University Council discuss plans to introduce AI, virtual reality to classrooms


Christian Quevedo

(From left) University Advisory Committee member Brad Cripe, Administrative Assistant Pat Erickson, University Council Chair and NIU associate professor Ismael Montana and NIU President Lisa Freeman sit at the council table during the University Council meeting Tuesday. (Christian Quevedo | Northern Star)

By Kaitlyn Lee-Gordon, News Reporter

DeKALB – New technology may be introduced to NIU classrooms in the upcoming years following the University Council meeting addressing Gov. J.B. Priztker’s proposed budget for Illinois universities. 


While addressing the budget update, Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Ingram introduced plans to update classrooms with virtual reality and artificial intelligence. 

“Curricular innovations have been a part of our goal for over a year now and it’s a goal for this year,” Ingram said. “The university goal this year was to create a process to do a grant program to faculty and staff if they were interested in curricular innovation.”

The program will include up to 20 faculty members chosen from a selection of 48 applicants across 29 different departments. 

The proposed plan would allow for innovative technology to be introduced into classrooms with a wide variety of courses. The program is set to begin sometime next year.


During Associate Faculty Senate and University Council Chair Ismael Montana’s Board of Trustees report, he announced that there will be an increase in law student fees. Law students should expect a 25% increase in health and wellness charges, a 70% increase in transportation charges, a 45% increase in university and capital improvement charges and a 70% increase in transportation access charges. Low excellence charges will increase to $40 however, tuition will remain the same according to Montana.