Leeds named University of Arkansas’ economic development vice chancellor
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Cherokee Nation Stacy Leeds, former dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law, has been appointed vice chancellor for economic development. She has served in the role on an interim basis since August 2017.
The Office of Economic Development directs and coordinates the university’s campus-wide efforts to expand economic opportunities and improve quality of life in Arkansas and beyond. Leeds will be responsible for assessing, increasing and communicating the university’s economic and social impacts.
“Stacy’s spirit of collaboration and administrative experience are a natural fit for this position that touches many offices around campus and is so important to the university’s land-grant mission,” Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz said. “She brings a deep knowledge of the state’s business community and nonprofit partners, providing a connection to university resources in talent development, research and innovation and stewardship of place.”
Leeds will oversee the offices of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Industry Engagement and Corporate and Foundation Relations, as well as The Sustainability Consortium, World Trade Center Arkansas, the Arkansas Research and Technology Park, Technology Ventures, the Small Business and Technology Development Center and the newly developed Tribal Governance and Economic Empowerment Consortium.
In addition, she will collaborate with colleges, schools and administrative units across campus to maximize the university’s influence on quality of place, economy and social betterment.
“With past studies showing the University of Arkansas has a $1.2 billion impact on the state of Arkansas, the Office of Economic Development is instrumental in helping the state achieve sustained increases in prosperity and quality of life as well as serving as a connector and resource for community partners,” Leeds said. “I am honored and thrilled to serve in this capacity as we seek to build upon our innovations and past successes to broaden the university’s impact both at home in Arkansas and beyond our borders.”
As a member of the U of A Executive Committee, Leeds will report directly to Steinmetz.
Leeds brings an administrative background to the role and connections to the Arkansas legal and business community. She served as dean of the School of Law from 2011 until July 1 and recently finished a year term on the Executive Committee for the Northwest Arkansas Council.
She serves on national and local boards, including the American Indian Graduate Center, the Law School Admission Council, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest, Arvest Bank (Fayetteville), TheatreSquared, Kituwah Economic Development Board, Charles Thomas & Mary Alice Pearson Educational Foundation, Akiptan Inc. and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. She also continues to teach courses in the School of Law.
Leeds holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin and University of Tulsa, received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and has a master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee. She is also a former CN Supreme Court justice.