West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr. has been honored by the FBI for his work on a board that was established to foster outreach, research and understanding between the bureau and higher education in the post-Sept. 11 world.

Agents from the FBI s Pittsburgh field office presented Hardesty on Tuesday (Dec. 12) with a plaque of appreciation for his service on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, which the bureau established two years ago.

The board assists the bureau in the development of research, degree programs, course work, internships and consulting opportunities for faculty related to higher security. WVU already has an FBI tie: The schools immensely popular Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program began as a partnership with the bureau in 1997.

Chancellors and presidents of prominent universities make up the 16-member board, including Texas A&M President Robert Gates, a former CIA intelligence analyst confirmed last week as U.S. Secretary of Defense to replace Donald Rumsfeld, who is resigning.

Special agent Ray Morrow, who oversees operations in the Pittsburgh office, gave some gratitude to go along with the plaque.

What you do is very beneficial to the FBI ,he told Hardesty.We really appreciate your service. You and your colleagues bring so much that we didnt have before.

That includes insight and practical advice on the culture of higher education, including the traditions of academic freedom and intellectual collaboration.

Those are things FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III didnt take lightly when he announced the formation of the board in September 2005.

As we do our work, we wish to be sensitive to university concerns about international students, visas, technology export policy and the special culture of colleges and universities,Mueller said then.We also want to foster exchanges between academia and the FBI in order to develop curricula which will aid in attracting the best and brightest students to careers in the law enforcement and intelligence communities.

Pennsylvania State President Graham Spanier chairs the board, which meets three times a year in Washington.

Other members:

  • William Brody, president, Johns Hopkins University
  • Albert Carnesale, chancellor, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jared Cohon, president, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Marye Ann Fox, chancellor, University of California, San Diego
  • Gregory Geoffroy, president, Iowa State University
  • Amy Gutmann, president, University of Pennsylvania
  • Susan Hockfield, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Martin Jischke, president, Purdue University
  • Bernard Machen, president, University of Florida
  • James Moeser, chancellor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • C.D. Mote, president, University of Maryland, College Park
  • John Wiley, chancellor, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Mark Emmert, president, University of Washington