Leeds Takes Permanent Role as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – 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.
The Office of Economic Development directs and coordinates the university’s campuswide 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,” said Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz. “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.”
In her new position 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,” said Leeds. “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 Chancellor Steinmetz.
Leeds brings an extensive 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. She wrapped up a year-long term on the Executive Committee for the Northwest Arkansas Council in July.
“The University of Arkansas plays a vital role in the health of our communities in Northwest Arkansas and around the state,” said Nelson Peacock, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “We need the university’s leadership in innovation and talent to keep pace with our growing economy and quality of life goals. Stacy’s unique skills are key to furthering high-impact economic engagement in Arkansas.”
Throughout her tenure at the University of Arkansas, Leeds has been deeply engaged in quality of life and diversity and inclusion initiatives. 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.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Misty Murphy Orpin, communications
Office of Economic Development
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