Walt Jacobs

SJSU Appoints College of Social Sciences Dean

Walter R. Jacobs

Walter R. Jacobs (photo by Don Lintner/UW-Parkside)

Media contact: Pat Harris, Media Relations, 408-924-1748

Walter R. Jacobs has been appointed dean of the College of Social Sciences, effective July 6.

Jacobs comes to SJSU 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.

“During the search process, Dr. Jacobs demonstrated uncommon sensitivity to the importance of collaborative decision-making and an exceptional focus on serving students,” said SJSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Hale Feinstein.

Academic credentials

Jacobs previously 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.

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,” he wrote in his introductory letter to the search committee.

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.

Awards, publications

Beyond his academic and administrative credentials, 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.”

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.