- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

America’s most prestigious institutes of higher learning are failing to prepare a new generation of students for leadership in a wired world, says a new study released Tuesday.

The study, “One Leader at a Time: The Failure to Educate Future Leaders for an Age of Persistent Cyber Threat,”  was published by the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.

The study “details the failing of America’s most prestigious graduate programs to prepare their graduates — and ultimately the nation — for leadership of critical institutions” in an age when they can be damaged or even destroyed by poorly understood cyberattacks, says a summary provided by the university. 

Pell Center Fellow Francesca Spidalieri surveyed 70 top-ranked master’s degree-level programs in business, law, public affairs, public policy, international relations, criminal justice, and healthcare management. 

“Not one of the programs reviewed — not one — includes any aspect of cybersecurity among their core requirements,” the summary states. Only 10 of the 70 elite programs surveyed, concentrated in just five universities, scored three or higher on a four-point scale designed to assess “the exposure their students receive to cybersecurity issues,” says the summary.

“Ultimately, achieving cybersecurity is more than a technical problem,” said Ms. Spidalieri in a statement, “It is an operational problem, and only the leaders of institutions have the authority necessary to implement the fundamental, overarching policies that can begin to address some of these threats.”

Noting that President Barak Obama has referred to cybersecurity as “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face,” the study concludes that “the training of America’s next generation of leaders has, on balance, remained remarkably unconnected to the challenges of this century.”