|I've often thought that if our university did not exist, it would have to be created. Nowhere else can one find such outstanding faculty, motivated research sponsors, and dedicated and experienced students addressing issues of national and international security. This synergy fosters a truly applied research program, highly relevant curricula, and a quick work pace.|
Our academic calendar is eleven months long to best exploit our most valuable asset - student time. Faculty undertake field work, consult directly with sponsors, interact with military units in the field, direct student research, develop new programs, while building their reimbursable and scholarly record. This is a portfolio that is not found in civilian institutions. Constant churning fosters innovation.
The School of International Graduate Studies (SIGS) is a recognized national asset because its faculty and students often develop programs in anticipation of sponsor needs. The move to enroll international officers in the Department of National Security Affairs and the Mobile Education Teams launched around the world by the Defense Resources Management Institute and the Center for Civil-Military Relations, for instance provided the Defense Department with instruments to foster the wave of democratization that followed the end of the Cold War.
The Leadership Development and Education for Sustained Peace initiative, the Regional Security Education Program, the Center for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies, and our new program in Interdiction Studies work directly with the warfighter, helping them to prepare for ongoing operations. The Center for Homeland Defense and Security has developed a path-breaking, distance learning program that is creating a national cadre of local, state, tribal and federal officials to tackle shortcomings in domestic security made all too painfully obvious by the 9/11 attacks.
Today, our area studies programs are being rediscovered as key to the national effort to build Foreign Area Officer and cultural awareness programs. The Center for Contemporary Conflict draws on the broader academic community to study issues of policy importance, making SIGS a leader in research on the nexus between globalization and security. Virtually none of these programs were here when I joined the Naval Postgraduate School nineteen years ago.
What innovations lie over the horizon? This is difficult to predict. But it is clear that SIGS will continue to help the nation respond to tomorrow's strategic issues.