AUGUSTA, Ga. – As construction of the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta takes off, capitalizing on the growth of cyber in the CSRA, Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD, announced today the creation of a new School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. The school will launch July 1, but move to the new 168,000-square-foot innovation and training center upon completion in 2018.
The first federal investment into cybersecurity education at Augusta University was also announced today, with the signing of an agreement to create a faculty position in the new School of Computer and Cyber Sciences to be jointly appointed by Augusta University and Savannah River National Laboratory.
“Augusta University launched the Cyber Institute two years ago, and a school with an emphasis in computer and cyber sciences is the next step in our plan to become a national leader in cyber education,” Keel said. “It fulfills our commitment to our students, our community and our nation by positioning us to better prepare our graduates for the cyber workforce and provide our community and country with skilled cyber workers. We are grateful for the partnership with SRNL – one that will help us recruit the faculty needed to provide this important training. ”
School of Computer and Cyber Sciences
The School of Computer and Cyber Sciences will enhance and expand the university’s computer science and information technology programs, formerly housed by James M. Hull College of Business.
“Both the cyber and business programs needed their own focus to expand and better serve our students,” said Rick Franza, dean of the James M. Hull College of Business. “However, we will continue to collaborate to best serve our students and their future employers. Business cannot thrive without technology and technology development and deployment requires business acumen.”
The School of Computer and Cyber Sciences will expand on the work done by the Augusta University Cyber Institute in three core areas:
• Cyber Operations — A field that studies the behavior and techniques of cyber criminals.
• Health Security — A field that develops techniques to safeguard health information in cyberspace.
• Data Science — A field that analyzes and makes sense of available data.
New cyber faculty position
Augusta University will partner with Savannah River National Laboratory for a faculty position that will promote interdisciplinary research and education in the area of cybersecurity.
“We’re proud to partner with Savannah River National Laboratory for this very important investment into the future of our students and our communities,” said Dr. Gretchen Caughman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Augusta University.
According to the agreement, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the managing and operating contractor of SRNL, will provide $200,000 to launch the position, and will jointly fund the faculty member’s effort through an annual agreement thereafter. The individual will join the new school’s faculty and be located in the new 168,000-square-foot cyber innovation and training center on Augusta University’s Riverfront Campus.
“Close collaboration and strong partnerships for education are the key ingredients that will establish the CSRA region as a national leader in cybersecurity,” said SRNL Director Dr. Terry A. Michalske. “We are happy to have both with Augusta University and look forward to a long relationship that promises to shape the future of cyber innovation and training.”
Augusta University established its Cyber Institute in 2015 to bring together academia, industry and government to address cybersecurity education, research and workforce development needs. The institute has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Savannah River National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories and is a world leader in science and technology. SRNL offers a unique combination of capabilities, infrastructure and expertise that is not available anywhere else in the United States. As the designated laboratory for environmental management, SRNL has been called upon to provide intellectual leadership and innovative solutions to address complex challenges in environmental stewardship, national security and secure energy manufacturing.
A national search to fill the position is expected to begin next month.