Director, KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum

Lawrence, Kansas

Director, Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum

The University of Kansas (KU) seeks outstanding applicants for the position of director of its Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum. The Biodiversity Institute (BI), which includes the KU Natural History Museum, studies past and present life on Earth to educate, engage and inspire. An internationally recognized center for research, graduate education and public outreach in systematics, evolutionary biology, paleontology and archaeology, the institute accomplishes this mission through the acquisition, curation and study of collections of plants, animals, fossil material and cultural artifacts for undergraduate, graduate and public education, as well as research and public and professional service. More information can be found at: .

The University of Kansas is the state's flagship university, an R-1 institution and a member of the Association of American Universities, with 40 graduate programs ranked by US News. Founded in 1865, KU enrolls 28,500 students, employs nearly 2,900 faculty members and offers its programs in eight locations, including online through JayHawk Global and at its research residential campus on beautiful and historic Mt. Oread in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Director reports to KU's Vice Chancellor for Research, sets the strategic direction for the Institute, and oversees budgets totaling more than $15M, including $10M in grant funding, and manages a staff of 19 curators and scientists, most of whom are jointly appointed in related academic departments, 13 collections care and support professionals, 6 museum staff, 4 administrative staff, 6 postdoctoral researchers, and 35 graduate students. The Director is expected to contribute to the collective goals of the Institute & Museum:

• To maintain and improve collections to meet the research, educational, and service needs of scientists, students, the public, cultural organizations and agencies of the public.
• To enhance research and graduate education programs so they represent the breadth, scientific rigor and promise of systematic and evolutionary biology and archaeology.
• To increase participation in the relevant academic programs of the university, principally Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Geology, Anthropology and Museum Studies.
• To continue developing public education and related services in ways that encourage the public's understanding and appreciation of the natural world.
• To increase understanding and support of the museum through public relations, membership and development programs and the activities of the Biodiversity Institute Advisory Board.
• To create an environment that supports the recruitment, retention and inclusion of a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

The successful candidate will provide visionary, transformative leadership that will guide the faculty, staff and students of this designated research center and public museum to its next phase of achievement. Significant administrative experience - including budgeting, personnel management, and program development - a record of inclusive leadership, and demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, accessibility and belonging are required. A doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited college or university is required; eligibility for tenured appointment at the rank of full professor in a related academic department is preferred. Outstanding communication and relationship buildings skills, and the capacity to lead fundraising efforts on behalf of the Institute, are essential.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. A complete leadership profile may be found at For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by December 16, 2022. The next Director will begin their appointment no later than July 2023.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal:

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Lucy Leske and Jenna Brumleve

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX, [] , Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

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