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NAGPRA Repatriation Manager

Apply now Posting #: 4630
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, Ctr for Inclusion & Diversity

Position Title & Department:

 NAGPRA Repatriation Manager; Center for Inclusion and Diversity
Posting #


Department Description: The Center for Inclusion and Diversity is committed to advancing pluralism, equity, and mutuality at the University of San Diego in the broadest sense by providing the catalyst, collaboration, and accountability necessary to cultivate and sustain a diverse and inclusive university community. 
University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The Manager works to advance initiatives of a culturally responsive and informed campus.  Serves to ensure USD’s compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) federal regulations and CalNAGPRA’s state regulations. Manages inventory and repatriation of Native American artifacts and ancestors and works to implement and strengthen USD’s NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA informed Policy 2.12 - Policy on Repatriation of Cultural Heritage Materials.

Duties and Responsibilities:

NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA Compliance:

  • Serve as the USD NAGPRA official contact to meet all federal and state policy requirements.
  • Serve as the chair of the USD Repatriation Committee (ex officio, non-voting member).
  • In consultation with the university Repatriation Committee, responsible for developing, implementing, and updating USD’s NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA procedures in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations and the guiding principles and directives of USD Policy 2.12 - Policy on Repatriation of Cultural Heritage Materials.
  • Implement, review, and refine the USD NAGPRA informed Policy 2.12 and accompanying internal practice(s), including convening appropriate advisory boards or commissions, as necessary, that ensure adherence and compliance.
  • Demonstrate and enhance USD’s commitment to culturally-responsive and informed NAGPRA policy & practices by professional practice, attendance AND presentation at conferences and workshops, service on advisory panels, and holding office or performing relevant committee assignments in affiliated professional and/or community organizations.
  • Evaluate/Monitor the needs of permanent and sustainable space for NAGPRA and/or cultural related resources and collections.
  • Maintain regular communication and attend required meetings to provide updates of developing work and progress, including formal working groups or officials that may include but are not limited to; USD’s NAGPRA task force/committee, Legal Counsel/Advisor and appropriate administration.
  • Manage claims involving repatriation and other appropriate disposition.
  • Engage, as necessary, the assistance of appropriate subject matter experts, identified in consultation with potentially affiliated Tribe(s).
  • Serve as liaison between the University, tribal nations, the National NAGPRA program and other federal and state agencies and/or county officials.
  • Collaborate to convene tribal community partners to regularly inform, provide updates and provide a direct line of communication for NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA related items.
  • Responsible for communicating with required entities to ensure USD complies with NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA legislation.
  • Manage inventories for collections of ancestral human remains and NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA-eligible objects in USD collections; reviews and compiles cultural affiliation documents and prepares Federal notices and communications.
  • Write summaries and cultural affiliation reports and “Notices of Inventory Completion” and “Notices of Intent to Repatriate” for compliance with NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA inquiries seeking information about USD collections with Native American remains and cultural objects determined in federal and state regulations.

Tribal Consultation Facilitator-Agent for USD collections/inventory:

  • Seek out and foster relationships, establishing direct lines of communication with designated Tribal Representatives, such as tribal historic preservation officers (THPOs), Cultural Preservation Offices (CPO), Cultural Advisory Boards (CABS) cultural directors, elders councils, preservation or culture committees, and/or other named respective designees to coordinate tribal access to as well as repatriation and disposition of human ancestral remains and cultural items and archaeological collections in USD’s collection or otherwise by shared collections.
  • Manage and maintain remaining collections under USD’s stewardship and work with descent communities to ensure access and inclusion.
  • Collaborate with and seek input from tribal nations or tribally designated officials to develop culturally-responsive procedures of intake, curating and care for Native American remains, cultural objects and artifacts. This includes guidance to offer timely access for appropriate ceremony of affected tribes to be included in collection audits (also considered in receiving or using/disturbing cultural remains and/or artifacts).
  • Responsible for the oversight, coordination, and compliance of requests for land-based historical-sacred sites and/or archaeological sites that are the property of USD.
  • Represent USD in matters of NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA at regular meetings or requests with tribal government officials and representatives to coordinate compliance, listen to identify tribal concerns, and negotiate culturally responsive resolution(s).
  • Work with USD’s Legal Counsel on MOUs for non-NAGPRA repatriation.

Advancing Initiatives of a Culturally-Responsive and Informed Campus

  • Ensure the Provost’s Office, Museum Collections Department, CID-OTL are updated on NAGPRA priorities, progress, campus or community programming and collaborative opportunities to ensure timely notice, reporting, and support for collective efforts.
  • Communicate regularly and work in collaboration with the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID) and the Office of the Tribal Liaison (OTL) to advance NAGPRA initiatives through established campus and community partners and opportunities. This includes, but is not limited to networking, programming, resource development, and joint efforts.
  • Actively participate in regular office meetings, varying campus committees and events, state/county or campus partner professional meetings.
  • Seek resources and stay informed of current trends, data, research and reports that inform and aid in analyzing progress/programming.
  • Support the development and implementation of opportunities to work with diverse and unique populations on and off campus to inform culturally-responsive programming and practices informed by NAGPRA policy and tribal relations.
  • Support daily incoming information and requests to respond in a timely manner, including developing an awareness to appropriately direct students and visitors to appropriate resources.
  • Attend campus events that support and align with NAGPRA priorities and initiatives.
  • Maintain cooperative relationships with campus & external partners.
  • Participate in identifying, promoting and coordinating outreach opportunities and/or activities that inform culturally-responsive and informed research pedagogy and educational frameworks that reflect and emphasize California Native Peoples and Native-Indigenous peoples of the world to advance NAGPRA priorities and initiatives.
  • Develop university-wide NAGPRA related professional development programs and initiatives.
  • Develop Diversity metrics, dashboards and reports to demonstrate the progress and impact of NAGPRA work and activities.
  • Stay up to date on NAGPRA related issues, legislation, and best practices.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.
  • When available, be present for activities of the Provost’s Office and CID-OTL to collaborate in the initiatives of NAGPRA in supporting culturally-responsive campus practices.
  • Make time to intake, educate and provide counsel to guide current and prospective students to appropriate campus resources.

