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Four local universities received grant from US Department of Defense

UNC will work with the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and a consortium of Triangle schools — North Carolina Central University, Duke University and N.C. State University — to establish the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies. Though UNC is the main grant recipient, a portion of the money will be allocated to each university.

“The U.S. Department of Defense wants to increase the number of academic institutions where there is a serious study of intelligence,” said Peter Feaver, TISS director.

Feaver said TISS’s location played a big role in its selection for the grant, which can be renewed every year for up to five years.

“We have two unique assets: We’re pretty close to D.C., and we are very close to major military institutions,” said Feaver, who also teaches political science and public policy at Duke. “Other schools have larger endowments, but they’re not going to be closer to Fort Bragg than we are.”

TISS, which is comprised primarily of research faculty, graduate students and community members with military histories, is working to collaborate with existing undergraduate programs such as UNC’s curriculum in Peace, War and Defense and the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy.

“It’s harder to get undergrads to bridge across the universities. We’re promising to do more of exactly that,” Feaver said.

Rather than developing identical programs, each university will build on its specialized strengths. UNC will expand PWAD; Duke will incorporate intelligence into its American Grand Strategy program; NCSU will focus on energy and security and NCCU will emphasize homeland security, said Wayne Lee, chairman of UNC’s curriculum in Peace, War and Defense.

“This is not a professional training ground for intelligence workers — it’s a liberal arts education with a lot of perspectives,” he said.

UNC plans to make the intelligence studies field a concentration within the PWAD major, said Lee, who also serves as the director of the UNC-TISS National Security Fellows Program.

There will likely be more than 20 new courses between the four universities after five years, TISS Associate Director Carolyn Pumphrey said.

“The nature of how we collect information and the nature of information itself is altering” she said. “I think this is a really important profession, and I’m excited that an awful lot of students will learn about this process.”

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