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What Is the Role of the Higher Education Community in Homeland Security? The appropriate role of colleges and universities in support of home- land security is rooted in the traditional strengths of America's higher education sector. Workshop participants agreed that these roles should include the following: 1. Access to homeland security careers for students. In service to students, the higher education sector should provide an educational path that would permit entry into a career supporting the goals of homeland secu- rity, whether in public, private, or nongovernmental (NGO) sectors. 2. Relevant content knowledge, both specialized and generalized, for those who need it. In service to the broad community, including concerned citi- zens, trained specialists, public officials, and the press, the higher educa- tion sector should be able to provide factual content concerning home- land security issues that is appropriate to the knowledge needs of the recipient. 3. More informed citizens. In service to the people of the United States, higher education should educate citizens who are knowledgeable about the nature of threats, both new and old, and about core democratic values that should be considered in devising principles, policies, and practices for confronting these threats. 4. A forum for public debate. In support of the democracy in which we live, the higher education sector should serve as one of the fora for public debate and decision on critical issues of the day. 5
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6 FRAMEWORKS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN HOMELAND SECURITY The role of higher education in preparing students for homeland se- curity-related careers was the major focus of the workshop presentations and hence of the sections that follow in this report. There was little sub- stantive dialogue on how the university community might serve nonstu- dent specialists and the broader public (role numbers two and three). In part this was because community and first responder training were inten- tionally omitted from the scope of the workshop (see Introduction). Workshop and committee deliberations often gravitated to vibrant discussions on the need for universities to sponsor public debate (role number four). The outpouring of enthusiasm for public debate seemed to be motivated by specific homeland security regulations that had recently and directly impacted academia. These same issues also had larger public policy dimensions, as workshop participants were quick to point out. For example, Dr. Susan Cutter discussed the recent denial of public access to geographic data as an example of the trade-offs required when deciding to keep threat-relevant information exclusively within the gov- ernmental domain, subject to classification policies, versus sharing that information with the public and with the many private and nonprofit organizations and individuals that need measurement, intelligence, and historical data to prepare predictive models, reinforce infrastructure, de- sign personnel screening systems, and so forth. When facing conventional war, U.S. policy makers and the public have generally viewed security threats as existing elsewhere, limited to the concerns of the U.S. military and national security experts. The 9/11 tragedy and the possibility of additional terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, however, necessarily undermine these conceptual and institutional boundaries. The civilian sector is now directly responsible for security matters, more so than at any time in re- cent U.S. history, for many reasons. Members of the public have an inter- est in personal protective measures for themselves and their families. Firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, public health offi- cials, urban planners, engineers, architects, and health care workers now have to manage novel threats to public safety and health, such as anthrax attacks and airplane-building collisions. All of these individuals need ac- cess to information on security threats to improve security within their own sphere of influence. Yet the nation does not have adequate institu- tional processes or paradigms for sharing that information. Workshop participants and the committee viewed denial of public access to information as a measure that itself presented a significant secu- rity threat, particularly over the long term. Within higher education, the primary impact was to limit the system's ability to deliver individuals trained in the very areas required to deliver domestic safety and security. For example, stringent government regulations on "select agent" re- search at universities, as well as the highly publicized indictment of
