LSU Names Keena Arbuthnot Vice President and Chief Data Officer as Part of New Focus on Data-Driven Decision Making

June 19, 2023

Placeholder Image

BATON ROUGE – LSU President William F. Tate IV has named Keena Arbuthnot to the inaugural position of Vice President and Chief Data Officer, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors. In this role, Arbuthnot will have the charge of building data-driven analytics and measurement systems to guide decision making and assess university progress toward strategic goals.

The Vice President and Chief Data Officer will serve as LSU’s chief data strategist and 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. She will leverage the 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. She will also convene advisory groups charged with ensuring sound data governance and ethical uses of information. Additionally, the use of Artificial Intelligence will enable advanced analytical studies to support the achievement of mission-critical objectives.

“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.”

The position will report directly to President Tate and will oversee the newly created office of Data & 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’s most recent role was the Special Advisor to the President at LSU, and she also holds the esteemed position of 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, where she actively promoted and supported the university’s research initiatives.

Her academic journey began at Harvard University, where she started as a lecturer on education. Following that, she joined LSU as a tenure-track assistant professor of education, eventually earning tenure and advancing to the positions of associate and full professor.

Arbuthnot’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializing in psychometrics, educational measurement, applied statistics, and program evaluation. She also holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.

Her research is focused on standardized testing, evaluation, STEM education and achievement. Her most recent book project, titled “Global Perspectives on Educational Testing: Examining Fairness, High-Stakes and Policy Reform,” captures her scholarly interests. Her research expertise has garnered national recognition as reflected in her service on the GRE Technical Advisory Committee and the National Assessment of Educational Progress/National Center for Educational Statistics Advisory Panel.