WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Dr. Joyce Jacobsen begins as HWS President

Jul 2, 2019

Joyce Jacobsen’s tenure as the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges began Monday morning. She comes to HWS from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she was Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Jacobsen is an economist with degrees from Harvard, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University. And, so I asked her why an interest in administration rather than a life spent on research and in the classroom.

HWS President Dr. Joyce Jacobsen
Credit Hobart and William Smith Colleges


Jacobsen arrives at HWS at a challenging time for higher education. Increasing student debt has called into question the financial viability of higher education for many Americans. That has an impact on schools’ ability to recruit and retain students. Jacobsen says we are experiencing a shakeout in higher education that is largely driven by changing demographics.



Summers are quiet on the HWS campus with the majority of the students and faculty away. I asked President Jacobsen how she would be looking to the campus community and the Geneva community as a whole to help her settle into and succeed in her new role.



Part of Jacbosen’s effort to get to know HWS and Geneva is a new podcast called the Pulteney St. Podcast, which features interviews with members of the campus community, HWS alumni, and people from Geneva and the Finger Lakes. President Jacobsen will also be our guest on Connections with Evan Dawson Wednesday from Noon to 1.