Over the past year, federal intelligence, security, and science agencies, as well as Members of Congress, have expressed increasing concern regarding theft of intellectual property, breaches in scientific integrity, targeted cyberattacks, the participation of academic researchers in foreign talent recruitment programs, and other forms of foreign interference relating to research performed at U.S. universities. These concerns have stemmed from countries including, but not limited to, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
We know public research universities believe it is imperative to take these concerns seriously and to take proactive measures on campus. To assist universities in responding to these growing concerns, late last fall APLU and AAU conducted a survey to collect examples of effective policies, practices, tools, and resources that universities are using to ensure the security of research and to address ongoing and emerging foreign security threats. This week APLU and AAU shared some key practices emerging from the survey, including: conducting an inventory of current campus security-related activities; communicating with faculty about potential security threats and providing reminders of federal and university disclosure and export controls compliance requirements; and considering implementation of additional campus policies and practices to bolster security and mitigate risk.
In brief, suggested actions that universities are encouraged to take if they haven’t done so already include: