Pursuing his own vision is important to David Jacobsen. If it weren't, he might not have come to UNF 25 years ago. "The uniqueness of having the opportunity to develop an innovative curriculum from the ground up, without being shackled by a variety of traditional restrictions commonly found in established universities," were among Jacobsen's main reasons for coming to UNF. Once he got here, he found more opportunities to be involved.
"Because of UNF's size, I was able to chair just about every major university committee at one time or another, such as faculty affairs, promotion and tenure, nominations and elections, and the UNF Press," he said. "In the larger universities at which I taught, I would have been lucky to chair one. It was one of the real joys to have had that kind of input."
Jacobsen earned a bachelor's of science degree in journalism and a master's in education at the University of Florida. He earned his doctoral degree in education at Arizona State University, where he also taught in their undergraduate foundations program. Prior to accepting a professorship in UNF's Division of Curriculum and Instruction, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Instructional Communications at Auburn University, and was an assistant professor in the Department of Social Science Education at the University of Georgia.
Like many charter faculty and staff members, Jacobsen misses some of what characterized the University's earliest days, particularly the fact that the entire faculty was housed in one building, which he said promoted a sense of collegiality throughout UNF's community. "In some respects, and rightfully so, UNF has evolved into a traditional university," he said, "and obviously, some of the uniqueness of the smaller setting was lost."
Jacobsen credits UNF for facilitating, through a sabbatical and access to the University's resources, the publication of his two most recent texts by Prentice-Hall, Methods for Teaching: Promoting Student Learning 5th edition, of which he is the senior author, and Philosophy in Classroom Teaching: Bridging the Gap, of which he is sole author.
Although Jacobsen formally retired in 1996, he continues to be involved in UNF through the phased retirement program. He resides in Laramie, Wy. with his wife, Lorrie, who graduated with honors from UNF in 1977 and whose teaching career included positions in Orange Park and Jacksonville. Two of his five children, Zachary and Joshua, also live in Wyoming, while Jacobsen's youngest daughter, Britt, is currently a junior at UNF.