Governor Names UCA Dean to Cybersecurity Task Force

Governor Names UCA Dean to Cybersecurity Task Force
Stephen Addison, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas, is proud of the university’s cyber range, which he called an ideal tool for training students to fight cybercrime without putting real networks at risk. (Karen E. Segrave)

The University of Central Arkansas announced Thursday that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed Stephen Addison, dean of its College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, to the State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Task Force.

Addison joins 30 other leaders in education, industry and government in Arkansas. 

Addison is at the helm of UCA’s computer science department, which includes the relatively new bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. The program launched in fall 2018 with nine students and grew to 57 declared majors by fall 2019. 

According to a news release, the group will assess the state’s computer science and cybersecurity education programs and make recommendations to continue and enhance the progress made in computer science education over the past five years. 

The release also states the task force will “provide guidance on improving and establishing updated large-scale goals and strategies; industry pathways and relevant certifications for major areas of computer science and computing; post-secondary alignment strategies and goals; work-based learning opportunities for students; teacher credentialing; correct placement and focus on data sciences and cybersecurity in curricula; potential funding usage and future needs; and outreach and development of educational materials.” 

The executive order creating the task force was signed on Dec. 6.