RIO GRANDE VALLEY: Statement concerning National Security Center at UTPA by Professors

We have learned  of  plans  to enlarge the current CIA/IGkNU collaboration at UTPA into a full fledged National Security Center that could involve mandatory security clearances for professors teaching in the program. Such security clearances would amount to a gag order since  faculty teaching in the Center would be unable to comment on or share their work without CIA approval, thus violating the basic tenets of a university where research and information are freely shared.

Such a Center would also enlarge the effort to recruit our students into the Intelligence Community and render them vulnerable to complicity in the abhorrent  policies of extraordinary rendition, torture, and assassination.

We  believe that a full campus/community review/debate of these plans is essential and hope you will join us in pursuing a full accounting of the effect of such a National Security Center on all of us at UTPA.

Dr. David Anshen
Dr. David Carlson
Jose Skinner, MFA
Dr. Philip Zwerling

3 Responses to “RIO GRANDE VALLEY: Statement concerning National Security Center at UTPA by Professors”

  1. IGKNU is not and has never been a CIA program. IGKNU is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence through the National Geospatial Agency.
    Secondly, IGKNU is not pursuing a national security center. Furthermore, Dr. Anshen, Carslon, Zwerling, and Mr. Skinner were aware of these facts on June 1, 2010, two days prior to the above blog post, having received a response from me on on that date about their concerns about a possible center.

    Sandra Hansmann, PhD, CRC, Assistant Professor
    Director, Integrated Global Knowledge and Understanding (IGKNU) Collaboration
    Principal Investigator, UTPA Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence
    2010 President, National Rehabilitation Association Southwest Region
    University of Texas Pan American
    1201 W. University Drive HSW 1.266
    Edinburg, TX 78539

  2. In response to Dr. Hansmann. Just to point out that the statement posted does not state that IGkNU is solely funded by the CIA. But, even IGkNU own web page shows that it receives funding through a governmental department of the intelligence apparatus. Her comment does not address the issues raised by the statement. For more info on this issue:

    • Anshen, Carlson, Skinner, Zwerling Reply June 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      During a recent discussion with the university’s new president, several faculty members were informed of proposals to establish either some kind of “National Security Center” or an “Intelligence Analysis Campus” at UTPA, which, like IGkNU, would be organized under the auspices of the ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence:
      ], the umbrella organization of US intelligence agencies, including the CIA.
      President Nelsen told us that one or the other of these projects would require that certain faculty members and administrators in several UTPA colleges obtain national security clearance, and that research in the program would be classified. We believe that this would work at counterpurposes to the transparency and openness we seek in the academy. Since CIA funding and projects are confidential and classified, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what role the CIA would play–or currently does play on campuses, like UTPA, having Centers for Academic Excellence (CAEs), also organized under ODNI. We also do not know who, exactly, initiated and is involved in the proposal to form the Intelligence Analysis Campus, or what its precise relationship with IGkNU would be. Part of our concern is the inherent lack of transparency and input into decisions that might profoundly affect the role and future of the university. We think that faculty, students, and the community should have real, informed input into what kind of university it is that serves our community and region. The CIA has openly articulated its desire to recruit personnel and agents at Hispanic serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions. (This goal and what we know about the relations of the different players are analyzed in Dr. Philip Zwerling’s article in
      Since these issues concern the integrity of the university, and since it appears clear that the new IAC would grow out of the initial intelligence collaboration related to the establishment of IGkNU (though this is not the key point and involves information we cannot possibly know because of the covert ways intelligence agencies function), we see these new developments as important for those concerned with the future of the campus and its relations to the community and the world. Therefore we are attempting to inform others about possible developments and begin a real debate about what is in the best interests of UTPA, its students, its faculty, and the community at large.

      Dr. David Anshen
      Dr. David Carlson
      Jose Skinner
      Dr. Phil Zwerling

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