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As AI becomes more crucial across industries, Bryant University remains on the forefront of harnessing this new technology by joining Ithaka S+R's research collaborative.
Bryant University to participate in Ithaka S+R’s two-year research collaborative
Aug 22, 2023, by Staff Writer
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Smithfield, RI: Bryant University joins Ithaka S+R, a non-profit higher education research and consulting firm, in their research collaborative Making AI Generative for Higher Education. This two-year study aims to provide guidelines and guardrails around the use of Generative AI at colleges and universities.

“This collaboration marks a significant step forward in Bryant University's commitment to fostering cutting-edge research, enhancing educational practices, and contributing to the broader landscape of higher education,” says Bryant University president Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Generative AI is already impacting the economy and organizational practices in all functional areas and across all industries in profound ways.”  This partnership aligns with the university's mission to provide its students with an exceptional learning experience that prepares them for success in an ever-changing world.

Bryant Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D., and a cross-disciplinary team of Bryant faculty and staff will coordinate Bryant’s efforts toward innovative and responsible use of artificial intelligence within the campus community.  “It’s imperative our students understand artificial intelligence’s diverse applications and its far-reading ramifications, and how to ethically engage with it so they can continue to be competitive in a reimagined workforce.” 

The Bryant team tapped to work on the research project are:

  • Dr. Suhong Li, Chair and Professor, Information Systems and Analytics Department
  • Dr. Tingting Zhao, Assistant Professor, Information Systems and Analytics Department
  • Dr. Terri Hassler, Professor and Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Phil Lombardi, Director Academic Computing & Lab Technology, IT Classroom & Lab Services
  • Allison Papini, Assistant Director/Manager Research & Instruction, Krupp Library

The project spans two years and begins with assessing the campus’ readiness to leverage AI technology in education; it concludes by developing a broad, campus-wide strategy for generative AI use and a plan for its implementation. Over the two years, with the help of its university partners, Ithaka S+R will build a qualitative dataset – expected to be the largest to date – on generative AI’s use in higher education.

Bryant University’s faculty and staff were early adopters of generative AI, investigating best practices for its use on campus. Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), began introducing and supporting faculty in their use and understanding of these tools back in December 2022 and through Spring 2023, including a May 2023 Spring Teaching Summit panel Artificial Intelligence and ChaptGPT. In January 2023, the Krupp Library published a primer on the fast-growing technology with the goal of helping students learn to use it in a principled and impactful way. The Davis Foundation recently awarded Bryant a $10,000 grant for generative AI faculty development.

With AI knowledge becoming an important job criterion for employers, a campus-wide best-practices use of the technology is a vital part of Bryant’s career-forward approach.

Bryant University joins 19 schools, including Yale University, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Chicago, taking part in the collaborative.

Visit Ithaka S+R to learn more about the project.

About Bryant University

For 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The university delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, liberal arts, and health and behavioral sciences. 

Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual and Barron’s.

About Vision 2030

The Vision 2030 strategic plan sets an exciting trajectory for Bryant University. Priorities include an ecosystem of academic excellence, vibrant student life, community and belonging, and championing economic mobility.

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