Fixed Term Instructor and Forensic Anthropology Facilities Curator - #160746

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Fixed Term Instructor and Forensic Anthropology Facilities Curator - #160746


Anthropology & Sociology

Position Summary:

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Western Carolina University seeks to hire a 9-month, fixed-term instructor and forensic anthropology facilities curator beginning August 2021. Position is primarily located on the main WCU Cullowhee, NC campus

The instructor/curator will teach a 2-2 course load and expedite day-to-day management of our forensic anthropology program’s human decomposition facility, human identification laboratory, and documented skeletal collection. The facilities curator will report to the Department head, but work closely with the Forensic Anthropology Facilities Director. The curator may have opportunities to earn additional pay via facilities-related continuing education programs, academic course offerings in the summer, and other grant-funded activities.

The successful candidate will teach undergraduate courses in forensic and biological anthropology as well as contribute to the university’s Liberal Studies program by teaching introductory-level anthropology courses. They will work collaboratively with the forensic anthropology faculty as well as the other faculty in WCU’s anthropology, sociology, and forensic science programs. Facilities curator responsibilities include:
•Managing forensic anthropology facilities equipment storage and laboratory space, including maintenance and upkeep, scheduling use, maintaining an inventory of all consumable supplies, particularly personal protection equipment (PPE), remains processing, and ensuring that laboratory equipment is functional;
•Hiring, supervising, and maintaining documentation of forensic anthropology program work-study employee(s);
•Organizing and directing work-study students, volunteers, and researchers in forensic anthropology facility-related activities;
•Keeping records of student and other facilities volunteers;
•Managing the body donation program through correspondence with donors and their families from initial contact through body placement, responding in a timely manner to all correspondence via phone, email, or postal mail, and maintaining the archive of donor paperwork;
•Managing placement and recovery of donated bodies;
•Collecting decomposition/taphonomic data for the forensic anthropology program and ensuring proper curation of that data;
•Managing use of the Western Carolina Human Identification Lab (WCHIL) by providing access to collections, technology, and other resources; Keeping the lab clean and organized; Monitoring space usage related to active research projects, and freezer usage;
•Maintaining documentation of credentials for facilities-related staff, students, and researchers;
•Developing and maintaining an accessible calendar for scheduling the forensic anthropology facilities;
•Providing periodic reports on appropriate facility-related information;
•Conducting meetings as appropriate with relevant constituents to discuss forensic anthropology facility-related issues;
•As delegated by the director, facilitating requests for access to the facilities and receiving donations to the facility;
•Overseeing and coordinating ongoing facility-related continuing education programs and researchers;
•Acquiring and curating skeletal remains to build a comparative collection.

The undergraduate forensic anthropology program at Western Carolina University is one of a kind with an outdoor human decomposition research facility, growing willed-body donation program, and three forensic anthropology faculty. WCU embraces its role as a regionally engaged university and is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a community engaged university. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to public engagement through their teaching, service, and/or scholarship.

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology at WCU has a strong commitment to and appreciation of diversity and inclusion that is reflected in our evaluation processes. We value rigorous empirical inquiry into issues of social justice, environmental sustainability, human diversity, and the struggle for equality. We encourage an engaged approach to contemporary social problems which recognizes the importance of activism in creating solutions and positive changes. We seek to provide a place where people of all identities can be actively engaged in supporting and extending our community and these values.

Carnegie statement:

WCU embraces its role as a regionally engaged university and is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a community-engaged university. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate a commitment to public engagement through their teaching, service, and scholarship.

Minimum Qualifications:

Applicants are required to have: (1) a minimum of a master’s degree in anthropology or related field by the August 2021 start date, (2) a demonstrated specialization in human skeletal biology with an emphasis on forensic anthropology, and (3) demonstrated experience working in the context of human decomposition facilities, human skeletal collections management, and/or conducting forensic anthropology casework.

Position Type:

Permanent Full-Time

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Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Applicants must apply online. Hard copy materials will not be accepted for consideration. Review of applications will begin June 2, 2021 and the position will remain open until filled.

Applicants must submit a cover letter describing their fit for the position and the forensic anthropology program at WCU, a current curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts from highest earned degree, and the names and complete contact information for three professional references.

For questions or additional information, please contact Dr. Katie Zejdlik-Passalacqua, Search Committee Chair, at [email protected]


Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.

Credential Verification:

All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.


Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; national origin; age; disability; genetic information; political affiliation; National Guard or veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.
Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at [email protected]

University Safety:

The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 227 HFR Administration Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7147) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.




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Job No:
Posted: 5/5/2021
Application Due: 8/3/2021
Work Type: Full Time