Call for Proposals

Thank you for your interest in the Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference 2021, formerly the Security Professionals Conference!

This year's theme is Transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all industries and sectors, and higher education information security is no exception. As we enter 2021, we will look to restore, evolve, and transform in ways we may not have imagined but need to consider. Once we reach the other side of the pandemic, what role will information security and privacy play in the recovery ahead? How can we manage transformation within the community to achieve our mission and reach new heights?

You can help us plot the course ahead! Share your knowledge, experiences, and ideas by submitting a proposal individually or as part of a team. Our community-generated program will showcase future directions, best practices, stories of successful collaborations, lessons learned, and solutions to community-wide issues.

Ready to get started? Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find out how to create an excellent proposal by reading this page and the helpful tips in the EDUCAUSE Presenter Concierge resources. (You can have a sneak peek at the CFP site by viewing this PDF.)
  2. Develop a proposal in one of the seven program tracks/focus areas.
  3. Choose a presentation format.
  4. Submit your proposal between February 8 and March 2, 2021.

Diversity and New Voices

The EDUCAUSE Board and leadership have established diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a critical priority for the association. Our program committee strives to develop a program that truly represents our diverse community. We encourage you to consider how your proposal reflects or addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion (including subject matter, individuals of all identities, and demographic characteristics).

Similarly, we are eager to expand our community of presenters by encouraging and supporting new voices in higher education information security and privacy. We'd like first-time presenters to feel energized and inspired to submit a proposal and share their ideas and experiences.

Program Tracks/Areas of Focus

Transformation is bidirectional, giving us an opportunity to reflect on what we have done while also looking forward. The program committee has identified seven suggested areas of focus (tracks) for 2021. Each topic should be considered in the context of restoration, evolution, and transformation. transformation, restoration, and evolution. Preference will be given to the proposals that sufficiently reflect what you have done or are planning to do in regard to each of these areas.

Awareness, training, education, and communications are key components of successful information security and privacy programs. How do we build mature (and replicable) security and privacy awareness programs that help educate faculty, staff, and students?

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) issues increasingly pervade higher education information technology. This track will provide examples for the leadership, organization, and operation of an institution's GRC programs.

How is your campus approaching the establishment of user identities and enforcing rules about access to digital resources? This track will explore two-factor authentication (2FA), multifactor authentication (MFA), and single sign-on trends and solutions for managing and securing identities. 

No matter the extent of our defenses, information security incidents will inevitably occur. For this reason, establishing, periodically assessing, and continually improving incident management processes and capabilities are very important to our community.

Today's information security and privacy leaders must be resilient and visionary. To thrive in today's fast-paced environment, leaders at all levels of the organization, from the CISO or CPO to the analyst or engineer, must embrace everyday challenges while strategically planning for the future.

Colleges and universities encounter thorny autonomy and information privacy issues every day, and it's imperative we know how to address them. We will focus on privacy issues and challenges, as well as privacy issues related to ethics, surveillance, analytics, big data, compliance, and policies in higher education.

Share practices that your campus is using to prevent, detect, assess, monitor, and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents. Or share architecture strategies for information security controls and safeguards that are being implemented to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of institutional data.

Delivery Choices

Please note that your proposal will be carefully evaluated and may be accepted for any of the formats below, depending on the scope of content and engagement strategies proposed. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Reynolds, speaker liaison ([email protected]), or visit our Presenter Concierge page for presentation ideas and resources.

All 2021 sessions will be conducted online.

Live Presentation (45 minutes)

The live session will happen in real time through Zoom or a similar interface. It will be a total of 45 minutes, with 30 minutes for the presentation/engagement and 15 minutes for Q&A.  These sessions are opportunities to share topics of interest, lessons learned, case studies, foresight, or evidence of impact related to the proposed conference tracks while actively engaging the audience. The session may be structured as an interactive presentation or a panel presentation. Maximum of four presenters, including a moderator.

Simulive Presentation (20 minutes)

A simulive presentation is a pre-recorded session that runs during the live program. These sessions are opportunities to share lessons learned, case studies, demonstrations/simulations of a technology or solution, and/or evidence of impact related to the proposed conference tracks. While the recording is being played, the presenters are actively engaged in the chat answering questions and interacting with audience members throughout the 20-minute session. Since simulive sessions provide the opportunity for presenters to interact/answer questions in the chat pod, there will be no dedicated Q&A time, thus allowing the entire time for the recorded presentation. (Note: Presenters will be required to attend their session on their scheduled date/time to monitor the chat.)

On-Demand Presentation (20 minutes)

These 20-minute pre-recorded sessions will be hosted in a virtual, on-demand (recorded) session gallery. On-Demand sessions allow attendees to mix and match content and watch sessions at their own convenience and their own pace. And presenters appreciate that they are able to record their content, submit it, and not have any other responsibilities during the event. On-Demand sessions can be structured as:

  • "Lightning Talks" are 15–20-minute talks that focus on a single idea or concept.
  • Educational presentations are pre-recorded sessions that are approximately 20 minutes in length and typically include presenters from one or two institutions who share research findings, case studies, and experiences about a specific topic.
  • Demos, simulations, or walkthroughs of a technology or solution.

Corporate Participation

Our corporate community is also invited to present during the Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference. This opportunity is a valuable way to showcase your industry expertise and develop meaningful relationships with hundreds in our cybersecurity community.

To participate in this opportunity and get the most out of your time with us, please take note of the following:

  • Your session should focus on a topic that positions your company as a thought leader.
  • For the Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Conference in particular, your topic should focus on a process, technology challenge(s), and/or solutions related to cybersecurity and privacy. It must be educational in nature and not a sales pitch. If you are a supplier of products or services, please be sure your session content is based on a relevant topic, concept, or idea—not on one of your products or services.
  • You may have a maximum of four presenters during your session, and your session must include at least one presenter from a higher ed institution, a small diverse panel, or a non-sales subject matter expert.
  • A limited number of Industry and Campus Solutions presentations are available. If your proposal is accepted, your session will be part of a comprehensive package that will help expand your reach even further during the event, and a fee will apply.

To be considered: Submit through the Call for Proposals by the deadline date. Selections will be made by the program committee based on the quality of the submission and the relevance to current community needs (requirements). Should the proposal be accepted, it will be bundled with additional opportunities, and the appropriate package and fee will be assessed.

Please visit the Corporate Participation page for more information on pricing and package inclusions.

Selection Process

Proposals are selected to ensure the conference offers a comprehensive, nonpromotional, objective, and diverse program. Attention will be given to diversity of institutions/organizations, presenters, and geographic location. Note: You may be invited to present in formats other than the one you selected or those noted in the proposal submission form.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Cybersecurity and Privacy Professionals Program Committee and peer reviewers using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of Topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to higher education?
  • Session Outcomes Achievability: Is there alignment between the stated session outcomes and the proposal description?
  • Presenter Knowledge: Does the presenter or presenters have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the proposal and/or prior experience with or knowledge of the presenter?
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Does the proposal show how the session will reflect or address diversity, equity and inclusion (including subject matter, individuals of all identities, and demographic characteristics)?

Requirements for Presenters

Profile Requirement: An EDUCAUSE Profile is required in order to submit a proposal, present, and register for the event. Please take some time before submitting a proposal to ensure all presenters have profiles and that all information is updated (title, profile picture, bio, etc.). You can search here; if presenters don't have a profile, please have them create one so you're able to add them within the proposal submission site. 

Note: Profile information will help reviewers and attendees understand a presenter's qualifications. Make sure the privacy setting is not too restrictive. We recommend the option of "Visible to Public (without contact info)."

Registration: All accepted presenters are responsible for registering and paying for the conference by the early-bird date. Registration rates will be available in late-February. Please plan and budget accordingly before submitting your proposal. There are no presenter registration discounts available. If there is a financial need, please consider applying for an EDUCAUSE Scholarship. We cannot pay an honorarium or expenses for presenting; however, we hope that the intangible benefits of being a part of our educational programming make the effort worthwhile for presenters. 

Session Resources: Presenters will be asked to upload presentation materials and resources prior to their presentation. These resources provide support for the presentation and then become a part of the conference proceedings so that your valuable information is accessible beyond your session. If selected, you will be provided with further instructions on uploading your presentation materials.