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Discover What’s Next: GRU & CSRA Leading in Cyber Security Education

By | October 30, 2014

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GRU hosts Cyber Education Summit

UC Davis Hospital … Dropbox … Kmart … North Dakota State College of Science … Snapchat … JP Morgan Chase … ABC News … Yahoo … Unicef …

What do these organizations have in common?

Each was a victim of cyber criminals — in just the first two weeks of October. And they are the tip of the iceberg: A 2011 Poneman Institute/Juniper Networks survey found that 90 percent of businesses experienced at least one cyber security breach in the previous 12 months. And the costs are staggering: estimated at more than $400 billion worldwide, with about a quarter of those losses in the U.S. Click here to watch Cyber Summit presentations

And that’s only the threat to businesses and individuals; more insidious are increasingly dangerous threats from governments and entities hostile to our nation. In fact, cyber attacks are fast becoming a key weapon of choice in global conflicts; the Defense Department reports it experiences 10 million cyber attacks – every day. That is why four years ago the U.S. Army established its Cyber Command, an operational-level Army command to fight cyber warriors.

As most of you have heard, Augusta’s Fort Gordon has been designated the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, and the U.S. Army will be relocating its Cyber Command headquarters from Virginia’s Fort Meade to Fort Gordon. In addition, the National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to expand its presence (called NSA Georgia) significantly in our community and at Fort Gordon.

The announcement at the end of last year was obviously good news for the CSRA — the Command and the growth of the NSA will bring thousands of new professionals and their families into our area, spurring needed economic development and bringing high-paying jobs to our community. But the opportunities are more far-reaching than that: Augusta, Ga., is poised to become one the principle hubs for cyber security — and cyber security education — in the nation.

Which means … so is GRU.

The need is acute. Cisco estimates there is a shortage of more than a million cyber security experts worldwide, and the federal government alone has more than 30,000 unfilled cyber security positions. And these are well-paid jobs — on average (including both public and private employers), cyber security professionals earn $116,000, or three times the national median income.

Recognizing the need and determined to seize the opportunities, public and private stakeholders in the CSRA began working on plans to elevate cyber education and create local pathways to cyber security careers almost as soon as the Army made its announcement.

Leaders from GRU, Fort Gordon, Aiken Technical College, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Technical College, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia County School System, and the Richmond County School System joined together to form the Alliance for Cyber Education (ACE), working to create a cyber education curriculum that will prepare local students, beginning in middle school, to become the cyber security experts of tomorrow and help fill the vast and growing need. The proposed high school curriculum was submitted to the Georgia Board of Education for approval this month, with a middle school curriculum to follow.

As part of GRU’s commitment to this issue, we also became a National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2014 Champion. Now in its 11th year, NCSAM is designed to raise awareness and provide tools to increase our national resiliency in the face of this escalating threat.

And last week, we were pleased to host an extraordinary Cyber Security Education Summit on our campus that brought together national, state, and local leaders and stakeholders to discuss issues, needs, and solutions we can work together to resolve. The Summit was hosted by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, whose steadfast leadership and support were instrumental in bringing the Command to Augusta. And in his keynote address, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the NSA, stressed that these kinds of public/private partnerships are critical to our success in facing and vanquishing cyber threats.

So let’s Discover What’s Next. In our continued quest to be “a top-tier university that is a destination of choice for education, health care, discovery, creativity, and innovation,” GRU is now moving forward to lead our region’s efforts for cyber security education … to the benefit of our state, our nation, and the world.

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Living the GRU Values

By | October 8, 2014

When creating Georgia Regents University, one of the first tasks we undertook was to define our six institutional values. Before continuing to read this blog post, why don’t you pause and see how many you can name?

What I would hope is that each of us can list GRU’s core values off the top of our heads. Anytime. Anyplace. Always.

For if we can’t do that, how can we be living these values … our values … in our day-to-day work lives?

Core Values and Corporate Culture

These days it is common for organizations to explicitly spell out a set of core values they consider central to their organization’s culture and identity.

Core values are at the foundation of corporate culture. If we think of a company’s “vision” as defining an aspirational future, then core values are the touchstones that will keep it moving toward achieving that vision. If people act too often in ways incongruent with their organization’s core values, the organization will go off track and the vision will remain a wish.

“Core values” and “corporate culture” may sound like fuzzy concepts, but research shows organizations with a strong, well-defined culture developed around a clear set of values outperform those without one. Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus James L. Heskett explored the effects of strong culture on business success and reported the results in his book “The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance.”

He measured factors like employee turnover, referrals of potential employees by existing ones, productivity, customer loyalty, and referrals of new customers in companies with and without a strong, well-defined corporate culture. He concluded that “an effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in performance compared with ‘culturally unremarkable’ competitors.” That’s pretty amazing.

Remember Our Values
Let’s live our values every day! Please print them to carry or post nearby, or download to your computer as wallpaper.

Living Our Values

So how can GRU become “culturally remarkable”? By each one of us living our core values … every day.

Many of our staff, students, faculty, and alumni put much thought into identifying GRU’s core values. But it isn’t enough to have a list. In order to have an impact, values must live and breathe through the decisions, actions, and priorities we engage in every day. Values must be lived.

So I urge everyone — students, staff, administrators — to keep the list of our core values in sight. While you go about your work day, whenever you have a decision to make or priorities to juggle, touch base with that list.

Ask yourself which action best aligns with one or more of our core values. If an option is not compatible with our core values, then it’s the wrong choice to make. When you see someone else take an action or make a choice that does not fit with our core values, please speak up. Do this every day with every decision you make until it becomes almost automatic.

A Real World Example

Many of you will recall the terrible events of 1982, when someone laced Tylenol with cyanide, tragically killing seven people in the Chicago area. Tylenol’s percentage share of the pain reliever market immediately plunged from 27 to 7 percent. Tylenol’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, had a crisis on their hands and had to make swift decisions on how to respond.

Fortunately, former Chairman Robert Wood Johnson, very much ahead of his time, had crafted the Johnson & Johnson “Credo” 40 years earlier, which gave the company a compass to guide them. The “customers first” credo led Johnson & Johnson to immediately recall all Tylenol, reportedly at a cost of $100 million.

The result was nothing short of remarkable. Johnson & Johnson’s actions demonstrating their first concern was for their customers meant consumer confidence rebounded quickly, such that one year later they had recovered 85 percent of the market share they had lost.

Without such a clear statement of priorities and values, might they have put stockholders first and protected profits? The long-term impact on the company could have been very different.

At Georgia Regents University

We have an ambitious vision: “To be a top-tier university that is a destination of choice for education, health care, discovery, creativity, and innovation.” The hard work each of you has delivered over the past several years has put us firmly on a path to achieving that vision. Our vision will become reality, but only if we all commit to living the GRU core values every day:

Collegiality – reflected in collaboration, partnership, sense of community, and teamwork.

Compassion – reflected in caring, empathy, and social responsibility.

Excellence – reflected in distinction, effectiveness, efficiency, enthusiasm, passion, and quality.

Inclusivity – reflected in diversity, equality, fairness, impartiality, and respect.

Integrity – reflected in accountability, ethical behavior, honesty, and reliability.

Leadership – reflected in courage, honor, professionalism, transparency, and vision.

Please click on this link for various versions of our values that you can print and carry with you or post nearby, or download to your computer as a screen saver. Let’s live our values every day!