The University of New Mexico is among the 18 institutions participating in a two-year research project with Ithaka S+R dedicated to unlocking the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to advance higher education. The initiative's key objectives include conducting assessments, gathering information, and crafting tailored implementation strategies for each participating campus community.

Leading the charge at UNM is Dean Leo Lo of the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences (CULLS). He has assembled a specialized team to pioneer this initiative, with a focus on investigating the potential of generative AI in teaching, learning, and information discovery.

The members of the team are:

  • Stephanie Beene, fine arts librarian, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences
  • Robyn Gleasner, resource management librarian, Health Sciences Library & Informatics Center
  • Laura Hall, division head for resources, archives, and discovery, Health Sciences Library & Informatics Center
  • Cree Myers, instructional designer, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Todd Quinn, business & economics librarian, College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences
  • Jet Saengngoen, instructional designer, Center for Teaching and Learning

Dean Leo Lo expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, "We are on the cusp of a transformative period in higher education, with AI playing a pivotal role. Our team is eager to contribute to this transformation, and we are committed to making the most of this opportunity for the benefit of our students, faculty, and the broader UNM community."

The use of AI in education continues to expand. AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT, which can understand natural language and generate human-like responses, have prompted educators to question the future use of AI and its current applications.

UNM will be working alongside a group of esteemed institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton University. Together, they will assess the immediate and emerging AI applications that are most likely to impact teaching, learning, and research, and explore the long-term needs of institutions, instructors, and scholars in this evolving environment.

The first year of the program will concentrate on reviewing the university activities most likely to be impacted by AI. Later, interviews will be conducted with instructors and researchers to create the largest qualitative dataset to date. The second year will focus on developing institution-specific strategies for broader implementation of generative AI on campuses.

Earlier in the spring semester, the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences at UNM hosted a webinar panel titled “Teaching in the Age of AIs.” This panel explored questions and challenges related to teaching with artificial intelligence. The full recording can be accessed on their website.

For a full list of institutions and to learn more about the project, visit the Ithaka S+R webpage.