Monday, January 25, 2010

Staying ahead of the game

Popularized by the hit television series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and growth of online crime, forensic analysis has caught the attention of many young adults as an interesting and attractive career path. This interest hasn't gone unnoticed at Bloomsburg University.

In May, we will have our first group of students graduate from our computer forensics program that began in 2006. It will be an exciting and proud moment for us. BU is one of few universities in the country and the only PASSHE school offering a bachelor's degree program specific to computer forensics.

Our program focuses on extracting and analyzing evidence from digital media, such as photographs from hard drives. Through classroom instruction and internships, students learn how to search hidden areas of a computer, work with law enforcement to present evidence in an investigation or trial, and enforce the computer use policies of corporate America. When they earn their bachelor's degree, our graduates have the necessary skills to solve many of the same mysteries covered on CSI, although not nearly as quickly in real life as on television.

We currently have nearly 170 students in the program and expect to graduate about 30 computer forensic specialists this spring. With our first graduating class on the horizon, we can add computer forensics to our list of new programs that meet the needs of our ever-changing global community.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Energy to spend, energy to save

A new year brings a renewed energy that allows us to build on what we did well in the previous year, from our personal successes to our professional achievements. This week, we feel the same type of energy at Bloomsburg University as we welcome back our students from a well-deserved winter break and greet many new freshmen and transfer students who are joining us this semester.

We’ll rely on the energy and outstanding ideas of students, faculty and staff as we formulate a strategic plan for the university this spring. This important plan will build upon BU’s legacy of success from previous generations of administration, faculty, staff and students and will chart the course for the university’s future. We appreciate your input, which can be directly submitted to SPARC (Strategic Planning and Resource Council) through our strategic planning Web site.

The strategic planning process is just one of many significant initiatives you will hear about in the coming weeks. Another is the new BU Web site. With the rollout scheduled for early February, the redesigned site is better organized, easier to navigate and presents a more unified appearance. The new Web site will be unveiled in three phases over the next the year and, as with the strategic plan, we welcome your input. To all who have already provided feedback, we say, “Thank you. Your comments have been very helpful.” If you have not done so, please complete the Web survey and offer comments and suggestions.

Another new initiative begins later this week to renew our focus on the important issue of sustainability. At the request of two campus groups - the Green Campus Initiative and H.O.P.E. (Help Our Planet Earth) - Thursday and Friday, Jan. 21 and 22, will be designated as Green Days. On these days, faculty will share information on steps we all can take to reduce energy and water consumption and increase our efforts to recycle materials and energy.

I encourage you to learn all you can about green efforts at BU and participate in university-wide sustainability initiatives this semester, including the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions on Feb. 11 and Earth Day events, tentatively scheduled for April 22. Take a look at this Webcast to learn more about the H.O.P.E. initiative.