Advisory Committee Leads National Search for Vice Chancellor of Economic Development Position

An advisory committee made up of University of Arkansas faculty, staff and alumni is leading a national search to find a permanent replacement for the vice chancellor for economic development position, currently held by Stacy Leeds.

A member of the chancellor's executive team, the vice chancellor for economic development works to expand economic opportu­nity and prosperity in Arkansas through talent development, the deployment of innovative research and technologies, community engagement and place-making strategies. The position is also responsible for significant progress toward the chancellor's goals of commercializing faculty and student research, catalyzing entrepreneur­ship and innovation on campus and in the region and establishing the University as the premier partner in providing timely and relevant education and skills to the Arkansas workforce. In addition, the office will collaborate with departments and schools across campus to amplify the university's service to and economic impact on Arkansas.

The advisory committee will evaluate applicants for the position, offer recommendations for on-campus interviews and make hiring recommendations to Chancellor Joe Steinmetz later in the search process. Margaret Sova McCabe, dean of the School of Law, will chair the 13-member committee.

Advisory Committee Members:

  • Margaret Sova McCabe, dean of the School of Law, chair
  • Bobby Franklin, U of A alumnus, president and CEO, National Venture Capital Association
  • Sarah Goforth, executive director, Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Dan Hendrix, CEO, World Trade Center Arkansas
  • Devin Howland, director of economic vitality, city of Fayetteville
  • Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education
  • Katy Nelson, associate vice chancellor for development
  • Nelson Peacock, president and CEO, Northwest Arkansas Council
  • Kendra Pruitt, senior advisor to the mayor of Little Rock
  • Dan Rainey, associate professor of agriculture entrepreneurship and graduate program coordinator of agri-economics/agribusiness, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural Food and Life Sciences
  • Karl Schubert, professor of practice and director of research for innovation and data sciences initiatives, College of Engineering and the Sam M. Walton College of Business
  • Dan Sui, vice chancellor for research and innovation
  • Ryan Watley, CEO, Go Forward Pine Bluff

Position details are available online. The search will continue until the position is filled.


Andy Albertson, director of communications and entrepreneurial support
Office of Economic Development


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