CHANGING THE WORLD What your investment in UT makes possible A major public conference in Austin on the same theme complemented the course and was attended by President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, Lisa Monaco, and other senior officials. Slick will lead another seminar next spring, this one for Plan II undergraduates, focusing on intelligence and national security policymaking.
“There is a role for great universities in helping achieve a sustainable balance between America’s security interests and our ideals.”
The Intelligence Studies Project offers fresh perspectives on how to keep the nation safe.
ifteen years after the
S ep tember 11
attacks , the
States has successfully prevented a second catastrophic terrorist attack by dealing critical blows to Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups. While those extremists are in decline, ISIS and other
jihadist groups are on the rise around the globe.
Above: With its culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, UT is well positioned to study complex issues facing intelligence professionals and leaders. Opposite: Cockrell School students celebrate with Professor Emeritus John McKetta. A fundraising challenge netted $28 million to advance his namesake department. CREDITS: Maria Huang illus-
tration/Marsha Miller photo; Strauss Center; Cockrell School
Good intelligence is essential to protecting the country from terrorism and also to helping elected leaders develop sound policies to address other threats. Lurking dangers include the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, escalating cyber attacks, and instability caused by rogue states and aggressive great powers. In 2013, the university established the Intelligence Studies Project (ISP) as a partnership between the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security and the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. The ISP emerged out of a conviction that the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community are increasingly vital to safeguarding our national security yet understudied in academia. Stephen Slick, the project’s director, served on the National Security Council staff under President George W. Bush and was in the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service for
CHALLENGE FOR MCKETTA A $28 MILLION SUCCESS
28 years. The ISP, he says, aims to be a premier university center for the study of U.S. intelligence through new course offerings, research projects, and related public events. “Intelligence is increasingly indispensible to our national security and prosperity, yet the secrecy required to gather information about our adversaries runs counter to our democratic principles and open society,” Slick says. “There is a role for great universities in helping achieve a sustainable balance between America’s security interests and our ideals.” This past academic year, the ISP sponsored a unique policy research course for graduate students in the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Led by Slick and Clements Center executive director Will Inboden, “Intelligence and National Security in American Society” explored how the United States supervises and oversees its large, highly complex intelligence agencies.
“The study of intelligence has long been disregarded by many universities,” Inboden says. “With the ISP, UT-Austin is leading the way in remedying this neglect.” The ISP is one of several security-focused projects undertaken by the Clements Center and the Strauss Center. The professors who lead those centers—Inboden of the LBJ School and Bobby Chesney of the Law School—speak and write frequently about the terrorism threat. Other areas of focus include history and strategy, the British-American alliance, cybersecurity, the legal architecture of national security, the rise of artificial intelligence, and cartel violence in Mexico. “Our university is especially well positioned to study these cutting-edge questions,” Chesney says. “Our campus culture embraces interdisciplinary collaboration, and these are problems you just cannot fully address without that sort of approach.” The centers and especially the ISP are key components of the vision for a national security network branching across the UT System. That network is one of several strategic priorities identified last fall by Chancellor (and former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command) Bill McRaven, who enumerated a set of “Quantum Leaps” the System’s institutions can pursue collectively. Inboden and Chesney have been named the co-directors of the National Security Network initiative. The centers recently launched an effort to endow an intelligence studies chair named for Admiral Bobby Inman, BA ’50, Life Member and Distinguished Alumnus. Inman, a former director Admiral Bobby Inman of the National Security Ag enc y and deputy director of central intelligence, is a beloved professor at the LBJ School. The Inman Chair will be held by the ISP director and will support research and teaching to help prepare students who wish to serve as intelligence professionals and leaders. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivered keynote remarks at a recent gala that brought hundreds of supporters together to launch the chair campaign. “The Inman Chair in Intelligence,” Gates told the attendees, “will be a cornerstone for this program and honors him by carrying forward his legacy of intelligence leadership and service to our country.” The enthusiasm in the room that night confirmed not only Inman’s friends and colleagues’ eagerness to honor him but also the ISP’s intrinsic appeal. That bodes well for the project, because philanthropy will be key to establishing UT as a leader in the study of American intelligence and its role in safeguarding the nation. Learn more at intelligencestudies.utexas.edu.
he Cockrell School of Engineering named the Department of Chemical Engineering for Professor Emeritus John McKetta four years ago, when its Challenge for McKetta hit the $10 million mark. But those were still early days. The multiyear effort to advance the department and honor one of its most revered teachers and leaders ultimately raised nearly $28 million from alumni, friends, and corporate partners, considerably exceeding the $25 million goal. Generations of It was the largest departmental graduates honor a campaign the Cockrell School has undertaken, and most of the funds favorite professor. are for endowments to attract and retain world-class students and faculty through scholarships, graduate fellowships, and professorships. “Completing this campaign is an extraordinary accomplishment for our department and for the Cockrell School,” says department chair Thomas Truskett. “I am extremely proud of how our chemical engineering community—from new undergraduate students to the most accomplished alumni—came together to honor Dr. McKetta, who has helped shape this department for decades.” The campaign’s success capped two centennial celebrations for the department in 2015-16: McKetta’s 100th birthday and 100 years of chemical engineering education and innovation at UT-Austin. The celebrations featured a series of lectures, symposia, alumni gatherings, and special events throughout the academic year. McKetta joined the chemical engineering faculty in 1946. In the seven decades since, he has served as the department chair, dean of engineering from 1963 to 1970, and a vice chancellor of the UT System, all while continuing to teach and mentor students. Recognized as a global authority in his field, he has authored and edited 87 books, including the 69-volume Encyclopedia for Chemical Processing and Design , and served as an energy adviser to five U.S. presidents. His leadership, passion for teaching, innovations in his field, and commitment to the university have inspired multiple generations. Not surprisingly, he was one of the early honorees of the Texas 10, an annual roster the Alcalde began in 2011 to recognize professors who have made a lasting impact on their students’ lives. “I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed and helped recognize the department’s centennial,” McKetta says. “I’ve always considered students and members of this department family, and it means the world to me that we’ve come together to ensure the continued success of the department—and, more importantly, the future success of its students.”
s e p t e m b e r | o c t o b e r 2011
Changing the World - Jul-Aug 2016