Stacy L. Leeds serves as Dean and Professor of Law and Interim Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas. She joined the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2011 and was reappointed to a second term as dean in 2016. She holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin (LL.M.) and the University of Tulsa (J.D.). She is also a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.) and the University of Tennessee (M.B.A).
In the University of Arkansas Office of Economic Development, Leeds provides leadership for campus-wide engagement, collaboration, and outreach to citizens, businesses, governmental and civic entities in Arkansas and beyond. She works closely with the ten colleges, schools and divisions at the University of Arkansas and with the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, World Trade Center Arkansas, Sustainability Consortium, Arkansas Research & Technology Park, and Technology Ventures.
Prior to joining the University of Arkansas, Leeds was a professor and administrator at the University of Kansas and the University of North Dakota. She began her teaching career as a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Law. She is a recipient of the American Bar Association's Spirit of Excellence Award and an elected member of the American Law Institute. She is a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow affiliated with the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University and a former Sequoyah Fellow at Northeastern State University.
Leeds is an expert in the areas of American Indian law, governance, property and economic development. She is a recipient of the Cherokee National Statesmanship Award in recognition of her service as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and as Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. She routinely works with tribes across the country and served on the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform for the United States Department of the Interior.
She currently devotes her time to several national and local boards including Arvest Bank (Fayetteville), Theatre Squared, American Indian Graduate Center, Inc., Law School Admission Council, Inc., Arkansas Children's Hospital Northwest, Charles Thomas & Mary Alice Pearson Educational Foundation and the Northwest Arkansas Council.
A former athlete and life-long sports enthusiast, she was inducted into the Muskogee Athletic Hall of Fame in her hometown in Oklahoma (2015). In 1994 she received the W. Alfred Hayes Award for outstanding student-athlete at Washington University in St. Louis and continues to hold the NCAA (Div III) basketball tournament record for most three-point field goals. In 2016, she completed a 950-mile journey as a Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal cyclist.