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Curatorial Assistant

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Job Category:


Position Title:

Curatorial Assistant

Full Time/Part Time:

Full Time


Dean of the Faculty


Longyear Museum of Anthropology

Department Statement:

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology, Colgate University’s anthropology museum, is seeking a curatorial assistant committed to social justice, and dedicated to creating opportunities for people to share perspectives with one another.

Situated on the traditional lands of the Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Colgate is a vibrant liberal arts university of 3200 students located in central New York state.

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology (LMA) forms one-half of the University Museums at Colgate, along with Picker Art Gallery (PAG). While this position reports to the curator and co-director of the LMA, he/she/they will work alongside colleagues whose roles span the two museums and their collections. As a key component of Colgate’s ambitious Middle Campus Plan for Arts, Creativity, and Innovation, our team is currently re-envisioning and redefining how an academic anthropology museum fits into the contemporary liberal arts experience and into the cultural fabric of the regional communities into which the campus is embedded. Our strategic plan prioritizes implementing decolonizing practices across museum operations, creating a more inclusive and accessible program, increasing student and faculty engagement, and enhancing collaborations on and off campus.

We’d love to hear from you – even if you do not meet 100% of the preferred/desired qualifications.


The Longyear Museum of Anthropology curatorial assistant provides key support in advancing the museum’s research agenda, exhibition program, community engagement, and other strategic initiatives. The person filling the position will be accountable for the following:

Enhancing knowledge about the museum’s collections through research, including conversations with living artists, makers, and community members. Research and relationship-building will support exhibitions, class visits, as well as rematriation, repatriation, and restitution projects.

Supervising student employees and interns.

Providing key support for the museum’s exhibition program and maintaining steady progress on exhibition projects, including managing production schedules, writing and editing exhibition texts and promotional material, managing purchasing, assisting with installation, and giving curatorial tours.

Conceptualizing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating academic and community programs in collaboration with museum staff and other collaborators. This work may involve occasional evenings and weekends (e.g. student involvement fair, commencement and alumni reunion weekends).

Coordinating access to approved collections for communities on and off campus, including leading tours, preparing for class visits, and liaising with student and community groups on special projects.

Developing and implementing effective communications strategies to various audiences, including communications to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. This work may include coordination with Colgate’s Communications department and other units around campus.

Performing other duties as assigned.




Demonstrated ability to conduct research on museum collections.Demonstrated knowledge of search techniques and sources sufficient to independently conduct research as assigned.Demonstrated strength in writing and editing for multiple audiences and in a variety of formats (e.g. label text, catalogue essays, news releases).Demonstrated familiarity with current museological and curatorial theory.Demonstrated ability to give talks, train students, and give presentations to various constituencies.




  • Demonstrated ability to work collegially within a team.
  • Demonstrated willingness to consult widely with diverse stakeholders in the development of exhibitions and programs, as well as collections policies.




  • Demonstrated ability to complete routine administrative tasks independently with attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and coordinate tasks for multiple projects.




  • Demonstrated ability to efficiently use office productivity software.
  • Demonstrated ability to use key museum collection software systems to query and enter data.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and develop opportunities for digital engagement.


Museum Security


  • Demonstrated ability to follow safety procedures and security protocols.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to follow specific security and safety guidelines, including the safe handling of museum collections.


Personal Accountability for Results


Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback.


Effective Communication


Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.


Problem Solving and Decision Making


Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.


Change Management


Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.


Leadership and Teamwork


Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves conflicts among team members.


Creativity and Innovation


Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.


Diversity and Inclusion


Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.




Understands the impact of decision making and personal behavior in achieving the university’s commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral campus; supports and advances the university’s sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications:

  • Minimum one (1) year experience in a museum or other cultural institution, or demonstrable equivalent experience.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students on a daily basis.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Experience conducting collections-based research.
  • Flexibility and the ability to think creatively.
  • Knowledge of relevant computer programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google applications).
  • Familiarity working with databases and/or demonstration of understanding of database concepts.
  • Solid understanding of and commitment to decolonizing, equity, and inclusion practices, preferably in a museum context.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Additional experience (more than 1 year) in a curatorial role in a museum or other cultural institution, or demonstrable equivalent experience preferred.
  • Firsthand Traditional Knowledge or previous experience collaborating with Indigenous communities.
  • Knowledge of contemporary debates and policy changes in anthropology and the museum world.
  • Previous experience working on exhibitions.
  • Previous experience working with museum collections, including knowledge of safe handling and movement practices.
  • Previous supervisory experience, such as overseeing undergraduate student employees or interns.
  • Experience working on digital and multimedia projects such as online exhibitions, websites, videos, or social media.
  • Previous experience with The Museum System (TMS) or TMS Collections databases.


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (anthropology; archaeology; museum studies; humanities) is required.
  • Master’s degree in related field (anthropology; archaeology; museum studies; humanities) preferred.

Requisition Number:




Work Schedule:

Weekdays and special events.

Job Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions Summary:

Colgate has a diverse student, faculty, staff, and alumni population representing a variety of races, gender identities, social economic status, sexual orientations, languages, national origins, etc. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan presents a framework for continuing the creation of an inclusive campus and engaging the Colgate community in this effort in the years ahead.

Please describe how you would connect and work with a diverse community. The statement can be any length (e.g. paragraph or page). You can upload the statement under the Diversity Statement document heading. For information on how to write a diversity statement, see our Guidance on Crafting Diversity Statements.

EEO Statement:

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Clery Act:

The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgate’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at [email protected]. You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:


Colgate is a nationally recognized liberal arts college set on a beautiful campus in central New York.

Some 2,900 undergraduates are enrolled in 54 programs, taking advantage of the university's award-winning curriculumoff-campus study program, and numerous research opportunities.

Students enjoy small class sizes taught by expert faculty members -- not teaching assistants.

The university’s strategic plan offers a blueprint for turning today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, joining the scores of alumni already playing major roles in a variety of fields. The Center for Career Services is a key player as students make this transition.

Colgate hums with activity. It is a place where the arts thrive. Student-athletes compete at the very highest level of NCAA Division I sports. There are dozens of club and intramural sports programs, and the college’s outdoor education program is second to none.

Above all, Colgate is about academic excellence. It is a tradition forged in 1819 and honed through the years by each class of select students.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

The Office of Equity and Diversity at Colgate is charged with fostering a diverse and collaborative community by increasing understanding, respect and inclusion. It is the mission of the office to support campus diversity initiatives with the goal of increasing understanding, respect and inclusion, and to ensure compliance with policies relating to affirmative action, discrimination, and harassment.  The university’s strong commitment to equal opportunity and inclusivity is clearly articulated in the diversity mission statement found here.  The university strives to provide an environment where everyone in our community can learn about, appreciate, and celebrate our diverse cultures and gain understanding, knowledge and skills to be engaged citizens locally as well as globally.

Colgate University fully subscribes to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in private institutions of higher education. Colgate will not discriminate against any student, employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status (including special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or recently separated veteran), predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any complaint process at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other human rights agencies. This nondiscrimination policy covers both employment and access to educational opportunities.  It is the policy of the university to provide equal opportunity in employment and not to discriminate against any individuals with disabilities who are qualified for employment in the positions for which they apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

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