Joyce Jacobsen, formerly Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives, has accepted an appointment as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Former Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives Joyce Jacobsen has accepted an appointment as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs through June of 2019, according to an all-campus email sent from University President Michael Roth on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Jacobson earned an A.B. in economics from Harvard/Radcliffe College; an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics; and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. She began working at the University in 1993 as an Assistant Professor of Economics. After 10 years of serving in this position, Jacobsen became the Andrews Professor of Economics. Prior to accepting this new position, she served as the Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives.

Jacobsen spoke to The Argus about the role of Provost on campus and how she plans to approach the position.

“I have no plans to change the position at this time, although Academic Affairs will as usual support new initiatives going forward as well as continue implementation of our current ones, such as continuing to develop the new Centers for Global Studies and Pedagogical Innovation,” Jacobsen said.

According to an interview with WesConnect in Jan. 2015, Jacobsen has completed many research projects, both with undergraduate students and with colleagues—some from the University and others with faculty members from other universities.

“I’m also under contract to write a book on feminist economics, which is a fairly new subfield of economics that I have been involved with since its inception,” Joyce said to WesConnect. “The book is really tackling the question of what defines feminist economics, a question that I have been puzzling over for this whole time. Now that I am mid-career, I can do these more retrospective projects; when you start out in economics you tend to do more narrow, technical projects that are often more technique-driven because you don’t feel like you can speak authoritatively yet about very large topics. I also do more interdisciplinary work now rather than sticking strictly to economics.”

Her research focuses on labor markets and on issues of gender equity, and she is considered a scholar of gender and employment. Her various works, including her involvement with several books, journal articles, reviews, and essays have earned her prizes in teaching.

“Her outstanding contributions as an inspiring teacher-scholar were recognized with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2007,” the email to the community reads.

Previous recipients of this award in 2015 were Professor of Chemistry Michael Calter, Professor of Art David Schorr, and Associate Professor of Anthropology Gina Athena Ulysse.

This summer, former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ruth Weissman stepped down from the position after only two years and returned to her role as Walter A. Crowell University Professor of the Social Sciences.

Roth concluded his email to the community with a call to commend Jacobsen on her continued service to the University.

“I have enjoyed working with Joyce in her capacity as interim Provost and VPAA, and I look forward to the many contributions she will make in years to come,” the email reads. “Please join me in congratulating Joyce and thanking her for serving Wesleyan so well.”

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