At the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Insect Division, the college currently funds 2 faculty curators, a collection manager and a graduate student curatorial assistant as hard line items in the budget. Curators are full time faculty in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology but have a 75% teaching "load" compared with 100% for non-curators in the department, so we basically get one term out of four with no teaching. Curatorial duties are of course spread out throughout the year, but that's the college/department way of funding curatorial positions. Curatorial positions are not tied to specific collections like they were when the museum was a separate entity. When I retire at the end of this year, my position will return to the college and there will be only one curator. All EEB faculty hires can be offered curatorial positions if the background and interest of the individual warrants it. Other student assistants are paid from our insect division endowment or from grants.
Hope this helps! - Barry

On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 4:16 PM, Paul Marek <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

This question is mostly directed toward directors/curators of entomological collections at U.S. universities.

If your collection has a permanent position assigned to it (e.g. collections manager, curatorial assistant, technician, undergraduate, GRA—i.e. other than than the director/curator), how do you pay for this position? Is it through extension, soft money, department/college, university?

The Virginia Tech Insect Collection (VTEC, received a NSF CSBR in 2015 that reinvigorated the collection after ~20 years, spurring digitization, staff/student hires, infrastructure improvements, and consequently an increase in loans, data inquiries, research, and usage of the material. The CSBR award is ending this year, and I want to keep the momentum of the natural history collection going. I am therefore in the process of finding support for the VTEC. We have received some private donations, which are great, but they're sporadic and have only started to replenish a small gift account. The collection, after the NSF award ends, would then be only supported by a department-supported phone line and a faculty position (me as curator, but with a 0% appointment to work in the collection).

I recently requested a permanent position for the VTEC from our college dean and department head. They were generally receptive about the idea, but wanted to hear how other universities pay for these positions.

Thank you for any information or advice you have.

Paul Marek

Paul E. Marek
Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech
Price Hall, Rm 216A (MC0319)
170 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
(540) 231-5653
[log in to unmask]
Lab website:
VT Insect Collection:

-So many mites, so little time!

Barry M. OConnor                    
Professor  & Curator             
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan                  phone: 734-763-4354            
1109 Geddes Ave.                          
fax: 734-763-4080
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079          
e-mail: [log in to unmask]