On Oct. 21, the Rochester Business Journal published “Jacobsen Installed as President of Hobart and William Smith” to announce the appointment of the 29th president of Hobart and the 18th president of William Smith Joyce Jacobsen. During Jacobsen’s inaugural address, journalist Diana Louise Carter writes that Jacobsen “uses her economics training to debunk the idea that colleges are in trouble.”
Read the full article below.
Jacobsen installed as president of Hobart and William Smith
By: Diana Louise Carter
Joyce P. Jacobsen was officially installed as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Friday, with an outdoor inauguration ceremony.
Jacobsen is the first woman to head either of the two colleges that merged in 1906 to become the coeducational institution. She’s the 29th president of Hobart and the 18th president of William Smith.
In her inaugural speech, Jacobsen used her economics training to debunk the idea that colleges are in trouble, saying: “… the bedrock of the college education has been, and continues to be, the liberal arts and sciences.”
“U.S. higher education has had, and continues to have, a remarkably successful run as a business sector. The survival rate of colleges and universities, and the growth of the sector, stands in strong contrast to the average business history… overall the sector has grown substantially in terms of both number of institutions, average size of institution, number of students served, and market penetration.”
Today’s tough times in higher education are nothing compared to the straits colleges found themselves in before and after the Civil War, Jacobsen said. Hobart at one point was down to eight graduates and so few staff that the college president had to do most of the teaching.
Jacobsen said it was an opportunity of a lifetime to head the colleges, which she described as “Spunky, scrappy colleges that have survived numerous existential threats over their years and nonetheless just keep on keeping on, hustling and marketing and serving the community in which they are embedded. Aspirational colleges that contribute to keeping the light of learning alive, that keep on trying to get better, but that don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, or the good enough become the enemy of the great.”