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The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship is awarded biennially. The next awardee will be considered in March 2025.


Nominees must be senior faculty at U-M with the rank of full professor (or professor emeritus). They must have an active appointment when nominated and at the time of delivering the Distinguished Diversity Scholar Lecture. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities, and members of other groups historically underrepresented in academe are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

The award recognizes a senior faculty member who has made important contributions to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion through research, scholarship, and creative endeavors, who has an outstanding record as an educator in teaching and mentoring, and whose work has focused on issues of importance to underrepresented communities.

Number of Awards

One award will be made, with an honorarium of $10,000. It is expected that the recipient will deliver the Distinguished Diversity Scholar lecture/performance to the campus and the wider community in the 2025–2026 academic year.

Source of Nominations

Nominations may be submitted by any member of the University of Michigan.

Selection Process

A committee of distinguished senior faculty from different disciplines and academic units, chaired by the director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the provost and vice provost of the University. The selection of the scholar will be publicly announced in early Fall 2025, which is during the academic year in which the award ceremony and lecture/performance is expected to take place.


A complete nomination must include contact information, curriculum vitae, and a nominating letter.

Curriculum Vitae

Provide the nominee’s current CV.

Nominating Letter

As selection committee members will represent a range of disciplines and may not be familiar with the nominee’s field, the nominating letter should describe the nominee’s contributions to diversity in a way that conveys their significance to those not acquainted with the field. The letter should explain the particular distinctions that make the nominee exceptionally qualified for this honor. The letter may incorporate quotations from former and current students, peers and faculty, and communities impacted by the nominee’s work.

The letter may be no longer than 2,000 words.

Letters should cover the areas below; those that do not will disadvantage the nominee:

  • An assessment of the range and overall importance of the nominee's research, scholarly or creative endeavors and accomplishments in some aspect of diversity so that readers can understand the scope and value of their professional work.
  • Evidence of substantial recognition among peers and scholars for the impact of the research or scholarship.
  • Evidence of outstanding contributions as an educator. This should include prioritizing aspects of education across the nominee’s career, such as engagement in curriculum development and improvement; recognition as an accomplished teacher; engagement with graduate students and junior colleagues to further their scholarship and careers. It might also include teaching and mentoring in community settings such as K-12 schools, community colleges, and non-profit and community organizations.
  • Evidence of extraordinary service to communities that have been impacted by disparities in our society — through research, research application, teaching, mentoring, or public engagement.
  • Attention to activities indicative of the nominee’s breadth of interest and engagement (e.g., interdisciplinary efforts or involvement with public, nonprofit, or entrepreneurial activity) and depth of knowledge in related fields.


For more information, contact the NCID at