Associate professor Haifeng Qian has been appointed as Director of the School of Planning and Public Affairs (SPPA), effective immediately.
Professor Qian has been teaching at the SPPA since 2014. He was the school’s director of graduate studies, associate school director, and interim school director over the past five years. Professor Qian is a recognized scholar in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and regional economic development. He received research awards from the Regional Studies Association, the Urban Affairs Association, and the Western Regional Science Association. He is an editor of Regional Studies, an editor of Small Business Economics, and an associate editor of Economic Development Quarterly. He was the Chair of the North American Regional Science Council.
“The SPPA has experienced significant growth recently. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the school to its next level and serve our faculty, staff, and students,” Qian says.
The school’s graduate program in urban and regional planning is nationally ranked at #16 in the 2023 Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs. Launched in 2020, the Master of Public Affairs program has rapidly become the #1 public affairs program in Iowa according to the U.S. News and World Report. The SPPA is also home to two new minors (in public policy and urban studies) and a new graduate certificate in transportation.