Image Credit: utc.edu
The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) is undergoing a “reorganization” of their top staff as the college plans to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their research, business, and instructional operations.
As executive vice chancellor and chief strategy officer for UTC, Johnson will now be overseeing the university’s communications and marketing.
Amidst several other reorganization changes, UTC Chancellor Steven Angle said that the university’s chief of staff plans to leave UTC and the position will be eliminated. Johnson is currently slated to take over those responsibilities.
According to Angle, UTC Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer, Vicki Farnsworth, is going to “oversee the integration of generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) across the campus.”
Angle went on to say that there are multiple reasons for UTC’s reorganization.
This includes “gaining an organization-wide view to apply generative AI in our instruction, business operations, and research,” he said.
“Our campus open forums on AI have prompted us to directly take on the challenges and opportunities presented by this innovative technology,” Angle continued.
Earlier this year the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) also decided to integrate AI into their educational curriculum and systems, under the guise of “enhancing” the learning experience and “embracing” some of the newer aspects of AI technology.
UTC Mathematics Professor Chris Cox told News Channel 9 in July, that he was already using AI in his classroom and believes the technology can “enhance” learning as long as it is used correctly.
According to Cox, UTC’s business and engineering departments had also already incorporated AI into their courses.
“I think it’s unavoidable that we are going to deal with it,” said Cox. “It has become ambiguous for students to write papers, work on their math problems, do a variety of things with [AI]. The challenge is to use it constructively.”
However, one UTC student approached by News Channel 9 asked, “If students are using [AI] on all of their assignments, how are they going to perform on tests?”
Another concern surrounds intellectual property and whether or not using an AI resource like ChatGPT to complete assignments is technically cheating.
“I think if students aren’t doing the work themselves,” one UTC student said, “it’s not their original thought processes, and not technically theirs.”
UTC has already set up their website to provide students and faculty with resources for using ChatGPT and Generative AI.
Additionally, the university is now offering a six-month, online AI/Machine Learning (ML) Bootcamp for those interested in the career field.
The course includes “practical programming skills in Python and ML” and prepares students to pass the Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Certification Exam, a new 100-level AI course offered by UTC.
About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at email@example.com.