Published 02/24/16

Contact: Ariella Steinreich, Steinreich Communications, (201) 498-1600, asteinreich@scompr.com 

Bryant University appoints academic innovator

Edward Kairiss headshotSmithfield, R.I. Bryant University has announced the appointment of Edward Kairiss, Ph.D., as the University’s first Director of Faculty Development and Innovation.

Kairiss comes to Bryant from Yale University, where he served most recently as Director, Strategic Projects, for Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

An expert with more than 25 years of experience in innovative teaching and learning, Kairiss brings a distinguished record of thought leadership and academic achievement to his position. 

"Ed’s arrival will further the innovative culture that already exists among Bryant faculty and students.”

"This is an exciting time in Bryant history, and my decision to join the Bryant community was an easy one. I was inspired by the university’s energetic and visionary leadership, the contagious enthusiasm of the faculty, and the opportunity to share in advancing Bryant's mission of educational excellence and transformation,” said Kairiss.

Bryant’s distinctive 24/7 learning environment, combining innovative academic and student life programs in an award-winning setting, builds the skills and increases the confidence of students. “To define our future and set the pace for others to follow, we will be bold in advancing our mission – creating a new model for educating innovative leaders with character who will make a difference around the world,” said Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley, who began his 20 th year at the university in September.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the addition of Dr. Kairiss to our team," said Bryant Provost Glenn Sulmasy. "His exceptional academic background, leadership, and dedication to faculty innovation come at a pivotal time in Bryant history. With our groundbreaking Academic Innovation Center scheduled to open in September, Ed’s arrival will further the innovative culture that already exists among Bryant faculty and students.”

Bryant’s immersive and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education, with a focus on international education and innovative models of teaching and learning, has garnered national recognition by organizations including the Davis Educational Foundation and Hanover Research.

Kairiss joined the Yale University faculty in 1989 as a member of the Department of Psychology and the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program, with teaching and research interests in Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience and the biophysical basis of memory. He was awarded the Yale College-Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences (1993) in recognition of his exemplary teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 1997, he began work in Educational Technologies at Yale, led the development of Yale’s first Learning Management System, and formed the Instructional Technology Group to support faculty and students in all aspects of the use of technology in teaching and learning. Dr. Kairiss is interested in transdisciplinary inquiry in education, heutagogy, and evidence-based practice in faculty development. His interest in brain and cognitive science encourages him to approach teaching by embracing the latest insights into how young adults learn. 

Kairiss holds a PhD. in Neuroscience from McMaster University and a B.Sc. in Physics from University of Waterloo. He pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Otago in New Zealand, the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope in Duarte, CA, and at Yale University.


Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Founded in 1863, Bryant University has approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 35 states and 85 countries. Bryant University is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, College Factual/U.S.A. Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and Barron’s. The university’s 50,000 sq. ft. Academic Innovation Center is scheduled to open in September 2016.