Vanderbilt deans use ChatGPT to respond to MSU shooting: report

Two Vanderbilt University deans recently used ChatGPT to write an email addressing the student body after a mass shooting that took place earlier this month.

The deans were suspended from their duties shortly after.

Earlier this month, two Vanderbilt University deans sent an email using Open AI’s ChatGPT to Vanderbilt’s student body in response to a mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus on Feb. 13. 

The incident was first reported by The Vanderbilt Hustler, Vanderbilt’s official school newspaper, which highlighted a small line of text at the bottom of the email stating that it was written using ChatGPT. 

The Vanderbilt Hustler also noted that no Vanderbilt-specific terms were used besides one mention of “Peabody.” Additionally, the email references “recent Michigan shootings,” though there has only been one shooting in recent weeks. 

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Another characteristic of the email noted was that, according to a university spokesperson, Vanderbilt does not generally use ChatGPT to write messages. 

The email was signed by Associate Dean Nicole Joseph and Assistant Dean Hasina Mohyuddin, two professors in Vanderbilt University’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Campus Reform reached out to Vanderbilt on Feb. 25 for comment. Vanderbilt responded by providing a recent statement written by Dean of Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt Camilla Benbow. 

The email included language indicating it was a paraphrased version of a communication drafted using Open AI’s ChatGPT,” the statement reads

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It also says that “[o]n Friday, February 17, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Nicole M. Joseph sent a follow-up email apologizing for her office’s error in judgment in using ChatGPT for an email intended to reflect on a tragedy.” 

Campus Reform sent a follow-up email to Vanderbilt requesting a copy of the apology email but did not receive a response. 

In the past, Dean Joseph has also reportedly accused a white, Christian, male student of being “privileged” while she resides in a $675K mansion, according to Daily Mail.  

Campus Reform contacted every university, organization, and individual mentioned. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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