Chris Jacobsen joins College as Assistant Dean for Alumni Affairs and Development

man leaning against wooden siding

On Nov. 16, Chris Jacobsen joined the College as assistant dean for Alumni Affairs and Development. 

“We are thrilled to have Chris join our leadership team in the College of Human Ecology,” said Rachel Dunifon, Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College of Human Ecology. “He brings a wealth of higher education fundraising experience, including leading a comprehensive campaign, as well as a depth of knowledge about human development and leadership.”

Jacobsen will also serve as executive director of parent engagement and philanthropy in University Alumni Affairs and Development. He most recently served as executive director of development for Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

It is an honor to join Human Ecology at this exciting time and support the College’s distinct mission to improve human health and well-being.

Chris Jacobsen
Alumni Affairs and Development

In addition to over a decade of experience in alumni affairs and development, Jacobsen has a Bachelor of Science degree from Skidmore College, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from Boston College, focusing on the college experiences and trajectories of rural undergraduates.

“When I interviewed for the position, I had just completed my dissertation, which draws upon Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory,” Jacobsen said, referencing the prominent CHE faculty member whose groundbreaking concept of the ecology of human development led to the interdisciplinary study of human ecology. “I am very interested in the interconnectedness of the multiple layers that influence human health and well-being, and I think that focus is what’s special about this College.”

Jacobsen highlighted the College’s three priorities for the Campaign for Cornell University, which are expanding student affordability, enabling continuous discovery, and powering community engagement.

“Expanding student access and affordability is a particular focus of the campaign,” he said, “As well as raising money for things like summer experiences, helping to recruit and attract the faculty of the future for Human Ecology, investing in teaching and learning innovation, and bringing research into real-world settings to be a leader in engaged learning across campus – to provide students and faculty the resources to do that.”

Jacobsen also noted that the mission of the College of Human Ecology pairs perfectly with the campaign theme: “To do the greatest good.”

“That’s what we’re all about,” he said. “I can find no better alignment with College priorities and University priorities than in Human Ecology.”

Photo at top: Chris Jacobsen joined the College as assistant dean for Alumni Affairs and Development in November 2021. Photo: Darcy Rose for Cornell University