University Affairs

Jeff Aird Named as Inaugural Chief Data Analytics Officer at USU

By Logan Wilber |

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University has named Jeff Aird as its chief data analytics officer, underscoring the university’s commitment to leveraging data to enhance its mission as a premier student-centered land-grant and space-grant university.

“I am pleased to welcome Jeff Aird into this new role,” said Vice President for Operational Strategy & Special Advisor John O’Neil, “where he will guide USU’s efforts to extract maximum value from our most valuable non-human asset, our data.”

The CDAO will be both a strategist and advisor to university leadership and their units to identify appropriate analytics to foster data-driven decision-making across all levels of the institution. The CDAO will provide leadership and develop a strategic plan for the generation, analysis and dissemination of business, academic and administrative data for use in planning, policy design and budgeting to ensure that reliable, informed data is available to further the University’s mission and vision.

“Jeff will assist operational and academic leadership by driving the data to decision processes, and by building our situational awareness both internally, among our peers and partners, and in the competitive landscape we occupy … ensuring we have the insights needed to lead and to ensure our continued journey for excellent student experiences and outcomes,” O’Neil said.

Aird has been with USU since October 2023, serving as the executive director and associate vice president for Analysis, Assessment, and Accreditation. In this role, he has made significant contributions to advancing the university’s strategic goals through data-driven decision-making, while ensuring data is not just collected, but also effectively communicated and utilized to create value for students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Aird’s career in higher education spans over a decade, including various leadership roles at Salt Lake Community College. As vice president for Institutional Effectiveness and accreditation liaison officer, he led the creation of the first institutional office of data science and analytics within a Utah college or university starting in 2012. He also served as assistant vice president for Strategy & Analysis and director of Institutional Inquiry and Analysis, further solidifying his reputation for building institutional capacity for evidence-based planning and decision-making. His work in these positions included developing a robust student success research portfolio, overseeing the creation of an institutional data warehouse, and acting as an internal strategic consultant for the executive cabinet.

Before his tenure at SLCC, Jeff served as program manager for Economic Development and Planning at the Utah System of Higher Education, where he was instrumental in aligning higher education with labor market needs, contributing to the development of the HigherEdUtah 2020 Strategic Plan, and organizing a statewide symposium on aligning Utah’s labor market with its higher education institutions.

In addition to his administrative roles, Aird has been an adjunct faculty member at Salt Lake Community College and Brigham Young University, where he developed and delivered courses in data visualization, introductory composition, and American government. His teaching experience further highlights his ability to translate complex data into understandable and actionable insights.

Aird’s educational background is as impressive as his professional achievements. He holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law, a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from BYU’s Marriott School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Utah State University, graduating cum laude. This combination of legal and management education underpins his comprehensive approach to organizational development and analytics.


Logan Wilber
News Director
University Marketing & Communications


Crissy Downs-Cisneros
Financial Officer
Business Services

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