Wayne State University

Jerry Herron, Dean, Irvin D. Reid Honors College

Jerry Herron is the founding dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University. He led WSU's Honors Program from 2002 until it was elevated to College status in 2008. Under his leadership, Honors significantly enhanced its student enrollment profile and selectivity and strengthened the Honors curriculum, which now includes a first-year common intellectual experience.

Herron, a professor of English and American Studies, has been a resident of downtown Detroit for more than 25 years. As someone who is deeply committed to Detroit, he focused the Honors first-year course on his diverse metropolitan home and created a cultural passport program that allows first-year students to immerse themselves in Detroit's culture, arts, and attractions.

Herron was born in Abilene, Texas, and received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and his MA and PhD from Indiana University. A gifted scholar and teacher, his publications include two books, Universities and the Myth of Cultural Decline, and AfterCulture:  Detroit and the Humiliation of History.  His essays and critical articles have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Raritan, Social Text, Representations, Georgia Review, Antioch Review, and Harper’s.  He has also written for the London Times Higher Education Supplement, The Detroit News, Hour Detroit, the MetroTimes, and Playboy.  He is currently finishing a book about Americans’ sense of the past:  Not From Detroit:  An All-Purpose Guide to American Forgetting.

Herron has twice received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching from Wayne State. He also received the Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. Prior to being named director of the Honors Program in 2002, he was associate chair in the Department of English and director of the university's American Studies Program.