DSU receives $900,000 for Cyber Security Initiative

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed the bill today to give Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. $900,000 for its Cyber Security Initiative. The funds will be used for the expansion of the information systems and cyber security programs at DSU by way of faculty recruitment and staff advancement.

Growth in these programs will help provide economic development within South Dakota for industries in the areas of information technology and security. DSU has already partnered with four technology and security companies within the state in order to develop graduates who are experts in these areas. As professionals in these program areas continue to be in high demand, South Dakota has the chance to be a global leader in the security industry bringing in new companies and jobs to the state. 

DSU President David Borofsky and Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson appeared before the Senate and House Appropriations Committees during the 2013 Legislative session to ask for $900,000 to cover the cost of adding four new faculty members over a three-year period.   Representatives Leslie Heinemann and Scott Parsley, who both co-sponsored the bill, provided excellent support for the bill by testifying before the House Appropriations Committee and supporting the bill on the House floor. 

According to Borofsky, “The funding will be used in phases, hiring two new faculty members the first year and one each the next two years. It will also provide the necessary support staff to expand enrollment in the doctoral program.” 

Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson sponsored the bill and stated, “Every night on the evening news, there are stories about attempts to ‘hack’ into our secure bank accounts, social media and government files. For once, we don't have to hear the usual cry that we are last in the nation in this field. As a matter of fact, when it comes to cyber security, we are far from it. Both the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense call upon Dakota State University for advice in this field." 

DSU was named one of four Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2012. DSU is not only the smallest school to receive that status, but also the only public university.   

Currently, Dakota State is the only institution in South Dakota to offer a bachelor’s degree in computer and network security and a Master of Science degree in information assurance along with a graduate certificate in ethical hacking.  

This fall DSU will begin offering a Master of Science in applied computer science as well, which focuses on preparing graduates to work in high level information technology and computer science related jobs that are available in technical, industrial, business and financial companies of all sizes, in South Dakota and in the region. The master’s program will complement the institution’s existing information technology-focused graduate programs by providing a strong computational and software development emphasis. The master’s program will be available on-campus and online. 

For more information on DSU, visit the website at www.dsu.edu.  For more information about information technology programs and cyber security, please email Dr. Tom Halverson, Dean of the College of Business and Information Systems, tom.halverson@dsu.edu.

Last Updated: 3/21/13