Director Designate Forensic Investigation Research Station Assistant/Associate Prof of Anthropology

Director Designate Forensic Investigation Research Station Assistant/Associate Prof of Anthropology


Summary: The Director Designate of the Forensic Investigation Research Station (FIRS) is a one-year position where the successful candidate will gradually assume the duties of Director. On successful completion of the one-year contract, the Director Designate will become the Director of the FIRS in Grand Junction and the high-elevation facility in Park County, Colorado. The Director Designate position is $72,000 to $77,000 annually, based on incumbent experience. Upon a successful performance in the year one faculty evaluation period, full directorship may be assumed with an annual salary between $75,000 and $80,000, based on incumbent experience.

During the Fall 2024 semester, the Designate will teach two undergraduate courses, learn the protocols and procedures at CMU and the FIRS, and become familiar with CMU’s accounting procedures and the FIRS’ collaborators and facilities. During the Spring 2025 semester, the Designate will teach 2 courses, take over the human remains donation program, supervisory duties, and supervision of the FIRS’ organizational budget. During the Summer 2025 semester, the Director will run the workshops and the Designate will learn the administration of the workshops, in preparation for running the Summer 2026 semester workshops. The rank of the successful candidate will be determined by the Social and Behavioral Department Head in consultation with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

A successful Designate will be fully capable of completing all the duties and responsibilities listed below working alongside the Director and FIRS staff. It is expected that a successful Designate will become the FIRS Director as of July 1, 2025. The success of the Designate will also be determined by the SBS Department Head in consultation with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Director Designate may count the year towards tenure upon assuming the FIRS Director position.

The FIRS Director position is a 12-month position that teaches a 2/2 load in fall and spring semesters within the Applied Anthropology and Geography Program. The position advises majors in the Applied Anthropology and Geography Program, minors in Forensic Anthropology, and the Forensic Science Club. The position also runs a human remains taphonomy facility and manages the human body donation program, along with associated research projects, student interns and volunteers, and associated workshops.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
A 2/2 teaching load that includes the following undergraduate courses: Survey of Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Death Investigation and Forensic Science, and Professionalism in Forensic Science.

Manages the human body donation program. Is familiar with federal and state laws regarding human donation and transport, death certificates and the certificate of final disposition.

Collaborates with other faculty and outside researchers on the use of the facility for research and education.

Is familiar with federal grant processes, sub-grant processes, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

Assist with the development of workshops that meet the needs of the professional community (law enforcement, coroners, death investigators, cadaver dog handlers.

Develop supervisory role with the FIRS Lab Manager, student interns, and volunteers.

Advises students on career paths, majors, and minors.

Required Qualifications: An earned doctorate degree in Anthropology or another appropriate field must be complete at time of job offer;
Research experience in taphonomy or related fields;
Prior experience with decomposing human remains;
Ability to obtain a Colorado driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:
Prior experience at a taphonomy facility that uses human donations;
A record of excellence in undergraduate teaching;
Prior administrative experience with federal grant and university accounting procedures;
The ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders.

Salary: $72,000.00 – 77,000.00. Commensurate with education and experience. Excellent health and retirement benefits package:

Department: Colorado Mesa University

Employment Type: Faculty


Application Deadline: To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by 1/8/2024.

How to Apply: Applicants will be asked to complete an online application by creating a profile and then providing personal and demographic information. In addition, please be prepared to upload a:

• Cover letter that includes teaching philosophy and research statement

• Resume/CV

• Two letters of recommendation

• Include the name, phone number, email address and relationship of at least three professional references who can attest to your ability to perform the job you are applying for. Professional references should include at least one current or former supervisor. Professional reference may also include current or former employers, colleagues or other professionals who have first-hand knowledge and can recommend you for employment.

• Copy of transcripts for all degrees completed (if your transcripts include a social security number or birthdate, please redact that information before uploading the document. Official transcripts will be required upon hire)

Direct Inquiries Contact: Dr. Melissa Connor

970 248 1219


Colorado Mesa University provides exceptional educational opportunities on a state-of-the-art campus located in Grand Junction. As western Colorado’s largest university, CMU serves students on its main campus in Grand Junction, its satellite campus in Montrose, its community college, Western Colorado Community College and via online offerings. Founded in 1925, it’s a dynamic university enrolling more than 11,000 students at the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels.

At the heart of the CMU experience is an integrative and experiential approach to higher education that encourages students to think differently and empowers them to challenge assumptions. CMU brings students together with expert scholars and thinkers from different disciplines to make connections between ideas and gain the skills to solve the unstructured, complex problems they’ll encounter in life. Our focus is on providing quality academic programs, built on a strong liberal arts core that support students’ interests and regional employment needs, as well as technical programs that respond to vocational workforce demands.

The Grand Valley is home to some of the best outdoor recreation in the state of Colorado and you won’t have to fight traffic and crowds to enjoy it. CMU is surrounded by the Grand Mesa, Book Cliffs and the Colorado National Monument. We have world-class mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and rafting. In addition to a mountain resort that’s less than 45 minutes from campus for skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. Living and working in Grand Junction, you will be able to explore one of Colorado’s best kept secrets.

Colorado Mesa University is particularly interested in candidates who have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and who have a demonstrated commitment to improving the levels of access and success for underrepresented students within higher education.

Colorado Mesa University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history. Applicant must be able to verify U.S. employment eligibility. Colorado Mesa University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a culturally diverse faculty, staff and student body. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact the CMU Human Resources Office by phone or email. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed.

Colorado Mesa University

Attn: Human Resources Office

1100 North Avenue

Grand Junction, CO 81501


To apply, visit

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