Nov. 20, 2013

Former college President Jakubauskas dies


Edward B. Jakubauskas, who served as president of Geneseo from 1979 to 1988, died Oct. 30. He was 83.

The fourth child of Lithuanian immigrants, he earned a bachelor's and master’s degree and a doctorate degree in economics. Fluent in four languages, Jakubauskas served as a professor and a dean at schools in the Midwest before joining Geneseo in 1979.

At Geneseo, Jakubauskas stressed quality in all educational programs, initiated partnerships between the college and local businesses, and supported the expansion of Geneseo's internship program. In addition, he integrated the Departments of Business and Economics in the School of Business, initiated a program for student microcomputer labs across campus, established the current core curriculum, founded the Honors Program (now the Edgar Fellows Program), and implemented a comprehensive energy management system.

Jakubauskas faced severe state budget cuts as president and in a five-year review of his work stated that the state-mandated closing of the Holcomb Learning Center and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science were the most difficult times in his presidency. One of his responses to the cuts was to encourage the then-Office of Communication and Development, the Geneseo Foundation and the Geneseo Alumni Association to provide support for student scholarships, which organizations continue to do today. He was awarded the Geneseo Foundation's Meritorious Service Award in 1992 for fulfilling his personal mission to "make a good quality institution even better."

After his nine-year presidency at Geneseo, Jakubauskas served as president of Central Michigan University from 1988 to 1991. Following his retirement, he engaged in higher education consulting in the United States and overseas.

"Ed successfully led the college through a difficult period of state funding cuts but through it all still attracted outstanding students, developed strong academic programs and worked to increase private support," said Art Hatton, vice president emeritus of college advancement, who served under Jakubauskas.