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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Faculty from Florida universities say AI enhances teachings, interactions with students

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) met at the University of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, where members and state university faculty highlighted the potential of AI to enhance the curriculum, underscoring the benefits for both students and staff in embracing this new resource.
Joel Davis, UF professor at BOG meeting. Courtesy of TheFloridaChannel.org

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) met on Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Florida (UF)  and discussed the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Florida’s colleges and universities.

Most committee meetings took place on Tuesday, and the full board meeting was held on Wednesday morning.

During the meeting on Tuesday, BOG members and faculty representing the state’s public universities emphasized the potential of AI to enhance the curriculum, underscoring the benefits for both students and staff in embracing this new resource.

The BOG’s current strategic plan, which wraps up at the end of 2025, does not mention AI. 

“We put together a heck of a plan that has turned us into the number one university system in the country,” said Brian Lamb, chair of the BOG. “I’m fairly certain that if we don’t lean in and challenge ourselves into this next strategic plan on items that we did not even include in the last strategic plan…we’re going to get left behind in the competitive environment.”

Jack Hitchcock — Florida State University (FSU) student body president and chair of the Florida Student Association — attended the BOG meeting, where he emphasized his support for the integration of AI in educational institutions. 

“I don’t believe [college] should be a test of what you can do without your resources. It should be a test of what you can do with your resources,” Hitchcock said. “I would’ve loved to have AI [for all of my classes] and that goes for probably every student in the university system. We need to learn it right when it comes out and be prepared for it.”

Among students, ChatGPT – a chatbot that has the ability to write essays and solve problem sets–has emerged as a favored AI agent since its release in November 2022. According to a study from Intelligent.com, a higher education research group, roughly one-third of college students have used ChatGPT for schoolwork during the 2022-2023 academic year, and 78% of users are likely to recommend the tool to other students. 

However, while respondents shared the advantages, citing it provides “good outlines and assists in organizational skills,” and is easy to use, they also expressed concerns regarding potential disadvantages, such as over-reliance on the agent for completing work. 

“Faculty members were very concerned that students were using this technology to cheat,” said Joel Davis, one of the three state university faculty members present at the meeting and professor at UF with 25 years of experience in analytics and AI. “I see this technology as a massive opportunity for our students. It’s an opportunity to have a personalized tutor or teaching assistant at their fingertips 24/7.”

Davis joined UF two years ago as part of the university’s AI initiative – which aimed to recruit 100 faculty members dedicated to AI research –and found gaps in the business world regarding AI. UF stands as one of the pioneering institutions nationwide to integrate AI across the curriculum. 

“I saw a lot of students coming out of the University of Florida that just didn’t have the skills to work in those up-and-coming technology fields,” Davis said. “Every class, every faculty member and every student has to be exposed to this technology appropriately for their domain.”

FSU is currently offering a series of introductory workshops, educating over 300 faculty members on AI, its capabilities and limitations. According to Paul Marty, professor at FSU’s School of Information and an information scientist, faculty responses have been largely positive. 

“Faculty use of these tools has really lagged behind student use of these tools, and that’s why it’s so important that our universities work with our faculty to help them understand the potential of AI in education,” Marty said.

When ChatGPT was initially introduced, Marty delved into its potential applications for his classes. During the meeting, he said the agent generated potential class exercises and quizzes for his students. He also suggested ChatGPT could serve as a catalyst for elevating professors’ expectations and placing greater emphasis on developing more advanced skills in the classroom. 

“By embracing these tools, we can offer better, more interesting assignments. We can raise the baseline of our expectations and encourage our students to perform at a higher level…We can focus on helping our students understand that how they get to the answer is more important than what the answer is,” said Marty. 

The BOG has yet to specify the tasks students and faculty can delegate to AI and those that need to remain uniquely human. 

“You’ll probably never be replaced by a generative AI system, but you will be replaced by someone who knows how to use these systems ethically and effectively,” said Moez Limayem, president of University of North Florida (UNF).

Laurie Mermet is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM laurie.mmt on Instagram.


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Laurie Mermet
Laurie Mermet, Student Life Editor
Laurie Mermet is a senior pursuing a bachelor's in multimedia journalism with a minor in public relations. 

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