Faculty Senate update on ChatGPT, rising graduation fee


Mingda Wu

The NIU sign and Holmes Student Center on a snowy afternoon in MLK Commons. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

By Kaitlyn Lee-Gordon, News Reporter

DeKALB – During the second Faculty Senate meeting of the year, attendees gave an update on the use of ChatGPT in classrooms along with a change in the graduation fee.

ChatGPT is an AI technology system originally designed to mimic human responses to aid in customer service development. However, many students across various universities have been using this device to plagiarize writing assignments.

Jason Rhode, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning and Digital Education, gave a presentation on the issue as well as provided a possible resolution. Rhodes suggested that students should be informed on how to utilize the AI system to assist in writing without relying entirely on ChatGPT.

“How could this be yet another way in which we promote critical thinking?” Rhodes said. “Faculty are talking about ways in which they’re starting to think about how they incorporate and infuse this technology into how they think about activities for their students.”

In a report discussing an update from the Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate President Ismael Montana announced an increase in graduation fees starting during the fall semester of 2023. The graduation fee has not been increased since 1999 and will rise to $40 for those earning a bachelor’s degree and $55 for graduate students.