Director, Native American Institute

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Job Description

Reporting to the Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement, a unit under MSU’s Provost Office, the Director will have full responsibility for all administrative functions including budget, human resources, and operations of the Institute.

The mission of the Native American Institute is to produce and further scholarship and programming for the benefit of tribes, American Indian communities, and Native organizations. NAI supports campus and community collaboration and provides opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and the public to learn about issues facing American Indians and Indigenous peoples.

Through these efforts, NAI promotes sovereignty, self-determination, cultures, languages, traditional knowledge, capacity building, leadership, and well-being as defined by tribes, American Indian communities, and Native organizations.

Skills & Qualifications

Required Degree

Doctorate -JD or another terminal degree

Minimum Requirements

  • Should possess and demonstrate knowledge of and cultural competence in Michigan Native American culture and traditions.
  • Evidence of deep engagement or collaboration in partnership with tribal and Native rural or urban communities.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to supporting research and programming on Native American issues.
  • A strong administrative acumen.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation, and public speaking skills.
  • Record of high-quality leadership experiences with staff, faculty, and students.
  • Evidence of a capacity to contribute to the advancement of positive Native American community-university partnerships.

Required Application Materials

  1. A cover letter detailing qualifications for this position;
  2. A statement of leadership philosophy that highlights your experience working with partner organizations, tribal communities, project teams or university/community centers;
  3. A current curriculum vitae;
  4. Name and contact information for three professional references
Duties & Responsibilities

The Director of NAI will:

  • Work across colleges and disciplines to develop and support collaborative research projects and programs, identify and secure funding, and enhance teaching and service opportunities that respond to the needs and goals of tribes and Indigenous communities.
  • Facilitate capacity development for MSU faculty, staff, and students to work in mutually beneficial partnership with Native stakeholders.
  • Support MSU’s efforts to build, sustain, and provide educational programming in partnership with tribal colleges, Native nations, communities, and people.
  • Collaborate with other MSU Native community stakeholders, including Tribal Extension within MSU Extension, EAGLE (Educating Anishnaabe: Giving, Learning, and Empowering) Faculty/Staff Association, the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program (AIIS), the Indigenous Law and Policy Center (ILPC), various undergraduate and graduate student groups and organizations across campus [IGSC - Indigenous Graduate Student Collective, NAISO – North American Indigenous Student Organization, AISES – American Indians in Science and Engineering Society, NALSA – Native American Law Student Association, Wilma Mankiller Society]; with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (IDI); and other University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) units.
  • Establish and sustain partnerships and collaborations with the 12 Federally Recognized Tribal Nations of Michigan, the State of Michigan Recognized Tribes, the United Tribes of Michigan, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, American Indian Health and Family Services, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Tribal Colleges, MILES, and cultural centers across the tribal nations and tribal communities (such as Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways; Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center; Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center).
  • Contribute to programs, efforts, events, and committees that support tribal- and Indigenous-related faculty, staff, student, and community outreach, engagement, and scholarship activities.
  • Maintain a public presence and represent NAI at conferences and other speaking engagements.
  • Use the information gathered in the report from the Tribal Nations Outreach Project conducted by Grassroots Solutions, LLC to reinvigorate the Native American Institute by developing and implementing a strategic plan that will give direction to the NAI and aligns with the UOE and MSU strategic and DEI plans.

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