Board of Governors approves plan for new cyber graduate degree program

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Stadium drawings shared and purchase of land for parking garage approved

Marshall University today moved a step closer to offering a master’s degree in Cyber Forensics and Defense as the university’s Board of Governors approved an intent to plan for the program.

The degree meets a nationwide need for qualified cybersecurity professionals, and will help attract students to Marshall.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected average occupation growth rate for information security analysts is 32 percent, which is exponentially higher than the five percent growth rate projected for all occupations.

"Technology has changed our world," said Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert. "And, with that change has come the development of cybercrime and other vulnerabilities. This program will educate the next generation of individuals trained to identify and address those threats."

The program is intended for individuals who are already working in the field, and is expected to be up and running in 2020. This will be the third graduate cyber degree offered at Marshall, but the only one that will be practitioner focused, with pathways for applicants who may have been out of school for a while and bring with them three or more years of documented work experience in digital forensics or information assurance/cybersecurity.

In other action, the board approved the purchase of several parcels of land close to the Erma Byrd Clinical Center and the Marshall University School of Pharmacy for the purpose of developing a garage to provide additional parking for students, faculty and staff on the Health Sciences campus. The university currently leases the land from Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The board accepted the audited financial report for fiscal year 2018-19 and an investment earnings report, and authorized the reissuing of outstanding revenue bonds to save money on interest. The group also continued its effort to review and update university policies with a discussion of 12 academic, financial and administrative policies.

In addition, architects for the university’s planned baseball stadium presented a series of renderings of the new facility, expected to open in spring 2021.