Appointment: Dean of the College of Social Sciences

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Walter R. Jacobs as dean of SJSU’s College of Social Sciences, effective July 6, 2015.

Dr. Jacobs comes to us from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he served as founding dean of the College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies and held a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Prior to that, he served for 14 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, including a five-year stint (2007 – 2012) as chair of the department of African American and African Studies.

Dr. Jacobs pursued an eclectic academic path, receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Indiana University.

Beyond his academic and administrative credentials, Dr. Jacobs brings to SJSU a passion for teaching, having received multiple awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He is an active and accomplished scholar, having written or edited numerous texts and authored a personal memoir about “sociological ghosts.” (He has also actively blogged on the life of a new academic dean, as you will note in his digital profile.)

During the search process, Dr. Jacobs demonstrated uncommon sensitivity to the importance of collaborative decision-making and an exceptional focus on serving students. As he wrote in his introductory letter to the search committee, “I encourage faculty and staff to put students first; our discussions and unit strategies are based on what is best for student welfare and learning outcomes.”

I am confident that the students, faculty and staff members, alumni and supporters of our College of Social Sciences will find Dr. Jacobs to be a very able, energetic and inclusive leader. Please join me in welcoming him to San José State.

Andy Feinstein
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs