Creative Scholar in the Arts Award


Deadline: Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Award: An academic year (fall and winter) release time to engage in creative activity. Program funded at annual maximum of $85,000 (includes salary/benefits), plus additional funds to cover instructional costs that were part of recipient's teaching load.

Overview: The Murray E. Jackson University Creative Scholar in the Arts award is a presidential initiative created with the following objectives:

  • To create an annual award that supports a faculty-artist-in-residence program.
  • To showcase exceptional faculty talent in the traditional performing, creative, and visual arts as well as more non-traditional arts, in pursuit of the university's mission and goals.
  • To cultivate a creative learning community on campus and in the community.
  • To honor the memory of Murray E. Jackson, a valued member of the WSU community.

Purpose: To allow the awarded faculty member an academic year (fall and winter semesters) to engage solely in creative activity and to serve as an artistic and creative resource to the campus.


The recipient of the Murray E. Jackson Scholar in the Arts Award shall meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a full-time Wayne State University faculty member with five or more years of service to the University;
  2. Have an established record of artistic achievement and high-quality work in the traditional performing, literary arts, or visual arts or in new-genre or non-traditional arts. Artist accomplishments in a wide range of media and in all styles will be considered, including but not limited to:
    • Visual Arts — painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, fiber, glass, collage, book arts, film, video, electronic arts, installation and interdisciplinary work combining one or more of these media;
    • Literary Arts — fiction, creative non-fiction, playwriting, poetry, essays and interdisciplinary work combining one or more of these genres;
    • Performing Arts — choreography, dance, music (composing and/or performance in all genres – classical, electronic, jazz, rap, rock, etc.), theatre and performance art, spoken word, and interdisciplinary work engaging one or more of these disciplines;
    • Arts Education — covering any of the above fields.
  3. Show evidence that she/he has professional purposefulness and the potential to grow and advance in his/her artistic career as a result of the Murray E. Jackson Award.


  • Prior to distribution of funds, awardee must attend a mandatory orientation meeting with administrators in the Office of the President to review award expectations.
  • Artist must work "in residence" at Wayne State University throughout the award year to share the creative process through symposia, workshops, lectures, master classes, etc., made available to students, faculty and the broader community once per semester.
  • Artist will present the final artistic product (through performances or displays) to enhance the campus and Midtown neighborhood as a creative environment. The Office of the President can provide limited funding to support this activity.


Nomination: Candidates must submit a nomination packet that includes the following items:

  1. the application cover, including signatures from both the departmental chair and dean;
  2. a statement of the intended creative project;
  3. a letter of support from their departmental chair;
  4. three additional letters of support, two of which must come from references outside of Wayne State University; and
  5. the nominee's CV.

Submission: Completed, digital nomination packets should be forwarded by the dean's office in each school/college. Please forward the complete nomination packet to Allison Guilliom in the Office of the President.

Deadline: Nominations must be received by Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Late or incomplete nominations will not be reviewed. 

Selection: Nominations will be kept confidential among the eight members of the Selection Committee. The Committee will select one awardee per year, and will forward its recommendation to the president for the final decision.


Please contact Presidential Communications Manager Allison Guilliom at or (313) 577-2230 if you have questions about this award.