Submitted: 4 May 2021
Department: Anthropology and Sociology
Institution: Western Carolina University
Job type: Other
Apply by: 31 May 2021
Application URL:

he Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Western Carolina University seeks to hire a 9-month, fixed-term instructor and forensic anthropology facilities curator beginning August 2021. Position is primarily located on the main WCU Cullowhee, NC campus

The instructor/curator will teach a 2-2 course load and expedite day-to-day management of our forensic anthropology program’s human decomposition facility, human identification laboratory, and documented skeletal collection. The facilities curator will report to the Department head, but work closely with the Forensic Anthropology Facilities Director. The curator may have opportunities to earn additional pay via facilities-related continuing education programs, academic course offerings in the summer, and other grant-funded activities.

The successful candidate will teach undergraduate courses in forensic and biological anthropology as well as contribute to the university’s Liberal Studies program by teaching introductory-level anthropology courses. They will work collaboratively with the forensic anthropology faculty as well as the other faculty in WCU’s anthropology, sociology, and forensic science programs. Facilities curator responsibilities include: • Managing forensic anthropology facilities equipment storage and laboratory space, including maintenance and upkeep, scheduling use, maintaining an inventory of all consumable supplies, particularly personal protection equipment (PPE), remains processing, and ensuring that laboratory equipment is functional; • Hiring, supervising, and maintaining documentation of forensic anthropology program work-study employee(s); • Organizing and directing work-study students, volunteers, and researchers in forensic anthropology facility-related activities; • Keeping records of student and other facilities volunteers; • Managing the body donation program through correspondence with donors and their families from initial contact through body placement, responding in a timely manner to all correspondence via phone, email, or postal mail, and maintaining the archive of donor paperwork; • Managing placement and recovery of donated bodies; • Collecting decomposition/taphonomic data for the forensic anthropology program and ensuring proper curation of that data; • Managing use of the Western Carolina Human Identification Lab (WCHIL) by providing access to collections, technology, and other resources; Keeping the lab clean and organized; Monitoring space usage related to active research projects, and freezer usage; • Maintaining documentation of credentials for facilities-related staff, students, and researchers; • Developing and maintaining an accessible calendar for scheduling the forensic anthropology facilities; • Providing periodic reports on appropriate facility-related information; • Conducting meetings as appropriate with relevant constituents to discuss forensic anthropology facility-related issues; • As delegated by the director, facilitating requests for access to the facilities and receiving donations to the facility; • Overseeing and coordinating ongoing facility-related continuing education programs and researchers; • Acquiring and curating skeletal remains to build a comparative collection.

The undergraduate forensic anthropology program at Western Carolina University is one of a kind with an outdoor human decomposition research facility, growing willed-body donation program, and three forensic anthropology faculty. WCU embraces its role as a regionally engaged university and is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a community engaged university. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to public engagement through their teaching, service, and/or scholarship.

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology at WCU has a strong commitment to and appreciation of diversity and inclusion that is reflected in our evaluation processes. We value rigorous empirical inquiry into issues of social justice, environmental sustainability, human diversity, and the struggle for equality. We encourage an engaged approach to contemporary social problems which recognizes the importance of activism in creating solutions and positive changes. We seek to provide a place where people of all identities can be actively engaged in supporting and extending our community and these values.

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