W. A. (Will) Jacobs is Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science in the University of Alaska Anchorage. He was born in Greenville, South Carolina and raised in rural Wisconsin. Educated at Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire (B.S. 1966) and the University of Oregon (M.A. 1968, Ph.D. 1972), he taught briefly at WSU-Eau Claire, Earlham College, and Oregon before his appointment as Assistant Professor of History in the Senior College of the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1973. He did post doctoral study in the King’s College, University of London Department of War Studies in 1979-80.
Jacobs served in the UAA History Department until 1989, then in Political Science for a further ten years. After leading UAA’s reaccreditation effort in 1999-2000, he was appointed Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in 2001. He retired in 2002, owing to illness. After retirement, he returned to work on a part-time basis in the Office of Academic Affairs, occasionally returning to the classroom.
Over the course of nearly forty years of service to UAA in its several iterations, Jacobs taught modern European and Economic History, International Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, the History of Warfare, and the History of the Second World War. His published research has focused on American and British tactical and strategic air operations in that conflict. He began this short introductory history of UAA in 2004 as part of the effort that resulted in the UAA History Wall, now mounted on the third floor wall of the UAA/APU Consortium Library.
Jacobs returned to the Midwest in 2013 and now lives with his wife, Mina, in Saint Paul, Minnesota to be closer to family and the Green Bay Packers.