GENESEO, N.Y. – Edward B. Jakubauskas, who served as president of SUNY Geneseo from 1979-88, died Oct. 30 at the age of 83 in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his family at his bedside.
Jakubauskas was born in Waterbury, Conn., the fourth child of Lithuanian immigrants. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut and his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. While there, he learned Russian, his fourth language, along with English, Lithuanian and German. He began his academic career at Iowa State University, where he rose quickly to the rank of full professor. Before coming to Geneseo, he served as dean of the College of Commerce and Industry and subsequently vice president for academic affairs at the University of Wyoming.
At Geneseo, Jakubauskas stressed quality in all of the college's 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 put into place a comprehensive Energy Management System.
"I know the entire college community joins me in expressing condolences to President Jakubauskas' family and many friends," wrote Christopher C. Dahl, SUNY Geneseo President Emeritus in a message to the campus. "Ed was a quiet and unassuming man who led the college forward in a crucial era. His late wife, Ruth, and their children were much beloved members of our community. We mourn their passing and are grateful for their presence among us."
With the passing of Jakubauskas, Dahl and Carol C. Harter remain the only two surviving presidents of the college.
After his nine-year presidency at Geneseo, Jakubauskas served as president of Central Michigan University from 1988-91. Following his retirement from CMU, he engaged in higher education consulting in the U.S. and overseas. He also was highly active on several boards and in a variety of community activities in Fort Collins, where he made his home with Ruth, who passed away in 2011.
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."
"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.
He is survived by his children: Caroline Marwitz (Curtis); Marilyn Edwards (Bob); Mark (Sara Taliaferro); and Eric (Kelsey); his grandchildren: Adam (Katie), Benjamin (Sarah), and Alex Marwitz; Ashlee and Jack Edwards; Allison and Cecelia Jakubauskas; Christian, Ana, Eve, Zachary, and Asen Jakubauskas; and great-grandchildren: Annabelle and Micah Marwitz; and by his sister, Ann Anastasio and her husband, George.
Media Relations Manager