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University of Washington DIRECTOR OF VISITOR EXPERIENCE in Seattle, Washington

Req #: 207583

Department: BURKE MUSEUM

Posting Date: 06/23/2022

Closing Info: Open Until Filled

Salary: Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Shift: Alternate Work Shift

Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here. (

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) is one of the largest academic units on the UW Seattle campus, employing over 1400 tenure-track and research faculty, in 43 departments and centers, and generating an average $120 million dollars in sponsored research each year. CAS is comprised of 4 major divisions – Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Natural Science – whose cutting-edge research spans from malaria treatment to solar energy to human rights. CAS is home to diverse music, art, drama, dance, digital arts academic units and degrees, and runs one performance hall (Meany) and two major museums (Henry Art and Burke). CAS academic programs support more than 22,000 undergraduates and 2600 graduate students. The College occupies over 1 million square feet of space spread across campus and off-campus facilities in more than 50 buildings. ABOUT THE BURKE: The Burke Museum cares for and shares natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. The Burke was founded in 1885 by the Young Naturalists, a group of curious teenagers inspired by seeing Seattle transform before their eyes. For 135 years, the museum has built upon this legacy, collecting objects that help us understand how the Northwest has grown and changed. Totaling over 18 million objects, the Burke’s collections help sustain cultural traditions, enable groundbreaking scientific research, and advance timely conversations that matter to us all. The collections are records of our past and investments in our future. The Museum’s curators—faculty members at the University of Washington—grow collections in the anticipation of change: continued disruption to ecosystems, shifting cultural landscapes and advances in technology we have yet to imagine. Our work is collaborative; we partner with institutions, students, communities and people around the world to understand our past and create positive change in the future. As both a University and State museum, the Burke Museum is a public resource committed to building an inclusive environment that welcomes and values all people. We recognize that our history, from the founding to the present day, is built upon a colonial model of museums that consistently privileged collections, preservation, and research over cultural autonomy and community survival. The Burke is committed to decolonization as a key institutional priority, and across the museum, we now work as facilitators and stewards, not as gatekeepers and sole authorities, in order to honor our mandate to truly be a museum for all. SUMMARY In October 2019, the Burke opened a new building turning the work of a museum “inside-out” with visible labs, workrooms, collections storage, and an artist studio. Removing these barriers enables us to make the collections and work that happens here daily accessible to everyone. Every visit to the New Burke is different because every day brings new work. And because we’re doing this work right out in the open, everyone can experience it and join in. JOB SUMMARY: Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Visitor Experience functions as a high level manager, coordinating strategy and implementation of all programming relevant to the Burke Museum visitor experience and audience development. This position will play a key role in supporting the museum’s commitment to creating visitor-centered experiences that transform the ways our audiences connect with our unique collections, the work of our staff and researchers, and the world around us. The Director of Visitor Experience will work closely with Burke leadership to clarify desired outcomes and successfully pursue those goals by strengthening existing programs and implementing new initiatives. Strategic oversight includes the Burke Museum’s visitor services, store, private events and membership teams. These earned programs contribute critical unrestricted funds that support other areas of the museum. As a critical manager, providing budgetary/personnel oversight, representing the museum in the community, and participating on senior management committees within the museum and university. RESPONSIBILITIES: Strategic Leadership/Coordination: Develop Visitor Experience goals and strategies in coordination with team managers. Implement an operational plan to ensure a high quality of service and a high level of visitor satisfaction through oversight of all aspects of the visitor life cycle at the museum, including guest service philosophy, general and event admissions coordination, public amenities, visitor safety, store, museum information and membership. Act as a critical member of the Burke leadership team, providing guidance to both peers and the Executive Director as it pertains to audience development and visitor experience. Collaborate with colleagues to help identify and measure key performance indicators to drive revenue growth, admissions, membership, and visitor satisfaction. Work closely with the Director of Communications to determine strategies for targeted audience development. Visitor Experience: In partnership with the Director of Interpretation and in coordination with the Visitor Services and Membership Managers, seek out opportunities to develop exhibit experiences through partnerships and collaborations, both with museum staff and community groups, in ways that support the museum’s mission and visitor experience goals, increase attendance, and generate income, both earned and contributed. Private Events: In collaboration with staff manage strategy of the private events program to achieve financial and institutional engagement goals. Support collaboration with museum departments in ways that further the museum’s mission and visitor experience goals and donor engagement. Outreach: Work collaboratively across the museum to guide outreach efforts of the Burke Museum, to include, campus outreach, community outreach (street fairs, etc). Ensure that all efforts support agreed-upon strategies for audience development/impact. Audience Development & Evaluation: Inform museum strategic efforts to growing new audiences and drive engagement from existing audiences. Guide audience research and evaluation plans for the museum. Budget: Develop and monitor budgets and provide support in development and preparation of annual museum budgets, including predictive work on annual visitor attendance and admissions revenue. Make strategic budgetary decisions around investment opportunities in order to build new programming, impact new audiences, or pursue additional revenues/funding. Develop and maintain sales strategies to meet or exceed annual projections such that programs generate a positive bottom line. Supervision: Supervise the Private Events, Visitor Services, and Membership Managers. Provide ongoing coaching and feedback to department managers and team. Support additional recruiting, hiring, supervision, and performance management as needed. Systems Management: Provide oversight for management and optimization of CRM/Salesforce and other systems to capture and report KPI and defined museum operations. Committee participation: Participate in management-level committees. Frequently facilitate committees as it pertains to Burke visitor experience and public engagement. (10%) DEAI & D: Work with the DEAI & D team to ensure that they are meeting strategic goals and creating visitor experiences through a lens of DEAI & D MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must have at least 5 - 7 years management-level museum experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in arts/non-profit administration, museum administration, or other related field or equivalent work experience.

  • Must be able to build strong teams to achieve strategic outcomes.

  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Must exhibit strong leadership skills with direct reports, other museum staff, peers, leadership, and contacts in the community/museum field.

  • Must be proficient with all typical business-related software (Microsoft Office) and CRMs

  • Commitment to supporting the museums DEAI & D framework. DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Master’s level education in arts/non-profit administration, museum administration, or other related field or equivalent work experience. Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.