Academic Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

In addition to academic excellence in our undergraduate and graduate programs, Bryant University partners with other institutions, the local community, and global businesses through our academic centers and institutes to foster innovation at all levels.

Advanced Applied Analytics Center (AAAC)

The innovative Advanced Applied Analytics Center (AAAC) supports the broadening of the relationship between analytics, research, and the solution of realworld problems. It is designed to be “a regional beacon for analytics,” according to Richard Glass, Ph.D., professor of computer information systems. Glass and Alan Olinsky, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer information systems, are the center’s co-founding directors. 

The Center is a hub of professional collaboration and a strategic resource for businesses and organizations that increasingly rely on analysis of big data to make effective decisions. It also is home to the University’s applied analytics program, a multidisciplinary concentration that provides students with skills in integrating technology and analytical methods. Building on Bryant’s core strengths, the program is one of the very few in the nation offered at the undergraduate level.

Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies

The Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies advances Bryant’s mission of developing the global perspective of its undergraduate and graduate students through a variety of academic and research opportunities led by expert faculty as they work to generate new and valuable ideas for promoting economic development. 

The Center contributes to the development of international and regional economic perspectives in the University’s graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of ways, including interdisciplinary applied research, internships, regional and international outreach and workshops. The work of the Center offers challenging academic research experiences both for Bryant faculty and students here and abroad. 

Center activities, including regional and international outreach, are led by the preeminent faculty of the Department of Economics at Bryant University in concert with students from all disciplines and with fellow faculty who hold positions in other departments at Bryant or at other distinguished institutions. All research associates have extensive hands-on experience working with empirical issues and data analysis. 

Because research projects are such an important component of the Center’s activities, the Center assists in securing grant funding for faculty research, teaching, and travel. The Center also organizes respected conferences and workshops. In addition, expert consulting and econometric services are available to companies and organizations.

Center for Program Innovation

The Center for Program Innovation is a catalyst for educational change. 

Its initial task is the creation of a signature Bryant University learning experience – one that emphasizes experiential learning and integration across disciplines, two fundamental elements of Bryant’s approach to education. The Center’s director and the steering committee currently are partnering with faculty and Student Affairs staff to create a program that will be academically challenging, intensely hands-on, and fun. 

Ultimately, the Center is a clearinghouse for information about program innovation taking place at other educational institutions, and hosts seminars and workshops to provide a forum for discussion of these issues.

Confucius Institute at Bryant University

Established in October 2006, the Confucius Institute at Bryant University (CIBU) was the first China-funded institute in Southern New England dedicated to the promotion of Chinese language and culture. This joint project between Bryant University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) offers resources to benefit students, educators, individuals, and businesses in Rhode Island and the local region. Named after the revered Chinese thinker, educator, and philosopher, the Confucius Institute is managed by the U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University in collaboration with the China University of Geosciences at Wuhan.

The Executive Development Center (EDC)

The Executive Development Center (EDC) offers business and professional certificate based programs that provide high-level management skills in critical business areas for executives, high-potential managers and growth-focused corporations. The EDC provides customized educational programs, executive retreats, and skill based certificate programs to national and international corporate clients. Its services also include open enrollment courses and professional certificates in Business Management, Non-Profit Management, Professional Coaching, Leadership, Sales, Human Resources Management, Lean Six Sigma, Financial Planning, Project Management and Business Analysis. The EDC can develop customized programs or tailor existing programs to meet a company’s business needs and budget. These programs can be delivered onsite or at the Bryant campus.

For more information, please contact:

  • Executive Development Center
  • Bryant University
  • 1150 Douglas Pike
  • Smithfield, RI 02917-1283
  • Phone: (401) 232-6200
  • Fax: (401) 232-6704
  • E-Mail: edc@bryant.edu
  • Web: edc.bryant.edu

Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership

The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University provides public officials and others involved in the development, management, and execution of public policy with the tools and skills needed to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations in order to govern and lead public sector and non-profit organizations effectively. 

The Institute’s programs enable connections among people serving on city councils, town councils, and school committees. They are customized to meet the unique needs of participants. Bryant University faculty lend their expertise to lead discussions and answer questions.

Institute for Family Enterprise

The Institute for Family Enterprise (IFE) was established at Bryant University in 1990. It is dedicated to helping family-owned firms manage the unique challenges associated with operating a successful family enterprise. Since its establishment, IFE has assisted families in business to plan, strategize, and manage their key decisions. In doing so, the Institute has formed enduring relationships with scores of families, and takes pride in knowing it has played a major role in the preservation of the rich legacy of family entrepreneurship in southeastern New England. 

For more information, please contact:

  • Institute for Family Enterprise
  • Bryant University
  • 1150 Douglas Pike
  • Smithfield, RI 02917-1284
  • Phone: 401-232-6477
  • Fax: 401-232-6416
  • Email: ife@bryant.edu.

