Academic Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

In addition to the academic excellence of our undergraduate and graduate programs, Bryant University's centers and institutes foster innovation through partnerships with other institutions, the local community, and global businesses.

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 real world problems. It is designed to be “a regional beacon for analytics,” according to Richard Glass, Ph.D., professor of information systems and analytics. Glass and Alan Olinsky, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and information systems and analytics, 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 mission of the Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies at Bryant University is to expand the global and regional presence of Bryant while promoting educational and scholarly excellence. The Center supports innovative educational activities and provides students with opportunities to work closely with their peers and faculty members. The Center also provides students with the opportunity to engage in their own individual research projects. 

The University’s expert faculty engage in economic studies and research designed to generate new and innovated ideas and promote economic well-being. The Center also supports visiting scholars and Ph.D. students from around the world to help strengthen our academic community, provide international perspectives, and broaden the scope of our research areas and contributions.

In addition to these activities the Center also support our undergraduate students in the Principles of Economics Competition and Fed Challenge Competition. Through both of these experiences students enhance their understanding of economic concepts and are able to apply and suggest solutions to current economic issues.

The Center also offers businesses and organizations access to a wide variety of consulting services that leverage economics and statistics for strategic decision-making, economic analysis, and policy impact.

Center for Program Innovation

The Center for Program Innovation (CPI) is a catalyst for educational change. Its mission is to expand signature experiential learning opportunities and academic integration across disciplines, two fundamental elements of Bryant’s approach to education.

The center is directed by Michael Roberto, Trustee Professor of Management, who works with a steering committee of faculty, staff, and students. "We aim to create innovative and active, hands-on learning experiences for our students. In so doing, we will nurture and develop leaders who can make a difference in the world," Roberto says.

Key Activities

  • Faculty Innovation Grants: The center awards five $2,000 grants each year to faculty members introducing a substantial innovation into the classroom at Bryant. Recipients present their work at the annual Research and Engagement Day
  • Bryant App-a-Thon: This annual competition challenges students to design mobile device apps for the University. The winning app is built by Bryant Information Services.
  • Innovation Design Experience for All (IDEA): a multi-day immersive program for all first-year students. The center has run this program since 2012. 
  • Facilities Design: The center was instrumental in prototyping several new classrooms that eventually led to the design and construction of the Academic Innovation Center, which was awarded the national Grand Prize for outstanding design and architecture in the College Planning and Management 17th Annual Education Design Showcase.

The center also serves as a clearinghouse for information on program innovation taking place at other educational institutions, and hosts seminars and workshops to provide a forum for discussion on 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 surrounding 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 John H. Chafee Center for International Business, assists companies in selling their products or services in the global marketplace. RIEAC offers comprehensive services on international trade operations, international trade training, trade information, consulting, trade show, and trade mission supports. Through its training programs, 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 international 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 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., Dean of Bryant University's College of Business, 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 (RED) celebrates Bryant's culture of inquiry. It 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 and creative accomplishments with the entire Bryant community. 

Presentations highlight scholarly research, Honors projects, Bryant/Industry collaborations, and showcases of creative expression. Students explore the academic value of international educational experiences, community service projects, internships, student organizations, and other teaching and learning experiences 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. Through the Institute, Bryant has forged a partnership with several Chinese universities and governmental agencies. These partnerships 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.

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 Confucius Library, and a list of online resources.