University of Arkansas appoints interim vice chancellor for economic development

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 618 views 

Photo credit: Michael Barera

Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for economic development at the University of Arkansas, is stepping down from the role as of Wednesday (July 1), and David Snow, director of Technology Ventures at the UA, has been named her replacement in an interim role.

The UA will continue to a nationwide search to fill the position as Leeds looks to focus on several writing projects. She’s served as the inaugural head of the Economic Development Office for three years, including the first year while concurrently serving her seventh year as dean of the School of Law. Leeds will continue to serve as dean emeritus and a law professor.

“Stacy Leeds has transformed the University of Arkansas’ economic outreach to our state and furthered our drive to commercialize our faculty’s inventions,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. “It’s truly remarkable how much she has accomplished since founding the Office of Economic Development only three years ago. Her leadership and vision have set the stage for the university to build on its $2.2 billion annual impact on the state of Arkansas.”

Leeds created and developed the Office of Economic Development “to expand economic opportunity and prosperity in Arkansas,” according to a news release. Some of her accomplishments in the role include changing university and system policies to streamline the movement of research to the market and to support faculty and staff collaboration with industry and nonprofits. The university has had a record number of invention disclosures during her time in the role, and its percentage of invention disclosures with at least one woman inventor has exceeded the national average.

Leeds will continue her work on national and area boards and serve as faculty director for the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, a project she founded at the School of Law in 2013 that has worked with governments, businesses and people from more than 250 indigenous nations.

Snow joined the university in October after serving as senior managing director in the Office of Research Commercialization at Texas Tech University.

“I’d like to thank David for stepping up to serve in this vital role,” Steinmetz said. “He brings great expertise and experience to the university’s efforts to commercialize its research and expand its positive impact on the Arkansas economy. I look forward to seeing how he builds on the strong foundation Stacy has put in place.”

Following divisions report to the vice chancellor for economic development: Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Office of Innovation and Industry Partnerships, Technology Ventures, World Trade Center Arkansas, Arkansas Research and Technology Park, Corporate and Foundation Relations and Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the UA.

The nationwide search for the next vice chancellor for economic development started in February.