Founding Director of Cybersecurity

  • Professional
  • DeKalb, IL
  • Posted 1 month ago
  • Expires on: April 27, 2024

Northern Illinois University
Department of Computer Science

Founding Director of Cybersecurity

Department of Computer Science – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Northern Illinois University

The Computer Science Department at Northern Illinois University (NIU) invites applicants for the department’s founding Director of Cybersecurity. This Director will be a tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment in Computer Science at the Associate Professor or Professor rank to start in August 2024.

The University: NIU values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  We expect candidates to equally value these principles and to serve as active participants and allies in working toward DEI initiatives.

NIU is a public research university in DeKalb, IL, an affordable and growing community within a commutable distance from Chicago and Rockford metropolitan areas and less than an hour’s drive from two of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories Argonne National Laboratory and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.  Our 16,000+ student body is diverse, with many first-generation, racially, and culturally diverse students and international students from 73 countries.  NIU prides itself on student-centered approaches to teaching and research and has social mobility, equity, and inclusion at the heart of its mission.  Recently, NIU was nationally recognized as a top college for diversity and LGBTQ+ students and has been named one of the Great Colleges to Work For two years in a row.

NIU is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an AA/EEO employer, NIU considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

The Department:  The Department of Computer Science is vibrant and experiencing significant growth.  It offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs in Computer Science, with over 750 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate students.  Support for faculty research programs comes from industry and prestigious agencies such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense.  Our faculty and students benefit from collaborations with research staff from industry and the nearby DOE laboratories, Argonne and Fermilab.  The Department values faculty research programs that enlist graduate and undergraduate students and supports such programs with commensurate teaching assignments.

Position Summary:

The Founding Director will provide vision and leadership to the university to create a nationally recognized program in cybersecurity. The Director will report to the Chair of the Computer Science department and is responsible for establishing and leading academic programs and outreach efforts to support cybersecurity workforce development. The Director will play a principal role in recruiting the first cohort of faculty expected to be hired in Fall 2025 in this substantial and growing field.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

·      Lead efforts to create cutting-edge certificate and degree programs, including online programs, that are compliant with and recognized as part of national frameworks.

·      Develop a robust vision and sustainable funding model for an agile cybersecurity workforce development program that includes strategies and plans to acquire external funds to support program development and outreach efforts.

·      Identify opportunities for private- and public-sector partnerships that seek to develop cybersecurity solutions, particularly as those opportunities apply to employment for students as interns and career opportunities upon their graduation.

·      Represent the department’s cybersecurity programs by liaising and collaborating within the university and with external private- and public-sector cybersecurity groups.

·      Promote the cybersecurity programs and recruit students.

·      Recruit personnel in support of the cybersecurity programs.

·      Monitor, maintain, and report on the quality and viability of the cybersecurity programs.

·      Oversee and contribute to the development of new courses related to cybersecurity.

·      Teach cybersecurity courses each academic year.

Minimum Required Qualifications:

·       Earned a doctorate in cybersecurity, computer science, or closely related field.

·       Tenurable at the rank of associate or full professor.

·       Five years of experience in cybersecurity in government, industry, or academia.

·       Experience in developing cybersecurity courses or programs.

·       A proven track record of acquiring external funding.

Additional Requirements:

·      Superior communication skills and strong interpersonal skills to work effectively in a collegial, multicultural environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

·       Well-established cybersecurity connections in industry or government.

·       Success as leader of a department, college, or university-level initiative.

·       At least three years of administrative experience in some capacity.

·       Experience with NCAE-C CD designation and the CyberCorps SFS and/or Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship programs.

·       National recognition as a scholar in cybersecurity.

·       Experience with technology transfer and intellectual property protection, including open-source licenses and new venture creation.

·       Experience working in settings with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. A commitment to improving their access to higher education and achievement.


·       Commensurate with experience and qualifications. Position includes a robust benefits package. This is a full-time, twelve-month faculty position.

Application Procedures:

Prospective applicants should visit to apply and submit the following materials:

·       Curriculum vitae (no page limit)

o   Should include links to professional website(s) and profiles on platforms such as Google Scholar, ResearchGate, DBLP, or similar.

·       Cover letter (2 page limit)

o   Should describe the applicant’s interest in the position and how the applicant’s experience and expertise links to the position. Should also describe the applicant’s vision for a cybersecurity center, teaching philosophy and practices, and past, present, and potential experiences that will inform their efforts to advance equity for diverse communities, including populations that are historically underrepresented or marginalized in the field, to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for all students.

·       Contributions to diversity statement (2 page limit)

o   Should describe how their past, present or potential teaching, research, and life experiences will inform their efforts to advance equity for diverse communities, including populations that are historically underrepresented or marginalized in the field, to provide a welcoming, inclusive learning environment for all students.

·       Name and contact information of at least four references. References will not be contacted without the applicant’s foreknowledge.

There is no priority consideration date for this search, which means applications will continue to be accepted until an offer is extended. 

Background check/EEO statement:

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check. In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.