure the collection, exhibitions, and public programming is relevant and engaging.

Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising

  • Employs the highest level of excellence in written and oral communication addressing a broad range of audiences as a spokesperson for the institution, including but not limited to publications and presentations.
  • Serves as an institutional liaison and promote long-term relationships with supporters, faculty, students, staff, donors, philanthropists, and the public.
  • Develops and responsibly manages related dedicated endowment funds, with knowledge of the evolving climate of philanthropy.

Community Building

  • Actively participates in public relations efforts of the department; identifies, cultivates, and educates supporters and potential supporters of the Art Gallery.
  • Builds and maintains key relationships with the community and institutional peers in order to further the Art Gallery’s mission and reputation, in alignment of the vision.
  • Actively engages learners at all levels and promotes the art collection’s use and engagement in all academic fields of study at the university.
  • Collaborates with a wide range of community partners to co-create culturally affirming, inspiring, participatory exhibitions, outreach activities and programs that are deeply relevant to GVSU students.
  • Supports an organizational culture that embraces collaboration, innovation, equity, inclusion, accountability and diversity of opinion. Clear and direct communication is essential.

Expectations of Professional Behaviors and Values

  • Demonstrates innovation, creativity, and informed risk-taking
  • Develops and maintains the intercultural understanding and awareness required to work in a diverse workplace and serve a diverse population
  • Uses resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Demonstrates flexibility, openness, and receptivity to new ideas and approaches.
  • Manages professional relationships and responsibilities in a manner that reflects well on the University.
  • Develops and maintains thorough knowledge of job responsibilities.
  • Works collaboratively and cooperatively with students, faculty, and staff within across the university, and professionals across the larger community.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Completes other duties as assigned.  The Director of Galleries and Collections reports to one of the Associate Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs in the Office of the Provost.

Salary:  Commensurate with experience.

Department/Division: Academic and Student Affairs

Campus:  All campuses. Primary office is in Allendale.

How to Apply: Apply online at and select "Apply now".  Please include a resume and a cover letter that addresses the qualifications and expectations of the position description. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail address for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.  Questions about the search may be directed to Associate Vice President Edward Aboufadel, 616-331-2400,

Application Deadline:  Consideration of applications will begin immediately (January 2020) and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

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