Touro University Announces New Associate Provost for AI

Dr. Shlomo Argamon to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into 30-Plus Programs Across 18 Campuses

January 04, 2024
Dr. Shlomo Argamon
Dr. Shlomo Argamon

In the last decade, artificial intelligence broke out of the realm of science fiction into real life, spurring endless headlines and debate among pundits, politicians and scholars over its uses—and its dangers. In 2024, Touro University will take a lead in addressing—and shaping—AI’s impact on higher education by appointing American-Israeli computer scientist Dr. Shlomo Engelson Argamon, as the nation’s first Associate Provost for Artificial Intelligence.

“Too often, academia and industry merely react to advancements in technology,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president of Touro University. “Touro has decided to take a proactive role to address AI’s promises and challenges now and for the future.”

“We looked nationally for someone who could ensure that our growing university system is capable of anticipating and harnessing AI’s potential,” Kadish said. “Dr. Argamon brings three decades of research into AI and related fields as well as a history of academic entrepreneurship—building programs, such as one of the country’s early master’s programs in data science; developing partnerships between disciplines, such as his work in the digital humanities—using computer tools to advance scholarship in literature and related departments; and fostering effective collaboration academia and the private sector.”

In the newly-created role, Argamon will lead the formation of University-wide policies and programs to integrate AI throughout all of Touro’s 30-plus undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. His responsibilities will include creating courses and course materials that teach relevant techniques and concepts within each area of study; developing undergraduate courses and concentrations, as well as certificate and graduate degree programs in artificial intelligence. He will activate best practices and proven methodologies governing AI use within the university setting, from ensuring academic integrity to supporting struggling students to personalizing the educational experience.

Argamon will also lead efforts to use AI for improving the University system’s functioning, such as utilizing forecasting and data analytics to streamline student recruitment, budgeting, curricular planning and other administrative functions.

“With this new effort, Touro University will emerge as a national leader in the use of AI’s power to educate and support our students and improve the University’s operations,” Kadish said.

“When President Kadish first approached me with his vision, I was thrilled. We have a chance to be the tip of the spear in applying the promise of AI to all aspects of higher education,” said Argamon.

“In many ways, Touro already is a model of the 21st century university. Under President Kadish’s leadership, Touro focuses on what students need to launch themselves into a rapidly evolving marketplace and world,” continued Argamon. “And now, as one of the first universities to teach and use AI in a unified way throughout all our programs and operations, we will not only prepare our students for the new AI-powered workplace they will encounter on graduation, but to be lifelong learners who can adapt to the accelerating rate of change that AI will engender.”

The new associate provost also holds a faculty appointment as professor of computer science.

Professor Argamon earned a B.S. at Carnegie-Mellon, and an M.Phil and Ph.D from Yale University. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Chicago and Rutgers University and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at Bar-Ilan University. Argamon taught at Bar-Ilan and at the Jerusalem College of Technology before joining the computer science faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2002. He served as department chair there from 2019-2023 and founded Illinois Tech’s master’s program in data science.

Argamon was the Aston University Distinguished Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics in 2014 and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, as well as a fellow at the Brain Sciences Foundation in Providence, RI. He has served as an advisor to numerous high-tech companies and start-ups, and has provided expert opinions in multiple legal cases. Professor Argamon’s research uses machine learning and computational linguistics for authorship and text analysis with application to fields as diverse as counter-terrorism, criminal investigations, humanities scholarship and healthcare/biomedical informatics.