LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has received a $2.4 million grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to add undergraduate degrees in biotechnology, information technology and cybersecurity to its existing intelligence and national security program.
Additionally, Garden City Community College and Kansas City Community College will now join the Kansas Consortium, which has included KU, Dodge City Community College and Seward County Community College.
The grant is made possible through the ODNI’s Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) program, which was established in 2005 to meet the nation’s demand for a diverse cadre of professionals to carry out the nation’s security priorities and obligations. Through the program, a select group of about 40 institutions across the nation is educating students in multidisciplinary areas of interest to the intelligence community to better understand the intelligence community and its role in securing the nation. KU was initially named an IC CAE program in 2017.
“Our intelligence and national security certificate and minor have been very popular credentials for undergraduates from all academic disciplines,” said John Kennedy, chair of the Department of Political Science. “Additionally, our IC CAE designation is recognized by the hiring officials throughout the intelligence community. Several graduates of our program are already working in the intelligence community.”
KU’s investigating team includes Randy Logan, director of the biotechnology degree program; Carolyn McKnight, senior director of community engagement at the KU Edwards Campus; Carl Taylor, chief security officer for KU; and Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs.
“This grant will capitalize on KU Edwards Campus’ previous work in reducing barriers and creating academic pathways for community college students to complete bachelor degrees in high-demand fields,” said Logan, the principal investigator for the award. “Moreover, this award is well-aligned with KU’s Jayhawks Rising strategic plan, which aims to offer programs that make the transition to KU smoother and lead to meaningful employment.”
The nine-year grant includes funding for minority student scholarships, faculty research grants and curriculum development.