Robert E. Cummings

Executive Director of Academic Innovation Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and Director of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Digital Media Studies

Robert E Cummings


As Executive Director of Academic Innovation, I work with both the Academic Innovations Group and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. AIG supports faculty at the University of Mississippi in improving classroom teaching and learning through the invention, adoption, and improvement of evidence-based strategies. CETL serves the University by being a resource, providing a forum for the discussion of research, implementing ideas for practices central to teaching and learning processes, and facilitating professional development for faculty to empower students for lifelong learning. But in brief, we like to say that AIG explores topics with teaching implications while CETL explores teaching applications.

As Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, I research and teach digital writing. In the early 2000s, I focused on how digital networks affect the formation of community for writers. This started my work with writing for Wikipedia and the Wiki Education Foundation. Most recently, I have partnered with computer science researchers to form interdisciplinary teams to explore more deeply how issues of generative AI affect and shape the role of humans in writing. In continue to enjoy teaching composition and special topics in digital media and data studies.


“Do AI Writing Assistants Improve Productivity?” The Second Workshop on Intelligent and Interactive Writing Assistants, co-located with The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2023). Hamburg, Germany. April 24, 2023.

Post-pandemic Digital Writing Instruction will be Resilient, Open, and Inclusive.” Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(2). (2023). DOI:10.53761/

“Reclaiming the Technology of Higher Education for Teaching Digital Writing in a Post—pandemic world.” Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20 (2). (2023). (with Rebecca Johinke and Frances Di Lauro). DOI:10.53761/


B.A. English, University of Tennessee-Knoxville (1990)

M.A. English, The University of Mississippi (1999)

Ph.D. English, The University of Mississippi (2006)