University Affairs

James Y. Taylor Named Vice President for USU Statewide Campuses

By Marcus Jensen |

James Y. Taylor has been named vice president for Statewide Campuses. Taylor has been part of the USU Statewide system since 2016, most recently as senior associate vice president for USU Uintah Basin.

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University President Elizabeth R. Cantwell has named James Y. Taylor as vice president of Statewide Campuses. Taylor has served as interim vice president since December 2023 and will officially take on the role effective immediately.

"I am pleased that James has accepted this position," Cantwell said. "Since taking on this role on an interim basis, James has been an excellent leader for our students in Statewide Campuses and is helping fulfill our university mission of excellence, access, and inclusion. This is an important role in the USU system, and I believe he is the right leader to meet the needs of our campuses throughout the state.”

Taylor has been a member of the USU leadership team for nearly a decade, joining and leading the USU Uintah Basin campuses in 2016. Since that time, Taylor has taken on more and more initiatives within Statewide Campuses as a senior associate vice president and past interim chief campus administrator at USU Eastern. In his time at USU Uintah Basin, Taylor saw increases in enrollment, student diversity, graduation rate, degrees awarded, and philanthropic donations, and a decreased time to graduation for students.

“I thank President Cantwell for having the confidence in my ability to take on this important stewardship,” Taylor said. “Statewide Campuses is an important piece of USU’s land-grant, public service mission and serves students throughout the state with an exceptional Aggie experience. Statewide Campuses has a bright future ahead and I am excited to help guide our system to future successes.”

Taylor holds a doctorate degree in educational leadership and organizational development from Grand Canyon University, a master’s degree in ecology and resource management from Montana State University and a bachelor’s degree in biogeography from the University of Utah. Taylor is also an associate professor in sociology and anthropology in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Prior to joining USU, Taylor served for two years as both an academic dean and vice president of Colorado Mountain College Timberline, where he oversaw the operations of three different locations in the Rocky Mountains. He started his profession in education in 1992 and has maintained a role as a faculty member while serving as an institutional leader for multiple institutions. He remains committed to teaching, community engagement, and research related to people and place. Taylor has a recent book chapter on mentorship and recent publications on both leadership and mentorship.

In addition to his role as an educator, Taylor was an alpine climbing guide for more than 20 years, leading climbing expeditions in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Taylor also was a seasonal backcountry ranger and researcher in Yellowstone National Park for nearly two decades. He was also a technical rescue team member, leading and participating in numerous rescues in extreme conditions, including avalanche, alpine rock and ice, desert, and international locations. Taylor is also a passionate runner and enjoys marathons and ultramarathons in his spare time.

Utah State University’s Statewide Campuses create impact by bettering the lives of the people and places they serve. From career and technical certificates to doctorate degrees, USU offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. With multiple locations across 85,000 square miles, USU can be the hometown university to anyone, no matter where they live. Learn more at


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Amanda DeRito
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications


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