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Executive Director, Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC)

University of Chicago Library
Chicago, Illinois
Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience.
Posted Date
Apr 28, 2023

View more

Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time

About the Department The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions with a mission to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics with a special focus on Chicago, and to advocate for the preservation, enhancement, growth, and use of these materials, and the diversity of the information professionals who care for them.


The BMRC is positioned within the University of Chicago Library which is a dynamic research and learning environment, supporting the University’s commitment to research and teaching and to using its intellectual resources to help solve the world’s problems. Member institutions represent a wide variety of missions and audiences, including public institutions, cultural heritage centers, community archives, and private research institutions.


Job Summary The Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) provides strategic leadership and operational management for the BMRC’s activities. In partnership with the BMRC Board of Directors, the Executive Director develops and implements the BMRC Strategic Plan, sets goals and priorities, and pursues funding opportunities to support BMRC initiatives. The Executive Director is responsible for the Consortium's day-to-day management and operations. The Executive Director serves as the principal spokesperson for the BMRC to raise its profile both locally and nationally to develop new partnerships, recruit new members, and spread awareness of BMRC activities and programs. The Executive Director works closely with the Board on consortium policies, protocols, governance, grant applications and especially fundraising initiatives. The Executive Director also manages the relationships with current members to ensure their needs are met and their interests are represented.


The position reports to the University Librarian and Dean of the Library at the University of Chicago, which acts as the BMRC’s host institution and fiscal agent. The incoming Executive Director will have the opportunity to recruit an Associate Director of the BMRC, a new full-time staff role.



  • Communicates a compelling vision for the collecting and use of African American archival and special collections. 
  • Provides strategic leadership for BMRC projects and activities and works with the BMRC Board to develop and implement long and short-term goals. 
  • Fosters a national reputation for BMRC and facilitates collaboration with related communities through engagement with regional, national conferences, networks, and public events. 
  • Serves (ex officio) on the BMRC board working with the BMRC Board Chair to develop meeting agendas, facilitate board initiatives, and make recommendations on Board recruitment.
  • Fields all requests for partnerships with the BMRC, developing and maintaining partnerships that align with the BMRC’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Creates, implements, and monitors a development plan with diverse funding streams to support BMRC activities and initiatives.
  • Serves as the lead on BMRC grant projects and in maintaining effective relationships with BMRC funding partners.
  • Liaises with host institution to ensure appropriate use of resources to support BMRC operations.
  • Manages BMRC budgets and oversees consortium staff and operations.
  • Contributes to design of program content, policies and strategic planning efforts.
  • Manages the dissemination, interpretation and application of program policies and recommends or makes exceptions.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications




  • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:


  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications




  • Master's or other advanced degree.



  • Demonstrated success in building collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies.
  • Experience providing leadership and management of operations that balance long term planning with the daily activities of multiple concurrent projects.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills including ability to communicate to large groups as well as one-on-one with students, senior management, faculty, alumni, community members, and others.
  • Ability to navigate the challenges of working within a complex, decentralized environment.
  • Previous experience in nonprofit, library, archival, public history, or museum organizations.
  • Experience with budget management and planning.
  • Experience developing successful grant proposals and fundraising initiatives.
  • Awareness of the African American history in and around Chicagoland.
  • Experience with conference/event planning.

Preferred Competencies


  • Celebrate diversity and inclusion.
  • Foster positive partnerships and collaboration.
  • Identify priorities in order to recognize and resolve or refer problems.
  • Exhibit business acumen and organizational astuteness.

Working Conditions


  • Ability to travel around the Chicagoland area to visit member and prospective member institutions and to attend relevant community events.

Application Documents


  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


To Apply To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through Internal candidates must apply by logging into Workday using their CNet ID and password; for more information, please see How to Apply for a UChicago Job (Current Employee) QRG. Resumes sent via mail, fax, or email will not be considered. For more information, please see


Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.


The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.


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