Jacobsen to become president of Hobart and Willliam Smith

Our own Joyce Jacobsen, Andrews Professor of Economics and Wesleyan’s provost, will be taking up the presidency of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.  President Michael Roth shared this new with the community moments ago.




Dear friends,


It is with mixed emotions that I share the exciting news that Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce Jacobsen has accepted a position as the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, beginning July 1. Though this is a loss for Wesleyan, and for me, I have to recognize that this is a wonderful opportunity for her. We will miss her very much!

Joyce has contributed to Wesleyan in myriad ways since joining the Economics faculty in 1993. Her exemplary work in the classroom was recognized in 2007 with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. As chair of the Educational Policy Committee, she wrote the proposal to create minors and advocated successfully for its passage. Later, as dean of the social sciences, she reorganized oversight of the University’s archaeological collections to make them more accessible for student research, and worked effectively to bring Wesleyan into NAGPRA compliance. In collaboration with Antonio Gonzalez, she created the Fries Center for Global Studies, and oversaw the renovation of the first two floors of Fisk Hall to house not only Global Studies, but also the new Center for Pedagogical Innovation. As provost and vice president for academic affairs, Joyce managed the development of the new Shapiro Center for Writing location, and helped arrange for the new Resource Center to use the Shapiro Center’s former location. She also worked for two years to bring to fruition the current project of moving the Davison Art Center collections into the old microform rooms in Olin Library, and she has been involved in all stages of the work on the University’s new comprehensive facilities plan. For the last four years, she has made great progress on an assessment program for Academic Affairs.

As a leader of the University, Joyce has touched nearly every aspect of university operations—overseeing the entire academic enterprise at Wesleyan, including Athletics, Institutional Research, and Community Partnerships. She has also been a thoughtful contributor to Student Affairs and Equity and Inclusion, and has helped create fundraising and stewardship plans and collaborated on admission and enrollment strategies.

Joyce will continue to serve through the end of the academic year. In the meantime, we are planning a search for her successor, gathering input from all university constituencies. More information about the search will be forthcoming.

Please join me in congratulating Joyce on this important step in her career.

Michael S. Roth