Jacobs was invited to participate in the Institutional Management in Higher Education 2010 general conference, “Higher Education in a World Changed Utterly: Doing More With Less,” which runs from Monday, Sept. 13, through Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Jacobs will give a talk titled “The 21st Century University: Leadership in Energy and Sustainability” on Monday. The conference and his talk will be webcast live here as well as archived on the conference website, www.oecd.org/edu/imhe/generalconference.
“Modern universities must be engaged for stewardship,” Jacobs said. “Engagement for stewardship is engagement for sustainability. We are currently experiencing multiple crises in worldwide sustainability. University engagement is the only long-term approach to these problems.”
There are many uses of the word “sustainability,” but for the purposes of Jacobs’ talk, he will focus on issues of sustainability as it relates to finances, government, energy and stewardship of knowledge.
Universities can help address those issues by changing their focus to the larger good of society, according to Jacobs. And they can do that by being engaged in four areas: the production of human capital, the building of an innovation system, taking responsibility for community health and wellness, and the creation of a quality place in its environs.
“I believe the role of the university in the 21st century is stewardship — stewardship locally and globally, of health and prosperity, of the present and for subsequent generations,” Jacobs said. “Stewardship is precisely contrary to isolationism. Stewardship is never inward looking, but always outward looking.”