University of Rochester

Rochester Dean to Lead National Graduate School Organization

December 4, 2007

Bruce Jacobs, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Rochester, has been elected vice president/president-elect of the Association of Graduate Schools (AGS).

He will serve two years for the association––one as vice president and one as president. The association, which addresses doctoral education issues and serves as an advisory body to the Association of American Universities, is made up of graduate school deans from the 62 member universities of the AAU. The AAU is a select group of public and private research universities in the United States and Canada including such schools as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton universities, the University of Michigan, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Jacobs will succeed Martin Cadwallader of the University of Wisconsin. Association presidents before him were Alison Power of Cornell University, Linda Dykstra of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Isaac Colbert of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Eva Pell of The Pennsylvania State University.

Jacobs said one of his goals is to gain further recognition for the association and advance the search for accurate ways to measure the quality of graduate programs. The graduate education community has reached a consensus on some measures––for instance, faculty appointments for graduates are used in several disciplines––but Jacobs said no universal measure, or set of measures, that accurately assess the quality of all graduate programs has been found.

"We need to know how well we are doing relative to other schools," Jacobs said. "Just as important, students considering our doctoral programs should have at least some valid data upon which to base their decisions."

University Provost Ralph Kuncl said the AGS position will further increase the presence Jacobs has perpetuated for the University on a national level.

"Bruce has done an excellent job in promoting the University by his leadership in some very prestigious professional organizations," Kuncl said. "This new post reflects Bruce's commitment to the best in graduate education as well as the respect other foremost universities have for the University of Rochester."

Jacobs, who has already served three years as an at-large member of the AGS Executive Committee, is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools, and of the Board of the Graduate Record Examination.

In addition to his role as dean of graduate studies at the University, Jacobs is professor of political science. He teaches two courses for the Department of Political Science and is an expert on domestic social policy in the areas of aging and poverty. He served as director of graduate admissions for the department from 1986 to 1989.

Jacobs earned his bachelor's degree from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Harvard University. He joined the University faculty in 1973.