UCCS, Cisco Systems to cooperate in cybersecurity planning

Cisco, CU and UCCS officials gathered on campus to celebrate a new partnership. From left, they are: Ray Blair, Cisco; David Sprenger, CU System; CU Regent Kyle Hybl; Markus Pfaff, Cisco; Harper Johnson, UCCS; Cassie Roach, Cisco; Stephannie Finley Fortune, UCCS; Jeremy Stanley, Cisco; UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy; Martin Wood, UCCS; Tom Dewar, UCCS; Dean Grossman, Cisco.

Chancellor Venkat Reddy announced Nov. 1 a new strategic relationship with technology conglomerate Cisco Systems Inc.

Cassie Roach, managing director, Cisco, and Chancellor Venkat Reddy celebrate a new agreement.

Speaking at a Kraemer Family Library reception and at a Cybersecurity Symposium at the Broadmoor Hotel, Reddy outlined an agreement with Cisco to assist in designing a strategic plan for a Cybersecurity Workforce Development Center in conjunction with the National Cybersecurity Center. In a campus email, Reddy wrote that Martin Wood, senior vice chancellor, University Advancement, will work closely with Provost Tom Christensen and academic deans to determine the university’s paths to build programs with robust curriculum and research.

Cisco representatives will work with UCCS faculty to develop capabilities for the development of curriculum and training of people to work in cybersecurity, joint research opportunities and student internships.

“We are very grateful to Cisco for this partnership,” Reddy said. “The possibilities for research, education and training for the public good are endless.”

Reddy encouraged those who attended the Kraemer Family Library event to imagine a controlled environment to both teach the cybersecurity workforce of the future and to facilitate research to to protect personal and public assets. He also mentioned the potential of a “cyber range” with simulated exercises and research focused on creating stability, security and performance of cybersecurity infrastructure and information technology systems.

Cisco officials will use its business value approach, a strategic planning exercise, to make recommendations on the design and implementation of the workforce development center. For several weeks, Cisco officials have conducted interviews with UCCS deans and faculty as well as with Colorado Springs business leaders. Data from the interviews, as well as Cisco executive experience, will lead to recommendations for how to best structure the workforce development center.

Cassie Roach, managing director, Cisco, and several other company officials attended the Kraemer Family Library event. She said the agreement with UCCS was the first of its kind and thanked UCCS leaders for their cooperation and partnership.

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