JacobsenHobart and William Smith Colleges announced today the next person who will serve as the 29th President of Hobart College and the 17th of William Smith College. Joyce P. Jacobsen was named to the role at a ceremony on campus in the L. Thomas Melly ’52 Lobby of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Jacobsen will be the first female president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Jacobsen comes to the colleges after serving for over twenty-five years at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She most recently was the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Her experience includes more than thirty years of teaching, including positions as an endowed Professor and Dean.

Caitlin Lasher, the William Smith student trustee and a member of the HWS Presidential Search Committee, noted, “Dr. Joyce Jacobsen has an unparalleled commitment to the liberal arts, a keen eye for detail, and an obvious dedication to all students, faculty, and staff that she has worked with. I have no doubt that she will guide the Colleges towards success as our new President.”

A graduate of Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University, Dr. Jacobsen is Professor of Economics who has been widely published in the field with her research focusing on the economics of gender. She is a recent past president of the International Association for Feminist Economics. In addition to her academic work, she has also done consulting for think tanks and non-profit organizations including the World Bank and ACLU.

The Herald also spoke with John Isaacson, founder and chair of the search firm Isaacson Miller, who collaborated with the HWS Presidential Search Committee. In a conversation by phone before the announcement, he commended Dr. Jacobsen as “an incredible Provost” and said that she has “the combination of a thoughtful careful listener and decisive intellectual.”

Dr. Jacobsen has been meeting with members of the Hobart and William Smith community during her visit to campus for the announcement. The Herald will have more details on Dr. Jacobsen, the next president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, including full interviews with Mr. Isaacson and Dr. Jacobsen, and extra coverage in its print edition coming out on Friday, February 22.


The Herald

HWS Student Newspaper

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