Harvey K. Jacobson was born September 19, 1930, in Langdon, North Dakota, to Carl and Helen (Langdon) Jacobson. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota in 1952 with a major in Journalism and a minor in English. Jacobson earned his Master of Arts degree (major in English, minor in Political Science and Journalism) in 1956 from the University of North Dakota and his Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin in 1967. He married Borghild Schoberg in 1962 and they had two children, Paul and Maren.
After spending two years in the Army (1952-1954), Jacobson returned to North Dakota to become a reporter and assistant telegraph editor for the Fargo Forum newspaper for a year before returning to the University of a North Dakota to pursue his Master's degree. As a Graduate Assistant, he organized the university’s news office (1955-1956) before being named the Director of the University News Bureau in September 1956. He became the university’s Director of News and Public Information in July 1957 and held the position until 1968 (with two leaves of absence to pursue his doctorate degree). In 1968, Jacobson was named the Director of University Relations, a position he held until 1974.
Jacobson left the University of North Dakota in 1974 to become the Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations and Development at the University of Michigan. Other than one year spent as the Acting Vice President for University Relations (1981-1982), he held this position until 1984. At that time, he moved to the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh to become an Associate Professor of Journalism, was promoted to Professor of Journalism in 1988, and retired as Professor Emeritus of Journalism in 1993. In addition to his duties in the field of administration, Jacobson also taught Journalism classes at the University of North Dakota (1963-1974) and the University of Michigan (1974-1984).
Handbook of Institutional Advancement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977.
Handbook of College and University Trusteeship. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1980.
Handbook of Institutional Advancement, 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.
Dr. Jacobson wrote several chapters in each of these books.
The Harvey K. Jacobson Papers, 1944-2005, consist of two boxes. The first box contains articles, papers, and presentations (totaling 152) written by Harvey K. Jacobson from 1956 to 2005. The papers deal primarily with public relations and fund raising techniques at the university level.
The second box contains biographical information regarding Jacobson, including resumes and photographs. Also included are various newspaper clippings from his time in North Dakota (1930-1974), Michigan (1974-1984), and Wisconsin (1984-2005), and personal correspondence received regarding various accomplishments during his career.