GU to Create Institute for Informatics and Applied Technology, Led by $5 Million Gift

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August 22, 2023
Dan Nailen

The Gonzaga Board of Trustees approved establishing the Institute for Informatics and Applied Technology at its July meeting. A $5 million lead gift to support the development of the new institute ensures that Gonzaga University will be a major part of technological advancement endeavors.

“Industries like aerospace manufacturing, health care and computer engineering are all central elements of the Inland Northwest economy, and the Institute for Informatics and Applied Technology will create new opportunities for our students to be leaders in high-tech industries for years to come,” said Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh.

A generous contribution by the David and Cathleen Reisenauer family allows Gonzaga to immediately launch a search for an inaugural institute director. By augmenting current faculty with new hires and developing new undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, the institute will serve as a major focal point for technology and information science at Gonzaga. Its collective expertise will offer a chance to partner with local industries, government agencies and health providers, while enhancing current relationships such as the University’s ongoing partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Gonzaga plans to launch programs that put students at the heart of harnessing – and protecting – “big data.” That includes potential degrees in data sciences, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering and software engineering. With considerable expertise already on campus in the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Engineering and Applied Science, Law and Business Administration, GU Provost Sacha Kopp believes Gonzaga is uniquely positioned to explore the needs and solutions of an increasingly data-driven world.

“We seek to understand how big data and artificial intelligence can extract powerful insights in technology development, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and health care. And we seek to understand the threats posed to national, individual and private- sector security due to information and resource theft or attacks in cyberspace,” Kopp said