Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: H3002 / Curator 3
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 13

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Under general supervision, directs the development, research, management, presentation and interpretation of the collection. Provides subject specialist expertise for collections and produces innovative research in support of museum exhibitions and publications. Develops advanced research, exhibition, and publication programs. Serves as liaison between the university and external agencies. Participates in the writing of grant proposals and administers resulting projects. Participates in short and long-term planning for department and museum. Oversees compliance with state and federal law in accordance with applicable university and departmental policies and procedures.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Proposes, conceptualizes, develops, and implements exhibitions, museum-related public programs, and publications.
  2. Coordinates guest-curated exhibitions, touring exhibitions, outreach programs, and museum-related public programs/events.
  3. Promotes curatorial excellence through comprehensive research on university collections. Conducts research in respective area to advance scholarship in the field and enhance the museum's visibility and reputation.
  4. Disseminates knowledge and research on the collections through publications and presentations at professional meetings.
  5. Interacts with the regional, national, and international scholarly and museum community. Responds to research requests related to the collections, advises on loan agreements and ensures adherence to established policies.
  6. Develops a collecting plan for the focused growth of the collection in area of expertise and advises the Director and relevant committees on comprehensive strategic collecting plans.
  7. Recommends and prioritizes acquisitions; negotiates repository agreements and proposed gifts to the museum's collections from potential donors.
  8. In collaboration with the Collections Manager, advises on daily collections management activities, including the inventory, preservation, conservation, cataloging, and storing of incoming acquisitions and donations which may include art, artifacts, specimens and/or documentary records; advises on database development for respective collections.
  9. Prepares budget proposals for projects; monitors use of time, materials, and staff to remain within budget.
  10. Plans and develops strategies for generating funds and other resources for the department, including working with the development office to fundraise for exhibitions/programs and writing grant proposals to support exhibitions, collections, and programs.
  11. May train lower lever staff, students, and/or volunteers.
  12. Participates in short and long-term planning for the museum, participates in staff meetings, serves on standing and working committees, and writes annual report.
  13. May supervise lower graded staff and/or student employees.
  14. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree; at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Specialized knowledge in subject field, and knowledge of that field's intellectual discourse, research principles, protocol, techniques, standards and procedures.
  • Knowledge of current museum practices and curatorial methodologies including collections management, conservation, exhibition of objects and specimens, and interpretation of objects and collections in exhibitions and programs.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to serve on task forces and/or committees.
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Strategic planning skills.
  • Ability to develop, plan, prioritize and implement short-and long-range goals, and meet deadlines.
  • Knowledge of procurement rules and regulations.
  • Ability to create, compose, and edit correspondence and other written materials.
  • Ability to negotiate and manage contractual arrangements.
  • Ability to supervise and train employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
  • Knowledge of research principles, protocol, techniques, and standards within area of expertise.
  • Knowledge of federal and state policies and procedures relating to collections and exhibition ethics, and legal regulations relating to the collection.
  • Ability to develop project budgets and projections.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) Directs the development, research, management, presentation and interpretation of the collection b) Recommends and prioritizes acquisitions; negotiates repository agreements and proposed gifts to the museum's collections from potential donors. c) conceptualizing, organizing and implementing dynamic exhibitions, including public programs, interpretive exhibition material, and publications; d) mentoring project staff, student interns and curatorial staff; and e) planning and developing strategies for generating funds and other resources for the museum in support of exhibitions and collections, including the writing of grant proposals.

Conditions of Employment

  • Possession of a valid New Mexico driver's license is a requirement for this job.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Moderate physical activity. Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 25 pounds or standing and/or walking for more than four (4) hours per day.
  • Work may be performed in an office, museum, or field environment.
  • Work may involve moderate exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 03/20/2017