Asst/Assoc Curator of Archaeology & Asst/Assoc Prof of Anthropology - 24273BR

Asst/Assoc Curator of Archaeology & Asst/Assoc Prof of Anthropology

University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Employee Class: 

Position Overview

This is a joint tenured/tenure-track position between the Biodiversity Institute/Natural History Museum (BI/NHM) (Assistant or Associate Curator of Archaeology, 50%) and the Department of Anthropology (Assistant or Associate Professor, 50%). This faculty-curator position is responsible for research on human culture as obtained from curated cultural remains, teaching courses in general archaeology and related subjects, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, stewarding the collections of the BI/NHM Division of Archaeology, supervising the human, fiscal, and structural resources of the division, and providing professional service and outreach.

The Archaeology Division of the BI/MNH curates ~3 million artifacts, representing one of the largest university-based archaeology collections in the Midwestern United States. Grants from Federal agencies and other sources have improved the curation standards and supported adherence to Federal mandates. Funds have been obtained for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) compliance. The collections are regularly used by students, faculty, and visiting researchers. Numerous students have received training and research support.
The archaeology program within the Department of Anthropology provides opportunities for training and research in several areas. Faculty members have conducted archaeological research in Europe, Arctic North America, Great Plains, Great Basin, Rocky Mountains, the Big Bend region of southwest Texas, Patagonia, Mesoamerica, Central America, and Northeast Asia. Their specializations include ancient technology, geoarchaeology, paleoecology, human adaptation, cultural evolution, variability in hunter-gatherer societies, origins of sociopolitical complexity, ancient American exchange and interaction, lithic and faunal analyses, ancient DNA, and quantitative and computer applications in archaeology. Current research includes: peopling of the Americas; Paleoindian and Paleolithic archaeology and hunter-gatherer adaptations; prehistory of western North America, Alaska, Patagonia, and Asia; hunter-gatherer ecology and adaptations in extreme environments (arctic and arid); human-environment interactions; archaeology of pre-Hispanic Indigenous cultures in Latin America, with a strong focus on Indigenous populations of southern Central America between Mesoamerica and the Central Andes; resilience of small-scale societies during periods of environmental and social change; application of molecular methods to supplement traditional studies of faunal material in investigating the relationship between people and their environment; environmental archaeology with strength in the geoarchaeological problems of site formation and paleoclimate reconstruction; and lithic technology with a strong focus on lithic systems in small-scale societies. The endowed Odyssey Archaeological Research Program provides support for students and faculty involved with archaeological and geoarchaeological research related to the peopling of the Americas.

The University of Kansas is located in the city of Lawrence, a thriving community 40 minutes from the Kansas City metropolitan area and 30 minutes from the state capital, Topeka. Lawrence, a progressive college town of 95,000, boasts a lively downtown with many music venues, award-winning restaurants, and a nationally celebrated independent bookstore among its many independently owned small businesses. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest school within the campus and plays a central role within the University. Founded in 1865, KU is a designated Carnegie comprehensive doctoral and research university and is one of only 34 public members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). The University enrolls more than 28,000 students and offers students and faculty opportunities to collaborate in its graduate and professional programs.

Job Description

At the University of Kansas, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are an important part of our culture and university strategic plan. Applications from members of underrepresented groups are encouraged. The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the U.S. by the effective date of the appointment.

The College emphasizes interdisciplinary, experiential learning and global awareness, and has created strong affiliations with outstanding cross-disciplinary research centers. These relationships have brought a broad range of disciplines together to pursue and conduct sponsored research and education at the international, national, state, regional and local levels. College faculty and research staff are welcomed as members in all KU's designated research centers and institutes.

This position reports to the Director of the Biodiversity Institute and the Chair of the Department of Anthropology.

Duties and Responsibilities:
0.5 FTE Curator of Archeology in the Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum
20% Research and Student Mentoring

Research. Expected to maintain a productive, collections-based research program on our history and cultural diversity and to complement existing faculty-curator research. Such research includes publication in peer-reviewed scholarly publications, dissemination of results at professional meetings, and acquisition of extramural support for research activities.

Student Mentoring. Advise, train, and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, including in collections-based research in the Department of Anthropology and the Indigenous Studies and Museum Studies Programs. Further opportunities exist to mentor students at nearby Haskell Indian Nations University.

20% Administration and Collection Stewardship
Administration. The Curator supervises personnel, physical and fiscal resources of the Division of Archaeology. The Curator is responsible for coordinating the activities of the division in a collaborative way with the activities and goals of the BI/NHM.

