Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

August 2015

Oklahoma State University Receives Cyber Defense Education Recognition

Oklahoma State University was recently recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defender Education for the academic years 2014-20 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Oklahoma State has been recognized as a leader in cyber defense education for many years thanks to the efforts of those in the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security (CTANs), established in 2002 in the MSIS Department in the Spears School of Business. In April 2008, OSU became the first university in the country to hold both the Center of Academic Excellence in Education and the Center of Academic Excellence in Research designations.

“We first received this coveted designation in 2005, and have maintained it ever since,” said Rick Wilson, head of the Department of Management Science and Information Systems (MSIS). “Our faculty are involved in important cutting-edge research and instruction in cyber security, and our students benefit from such top-tier instruction and knowledge.”

“We are very proud that our MSIS department has for 10 years been recognized as a leader in cyber defense education,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School. “The department’s faculty does an outstanding job of preparing our students for leadership roles in this important security area. This designation assures students coming to OSU to study in this area will receive education that will well equip them for the ever changing world of cyber security.”

Several faculty members in the Spears School’s MSIS department have played important roles in working with the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education to facilitate the national recognition. They are David Biros, associate professor; Jim Burkman, clinical assistant professor; JinKyu Lee, associate professor; Andy Luse, assistant professor, and Mark Weiser, director for the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security and regents service professor.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence works in conjunction with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recognize academic institutions that are committed to reducing the vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research while also producing a growing number of professionals in various disciplines.

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” said Karen Leuschner, National Centers of Academic Excellence manager for the NSA, in her letter informing OSU of the designation.

“The Presidents’ National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, February 2003, and the International Strategy for Cyberspace, May 2011, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with these skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace. Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so. Education is the key to promoting these ideals,” Leuschner added.

OSU will be recognized at the 19th Annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) in Las Vegas on June 15.

Official letters of notification that OSU has been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2020 were mailed to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, members of Congress, and appropriate Congressional committees.

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