Schingoethe Center of Aurora University

Director of the Schingoethe Center

Aurora University is an independent, comprehensive institution founded in 1893 offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Our two campuses are located in Aurora, Illinois and on the shores of Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. Additionally, we have an Educational Center in Woodstock, Illinois. We seek people passionately involved in the educational process who will help us realize our vision.

The mission of the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University is to foster inquiry, celebrate artistic excellence, preserve and perpetuate Native American cultures, and inspire a lifelong engagement with the visual arts. An agent of and catalyst for teaching and learning on the Aurora University campus, the museum is integral to the academic community. The museum provides cultural and historical enrichment that builds bridges between the classroom and the world beyond. Building on its tradition of object-based learning, the museum brings people and objects together using interdisciplinary approaches. State-of-the-art exhibition spaces combine with a lecture hall, classroom space, study center, and our library and rare book collection, to facilitate access to the collection. The museum also serves the broader community with unique exhibits and programs. The Schingoethe Center supports Aurora University's continuous 100-year tradition of valuing the arts.

Position Purpose: The Director of the Schingoethe Center supports learning by leading and enhancing the position of the museum as a vibrant and interdisciplinary cultural center for exhibitions, programs and events that benefits both university and surrounding community life. As chief curator, the director features the work of artists of national and international stature in order to facilitate cultural and intellectual exchange throughout greater Chicago.

Core Competencies:

  1. Represents Aurora University in the most positive manner with prospective, former and current students, clients, suppliers and the community we serve. Interacts effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and other customers of our service, learns and uses operating practices of the department and Aurora University.
  2. Upholds the Mission Statement: Aurora University an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.
  3. Handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
  4. Supports learning through performance of essential job functions and performing other duties and functions as necessary or as assigned.

Essential Job Functions:


  1. Lead and develop the vision of the Center to better serve its various constituencies, taking full advantage of its recent status as a Smithsonian Affiliate.
  2. Be the face of the museum as an effective advocate and communicator by reaching out to and collaborating with various departments across campus, such as art, history, communications, education and science.
  3. Add to the collection of important Native American art and ethnographic collections of the museum.
  4. Build the growing non-Native art collection.
  5. Coordinate museum initiatives with the university
  6. Maintain a high level of museum best-practices and standards based on AAM accreditation guidelines.
  7. Work with the university communications department on public relations and marketing initiatives. Develop an effective communications plan to raise the profile of the museum.
  8. Oversee appropriate care for and stewardship of the building and collections.
  9. Provide effective financial management for the museum, developing long-range financial objectives, building the annual budget, and allotting resources needed to mount a robust schedule of exhibitions and programs that serve the university and the community.
  10. Provide oversight of the museum studies academic program, and build on the established minor.
  11. Manage and motivate staff, setting a collegial and professional environment.


Essential Job Requirements:


  • BA in Art, Art History, Art Education, History, Anthropology or Museum/Curatorial Studies with an advanced degree in an appropriate discipline such as an MA in Art History, Art Education, History or Museum/Curatorial Studies or MFA in Studio Art is required.
  • Knowledge of American Indian art and history is preferred.


  • A minimum of three (3) years’ experience as a museum director; art museum and university museum experience preferred
  • Demonstrated curatorial success is required with a strong aesthetic sense and knowledge of contemporary art.
  • Extensive background in museum/art center programming and operations.
  • Teaching experience in higher education preferred.


  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and cultivate strong partnerships.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of all aspects of curatorial work including exhibition research, development, and installation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums and non-profits.
  • Knowledge of state and federal law as regards museum collections and non-profit management.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Working knowledge of Past Perfect museum software or a similar database product.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse campus community.

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift 30 pounds.
  • Ability to move about campus.

Benefit-eligible positions offer excellent benefits including health, dental, life, vision, long term disability, a 403(b) retirement plan through TIAA, and tuition remission. Please send resume with cover letter and contact information for three references including name, telephone and email address.

Apply to:

Aurora University
Human Resources
347 South Gladstone Ave
Aurora, IL 60506
630-844-5650 - fax
[email protected] - email