Collection Stewardship. Primary responsibility is the acquisition, care, management and use of the division’s collections and associated data for research, education, and public service. The Curator directs the strategic growth of collections. focused by research and tailored to resources. The Curator and the division collection manager must identify the physical, curatorial, and data-management needs of the division’s collections and work to fulfill them and submit the appropriate proposals for extramural support. The Curator will keep and promote the highest standards of ethical behavior and will develop culturally appropriate protocols for collecting artifacts. The Curator supervises the collection manager in the maintenance of appropriate practices for: (1) accession, curation, and preventative conservation of artifacts; (2) management of loans of artifacts, requests for data, and use of artifacts by students and visiting scholars; (3) management and improvement of collection data; and (4) respect for ethical considerations.
The Curator is responsible for working collaboratively with Native American communities regarding research use, storage, and/or repatriation of materials in the Biodiversity Institute. The Curator will work in cooperation with KU’s Repatriation Program Manager for repatriation efforts, and needs to have knowledge of relevant procedures. The Curator will be responsible for ensuring compliance with all appropriate legislation in regards to the collections.

10% Professional Service, Public Programs, and Outreach Activities
Professional Service. Is expected to provide service to the University community, the BI/NHM, their particular disciplines and other professional societies, and the national and international scientific and collections communities.
Public Programs and Outreach Activities. The Curator contributes to the educational and exhibits programs of the BI/NHM and the university. Service includes research and proposals that contribute to these programs. Public outreach includes publications in the popular press, lectures to public and school groups, activities with interest groups, media interviews and news releases, and responses to public inquiries.

0.5 FTE Faculty Member in the Department of Anthropology
20% Research. The successful candidate will maintain an active research program, publishing in appropriate peer-reviewed works, presenting at professional meetings, and acquiring extramural support for research. The research program should complement existing faculty research foci in human evolutionary genetics, environmental archaeology, geoarchaeology, lithic analysis, and the peopling of the Western Hemisphere. Temporal and geographic foci are open, but late-Holocene archaeology of the North American Plains is preferred. Area of topical specialty should also complement existing faculty (i.e., paleoethnobotany, GIS, spatial analysis, and landscape archaeology.) Faculty members are expected to develop and maintain a research program of national and international stature. The candidate is expected to maintain and foster dynamic links with scholars in the Indigenous Studies (see and Odyssey Archaeological Research Programs (see The candidate is also expected to demonstrate an enduring commitment to research ethics and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

20% Teaching/Advising
In addition to courses in general archaeology, the new faculty member will also offer specialized courses in areas of interest and expertise. The teaching expectation for this 0.5 FTE Anthropology faculty position is two courses per academic year. One class in any given year may be replaced by a summer archaeological field school. All teaching faculty are expected to:
  • Prepare for and attend all class meetings. provide feedback to students, assign grades and hold regular office hours.
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate students in research
  • Supervise graduate teaching assistants, as assigned.
  • Serve on graduate student committees that supervise and evaluate progress toward degree completion.
10% Service
Faculty members are expected to participate in professional activities, such as attending faculty meetings, carrying out committee assignments, attending national and international conferences, serving the College and KU as appropriate, and serving the profession.

Required Qualifications

  1. Ph.D. in anthropology, archaeology or related discipline.
For the Assistant Rank, also needed:
  1. Evidence a collections-based research program in archaeology.
  2. Demonstrate commitment to excellence in research.
  3. Demonstrate commitment to excellence in teaching.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to collections stewardship.
  5. Demonstrate commitment to enhancing and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
For the Associate Rank, also needed:
  1. Evidence an established, nationally recognized research program.
  2. Demonstrate an established publication and external funding record.
  3. Demonstrate a record of effective teaching and mentoring of students.
  4. Demonstrate expertise in working with collections and collections data as well as supervising staff in collections activities and students in collections-based research.
  5. Demonstrate a record of activities that enhance and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Additional Candidate Instructions

To apply online go to A complete online application includes the following materials: (1) cover letter; (2) Curriculum vitae; (3) statement of research interests and future directions; (4) statement of teaching philosophy and interests; (5) statement of collection and data-management philosophy, and interests; and (6) the names, email and contact information for three professional references. In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant's contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU's mission. As a result, applicants will be presented the following question at the time of application:
  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Applicants are also encouraged to include or expand upon how they have contributed to building a culture of belonging through DEI initiatives within the required application materials provided.

Initial review of applications began 3/3 and will continue to be reviewed until March 31, 2023.

Contact Information to Applicants

Celka Straughn, Search Committee Chair (Deputy Director for Public Practice and Curatorial, Spencer Museum of Art)

Advertised Salary Range

commensurate with experience

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University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
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