From 1984 to 2018 Harvey M. Jacobs was a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He held a joint appointment in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. For the seven year period 2012-2019 he served as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He is now emeritus. Prof. Jacobs’ academic and professional specialty is the social and legal aspects of land policy, with a particular focus on property rights.
At UW-Madison Prof. Jacobs served as Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (1995-1998), director of the University’s Land Tenure Center (1999-2002), and Chair of the Environment and Resources graduate program of the Nelson Institute (2015-2017).
For the periods 2002-2009 and 2014-2019 he was certified as a Fulbright Specialist by the U.S. Council for International Exchange of Scholars. In addition, since 2014 he has served as a Faculty from Abroad in the Master of Public Policy Program at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India, and since 2006 as a Senior Expert in Public Policy and Property Rights at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Prof. Jacobs received his graduate degrees in city and regional planning from Cornell University (MRegPlanning 1981, Ph.D. 1984). Throughout his career Prof. Jacobs won awards and recognition for his research and teaching. These have included:
- Cornell University (1980 and 1982)
- the Journal of the American Planning Association (1988 and 2000)
- the Wisconsin Student Association (1991 and 1992)
- the University of Wisconsin Teaching Academy (1994)
- Chester Dean Visiting Professor, University of Kansas (1998)
- the Fulbright Scholar Program (2003, 2005, and 2015)
- The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (2005)
- The Rockefeller Foundation (2006)
- L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, rank Chevalier (Knight), awarded by the Government of France (2008)
- inclusion in the 64th edition of Who’s Who in America (2010)
- Fellow, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld, Germany (2011, 2012)
- John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning, University of Toronto, Canada (2011)
- Vilas Life Cycle Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015-2016)
- Visiting Academic Scholar, Erasmus Mundus Masters Programme PLANET Europe, a cooperative program among Radboud University Nijmegen,The Netherlands; Cardiff University, UK; and Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden (2017)
- Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquis Who’s Who (2017 & 2019).
Prof. Jacobs has been invited to give lectures on his research and consult in his areas of specialties in countries around the world, including in western Europe (France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain), central Europe (Albania and Poland), Africa (Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Zimbabwe), Asia and South Asia (China, Taiwan, and India), the Caribbean (Trinidad), and throughout North and Central America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico). He has also delivered keynote addresses to international conferences and workshops in Tunisia, Canada, Germany, and India.
Prof. Jacobs is the editor of Who Owns America? Social Conflict Over Property Rights (University of Wisconsin Press, 1998) and Private Property in the 21st Century: The Future of an American Ideal (Edward Elgar, 2004), and the author or co-author of over 180 professional articles and essays, of which over 50 focus specifically on the social and legal aspects of property rights.
Most generally, Prof. Jacobs focuses on how societies define property, and the policy structures they develop to manage the relationship between private and public rights in property.