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Master's program in homeland security, the first in the state, to be offered by Long Island University

Newsday Staff Writer

May 28, 2006

With course titles such as "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and "Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Disaster and Terrorism," Long Island University is starting a new master's degree program in homeland security management that will be the first of its kind in the state and one of only a few in the nation.

A spokesman for the State Education Department, which approved LIU's master's program last Thursday, said it appears to be the only program of its type the department has been asked to review.

Praise for the program came from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., which established the country's first master's degree program in homeland security shortly following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"We found we were going to need university partners," said Paul Stockton, associate provost for the Naval school, which has 1,600 students from the military and the Department of Homeland Security and which has collaborated with LIU for the past few years.

Last fall, LIU began a 15-credit, advanced certificate program in homeland security management administered out of its Graduate Campus in Southampton, said Jeffrey Kane, LIU's vice president for academic affairs. Forty students enrolled. The university plans to add the 36-credit, master's-level degree component this fall. Students who pursue either the certificate or the master's will do so online. It's LIU's first online degree offering.

Stockton predicted LIU is going to be a national leader in homeland security education, and cited its "special expertise" in criminology and law enforcement. "They know the real deal. They've been in the NYPD and elsewhere."

"A couple of us are retired, but others do the work that they teach," said Vincent Henry, director of LIU's Homeland Security Management Institute, of the 10 senior fellows, all of whom have either doctorates or law degrees.

The faculty include a consultant on terrorism who had a 27-year career in the Queensland Police Service in Australia; a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who is an aide to Chief William J. Bratton and who, as a Fulbright Scholar, studied counter-terrorism at the Egyptian National Police Academy; the safety services administrator and chief of police for the city of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and a former dean at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

"That's what makes it attractive for people who work in the field," Henry said. A former Fulbright scholar, Henry is a 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department, and ran the special projects unit until he retired in 2002.