I do not have the perfect formula for how higher education can best respond to ChatGPT. What I do know is that if universities are to have an effective and sustainable response, it will require the participation of the different campus stakeholders, including administration, faculty, staff, and students.

Let me offer you some plausible and likely scenarios:

  • A student is accused of academic misconduct because they used ChatGPT to write his paper. Their defense was “My English professor said we can use ChatGPT, so I assumed we can use it in this class as well.”
  • A professor decides to move their exams to the university learning management system and now requires students to take exams on paper and campus. The professor realized on the exam day they had not coordinated their plan with the Disabled Students Program to provide proctoring accommodation.
  • A professor, an advocate of the use of ChatGPT for their class, finds out suddenly in the middle of the quarter, right before they start their course, that ChatGPT had been blocked on the classroom computer by an IT network administrator who personally believes the use of ChatGPT in the classroom is wrong. Hence, they unilaterally decided to blocked it.
  • A staff, curious about how ChatGPT works, copied and pasted a confidential memo on ChatGPT to see how well it summarizes documents. They then suddenly panicked at the prospect of confidential information being uploaded to an outside service that may have violated a university policy.
  • Several professors purchased AI-detector software independently without consulting with the procurement office for security requirements. When they needed support from IT, they were informed that the software they bought are in litigation with the university and the purchase may have violated university policy.
  • A professor, lacking training, falsely accuse their class of using chatGPT and withhold their grades.

The situations above could result from many factors, including a need for a well-understood institutional strategy for using ChatGPT and the lack of coordination amongst the different campus community members. If universities are to have effective and sustainable responses to ChatGPT, it will require a diverse and inclusive effort to define an effective strategy that can be implemented and supported.

In my observations from the articles I have tracked related to higher education and ChatGPT, one set of important voices needs to be included – students. Webinars and panel discussions around academic integrity and ChatGPT almost always consist of faculty members and rarely have students. Unfortunately, articles reminding the need for student insights in ChatGPT discussions need to be written, but that is the reality. The authors state, “Educators and administrators need to engage students in conversations and decisions regarding AI with a genuine curiosity and openness to their desires, insights, concerns, and recommendations.”

Based on my observations of the myriad of higher education institutions’ responses towards ChatGPT, I am optimistic about the prospect of a future when campuses will eventually have strategies that should minimize the occurrences of the scenarios I posed above.


A list of ChatGPT and higher education articles, events, resources, and faculty guides.

ChatGPT, AI, and Higher Education – a collection of personal blog posts.