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; strengthened the Honors curriculum, which includes a first-year common classroom experience; initiated an Honors transfer initiative to recruit high-performing students who begin their post-secondary education at community colleges. Honors is also home to CommunityEngagement@Wayne, which provides faculty with the tools necessary to strengthen their course content; students with the opportunity to give back and apply classroom theories in a hands-on way; and community organizations with the chance to receive assistance from some of Wayne State’s most dedicated students.
Herron, a professor of English, has been resident of downtown Detroit for over 30 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 PhD and MA from Indiana University and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. 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, Detroit News, Hour Detroit, and the MetroTimes.
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. He currently serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council Publication Board and is also chair of the Wayne State University Press Editorial Board.