New president at HWS settling in as first month comes to conclusion

Joyce Jacobsen’s official first day as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges was July 1, but in practicality, she was on the job well before that.

“It’s really ever since I was announced in February and even a little before that that I’ve been working on things related to the Colleges,” Jacobsen said in a recent interview with the Finger Lakes Times in her office at Coxe Hall.

While still fulfilling the many duties related to her job as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., Jacobsen was spending about two hours a day talking with HWS staff by phone and email and even attending HWS events.

It’s nothing she wasn’t expecting.

“Really (the job begins) once you’re announced.” she said. “That’s really true with all new presidents. You start familiarizing yourself with the institutions.”

Then there’s the practical and emotional aspects of leaving an institution, a home and a community where she spent almost half her life.

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