Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | March 19, 2024
Ravi Pendse
Ravi Pendse, vice president for IT and chief information officer (Joel Iverson, ITS Communications)

Greetings everyone,

Can you believe that we are only a few weeks away from the end of the 2023-2024 school year? Time is going by so fast.

This has been a monumental academic year for the Michigan IT community. We have faced both unprecedented challenges and incredible technological advances. Throughout it all, I have been so impressed by how Michigan IT always puts our users first. We know our mission, and we live it every day.

One example of this is how U-M has embraced generative AI this year. There are thoughtful discussions and ingenious implementations of GenAI happening all over our various campuses. The Ross School of Business has built 24/7 AI tutors for some of their classes. LSA has launched an AI student advisor chatbot. The ITS Service Center uses GenAI to write instant summaries of their Tech Help calls, saving hundreds of hours each month. When it comes to GenAI adoption, we are setting the pace not only for U-M but also for the world of higher education.

Recently, we released an enhancement to our U-M AI Services platform that gave all students, faculty, and staff access to GPT 4.0 Turbo and DALL-E 3. Since then, I have received many emails from students who are extremely excited about this new upgrade.

One email I received from a LSA student was simply titled “WOW.” In his message, the student told me, “I saw your email today about the AI that we have access to, and I was ecstatic. I had been waiting to use the newest version of Chat GPT of course, but what really floored me was DALL E. … Some of the purest joy I’ve felt in months.”

I share that because I think it is important you all know that the work we do makes a tangible difference in people’s lives. The fact is – AI literacy is as important right now as internet literacy was in the 1990s. Fortunately, Michigan IT is leading the way when it comes to both GenAI access and GenAI education.

To further meet those needs, Teaching & Learning has launched a new series of generative AI workshops, which are open to all students, faculty, staff, and everyone in the Michigan IT community. You can find out how to register for these courses here.

The initial feedback has been extremely positive. These sessions offer live demonstrations and hands-on instruction on how best to utilize our AI services like U-M GPT and Maizey. We are giving our users both the tools and the knowledge to thrive in the age of AI.

Enjoy this video we recently produced on how the university is approaching GenAI as a force of “positive disruption.” It will give you a good idea of the scope of what we have been working on.

Last month, I asked what were the big topics you wanted to see Michigan IT tackle in 2024. (Thank you to everyone who replied.) This month, I would love to hear stories about how people in Michigan IT use AI tools at work or home. Have you tried U-M GPT? Have you experimented with making images with DALL-E 3 yet? Are you using any of these services on your ongoing projects? Please reach out to me at and let me know.

I hope you have all had a wonderful month so far. Thank you for everything you do for our university.

With gratitude,


Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan