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Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Mead...

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The Opportunity

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University seeks excellent candidates with expertise in and passion for Spanish art and culture for the role of Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. 

The next Linda P. and William A. Custard Director will have the opportunity to build on the Meadows Museum's robust platform, with an exemplary collection, strong philanthropic support, and the newly launched Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture, which will foster partnerships and inspire scholarship reaching far beyond the University's campus. Through innovative and engaging exhibitions and programs, the Director will ensure the Meadows Museum's position as the leading U.S. institution focused on the study and presentation of the art of Spain, 

The Director will engage with the members of the Museum Advisory Council and the Meadows Museum community to develop the next strategic plan, with a focus on continuing to grow the collection, engaging with new generations of audience members, and serving as a significant resource for the University and surrounding communities as well as for audiences, patrons and scholars worldwide. 

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

The Meadows Museum is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The collection spans from the 10th to the 21st centuries and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters. 

The Meadows Museum is also responsible for overseeing the University Art Collection of SMU. The collection was begun in 1920 and in its early years included primarily Texas Regionalist art by important artists such as Jerry Bywaters, Everett Spruce, and William Lester. The collection now contains a wide array of works of art donated by alumni and friends of SMU. Many works in this collection are by former students and faculty members who have established themselves in the art world, including John Alexander, David Bates, James Surls, and George Tobolowsky. The Meadows Museum displays works from the University Art Collection in its galleries, and art from this group of works can also be seen in various buildings across SMU's campus. 

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

Reporting to the Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director brings executive leadership and direction to all departments of the Meadows Museum, including strategic planning, the development and management of exhibitions, collections care and research, acquisitions, educational programs, and outreach activities. Further, the Director plays a key role in realizing the mission of the Meadows Museum to be the leading center for the study of Spanish art in the US. The Director is responsible for defining program goals, objectives, and priorities in keeping with the Meadows Museum’s commitment to the art and culture of Spain, and in keeping with the Museum's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access. 

This executive develops and monitors short- and long-range program plans covering all aspects of Meadows Museum essential functions, in addition to overseeing the newly established Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture. The Director issues policy guidelines for program operations following best practices for art museums and in alignment with SMU campus-wide initiatives. The Director makes policy decisions concerning the Meadows Museum's programs, including matters relating to budget, staffing, organization, and facilities. 

The Director plays a key role in donor relations and development initiatives, partnering closely with members of the Museum's  Advisory Council, as well as representing the Museum to internal and external audiences and partners world-wide. In addition to occupying the primary leadership role within the museum, the Director is expected to serve as an ambassador for SMU, the Meadows School of the Arts, and the Meadows Museum’s mission both within the local community, at a national level, and abroad. The cultivation of new and maintenance of existing relationships with museum and university partners worldwide is essential, especially in Spain.

This individual will have an impeccable reputations and significant standing with peer institutions to represent the Meadows Museum effectively to appropriate constituents. The Director will have a Ph.D. in Art History and be able to speak and write fluidly in English and Spanish about the organization's legacy, impact, growth strategy, and future direction. 

Further, the Director is expected to be active in their field of research and participate in the intellectual life of SMU and of its partner institutions. In recognition of the Director’s scholarship, service, and teaching activities, the position will carry a faculty affiliation or appointment within the department of art history within the Meadows School of the Arts.

The Meadow's Museum Director will be responsible for the following:


    Strengthen nationally important programs under the Museum’s umbrella, including the Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture.Work with appropriate university departments and staff to develop budgets and reports on the Museum’s financial situation. Help oversee the renovation of museum spaces which will house the Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture, and any future improvements to the galleries, offices, and other museum facilities as needed.

  • Lead the Museum’s development efforts; identify and steward new private, government, and institutional sources of revenue; establish and implement plans to grow endowment and strengthen operational income streams. 
  • Coordinate with SMU’s Office of Development and External Affairs and the Meadows Museum Advisory Council to identify and cultivate donors in accordance with the policies of Southern Methodist University.
  • Oversee efforts to increase funding generated from grants and sponsorships that support Museum programs, exhibits, research, and operations.

