Dakota State University officials will be asking the South Dakota Board of Regents for approval to begin planning its second terminal degree -- a doctor of science in cyber security.
"It will be the first of its kind in the country," DSU President David Borofsky said.
DSU will present its intent to plan at the Regents meeting next week at Northern State University in Aberdeen. The Regents' Committee on Academic and Student Affairs will consider the proposal Wednesday.
This is the first step in the process of establishing a new program at a university. Once the intent to plan is approved, a university can formally flesh out the program and bring it back to the Regents for approval. Borofsky said approval of the program is also needed by the Higher Learning Commission, which approves the establishment of new programs on campus.
Borofsky said planning for the program has taken place over the past month and a half.
"We're trying to get it fast-tracked," he said. "We're excited about this and the potential for immediate growth."
Given the process needed to develop and gain approval for the program, Borofsky said its unlikely the program will be ready for implementation this fall. The university is not expected to request additional resources to add this program and hopes to have on-campus and distance-learning opportunities available to potential students.
According to the proposal there's a specific need for high-level cyber security employees who can take on a leadership role in the industry. Borofsky said the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency recently announced they had 4,000 jobs they were trying to fill.
Borofsky said not only are they anticipating a pool of potential students coming from DSU's existing master's programs but also professionals within the industry who are interested in advancing their careers.
The board of regents meeting is set to take place next week Wednesday and Thursday. Items of general business include discussion on legislative updates and the 2014 budget. The board will also set tuition and fees for the 2014 fiscal year.
DSU's Doctor of Science in Cyber Security is one of three program proposals up for consideration. Also up for consideration is a joint plan from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and South Dakota State University. SDSM&T plans to create a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. SDSU plans to create a Ph.D in Civil Engineering. SDSU also plans to present a proposal to create a Ph.D in biochemistry.