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2023 Keynote Speaker

SAIR 2023 Keynote Speaker – Jason Simon, Ph.D.

Innovation Amplified: Harnessing AI/NLP to Help Push Institutional Research Forward

When Open AI’s original Chat GPT emerged in the marketplace it represented the first time AI/NLP technologies went mainstream. Leaders and educators from all fields were confronted with new capabilities holding both promise and peril for how work was approached. Join me as we explore the fundamentals of AI/NLP, provide best practices for optimal engagement with the most common tools, and present practical AI/NLP use cases for IR to enhance the efficacy of institutional research in higher education institutions. Whether you are an ardent supporter, a hardened skeptic, or somewhere in between - our time together will help us all think more critically about these tools and what they can do for our students and institutions.

With 30 years of higher education experience, Dr. Jason Simon serves as Associate Vice President of Data, Analytics and Institutional Research (DAIR) at the University of North Texas. He leads a comprehensive enterprise-wide data warehouse team of 13 that brings together data sources from across campus to promote data informed decision making for UNT.

Dr. Simon also serves as an affiliate faculty member for UNT’s Department of Counseling and Higher Education, and is a frequent speaker at local, regional, and national conferences on data, analytics, AI/NLP, and institutional culture. His writings focus on how campus culture can impact the success or failure of data and analytic projects. Dr. Simon was one of two institutional researchers to help draft the “Change with Analytics” statement which is promoting data informed decision making in new ways across higher education. Dr. Simon also serves on the EDUCAUSE Analytics and Research Advisory Group guiding strategy, research, and the analytic roadmap for 16K members across 2,300 institutions. Finally, he currently serves as a UNT representative on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for AIR/EDUCAUSE/NACUBO to improve analytic maturity in higher education.

  • Ph.D. in higher education, University of North Texas
  • M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs administration, University of Vermont
  • B.A. in environmental studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey
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The Southern Association for Institutional Research (SAIR) is dedicated to the advancement of research leading to improved understanding, planning, and operation of institutions of post-secondary education. SAIR provides a forum for the dissemination of information and interchange of ideas on problems of common interest in the field of institutional research. In addition, SAIR promotes the continued professional development of individuals engaging in institutional research and fosters the unity and cooperation among persons having interests and activities related to research.