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Stacey Swearingen White Appointed CUPPA’s Next Dean

Dr. Stacey Swearingen White

A Message from UIC Provost Javier Reyes

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Stacey Swearingen White, PhD, will become the new dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) at the University of Illinois Chicago, effective July 1, 2022, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Stacey is currently a professor in the University of Kansas (KU) School of Public Affairs and Administration, where she has also served as director since 2019. Previously, she served as director of the Urban Planning Program within the school and as associate director of KU’s Environmental Studies Program. Stacey earned an interdisciplinary PhD degree in Land Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Interdisciplinary approaches are core aspects of her research and teaching, which focus broadly on sustainability and environmental policy and planning, especially at the local level.

Stacey’s work at KU has also reflected a longstanding interest in campus sustainability. She served for two years as a faculty fellow in the KU Office of Student Affairs, conducting research on food insecurity among college and university students. She was also a co-founder of KU’s Center for Sustainability and served as its director of academic programs for eight years.

Stacey just wrapped up a two-year term as secretary of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), for which she has also served as track chair and conference chair. She is also involved as a member of several committees of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Stacey is a proven scholar with experience as both a faculty member and administrator at a Research Intensive (R1) University. She is a strategic thinker with the ability to implement complex and impactful initiatives that align with and support institutional goals by engaging and empowering effective teams. Stacey is steadfastly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and is an exceptional leader with a focus on integrity. I am confident that Stacey is an excellent fit as CUPPA’s next leader and am thrilled to have her join the UIC community.

I would like to thank Rebecca Rugg, dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, who chaired this search and the rest of the search committee for their hard work that led us to this hire. I would also like to thank Professor David Merriman who has been and will continue to serve as interim dean of CUPPA until Stacey takes post in July.


Javier Reyes

Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs