UTulsa Cyber Studies History - The University of Tulsa
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UTulsa Cyber Studies History

TU Cyber TruckEstablished in 1996 as the Center for Information Security (CIS), the Institute for Information Security (iSec) quickly emerged as an information assurance education and research leader.

First designated as a Center of Excellence in March 2000, the institute was also one of the first to provide doctorate programs specializing in information assurance. iSec also offered a novel interdisciplinary program combining computer science, law, political science, history, and economics.

The institute was the only entity participating in the National Science Foundation and Department of Defense Scholarship for Service programs in 2001 and 2002. In March 2002, iSec’s curriculum was the first to be certified under all five federal Committee on National Security Systems Standards for information assurance education.

After establishing strong government partnerships through its unparalleled work and accomplishments on sensitive research projects, officials launched the Institute for Information Security (iSec) in 2007 with an expanded focus to include developing relationships within the private sector.

iSec cultivated those partnerships by working on research projects focused critical infrastructure protection, security engineering, enterprise security, and digital forensics. iSec faculty and students worked closely with two congressionally-funded centers: the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City, and the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. In addition, the Institute participated in the I3P Consortium, headquartered at Dartmouth College.

Prior to the School of Cyber Studies’ inception, UTulsa faculty taught courses in cyber security and conducted research in various departments on campus, primarily in the Tandy School of Computer Science. That department has offered specialized courses in cyber security for many years, establishing an undergraduate minor in Cyber Security in 2016.

In 2017, iSec faculty from across UTulsa came together to establish a new M.S. degree in Cyber Security. Hosted in the Tandy School of Computer Science, the degree program brought together faculty to design and teach courses from many departments across campus.

This experience laid the groundwork for what was to come in establishing the School of Cyber Studies as a truly interdisciplinary academic unit in summer 2021. When the school was established, faculty with cyber expertise were jointly appointed to the department, coming from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (four computer science, one computer engineering, two from social science, and two from business). Tyler Moore, professor of Computer Science, was selected to be the inaugural chairperson. Since its inception, the program has grown quickly, both in terms of new faculty and students.

With the department’s creation, another rebranding and reformulation occurred. The iSec moniker was retired and its mission subsumed into the School of Cyber Studies, which houses faculty and carries forward a dual mission of cyber research and education.