Walt Jacobs was appointed as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University East Bay on July 1, 2022. Prior to this appointment, he was a university dean for nine years: seven as the Dean of the College of Social Sciences at San José State University (2015-2022), and two as the Founding Dean of the College of Social Sciences & Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (2013-2015). Prior to joining UW-Parkside, he was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for fourteen years, including five years as the Chair of the Department of African American & African Studies (2007-2012). He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (1990), and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington (1995, 1999). He has received department, college, and university awards for undergraduate teaching.
Jacobs is the author of Speaking the Lower Frequencies: Students and Media Literacy (State University of New York Press, 2005), is co-editor (with Jeffrey Di Leo) of If Classrooms Matter: Progressive Visions of Educational Environments (Routledge, 2004), and the author of Ghostbox: A Memoir (iUniverse, 2007). He has published 29 journal articles and book chapters and co-edited a special issue of the journal Symploke. He recently co-edited the book Sparked: George Floyd, Racism, and the Progressive Illusion (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2021) with two San José State University assistant professors, and edited the online series “Wonderful/Wretched Memories of Racial Dynamics in the Twin Cities, Minnesota” (http://z.umn.edu/WWseries).
Jacobs is deeply invested in higher education leadership mentoring and coaching activities. In May 2022 he earned a certification as a Hudson life/executive coach. For six years he was on the Board of Directors for the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), a professional organization for university deans. He served as CCAS president-elect during the 2021-2022 academic year and was scheduled to serve as president in 2022-2023 before leaving the board to become a provost. During the 2016-2017 academic year he co-directed the San José State University Deans’ Leadership Academy, in which faculty explore leadership opportunities, informal as well as formal.
From 2013 to 2019 Jacobs maintained a blog about leading a social science college (http://thesocietypages.org/newdean/). He occasionally tweets as @wrjacobs.
Jacobs is a fan of college women’s basketball and college men’s football. Another of his non-academic passions is science fiction movies and television. He has hosted informal discussions of The X‑Files, and currently encourages everyone he meets to watch The Expanse.
Jacobs’ CliftonStrengths talent themes: Strategic | Maximizer | Achiever | Relator | Learner.
Office of Academic Affairs Staff
Provost and Vice President
Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
Associate Provost for Academic Resources & Planning
Faculty Immigration Advisor/Recruitment Specialist
Faculty Affairs Executive Assistant
Assistant to Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs