Anderson University is making national and cybersecurity education an academic priority. The university is establishing the Center for Security Studies and Cyber Defense with the help of a $1 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded earlier this year. AU President John Pistole, a former deputy director of the FBI and administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, says the center expands on the university’s cybersecurity and national security efforts and will be elite.
Pistole talked about the center and the school’s vision in an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“The center basically will allow students to have not only the training and experience in terms of curriculum, but internships and cooperative relationships with companies that are looking for things such as basic security awareness, whether that’s training, and even perhaps to the point of doing a…cybersecurity assessment for not-for-profits or for other companies and entities at a reduced cost,” said Pistole. “So our students and our professors and staff will actually be doing those out of our operations center.”
Pistole says AU is the only independent school in the country and one of only a few overall that has separate four-year degree programs for cybersecurity and national security.
“What we’re hoping to do is create a pipeline of talent for the huge demand in national security and cybersecurity that we’re seeing across not only the private sector, but of course in the government.”
Pistole says the university has a goal with the center to connect with the cybersecurity industry throughout the state. He says AU has a number of “transactional relationships” with businesses in the industry.
“On campus for the last several years, we’ve had internship co-op experiences with two companies in the computer science/cybersecurity world and that has allowed our students…to not only have their college education, but they’re working on campus and at a much higher rate than most college students are making during their college career. So it’s that practical experience that we’re hoping to expand on.”
Pistole says the center hopes to have an executive director for the center in place by the end of the year.