The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Elsie L. Harper-Anderson
Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Government and Public Affairs


B.S., Political Science, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

M.S., Public Management and Policy, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley


Quantitative methods, program evaluation, economic development, social policy analysis and economic geography

Research interests

Workforce development, local and regional economic development, entrepreneurship and social inequality


Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson’s research examines the impact of macroeconomic transformation on regional economies and urban labor markets. Her most recent work focuses on understanding the connection between workforce development and economic development in local areas with an emphasis on social equity and sustainability concerns. The author of numerous articles, book chapters and policy reports, Harper-Anderson’s work has been published in the Economic Development Quarterly and the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Harper-Anderson brings a wealth of academic and direct experience to the Wilder School. Prior to joining the academy, she worked as a social scientist at Social Policy Research Associated in Calif. Her work has included significant experience implementing and evaluating economic development and housing programs for local, state and federal agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Economic Development Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Harper-Anderson has served on the faculty at the University of Michigan, the University of California Berkeley, Ball State University and as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She is the founder and CEO of Regional Economic Policy Research LLC, a research and consulting firm.