Bill allocates $900,000 for DSU
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
Dakota State University has been allocated $900,000 in state funding to expand its cyber security programs.|
Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed SB236 into law on Wednesday. The bill allocates the funding to the South Dakota Board of Regents for DSU's Cyber Security Initiative. The funds will be spent over a three-year period to add four new faculty members. University officials project that enrollment growth within the programs will cover the cost of the additional faculty after three years.
DSU officials said this funding was needed to expand the current programs and meet the growing need for employees in the information security field.
"By 2018, there will be 7,200 more computer science related jobs just in South Dakota," said DSU President David Borofsky. "And there will be over 500,000 jobs in the country."
The expansion at DSU has the potential to provide another 120 to 200 graduates to fill that need, he said, adding that the job growth in this area is likely to continue for the next seven to 10 years.
"Part of it depends on how quickly we respond," he said. "It's going to take a bit of time. It's not something you can teach someone in a couple years."
DSU has already partnered with four technology and security companies within the state 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 new companies and jobs to the state.
SB236 was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson of Wentworth and Dist. 8 Reps. Leslie Heinemann of Flandreau and Scott Parsley of Madison.
"The funding will be used in phases, hiring two new faculty members the first year and one each the next two years," Borofsky said. "It will also provide the necessary support staff to expand enrollment in the doctoral program."
Borofsky said DSU plans to begin advertising immediately for the first two faculty members and get them in place as soon as possible.
Gaining the state's support to expand a campus program is somewhat rare because universities typically request budget increases through the Regents.
"It's huge," Borofsky said of the support. "We've been on the cutting edge for quite a while...It's pretty gratifying to know the work that has been done up to now is finally being recognized."
Olson said the bill comes at an ideal time for DSU.
"Every night on the evening news, there are stories about attempts to hack into our secure bank accounts, social media and government files," Olson said. "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 in 2012. DSU is not only the smallest school but also the only public university to receive that status.
DSU is the only S.D. institution 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.
DSU will begin offering a master of science degree in applied computer science this fall. That program 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.
Borofsky said DSU plans to purchase property on the north side of campus. The Madison Community Hospital is planning construction of a new facility on the south side of Madison along the SD-34 bypass.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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