Call for Proposals

Thank you for your interest in the Security Professionals Conference, April 21–23, 2020 in Bellevue, Washington. This is a unique opportunity to build your professional network and engage with your peers.

This year's theme is Reaching for the Summit. Just like a mountain climber, an information security or privacy professional must have patience, discipline, determination, problem-solving skills, and perseverance. Both activities are often presented with challenging circumstances and conditions that are constantly changing or evolving. These dynamic environments require tactical and strategic planning, innovative tools and technologies, as well as diverse, resilient teams with different skills, backgrounds, and knowledge.

How can we energize and elevate the higher education community to reach new heights in our information security and privacy programs? You can help lead the way! 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.

Program Tracks

Information security, privacy, identity management, and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) include both technology and business-process elements that transcend the IT department. The program committee has identified seven tracks to help shape the program in 2020. During the proposal submission process, you will also be able to select several keywords related to your presentation topic.

  • Awareness and Education

    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)

    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.

  • Identity Management

    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.

  • Incident Management and Response

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

  • Leadership

    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.

  • Privacy

    This track focuses on privacy issues and challenges in higher education. Topics include the intersection of IT, security, and privacy, as well as privacy issues related to ethics, surveillance, analytics, big data, compliance, policies, and the Internet of Things.

  • Security Operations and Architecture

    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, or visit our Speaker Concierge page for presentation ideas and resources.

Preconference Workshop

(Half day = 3.5 hours; full day = 6 hours; Tuesday only)
Offered as full- or half-day options, preconference workshops provide participants a deeper examination of various topics, facilitated by leaders with extensive experience in those areas. Workshops are highly interactive and give participants the chance to discuss in-depth approaches to challenges they are facing on campus, share solutions, and learn strategies. These workshops are considered part of EDUCAUSE professional learning and career development offerings and as such require learning outcomes. Maximum of four presenters, including a moderator.

Interactive Presentation

(Short form: 45 minutes, or long form: 60 minutes; Wednesday or Thursday)
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. Long-form sessions (60 minutes) are an opportunity to present in detail on a project, idea, or experience. These can be done solo or have multiple presenters (i.e., panel, moderated interviews, facilitated discussions, stacked presenters, etc.). Short-form sessions (45 minutes) are an opportunity for a solo presenter (or co-presenters) to share opportunities, challenges, and solutions at a higher level. Maximum of four presenters, including a moderator.

Lightning Round

(10 minutes each; Wednesday or Thursday)
These micro-presentations are designed to deliver information with focused speed. These are best done solo because they will be stacked in a 45- or 60-minute session block with related content. A limited number of PowerPoint slides may be used but must be shared with the program committee well in advance of the conference. Maximum of one presenter.

Important Reminders

Registration: All accepted presenters are responsible for registering for the conference by the early-bird date, paying the conference registration fee, and securing and paying for travel and lodging. Please plan and budget accordingly before submitting your proposal. (Exceptions include accepted full- and half-day preconference workshop presenters, who may receive modest compensation in the form of an honorarium or a complimentary conference registration. EDUCAUSE will not cover any additional costs such as travel and lodging expenses, online tools, assessments, books, or other presentation materials.)

Sharing Resources: Presenters will be asked to upload related resources (documents or links) 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.

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.

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 Security Professionals Conference Program Committee and Proposal Reviewers using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to higher education?
  • Proposed topic coverage: Does the proposal adequately cover content related to the proposers’ learning objectives/key stated outcomes?
  • 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?
  • Engagement strategies: Does the presenter include specific strategies relevant to event size, audience, and maturity of topic in which they will engage participants in the session content, and do those strategies align with the session’s learning objectives/outcomes?