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Museum Curator and Program Assistant (Preservation & Museum Specialist)

Washington State University, Department of Anthropology
Washington State University, Pullman
Closing date
Oct 14, 2022

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Position Type
Non-Tenure Track
Archaeology, General Anthropology
Full Time
Area Studies, North American Studies, Museum Studies
Organization Type
Level of Experience

Job Details

Position Summary

The Department of Anthropology at Washington State University (WSU) invites applications for a lead collections manager/curator and program assistant to the Director of the WSU Museum of Anthropology, within the Department of Anthropology. This is a permanent, 100% FTE Preservation & Museum Specialist Position, within the Department of Anthropology, at the flagship campus in Pullman, WA.  Depending on your qualifications and experiences the opening is either a Preservation and Museum Specialist 3 or 4.  For more information about the position and its qualifications, see Job Posting R-6835.

Campus and Program Description
The Museum of Anthropology is an educational learning and research center that serves as a repository of archaeological collections. archives, and ethnographic collections, primarily from western North America. Staff engage in the Museum’s broad mission of promoting understanding of human cultures through research, education, and stewardship of substantial archaeological and ethnographic materials. The museum is in the Department of Anthropology, which is an academic unit located in the College of Arts and Sciences.

WSU is a Tier I research institution with campuses unified across Washington state. A land-grant university located in the homelands of the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and Palus people, and on traditional Cowlitz, Umatilla, and Yakama Nation lands, among others, WSU acknowledges the complications of regional and national history and their intersection with higher education. We work to increase the inclusion and success of historically underrepresented or marginalized students, staff, and faculty. We are committed to excellence through diversity and faculty-friendly policy action, and to cultivating a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive departmental culture. Persons who meet the required qualifications and are of intersectional identities spanning complexes of race, gender, orientation, mental and physical ability, previous employment, and life experience are encouraged to apply.  

Key Responsibilities

  • Contributes to the mission of Museum of Anthropology—to promote understanding of human cultures through research, education, and stewardship of substantial archaeological and ethnographic materials from the northwest—by engaging collection maintenance and rehabilitation, public and student outreach, and making the collections available for research and other creative activi­ties. Serves as lead collections manager/curator and program assistant to the Director of the WSU Museum of Anthropology, within the Department of Anthropology. Performs administrative and program responsibilities with respect to collections, exhibits, and laboratories. Responsible for managing day-to-day operations and services; for supervising personnel; for developing and implementing educational, stewardship, and research priorities and tasks; and for the curation and security of collections of the Museum, including archaeological or ethnographic collections owned by WSU and those held in trust at WSU for various State and Federal agency partners.  Assist and develop relationships by representing Museum to both internal and external constituents, including WSU students and faculty, the public, and Tribal communities. Direct and train the work of temporary employees, students, and volunteers.

Detailed Job Duties

50%: Manage and oversee all aspects of Museum collections

  • Manage and oversee all aspects of Museum collections conservation, labeling, accession, cataloging, preservation, identification, packaging and shipping, inventory, and organization to conform to federal curation guidelines (36CFR Part 79). Assist researchers with collection access and oversee the maintenance of use logs for access to all collections, including Museum library materials. Maintain records of and supervise the loan process for all collections and library materials. Identify types and sources of specialized museum and archival supplies and prepare purchase requests/orders. Inspect, monitor, and maintain cleanliness and order, and monitor pest and maintenance needs of high-security areas, including the Anthropology Warehouse and the Anthropology exhibit, storage, and work areas in College Hall. Manage and maintain all items in the Museum library and oversee additions of new books and articles to the library. Prepare digital photographs of artifacts to be placed in databases. Maintain and develop the Archaeological Repository web site and public content. Manage and oversee the maintenance of data and electronic files using prescribed software programs, training, and delegating as needed. Manage and execute Museum holdings and research data sharing and integration with Wisaard, the Washington State digital repository for architectural and archaeological recourses and reports.

30%: Assist Museum Director in program stewardship, research, and educational initiatives 

  • Assist Museum Director in program stewardship, research, and educational initiatives. Organize projects and maintain program calendars and ensure milestones and deadlines are met. Establish and maintain electronic databases and files, creating and generating required documentation and reports upon request and under individual initiative. Organize, create, or recreate, and manage all project records, including photocopies and digital images. Assist the Director with public events in the Museum and supervise or act as docent. Represent Museum by attending and contributing to scholarly meetings and workshops, meeting with researchers, and external funding Agencies, and Tribes. Keep apprised of ethical research practices and help organize and oversee research proposal review. Provide responses to research inquires; conduct research or oversee staff conducting research on specific topics. Aid individuals who visit facilities; arrange and provide content for museum programming, public communication, and regular Tribal communications. Prepares educational materials, including curricula, for use by students and educators. Conduct special studies connected with collections and exhibits and assist in preparation of scholarly papers and monographs as requested. Prepare, in whole or through major contribution, contract reports for external agencies including organizing data and preparing tables. Assist in writing and review of grants and agreements; provide regular written and oral reports to Director and others; complete regular curation and project reports; interact with various external and WSU fiscal, support, and program staff to ensure projects, travel requests, grants, and agreements are completed and on time. Recommend to Director the establishment or modification of collection management and security policies and oversee the implementation of operational procedures and policies. Keep the Director apprised of anticipated expense/budget levels and proposed actions and preparing cost estimates and projections of future needs.

15%: Supervise temporary, student, hourly employees, and volunteers

  • Actively supervise temporary, student, hourly, and volunteer employees, as well as interns assigned to the Museum; to include interviewing and selecting candidates, conducting training, assigning, and prioritizing work, scheduling, acting upon leave requests, conducting performance reviews, and recommending corrective actions, and making recommendations to the Director for hiring/termination and salary review decisions. Oversee learning collection and library and make available to faculty and students. Educate and help oversee students and interns in curation methods, artifact identification and preparation, artifact and ethnographic artifact photo programs, and museum research.

5%: Additional Duties

  • Perform additional duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in anthropology (archaeology emphasis), history, museum studies, or a relevant field. Any combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis.
  • Knowledge of material culture and historic preservation.
  • Possess, or be able to obtain by time of hire, a valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Master's degree is preferred; any combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis.
  • At least one (1) year of supervisory experience.

Preservation and Museum Specialist 3 Required Qualifications:

  • Two (2) years of experience at a curatorial institution directly related to the functional area and duties and responsibilities specified.

Preservation and Museum Specialist 4 Required Qualifications:

  • Four (4) years of experience at a curatorial institution directly related to the functional area and duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Four years’ experience as a museum curator
  • Experience leading and/or directing the work of others.

Application Process:
Screening of applications will begin on September 19, 2022 and will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified. To apply, visit, select your appropriate employment status, and search R-6835 in the search bar. Please be prepared to upload the following documents to your online application:

  • Cover letter describing how your experience and training meet the required qualifications listed above. Curriculum Vita/ Resume Contact information for professional references

For more information about the position, contact the Director of the Museum, Dr. Shannon Tushingham:

  WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or



The Department of Anthropology at Washington State University supports strong research and teaching programs in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology, offering BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees. The Department has extensive and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories. TA support is provided for large undergraduate classes. To learn more about the Department of Anthropology, our program and faculty, applicants are encouraged to browse materials available on the department’s website (
This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.

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