Tulane Homeland Security Program One Of 340 Since 9/11


Keith Amacker, a retired Navy captain back from Afghanistan is setting up a degree program in homeland security at Tulane University, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We deal with the premise that things are going to go south at some point, and we must prepare for it,” said Amacker, 53. “You have to know, when the lights go out, what you’re going to do next.” The training he plans to provide is designed for managers who are one step above the first responders in the command structure: people who plan responses to natural and manmade catastrophes and work quickly to adjust strategy as situations change. “We want to put this in an academic perspective to give people a basis for understanding how things work and looking at it from a managerial approach,” Amacker said. “Because of Katrina, the woeful lack of people in the disaster-response piece of homeland security needs to be addressed.”

The program is one of at least 340 that have sprung up in the U.S. since the 2001 attacks, said Todd Stewart, director of an Ohio State University-based clearinghouse on such courses. “There probably aren’t any two of them that are alike,” said Stewart, a retired Air Force major general. “They come in all flavors and colors. Some have a criminal-justice emphasis, some stress public health, and some have public administration or emergency management. There are all sorts of different kinds of emphasis in this thing.” Because the programs are so different, “we’re a long way from having consensus on this being an academic discipline,” Stewart said. “You’re depending on the internal controls of the university — Tulane is very reputable — to ensure the rigor is in those programs and they meet academic standards.”


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