Academic Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives 2019-2020 Edition

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.

The 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.

The 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 supports 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.

The 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 seven $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.

The 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, many that are aligned with national certifications. These programs provide high-level management skills in critical business areas for executives, high-potential managers, and growth-focused corporations. The EDC provides customized certificate programs and courses to national and international professionals and corporate clients. Programs are available online and on campus or onsite for corporate clients. Programs include professional certificates in Healthcare, Financial Planning, Design Thinking, Cyber Security, Leadership, Human Resources, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Six Sigma, and Project Management and Business Analysis. The EDC can develop customized programs to meet a company’s business needs and budget.

For more information, please contact:

Executive Development Center

Bryant University

1150 Douglas Pike

Smithfield, RI 02917-1283

(401) 232-6200


The 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. The goal of the Institute's programs is to empower people to govern and lead public sector and non-profit organizations effectively. 

The Institute’s custom programs encourage networking, information sharing, and professional development. The Institute draws on Bryant University faculty and visiting experts to develop insightful, timely, high-engagement conferences, workshops, and programs. 

The 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, the 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:

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 planning and executing trade missions and trade shows, and business development.

The Chafee Center embodies Bryant University’s commitment to expanding the world of opportunity for Bryant students and businesses alike. 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. 

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business also assists companies in selling their products or services in the global marketplace. The Chafee Center offers comprehensive services on international trade operations, international trade training, trade information, consulting, trade show and trade mission support. Through its training programs, the Center 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 Small Business Administration, which provides the resources for Rhode Island's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). We also partner with the United State Department of Commerce and state economic development agencies such as Commerce RI, which supports Bryant University's international trade development. 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.

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. The Chafee Center also collaborates with Bryant University's International Business degree program and the Global Supply Chain Management program providing opportunities for students to work as consultants with local, regional, and international companies through real-world practica projects.

For more information, please contact:

Research and Engagement Day

Bryant University’s Research and Engagement Day (RED) celebrates Bryant's culture of inquiry, scholarship, and engagement. 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, senior Honors theses, academic inquiry, Bryant/Industry collaborations, and showcases of creative expression. Students reflect upon the academic value of international educational experiences, community service projects, internships, student organization activities, and other teaching and learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

U.S.-China Institute

The U.S.-China Institute 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.

Academic Programs
Through the annual Sophomore International Experience (SIE) China program, Bryant students can travel to China on a two-week study trip and earn three academic credits. In collaboration with Bryant’s Modern Languages Department, the U.S.-China Institute provides language tutorial assistance, resources, events, and an immersion environment to make language learning relevant, effective, and fun.

Business Programs
The Institute provides executive training, translation, and consulting services to businesses both in the U.S. and in China. The Institute also hires Bryant students as interns and student workers.

Research and Exchange

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

Bryant’s Zhuhai campus
The Institute links Bryant’s Smithfield campus with the University's Zhuhai campus by organizing and facilitating student and faculty exchanges and visits. The Institute particularly facilitates Zhuhai undergraduate student transfers to Smithfield, Zhuhai student applications to graduate programs in Smithfield, and short-term summer programs in Smithfield for Zhuhai students.