|Tom Ridge, Former PA Governor and first Secretary of Homeland |
Security, speaks at the opening of the 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.