Donald Jacobs was a member of the Kellogg School faculty from 1957 to 2017, and was Dean from 1975 until 2001. He was named the Gaylord Freeman Professor of Banking in 1979. From 1960 to 1975, he was Director of the School’s Banking Research Center, and Chairman of the Department of Finance from 1969 to 1975.
Dean Jacobs’ research interests included banking, capital markets, monetary policy, corporate finance, and international finance. His work has been published in many scholarly journals, and he was an author of Financial Institutions and served as editor of Regulating Business: The Search for an Optimum. He taught corporate governance and issues of risk in business at the master’s level at the Kellogg School as well as corporate governance and financial topics for the School’s executive education programs at the James L. Allen Center.
He was awarded honorary degrees from Tulane University (Doctor of Law), Roosevelt University (Doctor of Humane Letters), Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand (Doctor of Business Administration), the Koblenz School of Corporate Management, Germany (Doctor of Economics), Lake Forest College (Doctor of Laws), University of Paris-Dauphine (Doctor Honoris Causa), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Doctor of Business Administration), Tel Aviv University, Israel, Nijenrode University, Netherlands and Flanders School of Business in Belgium. In 1980, he was named Officier of the Association Des Membres De L’Ordre Des Academiques (France). In 1999 he was appointed a knight commander of Thailand's Most Admirable Order of Direk-Gu-Na-Bhorn. In 2003 he was named an Officer of the Kroon Order by the King of Belgium.
From 1990 to 1992, Dean Jacobs was Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Oversight Board of the Resolution Trust Corporation for the third region. He served as director on many corporate boards, including ProLogis, Terex Corporation and CDW Corporation. He was also on the Board of Advisors for Greenwich Associates and Allstate Bank.
He was Senior Economist for the Banking and Currency Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963 to 1964, and from 1970 to 1971, he served as Co-Staff Director of the Presidential Commission on Financial Structure and Regulation (The Hunt Commission). From 1975 to 1979, he was Chairman of the Board of AMTRAK.
Dean Jacobs served as a consultant to corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies. He received his BA in 1949 in Economics from Roosevelt University; his MA in 1951 and his Ph.D. in 1956, both in Economics from Columbia University.