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7 WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMUNITY? plague researcher Thomas Butler, had inadvertently created disincentives for researchers to engage in work beneficial to U.S. defense against bio- logical weapons.1-4 Tighter visa restrictions and government contract re- strictions had curtailed the participation of foreign students and faculty in research and learning at U.S. universities.5,6 This trend, over the long run, may impede scientific and technological advances that support the U.S. economy, as well as preclude the positive influence of these visitors on their home countries' perception of, and relations with, the United States.7-10 Controls over the publication of sensitive but unclassified re- search could further curtail researchers' interest and willingness to pur- sue work supportive of security goals.11-16 Another issue ripe for public debate emerged in workshop breakout sessions: the broad and often self-destructive social reaction to terrorist provocation. The immediate impact of an attack may be limited in scope, 1American Association of University Professors (AAUP), 2003, "Academic Freedom and National Security in a Time of Crisis," Academe 89:34-58. 2AAAS Issue Brief, "Science and National Security in the Post-9/11 Environment," http:// www.aaas.org/spp/post911/agents/index.shtml. 3National Research Council (NRC), Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism, 2004, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 4Letter, from National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts and Institute of Medi- cine President Harvey Fineberg to Attorney General John Ashcroft, August 15, 2003, http:// www.fas.org/sgp/news/2003/08/nas081503.pdf. 5Peter D. Syverson and Heath A. Brown, "Graduate Enrollment and Degrees 1986 to 2002," 2003, Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools (http://www.cgsnet.org/pdf/GED% 202002.pdf). 6Heath A. Brown and Peter D. Syverson, "Findings from U.S. Graduate Schools on Inter- national Graduate Student Admission Trends," 2004, Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools (http://www.cgsnet.org/pdf/Sept04FinalIntlAdmissionsSurveyReport.pdf). 7AAUP, op. cit. 8AAAS, op. cit., http://www.aaas.org/spp/post911/visas/. 9Association of America Universities (AAU) and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), "Restrictions on Research Awards: Troublesome Clauses," http://aau.edu/research/ Rpt4.8.04.pdf. 10National Science Board, "Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators 2004," http:// www.nsf.gov/sbe/seind04/. 11 AAUP, op. cit. 12NRC, op. cit. 13AAAS, op. cit., http://www.aaas.org/spp/post911/sbu/ . 14AAU and CGR, op. cit. 15Congressional Research Service Report RL31845, 2003, "Sensitive but Unclassified and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Cur- rent Controversy." 16Congressional Research Service Report RL31695, 2004, "Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress."
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8 FRAMEWORKS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN HOMELAND SECURITY but subsequent reactions by authorities or the larger population can am- plify the event's detrimental effects. An attack by a Muslim leads to sus- picion of all Muslims; an attack on an aircraft leads to broad refusal by travelers to fly (despite the fact that trains and buses are at least equally vulnerable), and so on. In 2001-2002 these two examples alone led, re- spectively, to violation of the rights of Muslim American citizens and severe financial depression of the airline industry--surely not desirable outcomes. A complementary issue for collective consideration was the potential for security concerns to overshadow and "crowd out" alternative national imperatives, even those the "security" was intended to protect. Recent psychological research suggests that focusing strongly on a given objec- tive pulls attention away from other objectives.17 This frees individuals and groups to pursue the focal objective without the constraints normally exercised by those alternative objectives. Thus, an unchecked emphasis on "security" can impinge on individual human rights and the very demo- cratic way of life that is at stake: for example, the values of equality of persons and respect for other cultures. This, in turn, may further reduce the prospects of security in the long term by deepening the chasm be- tween different ethnicities within the United States as well as between the United States and other nations. Ultimately, and perhaps paradoxically, neglect of the alternative concerns can lead to undermining collective se- curity in the long term. Because a strong focus on security issues may encourage the pursuit of security through means that infringe on institutional freedoms (as the university research examples above demonstrate) or individual freedoms (as the McCarthyism excesses in the 1950s demonstrate), or have other adverse consequences, the committee feels that better educating the pub- lic, students, legislators, and media to recognize these trade-offs and their short- and long-term implications will be a necessary component of home- land security education. This view moves the perception of security from the popular one of purely military, law enforcement and intelligence ac- tivities to one that includes political, economic, cultural, and informational contributions and consequences. The need for this correction was brought forth in the workshop numerous times, is seen here in the discussion of public debate, and will be seen later in the discussion of a core curriculum for homeland security. 17J.Y. Shah, R. Friedman, and A.W. Kruglanski, 2002, "Forgetting All Else: On the Ante- cedents and Consequences of Goal Shielding," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83:1261-1280.