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The collaborative nature of HEISC reflects the collaborative nature of higher education in general. Volunteers who contribute their time and efforts to addressing information security and privacy issues in higher education do so for the common good. That is, by working together, the entire higher education sector benefits. These collaborative efforts have led to:

  • The Annual Security Professionals Conference (established 2003): This is the only conference that provides community dialogue and professional development activities for higher education information security and privacy professionals.
  • Information Security Guide (established 2003): The guide is a key resource for information security issues in higher education, updated with hot topics and helpful toolkits, maintained by higher education information security volunteers.
  • Awareness efforts: HEISC has participated in National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) activities since 2004; Data Privacy Day (DPD) activities since 2012; and engaged in numerous other information security awareness activities.
  • Information-sharing opportunities: Information security practitioners have the opportunity to engage with other members of the community through a Security Discussion list with over 3,000 subscribers.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities: HEISC has offered over a decade of professional development, publication (through EDUCAUSE Review, the Security Matters blog, publication in the EDUCAUSE Library, and in collaborative papers created with other EDUCAUSE programs), and peer networking opportunities for CISOs and security practitioners, including seminars and boot camps, webinars, online courses or focus sessions, topical working groups, and the conference program committee.

Call For Participants

HEISC has established a number of working groups and committees to pursue projects and initiatives that contribute to the collaborative efforts noted above. Volunteers include chief information security officers, chief information officers, chief privacy officers, and other security professionals and practitioners in the higher education community.

We are currently seeking volunteers to assist with new activities in 2016. If you would like to participate, please let us know. We are happy to provide additional information about current projects and help find the right volunteer opportunity for you.

  • Awareness and Training (A&T) Working Group focuses on information security awareness, training, and education efforts on campus. Their purpose is to identify, develop, and promote resources and methods used by information security professionals or IT communicators to raise awareness of information security issues among college and university end users, including students, faculty, staff, and executives. A&T members meet on the second Thursday each month (2-3 pm ET). New volunteers are welcome!

  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Working Group provides resources and thought leadership around information security topics pertaining to governance, risk, privacy, policies, legal issues, and compliance. Their purpose is to identify, develop, and promote resources to help higher education institutions incorporate information security into the enterprise governance processes, implement information security risk management processes, and understand the implications of existing and proposed laws and industry standards on institutional policies and compliance. GRC members meet on the third Thursday each month (3-4 pm ET). New volunteers are welcome!

  • Technologies, Operations, and Practices (TOP) Working Group focuses on identifying and promoting practices, tools, and procedures that higher education institutions have found to be practical solutions to preventing or responding to security problems, with an emphasis on technology and process solutions. TOP members meet on the third Friday each month (12-1 pm ET). New volunteers are welcome!

  • The mission of the Information Security Guide Editorial Board is to maintain and improve the EDUCAUSE Information Security Guide - a unique and actionable resource developed by a volunteer group of information security practitioners to assist institutions of higher education with developing effective information security programs and initiatives – and to promote its use throughout the higher education community. The Editorial Board will accomplish its mission by: collaborating with other HEISC working groups to enhance the guide’s chapters, toolkits and hot topics; curating, preserving, and providing relevant and timely content about topics impacting institutions today; validating the guide's content to ensure that it is accurate, factual, and objective; clarifying the current information security environment and highlighting how emerging trends and technologies impact information security; and documenting best practices and providing standards-based guidelines on how to implement an effective information security program. New volunteers are welcome!

  • Security Professionals Conference Program Committee brings together information security professionals, IT staff, and others from across the higher education community. The program committee works together from the initial program planning stages through on-site conference support and develops the themes, organization, and content for the conference. Program committee members are selected each winter through the EDUCAUSE Volunteer Interest Form.

  • Higher Education Chief Privacy Officers (HE-CPO) provides a supportive and collaborative environment for institutional chief privacy officers—and others who may not have that title but who have institution-wide privacy as an assigned job responsibility—to share information and speak freely regarding privacy issues, news, laws, concerns and best practices affecting higher education. This group is to be accessed by privacy professionals, and its resources are to be used for the benefit of institutional privacy programs. New CPOs are welcome!
    • Note: This group is by invitation only; please see the charter for details about membership. If you are interested in the topic but do not meet the requirements to join this group, please consider subscribing to the Privacy Discussion Group.

Please be sure to review the HEISC Working Group Membership Guidelines if you are planning to join one of the groups listed above.

ECAR Working Groups

ECAR Working Groups bring together higher education IT leaders to address core technology challenges. Individuals at EDUCAUSE member institutions are invited to collaborate on projects that advance emerging technologies important to colleges and universities. To join an ECAR working group or suggest a new project, learn more on the Get Involved page or contact us.


How to Get Started

  1. Review current activities and working groups (at left).
  2. Review the HEISC Working Group Membership Guidelines.
  3. Learn more about HEISC by reading the charter.
  4. Contact us if you have questions.