University Affairs

Academic and Instructional Services Created to Support the USU System

Utah State University's Distance Education building. Utah State University’s Provost’s office will coordinate the newly created Academic and Instructional Services (AIS) unit. It brings together a number existing program areas to create efficiencies and further unite the Utah State University system, including the extensive reach of USU’s Distance Education programs.

In an effort to create efficiencies and further unite the Utah State University system, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost formally announced the creation of its Academic and Instructional Services (AIS) unit.

“This is a step the university has been moving toward for several years,” said Noelle Cockett, USU’s executive vice president and provost. “We have progressed into a sophisticated system serving students throughout Utah with our regional campuses and nationally and worldwide through USU-Online. AIS and the services it provides will help unite us as we continue our evolution toward being one university, geographically dispersed.”

Cockett said the new unit is housed within the Provost’s office and will be led by Robert Wagner, executive vice provost and dean.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for USU to converge several areas of academic and institutional support under one umbrella,” said Wagner. “We are doing this with the goal of providing the best, most cost-effective and academically rich educational experience for all of our students and faculty.”

According to Wagner, AIS will initially administer six offices: the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI), eLearning and System Support, Teaching and Learning Technologies, Classroom and Media Productions, Student Marketing and Communications (SMAC) and Concurrent Enrollment and Special Programs. He said AIS will work collaboratively with departments, colleges and other units throughout the USU system to help each accomplish teaching, research and engagement goals.

AIS will bring together two critical functions of institutional academic support: a new Central Scheduling Office (formerly two separate offices located in the Registrar’s office and in Distance Education) and a unified Classroom Support team (formerly two separate units in Information Technology and Distance Education). The combination of these functions will create efficiencies for the university as it focuses its ability to serve students and faculty across the system.  Additionally, AIS will take on special projects, including central testing services and summer-term academic programming.

“At its core, USU is a research and land-grant university — however, USU has not lost sight of the importance of teaching and learning and the student experience.  As technology advances, and the needs of its students and faculty change, USU will evolve,” Cockett said.

AIS is a next step in USU’s institutional evolution and a system-wide approach to meetings its mission. 

“While other universities are struggling to meet the demands of the 21st century higher education student, USU embraces the opportunities that come from innovation,” Wagner said. “We will continue to focus on new ways to serve students and faculty through greater access and quality.” 

Contact: Jay Wright, 435-797-2080,

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