12 August 2022 Gearan and Jacobsen on Connections with Evan Dawson

On WXXI’s Connections with Evan Dawson, President Mark D. Gearan and former President Joyce P. Jacobsen discuss the recent leadership change and what’s ahead for HWS and for higher ed more broadly.

This month, following the resignation of Joyce P. Jacobsen and the appointment of Mark D. Gearan L.H.D. ’17, P’21 as president of Hobart and William Smith, the two leaders joined Connections with Evan Dawson for an hour-long conversation about their vision for Hobart and William Smith and the state of higher education. The discussion covered everything from the economic and curricular challenges facing colleges and universities to Jacobsen’s role as Professor of Economics at HWS. 

Listen here.

In July 2022, Gearan was named the 30th president of Hobart and the 19th of William Smith. He previously served as president of HWS from 1999-2017, during which time the Colleges’ endowment doubled as he oversaw a capital campaign that raised $205 million to support facilities and annual giving, established 168 new scholarships, and completed 80 significant capital projects. During his first presidency, Gearan made substantial commitments to diversity and inclusion, propelled the Colleges’ environmental efforts, and grew programming in career services, civic engagement, leadership, student services and study abroad. After leaving Hobart and William Smith in 2017, Gearan served as President in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and in 2018 was appointed Director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. Gearan is known nationally for his work in higher education and national service, including his tenure as the 14th Director of the Peace Corps and more recently as Vice Chair of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service created by the U.S. Congress. Read more.

Between 2019 and 2022, Joyce P. Jacobsen served as the 29th president of Hobart College and the 18th of William Smith College. She is the first woman to serve as president of HWS. During her tenure, Jacobsen oversaw the three largest fundraising years in the Colleges’ history, developed a strategic vision and a plan of work to make that vision a reality, and successfully navigated the pandemic, allowing the Colleges to remain open for in-person instruction. With a deep understanding of the complexities of higher education infrastructure and finances, she balanced the budget and created a sustainable model for operations moving forward. Previously the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wesleyan University, Jacobsen is a renowned scholar of economics, an award-winning teacher and a skilled administrator with more than three decades of experience taking on increasingly complex roles in higher education. An expert on labor economics, particularly the economics of gender, she joined the HWS economics department as a professor following her resignation. Read more.