Collaboration and Outreach Manager

U Of M LSA Humanities Institute

A cover letter is required; applications submitted without a cover letter and that do not address the required content will not be considered. The cover letter must indicate how your experience meets the required qualifications outlined in the job posting and it should communicate your personal philosophy on the value of the humanities within society.

Application Deadline: January 14, 2020

Job Description:

Job Summary

Term Limited Position:  January 1, 2020 – August 31, 2023Appointment beyond this timeframe is contingent upon the success of the program, reapplication and extension of funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, or funding from other sources.

The Institute for the Humanities facilitates work that examines humanities traditions broadly across space and time, deepens synergies among the humanities, the arts, and disciplines across the University and brings the voices of the humanities scholars to public life. Each year we provide fellowships for U-M faculty, graduate students and visiting scholars who work on scholarly and artistic projects. We also offer a wide array of public and scholarly events, including public lectures, workshops, and art exhibitions. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Institute 1.14M over 3.5 year years to support its “High Stakes Art” initiative. With this initiative, we aim to make critical engagements with contemporary art urgent for humanities scholars and communities in southeast Michigan, particularly around social issues of current concern. Through carefully curated exhibitions and expansive programming, we plan to explore the intersections of art and activism, particularly in relation to social justice issues relevant to our region; to engage communities on U-M’s campuses as well in surrounding communities, including Ypsilanti, Flint, Dearborn, and Detroit.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.


Under the general supervision of the Chief Administrator and in consultation with the Director of the Institute for the Humanities, the Collaboration and Outreach Manager will develop, enhance and maintain relationships with staff in community, arts and cultural institutions on UM’s three campuses and in other communities in southeast Michigan. The primary goal will be to develop long-term, sustainable, collaborative relationships leading to humanities and arts-related programming and activities. Candidates must be passionate about the humanities and the arts and able to articulate the intersection of art and activism to diverse communities and to all levels of an organization.

Community Outreach and Relationship Building 50%

Establish, foster, and maintain strong connections and collaborations with community, cultural and arts organizations in communities outside of Ann Arbor such as Ypsilanti, Flint, Dearborn, and Detroit.

Negotiate partnership arrangements and make financial and logistical commitments on behalf of the Institute with community organizations.  Draft MoU’s, act as signatory on behalf of the Director of the Institute related to partnership arrangements.

Work in partnership with the Assistant Director for Arts Programming/Curator at the Institute to engage local artists and to collaborate with organizations to engage artists in collaborative projects and/or humanities/art related programming. Collaboratively develop and manage community based arts education programs involving the Institute, artists, campus organizations and community organizations.

In collaboration with the Assistant Director for Arts Programming, develop programming around the exhibitions and artists that will be of value in communicating social justice issues and engaging students in conversations around such topics.

Develop and sustain substantive outreach on the Ann Arbor campus. Ensure and foster an inclusive connection between U-M students and the humanities through the arts.

Establish and maintain relationships with humanities faculty. Meet with faculty; develop an understanding of how the Institute’s art program could be more fully utilized in the classroom.

Marketing/Publicity – 20%

In collaboration with the Marketing Communications Specialist and community contacts develop a strategic marketing plan for events and programming offered beyond the confines of the Ann Arbor campus.

Research and determine courses appropriate for engagement with exhibitions and artists on campus in the IH gallery. Reach out to faculty, schedule course visits in consultation with the Curator.

Communicate the mission of the Institute for the Humanities and the value of the humanities to a broad and diverse community. Articulate the benefits of collaboration and the intersection of art and activism.

Serve as a primary point of “public relations” for the institute with outlying communities.

Administration – 30%

Serve as a primary and active contributing member of the institute’s leadership team as well as the long and short term planning committee for the High Stakes Art initiative.

Exercise independent judgement in determining the appropriate course of action or commitment on behalf of the institute as part of the collaborative planning and implementation of events and programming with community, arts and cultural organizations in neighboring communities.

Develop diversity and inclusion goals for outreach and collaborative programming.  Evaluate and assess goals on a regular basis.

Develop assessment model/tools; evaluate and assess the effectiveness of program initiatives; prepare reports for granting agency and monthly activity reports for Institute leadership.

Develop guidelines for best practices.

Preferred Skills:

Required Qualifications*

  • Proven relationships with arts and/or community organizations.  At least three years of experience working with diverse populations and/or urban communities.
  • Proven ability to conceive of creative community engagement projects, events and programming with the ability to develop an organized plan to implement the programming and follow through to completion.
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain relationships with staff at cultural and educational institutions beyond the life of a specific project.
  • BA/BFA in a humanities/arts field, museum studies and/or sociology.
  • Understanding of and excitement about the humanities, the ability to clearly communicate the value of the humanities in society and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan.
  • Extremely high level of communication skills.
  • Ability to make decisions and independently determine an appropriate course of action based on the goals and mission of the Institute and the High Stakes Art initiative.
  • Ability to work effectively and sensitively with a diverse group of students, faculty and community partners.
  • Highly organized and proactive with an inclination towards idea sharing, brainstorming and collaborative work. The successful candidate must be a self-starter and able to hit the ground running.
  • Demonstrated leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
  • The successful candidate and the success of this initiative depends on the ability to work collaboratively in a team environment fostering positive relationships and communication as well as work independently with minimal supervision.
  • The person in this position must have the ability to easily move across campus or from a car to an event location by moving a cart of equipment, food, or other items needed for event set up. Ability to move a cart weighing up to 50 pounds is required as well as the ability to move 10-15 pounds of such items if needed. The chosen candidate must have the ability to physically set up and tear down for events including moving and arranging tables, chairs, and mobile equipment.

Desired Qualifications*

  • MA/MFA/PhD in a humanities field or an MSW with a Bachelor’s degree in a humanities field.
  • Five+ years of experience working with diverse populations and urban communities.
  • Three+ years of experience working in an arts or community organizations; local connections in Detroit, Flint, Dearborn and/or Ypsilanti is a distinct advantage.
  • Previous experience working for or with an institution of higher learning (college/university/community college).