Jackie Lawson Memorial Faculty Governance Award

This Memorial Award honors Jackie Lawson, a professor of English and Communications at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1985 to 2000. Jackie Lawson was deeply committed to faculty governance and to strengthening the relationships among the University’s three campuses. At the time of her death, Jackie was serving as Chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, the first faculty member from one of the regional campuses elected to that position. Her service both in Ann Arbor and at Dearborn was extensive and exemplary. She was elected to two terms as one of UM-Dearborn’s representatives to the University’s Senate Assembly in Ann Arbor, in 1992-94 and 1998-2000, and from 1995 to 1998 she was a member of the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, and actively participated in the development of the “Principles of Faculty Involvement in Institutional and Academic Unit Governance at the University of Michigan.” At Dearborn, in addition to participating in numerous departmental, unit, and campus-wide committees, she was elected three times to the Faculty Senate and its predecessor, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Academic Affairs. Jackie served as Chair of the Dearborn Senate and its executive body, the Faculty Senate Council, in 1995-96, and as Vice-Chair in 1994. In recognition of her dedication to the University and to the principles of faculty governance, the University posthumously presented to Jackie its Distinguished Faculty Governance Award in 2001.

Eligibility: Any faculty member of the University of Michigan.

Award: The recipient will be awarded $1,500 at the annual University Faculty Awards event.

Selection Criteria: Exceptional distinction reflected in faculty governance service to the entire University that reaches beyond the local campus confines of Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint. Recipients will have made a significant contribution to faculty governance on their home campus (typically UM-Dearborn or UM-Flint) and at a University-wide level involving at least one of the other University of Michigan campuses. The recipient must have excelled in building a positive relationship between the Ann Arbor campus and one or both regional campuses, as exemplified by Jackie Lawson’s career.

Frequency of Award: The award shall be presented in those years when an exceptional candidate is identified.

Please submit nomination materials with the faculty awards nomination form. The deadline for the 2024 award cycle is May 3, 2024.

  • A nomination letter outlining the faculty member’s work and contributions on at least two of the three campuses. (Required)
  • Nominee’s CV (Required)
  • Supporting statements (optional)

Note: Nominees are eligible for three years: the current year and, if not selected, they will also be automatically included in the pool of candidates for the next two award cycles.


Note: There was not a 2023 awardee.

J. Caitlin Finlayson - 2022 Award Recipient

Professor of English literature, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, UM-Dearborn

Finlayson is a highly respected scholar, collaborator and academic. While serving as vice chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs from 2020-22, Finlayson focused on strengthening relationships among the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. Her dedication to bringing transparency to faculty governance and to building an equitable, just and sustainable university community has been invaluable. Most recently, Finlayson worked collaboratively to address many of the challenges all three campuses have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her main areas of focus were the pandemic’s impact on junior faculty and parenting faculty, as well as ensuring that the vaccine mandate applied equitably across all three campuses. A member of the UM-Dearborn faculty since 2007, Finlayson served as a representative for the Dearborn campus on the Senate Assembly from 2017-20. She has also contributed to a variety of Senate Assembly committees, including the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee and Committee on Oversight of Administrative Action, among others. Finlayson authored the Resolution on Flint’s Faculty Workload Policy, approved by SACUA and the Senate Assembly, as part of an effort to support Flint faculty in their immediate concerns about the proposed post-tenure review process.

The 2022 awardee information (above) was provided by the Office of University Development, as published in a University Record article.

Previous Jackie Lawson Memorial Award Recipients

2022 — J. Caitlin Finlayson, UM-Dearborn, English Literature

2019 — Sarah Lippert, UM-Flint, Art History

2017 — John S. Ellis, UM-Flint, History

2012 — Thomas Wrobel, UM-Flint, Psychology

2011 — Robert Fraser, U-M Dearborn, Mardigian Library

2009 — Daniel E. Moerman, UM-Dearborn, CASL, Anthropology

2006 — Paulette Cebulski, UM-Flint, School of Health Professions and Studies

2004 — Richard A. Gull, UM-Flint, CAS, Philosophy

2003 — Donald J. Bord, UM-Dearborn, CASL, Natural Sciences