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 Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, World Trade Center Arkansas, Sustainability Consortium, Arkansas Research and 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 (2013), an elected member of the American Law Institute (2011), and a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow affiliated with the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University (2008-2009). From 2015-2017, she was the Sequoyah Fellow at Northeastern State University. She is a recipient of the Cherokee National Statesmanship Award (2014) in recognition of her service as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court (2002-2006), Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission (2013-2016) and other service to Indian country.
Leeds has a strong record of public service. In 2011, she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to serve a two-year term on the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. The Commission conducted a forward-looking, comprehensive evaluation of the federal government's management and administration of nearly $4 billion in American Indian trust assets. 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, and the Charles Thomas & Mary Alice Pearson Educational Foundation.
As an outgrowth of her judicial and arbitration experience, Leeds is frequently tapped to provide conflict resolution in government, higher education and in the private sector. Leeds is a nationally recognized leader in diversity and inclusion based on the success and sustainability of several pipeline programs designed to diversify the legal profession and to empower first generation college students across all disciplines.
The author of over twenty articles, essays and book chapters, she published Mastering American Indian Law in 2013 with Dean Angelique EagleWoman of the Bora Laskin Law Faculty at Lakehead University in Canada. The second edition will be available in 2018. Dean Leeds has taught courses in American Indian Law, Property, Business Transactions, Clinical Legal Education, Oil and Gas, Natural Resources Law and Remedies. She frequently lectures on a wide range of topics including Tribal Governments, Legal Issues in Higher Education and Professional Responsibility & Ethics.
A former athlete and life-long sports enthusiasts, she was inducted into the Muskogee Athletic Hall of Fame in her hometown in Oklahoma (2015). A two-sport college athlete, she received the W. Alfred Hayes Award for Oustanding Student-Athlete at Washington University in St. Louis in 1994. In the summer of 2016, she completed a 950-mile cycling journey as a Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal rider.