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April 16, 2015 Volume 36, No. 27

Loftin reappointed as chair of Homeland Security Academic Council

The council has made more than 100 recommendations

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has been reappointed for two more years as chair of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council

The council is composed of higher education leaders who advise the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on important issues, such as student and graduate recruitment, visas for students studying abroad, campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness, and faculty exchanges.

Loftin was a council member from the inaugural meeting in March 2012 to March 2014, when he was named chair.  He will remain chair until March 2017. 

The council, which meets at Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., has made more than 100 recommendations to DHS. Following are some of the recommendations: 

• increase cybersecurity engagement with American colleges and universities; 

•  increase transparency and engagement on international student issues; 

• develop greater public input into the U.S. immigration and the Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s policy-making process by publishing 14 draft international student policies for public comment since 2012.

The council’s focus on building more disaster-resilient campus communities has improved current U.S. campus emergency planning efforts, DHS officials say.

Under Loftin’s leadership, the DHS “has delivered numerous actionable recommendations that have strengthened the department and its relationship with the academic community,” said Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.