Stanford University is one of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As a major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives. We believe Stanford’s future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.
Founded when the university opened in 1891, the Cantor Arts Center was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s collection spans 5,000 years and includes more than 41,000 works of art from around the globe. These include our renowned collection of Rodin bronze sculptures, which are displayed inside the museum as well as in our outdoor Rodin Sculpture Garden. With 24 galleries and more than 15 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor is an established resource for teaching and research on campus.
The Director of Academic and Public Programs reports to the Director of the Cantor Arts Center. The position will lead a staff responsible for developing and overseeing the museum’s education and programs department, which serves both the Stanford community and the broader public audience. Because the museum sits on the campus of one of the world’s premier research universities, the Director has a unique opportunity to develop diverse and innovative programs that respond to the contemporary moment and also connect the past to the present.
The Director of Academic and Public Programs works closely with the museum’s curators, educators, and staff in a collaborative environment that encourages the development of innovative programs. The candidate also must be able to thrive in a prestigious academic environment, developing partnerships with Stanford faculty members and engaging students across disciplines. The candidate should possess demonstrable museum experience and have a record of accomplishment in successfully producing significant academic and public programs, as well as be an adept public speaker.
The Director of Academic and Public Programs will help define a fresh vision for the presentation of art and ideas at the Cantor. As the encyclopedic art museum at Stanford, the Cantor has an opportunity to engage thoughtfully with campus, the community, and the Bay Area. Through thoughtful and cutting-edge interpretative initiatives, the Director will participate in, and in some respects, lead that enterprise. Through talks, conversations, workshops, and conferences, the Director also will help establish the Cantor as a site of interdisciplinary cultural discourse, with social justice and other relevant contemporary issues as well as themes and concerns that reoccur across the Cantor’s wide-ranging collection.
In this role you will:
- Work with the Cantor’s Director to set overall interpretive goals for the museum and devise strategies and plans to achieve these goals. Explore through academic and public programs what it means to be a leading museum.
- Manage staff in day-to-day operations. Lead a team of programmers and educators who generate programs and other educational events that serve the museum’s 250,000 annual visitors, including lectures, symposia, film/video showings; and all facets of program planning, such as selection of and arrangements for participants, budget development, and developing grants and other proposals for funding.
- Oversee the development of interpretive materials and programs that provide multiple levels of access to the museum’s collections and temporary exhibitions, using both traditional and new interpretive methods and technologies.
- Work closely with curatorial staff to develop and produce educational and interpretive materials and related programming for exhibitions and permanent collections, including labels, gallery guides, interactive and participatory elements, and print collateral.
- Coordinate academic exchange across campus and help promote interdisciplinary programs organized with academic departments and centers.
Work with faculty to develop courses that are based at the museum and/or use the collections as a resource.
- Promote activities and programs that attract new, under-served, and diverse audiences to the museum.
- Provide strategic leadership and manage efforts to assess educational and audience engagement programs and initiatives, including gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate programs, measuring, and reporting impact, and seeking grants and funding.
- Support funding efforts and participation in programs by partnering with colleagues in development and marketing to ensure that the dynamic nature of the program is communicated in a way that garners the involvement necessary to execute our academic mission.
Please note that this position will be based on the Stanford campus and will be considered a hybrid role (3 or more days/week on campus). You may need to work extended or non-standard hours, weekends and holidays based on business needs.
In order to be successful, you will bring:
- Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience. M.A. and/or Ph.D. preferred in art history or related field.
- Experience in a museum, gallery, nonprofit or higher education.
- Strong academic and art history background. Familiarity with the academic environment and the ability to work cross-departmentally with a distinguished faculty, curatorial, and other museum staff.
- Ability to develop interpretive programs for a range of audiences and experience of and familiarity with the use of new technologies in developing interpretive materials.
- Demonstrated creativity and innovation in developing and leading programs or exhibitions engaging a broad public, in particular university faculty and students.
- Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
- Demonstrated experience working independently and as part of a team. Ability to direct the work of others, provide creative and intellectual oversight to a team of staff and volunteers.
- Ability to accomplish goals working through formal and informal channels, with diplomacy and tactfulness. A proven ability to work collaboratively with others.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and meet budget goals.
- Demonstrated solid planning and organizational skills. Ability to establish priorities, manage shifting priorities, and handle numerous time-sensitive projects with multiple deadlines.
- Demonstrated creativity, problem solving, critical analysis, initiative, judgment and decision-making skills.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Demonstrated commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.
Why Stanford is for You
Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enriched the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:
- Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, and opportunities to audit courses. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
- A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
- A healthier you. Climb our rock wall or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
- Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
- Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!
To apply for this position, please click here and follow the prompts to submit your application and cover letter.