Eric Kelly

Eric Kelly

Interim Chairperson of the Department of Urban Planning and Professor of Urban Planning


Eric Damian Kelly, FAICP, has been elected Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. In his 21 years at Ball State, Kelly has served as Dean of the College of Architecture and as Interim Chair of the Department. He also served for two years as Chair of the University Senate.

Kelly brought to Ball State a strong background in practice as a consultant to local governments across the country. His practice background is reflected in his publications. He is the sole author or lead co-author of seven technical reports in the American Planning Association’s Planning Advisory Reports series, most recently Working with Consultants. His book, Community Planning: an Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan, now in its second edition, targets interested citizens and planning commissioners as well as planning students. Both a planner and a lawyer, Kelly’s other publications bridge planning and law. Since 1995 he has been General Editor of a 10-volume treatise, Zoning and Land Use Controls, published by Matthew Bender, a LEXIS-NEXIS company; he provides updates to the loose-leaf set three times per year and updates a sister one-volume desk reference annually.

A native of Colorado, Kelly went east to school and earned an undergraduate degree in political economy from Williams College; he went on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned Juris Doctor and Master of City Planning degrees. Later in life he earned a Ph.D. in public policy from The Union Institute.

He is a past president of the American Planning Association. In 1999 he was elected to the first class of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Closer to home, he has served as a commissioner of the Muncie Housing Authority, an advisory trustee to the Nature Conservancy of Indiana, and a long-time member of the Indiana Land Resources Council.

Kelly is scheduled to retire from Ball State in June 2017 and thus will serve only a year as chair, while he leads the department in a search for a longer-term chair. As he enters his final year at Ball State, he is making plans for his own future – among other things, beginning a Yoga teacher training course.