Friday, April 11, 2014

Another First For Mercyhurst! School Of Intelligence Studies and Information Sciences Announced Today!

Tom Ridge, Former PA Governor and first Secretary of Homeland
Security, speaks at the opening of the School of Intelligence
Studies and Information Sciences
Today, Mercyhurst University announced that the Department of Intelligence Studies would be merged with the Department of Math and Computer Science and the Department of Communications to form the seventh school within the University:  The Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Sciences.

Named after former Pennsylvania governor and first Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, the new school takes its place among more traditional schools such as the School of Social Sciences and the School of Business...

(Sounds like a damn press release.   If your readers wanted that, they should go here.  You should give them a feel for what this really means...)

This is a big deal.  A really big deal.

In the first place, there is no other University in the country (perhaps in the world) that has a school dedicated to a vision of Intelligence Studies as an applied discipline, that teaches students how to get intelligence done and not just how to talk about it.

Secondly, it is going to allow us to grow our programs exponentially.  First up is a new and complementary masters degree that will focus on data analytics - so-called "big data". My own hope is that we will soon begin to offer a doctorate - but not a PhD - in Applied Intelligence.  I don't know what the new Dean of the School, Dr. Jim Breckenridge, wants it to look like, but I want it to be a professional doctorate, like an MD or a JD, that will focus not only on intelligence analysis but also on the special challenges of leading and managing the intelligence enterprise.

Third, it validates the vision of Bob Heibel, the founder of the Mercyhurst program.  Twenty-two years ago, long before 911, before even the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, Bob had the radical idea that academia could do a pretty good job educating the next generation of intelligence analysts.  Almost 1000 students have graduated from our residential, online degree, or certificate programs since then.  These alumni are today employed throughout the national security, business and law enforcement intelligence communities.

Governor Ridge said today that the nation owes a debt of gratitude to Bob for what he has contributed to the safety and security of the US and, through our international students, of the world.  It is a testament to what one person can do when he really believes in something.


Victoria Allen said...

Absolutely outstanding!!!

Kris, I think you're on the right track with a doctorate that isn't a PhD.

Victoria Allen
Global Risk Group

Uncle Joe Koba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Halen Allison said...

Great news. Looking forward to seeing the new school grow. When you folks figure out what that degree is going to look like, let me know so I can be in the inaugural class.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I just finished my Doctorate in Law and Policy ( LPD, NOT a PhD). If you need any insight into non-PhD style doctorates please let me know.


Prague said...

If this doctorate is going to be offered online, I'd like to join Halen in the inaugural class. That said - JD, MD, DDS, etc, are all non-PhD doctorates, but remain recognizable as legitimate degrees. It will be interesting to see what this looks like, or if socialization will be necessary.