Louisiana State University (LSU) President William Tate IV has named Keena Arbuthnot as the school’s first chief data officer (CDO).

In her new role, Arbuthnot will be tasked with building data-driven analytics and measurement systems to guide decision making and assess university progress toward strategic goals. Arbuthnot, who will also serve as a vice president, will provide leadership for the effective use of data for reporting, analysis and insights. Arbuthnot will be responsible for developing measurable and evaluative metrics for significant institutional programs and initiatives.

The university said she will leverage data to create analytical models aimed at identifying opportunities for improvement in various areas, including planning, student enrollment and retention, financial aid, staffing, and more. In her role, Arbuthnot also will convene advisory groups charged with ensuring sound data governance and ethical uses of information.

“Evidence-driven practices support organizational improvements. We need a mirror to both capture progress and to course correct,” President Tate said. “With Dr. Arbuthnot’s analytical expertise and significant knowledge of the institution’s interdependent operations, she has demonstrated the ability to harness university data to inform our leadership team. Her expertise and cooperative approach to evaluation better position LSU to reflect on opportunities, respond to problems, and ultimately push us to realize our full potential.”

Arbuthnot will report directly to President Tate and will oversee the newly created office of Data and Strategic Analytics, which will house LSU’s existing Office of Institutional Research.

“I am incredibly excited about this exceptional opportunity to work with President Tate and the leadership team to help drive LSU’s vision by leveraging a wealth of data and advanced analytics to help inform our decision making and shape our future strategy,” Arbuthnot said. “As Louisiana’s flagship university, LSU continues to be committed to ongoing enhancement and efficiency, and in this role, I will have the opportunity to utilize data and analytics to help propel us forward.”

Arbuthnot most recently served as a special advisor to the President at LSU, and she is also the Joan Pender McManus Distinguished Professor in the College of Human Sciences & Education. Prior to that, she served as the special advisor to the President on COVID-19 Response and an associate vice president in LSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs