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DLIFLC/NPS officially begin new phase of network partnership
MONTEREY, Calif., -- More than 50 military and academic leaders of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the Naval Postgraduate School joined together to officially announce the groundbreaking of the award-winning “.edu” academic network infrastructure initiative during a ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 25.

“I believe this project will serve as a model for others to follow.  As we move into a more restrictive budget climate, it is important to find innovative ideas to do more with less,” said Col. Danial Pick, Commandant of DLIFLC.

The complicated endeavor began with a vision in 2008 of the Institute’s previous commandant, Col. Sue Ann Sandusky, who wanted to increase language proficiency by providing cutting edge technology in the classrooms which required adequate bandwidth.

“We shared our experiences of moving from a .mil to a .edu, the flexibilities that it allowed us and the different capabilities that better served the academic mission,” said NPS’s Vice President, Information Resources and Chief Information Officer, Dr. Christine Haska,  adding that the next step was overcoming administrative hurdles in establishing the network on the  U.S. Army installation.

“This is a very new concept and is new to the Army and was new to the Navy as well. (It was difficult) convincing them that we could establish a stable, robust and secure environment in which we could serve the mission,” explained Haska.

“When you learn language what you have to do is to give students lots of authentic materials and a lot of opportunities to practice the language, said DLIFLC Provost Dr. Donald Fischer. “With this network, and the ability to go anywhere in the world – to anybody – and get materials from anybody, is going to really increase our ability to bring language to the student and therefore increase the proficiency of all those who graduate.”

The academic network, brought to fruition by Chief Technology Officer Jon Russell, will take 18 months to fully implement institute-wide. Because of government spending cuts, the timing of an infrastructure change could not have come at a better time, according to Tim Clayton, Senior Language Authority for the Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, who attended the ribbon cutting from Washington D.C.

“This took a lot of risk and courage, and quite honestly, I think this is the type of initiative that our leaders have to start endorsing working together to provide this type of capability. When the money dries up, these are the only ideas that make sense,” said Clayton.

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Brian Lamar, Strategic Communications
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