LSU’s War Memorial Tower looms over portions of the Baton Rouge campus. (Photo by Julie O’Donoghue/Louisiana Illuminator)
LSU became one of 22 universities to be designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency.
The agency gives the designations to institutions in recognition for advancing operational technologies critical to intelligence and educating high-performing students. Other recognized institutions include Carnegie Mellon, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“For students, this will magnetize LSU as a great choice to study very technical and applied cybersecurity, which now leads to jobs with starting salaries in the six figures,” Golden Richard, director of the LSU Applied Cybersecurity Lab, said. “CAE-CO designation drastically increases the exposure of our program, both nationally and internationally. Importantly, it also gives LSU access to grants that are only available to CAE schools. This means significant pots of money for students, projects and equipment.”
In addition to access to grants, the designation will aid LSU students in securing internships at U.S. intelligence agencies.
University President William Tate has made cybersecurity one of his major academic focuses since taking the helm of the school last year. Earlier this year, Tate announced a partnership with the state, private companies and intelligence agencies with the goal of building the university into a premiere institution of cybersecurity education.
“With a cluster hire of cyber experts joining a strong LSU faculty and now receiving the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations designation, we march forward on a pathway of promise that leads to world class standing,” Tate said.
LSU was the only institution approached by the NSA in 2021 to apply for the designation and is the first school to receive the designation in over two years.
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