UAHuntsville has been re-designated as national center for information systems security education
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The University of Alabama in Huntsville has again been designated as a national center of information systems security education.
UAHuntsville was first named a national center in 2007, and this will extend the university’s designation by five years to 2017, according to the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The goal of the program is to reduce cybersecurity risks by promoting higher education in information assurance, and producing a growing number of professionals with expertise in various disciplines.
The university has been working to strengthen its information assurance programs for numerous years, and this designation shows that the university can provide the necessary tools and skills to bring greater confidentiality and integrity to computers and their networks, according to Provost Vistasp Karbhari.
“Getting re-designated as a national center for information assurance education by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security gives us confidence that we are reaching some of the goals we have established for this program,” Dr. Karbhari said. “We believe our efforts are reducing the vulnerability of America’s information infrastructure, and is becoming a more important component for cybersecurity.”
UAHuntsville’s 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, according to Neal Ziring, the information assurance technical director for the National Security Agency.
The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education 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,” Ziring said. “Education is the key to promoting these ideals.”
Institutions who have earned this designation are located throughout the country with most being in close proximity to major Department of Defense installations, federal research centers and other federal agencies. In this role, UAH will serve as a regional center of information assurance expertise and provide programs aimed at retooling and retaining federal and state information technology personnel.
The UAHuntsville center has been a collaborative effort among several academic departments including Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Accounting & Information Systems.
The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education is a program open to nationally accredited four-year colleges and universities for their graduate and undergraduate programs.
Criteria are designed to measure and recognize the depth and maturity of information assurance academic programs and to stimulate the development of information assurance programs to meet the varying needs of students, including workforce professionals, as well as the employment needs of government and industry.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a doctoral-granting, research-intensive university with 7,700 students. The university is ranked as a Tier 1 national university by U.S. News &World Report, and has been cited by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “very high” research activity institution, one of only 73 public universities in the nation. More information about UAH can be found at www.uah.edu.
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