Financial and Operational Capacity:                                                                                  

  • Develop and administer general budget for activities and track related expenses to support professional responsibilities, including necessary resources and materials for compliance and productivity.
  • Develop strategic priorities of the role and submit grant proposals and funding requests to support NAGPRA activities.
  • Identify year-round collaborators to build capacity to widely implement strategic priorities.
  • Establish working priorities and supervise employees if/when assigned (including but not limited to graduate-undergraduate assistants or work study).

Special Conditions of Employment:

Significant time and travel will be required to meet the needs of tribal consultations related to NAGPRA proceedings.

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.  For more regarding information USD's COVID-19 protocols, please visit sandiego.edu/onward.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Anthropology, Museum Studies, American Indian Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, or related field that provided experience with cultural collections management and collaborating with tribal nations on repatriation plans; OR,
  • Bachelor’s degree and four years equivalent experience working with American Indian tribes to repatriate NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA eligible or other related items of cultural significance, or working with communities of descent and caring for culturally significant objects; and/or equivalent training, education or experience with traditional Tribal Elders, Tribal Cultural Departments and Historians, Cultural Preservation Offices, Cultural Advisory Boards, or Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in Anthropology, Museum Studies, American Indian Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, or related field with specialized practice involving relationships and substantive consultation with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers or other named/designated tribal representatives.
  • Candidate with experience working with local California tribes and/or tribal nations at large in the capacity of the work required.
  • At least 2-3 years of experience working with institutions or tribal nations on collections-related ethical and legal commitments, including but not limited to NAGPRA, CalNAGPRA, and 36 C.F.R. § 79, “Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections.”
  • Experience working with collections management (or other related cultural heritage field) on projects that are informed and/or designed by Native-Indigenous perspectives.

Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Experience working with archaeological methods, archaeological collections, and culturally sensitive artifacts, including experience handling ancestral remains, funerary objects and other cultural objects.
  • Knowledge and deep understanding of the tribes in California, especially tribes within San Diego County, and/or with tribes affiliated with different categories i.e. coastal, plains, northern plains, basin, etc.
  • Working knowledge and understanding of higher education initiatives and opportunities that support equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Tactful, discretionary, and diplomatic verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational management skills.
  • A strong ability to demonstrate principles of government-to-government consultation with tribal sovereignty that impact the University in conducting tribal consultation to repatriation.
  • Ability to create inventories and adhere to unique tribal requests regarding the care and storage of specific artifacts. This includes, to the best of our ability, culturally respectful and appropriate guidelines issued by tribal nations and/or their official designees of record.
  • Demonstrated experience establishing meaningful partnerships in the work of NAGPRA, with a passion for creating educational opportunities through cross-campus collaboration and external networks.
  • In-depth understanding of NAGPRA, CalNAGPRA, and consultation practices and processes, as well as the ability to build and maintain positive working relationships with Tribes.
  • Demonstrated experience with collaborative initiatives and the ability to effectively communicate with a diverse range of stakeholders from University leadership, programs/departments, campus partners, and students to tribal leaders, cultural preservations boards/officers, committees and community members.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead tribal consultation in compliance with federal-state law and university policy inclusive of, but not limited to, state recognized Tribal Nations and non-state, local, and federally recognized Tribal Nations, largely identified/defined as Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander.
  • Ability to handle highly sensitive and confidential issues that require independent consideration, strict discretion, and confidentiality
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and direct experience with: (a) tribal consultation practices and processes, b) building and initiating positive working relationships with tribes and tribal citizens; and (c) NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA


  • Strong skills in program and project management, facilitation and collaboration. Ability to effectively represent and coordinate organizational strategy and administrative initiatives with campus senior level management, Office of the Provost/Sr. Vice President, campus partners, and external contacts
  • Experience with programmatic agreements
  • Skill and experience to evaluate, acquire and utilize cataloging software necessary for managing NAGPRA collections
  • Knowledge of North American Archaeology, Indigenous Archaeology, and related ‘Curation Crisis’ History and Repatriation
Posting Salary:

$5,535 - $6,250 per month; Excellent Benefits

This is a continuing nine-month position. A nine-month appointment would run from September through May. 
The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position.  Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions:
Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu

Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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Notice of Availability: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at www.sandiego.edu/safety/documents/annualreport.pdf. This report is published by October 1st of each year and includes current institutional policies and procedures concerning campus safety and security; fire safety and evacuation policies; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response stands and protocols; and crime and fire statistics for the three previous calendar years. To request a paper copy, please contact the Clery Act Compliance Manager via email at clery@sandiego.edu, by calling (619) 260-4768, or in-person in the Hughes Administration Center, room 150.