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Education Insider Only Kent County News People to Watch

People to Watch: Stacy Downing, of DSU

Katie Tabeling


DOVER The way Stacy Downing tells it, Delaware State University President Tony Allen turned to her and said he wanted her to “lead the DSU Downtown” and didn’t hand her a job description.

But as Delaware’s only Historically black university finished the acquisition of Wesley College on July 1, that’s exactly what Downing has been charged to do: serve as the point person for the DSU’s campus in the heart of downtown Dover. She moved her office to the new campus to take the temperature of the environment and plan out her next steps.

“I’ve never been the type to work in the office, I need to see what’s happening. Part of the struggle with higher education is that sometimes, you do get removed from the people and your decisions impact hundreds of students,” she said.

Downing’s resume shows a long line of leadership positions, including serving as DSU’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, and earlier as the vice president of student affairs of Philander Smith College, and other student affairs director posts. She will leverage her experience with building and working with the college community as DSU Downtown works to establish an identity with the DSU brand and find its own voice in downtown.

The Wesley acquisition brought 642 students, a 50-acre campus with dorms, athletic fields and lab space. DSU continues on an upward trajectory, as the university announced its fall 2021 semester set another enrollment record with 5,649 students.

As the university enters in a new chapter, Downing will play a key role in shaping its future as she will guide the college through its master planning process.

“We’re excited about the possibilities here. They’re not overnight possibilities, but we’re willing to dig deep and do the work,” she said.

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