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Dr. Eric Strauss

PhD, JD, AICP—Emeritus Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, School of Planning, Design and Construction Michigan State University

Dr. Eric Strauss is a land use lawyer, urban and regional planner and an academic who has taught in both fields. He believes that the engaged scholar blends practical experience with theoretical research to educate current and future professionals on the best methods of urban development. He has held faculty positions in the following fields: agriculture; architecture and urban design; environmental studies; geography; law; public administration; public affairs; and urban and regional planning.

Dr. Strauss began his career working on a Governor’s staff in Wisconsin. His area of expertise was environmental and regional planning law. He then worked for the State Budget Office and later became a land use specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Extension. After briefly being in private practice, he returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning. He then joined the University of Kansas where he was on the faculty for 23 years, 17 as Chair of the Graduate Program in Urban Planning. He also taught for shorter periods at Jackson State University in Mississippi and Indiana University-Bloomington. During that time he also served as a city attorney, a city planner, a county planning director and of counsel to 3 different law firms. He wrote plans and ordinances for over 40 governmental organizations in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin. His research areas included such topics as energy conservation, growth management and adequate public facilities. He wrote several sign ordinances.

In 2001 he moved to Michigan State University (MSU) where he was Director of the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Consistent with the idea that land grant universities have domestic and international emphases, he has taught at Universities in Ireland, Germany, Romania, South Korea and Turkey. Dr. Strauss was a Fulbright Specialist in the Municipality of Panama City, Panama focusing on urban planning and transportation issues. He was also a Fulbright Scholar to the Public Administration Faculty at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania where he did research on local climate action plans. He retired in 2020 from MSU.

He has published in a variety of academic and professional publications. He recently co-authored a textbook on land use law with Dr. Dawn Jourdan. His research has been funded by federal, state and local governments as well as private organizations such as the International Sign Association.

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