Job Opportunity: Planetarium Director at Staerkel Planetarium

Parkland College, a fully accredited, public community college established to serve the needs of the third largest community college district in Illinois, is hiring for Fall 2019 a Planetarium Director for their William M. Staerkel Planetarium.

Planetarium Director Functions

  • Work with college faculty and staff to enrich college coursework and programming with planetarium resources and to ensure the smooth operation of the planetarium facilities as an academic lab and community venue.
  • Approve all event scheduling in the Planetarium according to college and departmental policy; provide programing for local school districts as well as after-school weekend, evening, and summer events.
  • Schedule and present planetarium programs for college classes, schools, groups and the public in order to promote scientific literacy in the community.
  • In conjunction with other department faculty, monitor work of students, provide advice and guidance, and ensure students have maximum educational opportunities.
  • Work with Natural Sciences Department Chair, Division Dean, and staff to determine goals, objectives and budgets.
  • Generate attendance and/or revenue through bookings and rentals to foster outreach and fiscal solvency of the facility.  
  • Propose rate sheets, standard contracts and other templates as necessary to FAA Department Chair and Division Dean.
  • Partner with the Operations Manager to track revenue and expenditures, scheduling and staffing needs.
  • Recommend budget items needed by the planetarium, work with the department or division office to order and purchase all supplies, and other materials needed for planetarium productions.
  • Use independent professional judgement to evaluate and maintain the equipment needed for the planetarium. 
  • Report needed maintenance, repairs and improvements to Physical Plant and Natural Sciences Department Chair to ensure that the planetarium is maintained in an orderly, clean, sanitary and safe condition.
  • Act as primary facility contact for Public Safety and ensure officers are aware of activities in the planetarium as needed.
  • Respond to issues and concerns regarding planetarium venue and programs; provide public information and answer astronomy related science and space technology questions; act as media liaison when needed.
  • Work with Division staff to plan, implement marketing and promotional strategies for the venue, including providing content for website, social media, press releases and publications as needed.
  • Maintain inventories of College-owned equipment, productions, and programming.
  • Monitor adherence to safety codes, budget constraints, and departmental policies.
  • Stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field.
  • Serve as supervisor for Planetarium staff, identifying lines of communication; act as the venue's community, K-12 and transfer institution liaison. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree in Astronomy, Physics or a related field including 18 graduate semester hours in astronomy or physics. Degree must be conferred by May 31, 2019.
  • Two (2) years experience teaching Astronomy or Physics courses at the college level.
  • Two (2) years experience supporting a planetarium or comparable environment that includes customer services.
  • Knowledge of planetarium practices and operations management.   
  • Strong technical knowledge of astronomy and planetarium equipment including fulldome digital projection systems.
  • Pass a background check which includes an employment history and criminal history check with finger printing.
  • Ability to professionally engage in positive working relationships with members of the Parkland College community and members of the public.
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation, organizational, leadership and supervision skills.
  • Verbal and written abilities sufficient to prepare proposals, effective communication with diverse populations, and perform other duties.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects in a fast pace environment, and to work independently and as part of a team. 
  • Functional ability in Microsoft Office Suite applications and database management, and the ability to learn Parkland information systems and new programs as technology changes. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Continuing education or courses in Astronomy, Physics, venue management, or a related field.
  • Community College teaching experience.
  • Three (3) years planetarium experience in a director capacity.
  • Past supervisory experience.
  • Active participation in professional, state, and national organizations.

You can learn more and apply at website.

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