  • Cultivate existing exhibition schedule and oversee the development and execution of an exhibition calendar for the next 3 to 5 years that advance the vision and mission of the Museum.
  • Oversee the Museum’s publications and research programs, and enhance opportunities for national and international traveling exhibitions, partnerships, loans, and interdisciplinary research.
  • Enhance and grow the collections via strategic acquisitions that complement and round out the Meadows’ existing holdings.
  • Ensure the Museum’s collections are properly stored, preserved, and exhibited, and that an effective collection policy is maintained by curatorial staff.

  • Uphold existing and build new relationships with SMU students, faculty, and departments across campus; encourage and facilitate a wide range of museum teaching opportunities for SMU (and Dallas-area) university faculty; promote the design of innovative, museum-centric courses and higher education activities, including linking courses to temporary exhibitions; actively foster new forms of university student engagement with the museum.
  • Work with staff to develop informative and inspiring education and public programs and partner with the community and area to expand learning opportunities, program collaborations, and public program awareness. 
  • Strengthen all outreach platforms, including marketing, publications, digitization, and education programming, and build teams to deliver sophisticated museum products and experiences to broader audiences.
  • Actively seek ways to enhance the visitor experience across all points of public engagement and to expand visitorship across new generations of museumgoers.
  • Support the docent program, including education activities and the recruitment of new docents.

  • Offer key leadership for the Meadows Museum Advisory Council; build and nurture strategic stakeholder relationships; serve as the primary resource for helping guide the Advisory Council’s understanding of museum best practices relative to organizational operation and collections management; lead the annual council meetings.
  • Communicate transparently and regularly with the Advisory Council in order to build strong relationships to sustain involvement, support, dedication, and service.

Candidate Profile

While it is understood that no one candidate will bring every desired skill, characteristic, and experience, the following offers a reflection of the ideal candidate profile.

Candidates for this position should have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible museum management experience, as well as a track record of scholarship in the art and culture of Spain and a doctorate in art history. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in written and spoken English and Spanish.


    Thoughtful and dynamic museum leader who engages and inspires stakeholders, faculty, and staff, enhancing the visitor experience for broad audiences.A keen sense for developing excellence and encouraging innovation across all areas of the organization.Strategic thinker who can steward a sound planning process to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.Astute financial manager, able to develop and keep a balanced budget and comfortable with complex financial reporting.

    Confident, collaborative manager who can lead and empower a highly skilled staff whose specialties encompass diverse disciplines.Motivator who inspires staff to do their best work, delivering high-caliber results within a culture of accountability.Transparent and approachable collaborator who shows deep respect and care for all staff members and volunteers.

    Experienced fundraiser with a measurable track record of success, and the expertise and mindset to build strong relationships with past, current, and potential donors.Able to fundraise across channels, including major gifts and capital campaigns, and provide high-touch engagement with all the constituents.Flexible and self-motivated leader who partners with council members and other donors to devise a successful fundraising strategy which leverages the unique landscape of a philanthropic community.

    Advocate and ambassador, with the intellect and experience to represent and elevate the organization in the region and in the broader cultural world.Deeply and genuinely committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.Able to interact comfortably with a range of constituents, building bridges, sustaining confidence among the various constituents, including council members, donors, museum members, volunteers, and visitors, as well as community and government leaders.Charismatic speaker with a high degree of public relations insight and acumen, to serve as the outward-facing representative of the museum; equally comfortable and effective in presenting to small groups as well as large audiences.Considerate, diplomatic, and open communicator, promoting dialogue to identify best practices, synthesize divergent views, and coalesce all constituencies around a shared view or plan.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with credentials and experience, within the range for a senior university faculty member and administrator. SMU offers an attractive set of benefits.

Interested candidates are welcome to share their salary expectations in their application materials for the position.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Naree W.S. Viner and Tenley Bank of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Tenley Bank directly at [email protected] All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email [email protected] If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, [email protected].


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Arts/Theaters
Organization: Meadows School of the Arts
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Director
Travel: No
Job Posting: Nov 21, 2022, 10:08:02 AM
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