Advisory Group

The Data Policy Advisory Group (DPAG) consists of 34 AIR members (listed at the bottom of this page), who work in IR or a related field at an institution or system office. Representing personal, organizational, and geographic diversity, this group will advise AIR and its partners on matters related to state and federal higher education data policy. This initiative is based on AIR’s continued work toward improved data-informed decision cultures to increase student success in higher education. The area below outlines what AIR can and cannot do in the higher education policy space, which informs the work of the Data Policy Advisory Group. Check back often for updates on the group's accomplishments.

Current AIR Work

  • IHEP PostSec Data group: Monthly meetings of organizations in the higher ed policy space; AIR is represented
  • AIR and IHEP cohosted Data Policy Summits in 2017 and 2018 (with APLU and ACE)
  • Conversations about data policy topics (e.g. FAFSA data)
  • eAIR feature stories
  • New Data Policy Advisory Group

Group Updates

  • December 7, 2018
    Members provided feedback this fall to both the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) Technical Review Panel and on a letter prepared by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) on the proposed changes to Gainful Employment disclosure changes. 
  • October 16, 2018

    With feedback from AIR’s Data Policy Advisory Group, AIR and APLU drafted this letter to Diane Jones, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of the Department of Education on the January 2017 PTAC guidance about institutional use of student financial aid information for program evaluation and research. 


  • September 28, 2018
    Members provided feedback to a working group developing plans for student veteran data reporting to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Feedback was provided on proposed definitions to assist in reporting.
  • September 19, 2018

    Members provided feedback on proposed updates to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) via AIR’s seat on the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s PostSec Data Working Group.

  • 2018
    Members provided feedback to assist with the June IPEDS Technical Review Panel (TRP) related to review of CIP codes.


  • Partner with other associations or organizations to provide the perspective of data professionals on particular policies, regulations or legislation.
  • Advocate for legislation, policies, and/or regulations that support improved data availability, infrastructure, metrics, and transparency.
  • Provide technical assistance to or educate legislators and legislative staff.
  • Educate members and stakeholders on the (potential) impact of policies, regulations, and legislation.

AIR Cannot

  • Ask a legislator to vote for, against, or amend a specific bill through social media, letters, email, or visits to legislative offices.
  • Mobilize AIR members or stakeholders to take a particular action for or against a specific bill or legislation.
  • Publicly support policy or legislative positions that do not reflect general agreement within the IR/data community.


Group Members

Shama Akhtar, Goucher College

​Eric Atchison, Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning

​Benoit Bernadel, Kennesaw State University

​Rachel Boon, Iowa Board of Regents

​Tongshan Chang, University of California Office of the President

​Linda Clark, Central Connecticut State University

​Cory Clasemann-Ryan, Ivy Tech Community College

​Amanda Colligan, Bunker Hill Community College

​Tasha Dannenbring, HelioCampus

​Linette Decarie, Boston University

​Benji DjeukengBon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Laura Fingerson, Capella University

Joan Graham, Rochester Institute of Technology

Kurt Gunnell, Western Governors University

Erika Hill, University of Utah

Erin Holmes, University of Alaska Anchorage

Matthew Hoolsema, Carnegie Mellon University

Casey Kerins, Bucks County Community College

Max Kwenda, Gonzaga University

Erez Lenchner, CUNY John Jay College

Jim Mello, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Bethany Miller, Mary Baldwin University

Molly O'Keefe, UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health

Tracy Pattok, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Rick Riccardi, Rider University

Jason Rivera, University of Bridgeport

Jason Simon, University of North Texas

Michael Smith, Portland State University

Brian Trzebiatowski, City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College

Alex Wagner, Lesley University

Karen Webber, University of Georgia

Katie Zaback, Colorado Department of Higher Education