In an effort to promote higher education in information assurance, and in turn, increase the number of professionals with this critical expertise, the National Security Agency for the first time has designated seven universities as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. NSA's establishment of this program was spurred by the growing demand for professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines. Centers of Academic Excellence may become focal points for recruiting and may create a climate to encourage independent research in information assurance.
The following universities are designated as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education:
- James Madison University
- George Mason University
- Idaho State University
- Iowa State University
- Purdue University
- University of California at Davis
- University of Idaho
The universities will be formally recognized in a presentation at the Third Annual Conference of the National Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education, held May 25 through 29 at the IBM Conference Facility in Palisades, New York. The Conference provides a forum for key officials in government, industry, and academia to focus on current and emerging requirements in information assurance education, and to encourage the development and expansion of curricula at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Conference information is available at http://www.infosec.jmu.edu/ncisse/conference99/website/.
NSA granted the designations following a rigorous review of university applications against published criteria based on training standards established by the National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Committee (NSTISSC), an intergovernmental organization that sets policy for the security of national security systems. The criteria measure the depth and maturity of established programs in the field of information assurance. This program is an example of the outreach and partnership efforts called for in the May 22, 1998 Administration Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection, Presidential Decision Directive 63.
The National Security Agency's Information Assurance organization provides the solutions, products and services, and conducts defensive information operations, to achieve information assurance for information infrastructures critical to U.S. national security interests.