Academic Innovation + Intelligence Lab

March 4, 2024

There's a lab for that: new cross-functional group will use research, data and intervention to clear paths for students to succeed.


The Office of Undergraduate Studies is pleased to announce the establishment of The Academic Innovation + Intelligence Lab (The A.I.I., or “A double i”), a cross-functional group that uses research, data, and intervention to clear paths for students to succeed. Its goal is to drive steady, continuous change by creating, implementing, and scaling viable interventions that enable every student to have an exceptional educational experience. Specifically, the lab investigates processes, explores new pedagogical approaches, tests new technologies and tools, uses data analysis and visualization to unearth new understanding, and shares its insights nationwide.

The A.I.I. is a culmination of multiple collaborative academic innovation efforts the university has engaged in for many years. Led by Jim Agutter, A.I.I. lab director, and senior associate dean for Faculty Success & Academic Innovation, it will fold in a long line of internally funded efforts to optimize university operations, remove barriers to student success, and transform how the U delivers exceptional education experiences for all.

“We stand at the precipice of a transformative era in undergraduate education at the University of Utah,” said T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies. “Our vision with the A.I.I. is to create a nexus of innovation and intelligence that propels student success to new heights. By blending research, data, and interventions, the lab represents a commitment to continuous, evidence-based evolution in our teaching, learning, and success strategies. We invite creative thinkers and curious minds to join with us in this spirit of innovation. Together, we will not only navigate the changing landscape of higher education but also chart new paths of success for students and faculty at the U and beyond.”

The A.I.I. will also strengthen the university’s partnership with the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a leading coalition of public institutions that fund, test, and scale interventions to bridge equity gaps and power student success for all. Working closely with the U’s UIA Extend Group (a campus-wide group of faculty and staff), it will incubate and coordinate UIA-sponsored projects with direction and management from UIA Fellow Lindsay Coco, special assistant to the SAVPAA/dean of Undergraduate Studies. Hagood and Senior Advisor in the Office of the President Laura Snow will shepherd projects as the university’s UIA Liaisons.