Topic: Teachers College

May 15, 2009

John E. Jacobson has been named the new dean of Teachers College at Ball State University. Provost Terry King announced the culmination of the university's search for a new dean to succeed Roy Weaver in a message to the faculty May 15.

Jacobson currently is dean of the James I. Perkins College of Education at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he has served since 2003.

An accomplished scholar and researcher, Jacobson has extensive experience in higher education, having also previously served in a variety of roles at Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Arlington and The University of Missouri-Kansas City, King noted.

Prior to his career in higher education, Jacobson was an elementary school teacher and principal at Sage Creek and Westside schools in Spanish Fork, Utah, from 1975-90.

"Dr. Jacobson brings a broad education perspective and understanding of how Teachers College can fit into a national context," said King, adding "he has the credentials and skills for advancing the goals of the university's strategic plan. We are eager to welcome him to campus."

Jacobson earned his bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degrees at Brigham Young University. He is a reading specialist by training and has published frequently on the topic, focusing particularly on elementary school students.

King said that Jacobson earns wide praise from colleagues for his leadership and is noted especially for his high-quality accreditation practices — as evidenced by consistently superior marks from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) at both Stephen F. Austin and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he was associate dean of the School of Education from 2000 to 2003.

"I appreciate the trust that the faculty and staff of Teachers College has placed in me by selecting me to be their next dean," said Jacobson, who also acknowledged "the great work of Dean Weaver, the associate deans, department chairs and other college leadership in creating outstanding programs for the preparation of professional educators and human service providers that are innovative, significant and meaningful."

"As we face challenges of economic issues, changing demographics and other factors that affect our work in higher education, it will take the kind of thinking, determination and action that the folks at Ball State are all about. I am pleased to see the collaboration that faculty and staff have with the community, both locally and statewide, and the emphasis being placed at growing our presence, prominence and influence nationally and internationally."

Jacobson succeeds longtime Teachers College Dean Roy Weaver, a Ball State alumnus who returned to his alma mater in 1980 and was tapped as dean of the college in 1993. During his tenure, which King characterized as "superb," the college established the Indiana Academy for Science, Math, and Humanities and further developed Burris Laboratory School, which in 2007 received Blue Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Department of Education and was named among the nation's best high schools by U.S. News and World Report.

The university's successful Electronic Field Trip (EFT) program that has transported millions of schoolchildren worldwide to historic places and scenic wonders through Web-based lessons and live, interactive television broadcasts, also is Weaver's brainchild, King pointed out. So, too, is the requirement — a first on campus — that every student in the college have a laptop computer.

Other students at Ball State who now must submit an e-portfolio of their creative work in order to complete their degree requirements also can thank Weaver, King said.

"Roy is quick to credit others with the successes in Teacher's College while he has been at the helm," he added. "But I am certain the college would not have the reputation for excellence it enjoys today without Roy's dedication and guidance. The university is indebted to him for his service."

King was happy to report, too, that although he is retiring as dean effective June 30, Weaver will remain a member of the TC faculty in the Department of Educational Studies.