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business prepares managers and students to face the challenges of global competition. The array of international services to help businesses range from export training, research, and consulting to arrangements for trade missions and trade shows. The center also oversees domestic programs including business development, e-business solutions, and product entrepreneurship. The Chafee Center houses state-of-the-art technology for programs that serve businesses throughout the country.

Moreover, The Chafee Center embodies Bryant University’s commitment to expanding the world of opportunity for Bryant students. The center enhances the integration of the University’s disciplines, divisions, and services in providing students with the global perspective they will need to enter the marketplace and prepare for the challenges of the 21st century. 

Rhode Island Export Assistance Center

The Rhode Island Export Assistance Center (RIEAC), located in the Chafee Center, assists companies in selling their products or services in the global marketplace. The RIEAC offers comprehensive services on international trade operations, international trade training, trade information, consulting, trade show, and trade mission supports. Through its training programs, the RIEAC offers valuable information to companies interested in global trade. The center hosts World Trade Day, an annual event that brings hundreds of businesses together for a conference featuring trade experts, informational sessions, and interaction with foreign representatives.

Global Partnerships

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business enhances business through private and public sector partnerships with organizations such as the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Education, the United States Small Business Administration, and state economic development agencies. Bryant University was the first private college to own a World Trade Center charter. The World Trade Center Association, Inc. (WTCA), with headquarters in New York City, has more than 500,000 affiliated companies and 300 centers in nearly 100 countries. The University offers these international business services in partnership with the State of Rhode Island. Bryant also manages the Rhode Island International Trade Directorate for the state of Rhode Island, through the RIEAC, which is funded by Bryant University and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

Student Development

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business offers students at Bryant University exciting opportunities to enrich their education. Students can attend any of the hundreds of programs offered each year to the business community. Also, the center offers students a living business laboratory where they can learn the practice of their disciplines. By working under the guidance of faculty members and professionals on class projects, internships, or directed studies, qualified students have the opportunity to refine their classroom knowledge with “real-world” experiences. With the help of the John H. Chafee Center for International Business, Professor Madan Annavarjula, Ph.D., professor of International Business and Strategy, established the IB practicum, where seniors work as consultants on real projects with local companies.

For more information, please contact:

Research and Engagement Day

Bryant University’s Research and Engagement Day (REDay) offers faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students as well as industry practitioners associated with Bryant University-related projects the opportunity to share their research and innovative academic accomplishments with the entire Bryant community. 

Papers and programs that show scholarly research, Honors projects, and Bryant/Industry collaborations are presented. Also encouraged are presentations that explore the academic value of international educational experiences, community service projects, internships, student organizations, and other teaching and learning outside of the classroom.

Rhode Island Economics Conference

The annual Rhode Island Economics Conference at Bryant University draws hundreds of the state’s political, academic, business, and nonprofit leaders. The forum features robust discussions about the challenges facing the state economy, including the uncertain tax climate created by budget deficits and pension liabilities.

U.S.-China Institute

Located within the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University is the U.S.-China Institute, which enhances Bryant’s academic and business programs by connecting Bryant with Chinese academic and business institutions. Via the Institute, Bryant has forged a partnership with several Chinese universities and governmental agencies. These partnerships will encourage faculty and student exchanges, research collaboration, and joint educational, business, and cultural programs.

The academic programs offered by the U.S.-China Institute offer insights and perspectives about Chinese history, culture, language, and society. Through seminars and guided study tours, students, faculty, staff, and community members can experience first-hand the many facets of China and U.S.-China relations.

China Seminar Series

Every month during the school year, a prominent China scholar or expert is invited to Bryant to share his or her areas of expertise. The seminars are free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Sophomore International Experience in China

The two week program offers an introduction to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Through research, site visits, and cultural experiences, students can experience the complexities of Chinese culture and earn 3 credits upon completion of the program.

Summer Internship and Immersion

This 10-week program offers students an immersion environment to improve their language skills. In conjunction, students engage in an internship with a Chinese company to gain first-hand global business experience. The program offers up to 12 credits, including courses in Chinese language, history, and business.

Study in China

Working with partner universities in China, the U.S.-China Institute offers customized semester abroad programs for Bryant students. The program includes courses in language, history, culture, and business, and study trips throughout China.

Language Events

In collaboration with Bryant’s Modern Languages Department, the U.S.-China Institute provides tutorial assistance, resources, events, and an immersion environment to make language learning relevant, effective, and fun.

Research and Exchange

The U.S.-China Institute creates opportunities for American and Chinese scholars and institutions to collaborate on research projects and academic programs through video conferences, online discussions, co-teaching, and site visits.


The U.S.-China Institute offers a range of academic and cultural resources, including a staff of China experts, the new Confucius Library, and a list of online resources.