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III. Changes in Context

Since the last accreditation visit in 1999, significant changes have occurred in the areas of governance, academic programs, finances and facilities at the Naval Postgraduate School.


Board of Advisors

In response to the WASC recommendations of 1999, the Board of Advisors has increased its involvement in the institution. With strong leadership in its Chair, VADM (ret.) Lee Gunn, the NPS Board of Advisors meets twice a year and is more involved with NPS's direction, particularly the four major goals documented in the NPS strategic plan: Vision for a New Century. (17) [CFR 1.3, 3.9]

School Structure

In 2001, NPS underwent a major structural reorganization when its departments, which were loosely organized into divisions, were grouped according to academic disciplines into four separate graduate Schools. NPS now houses the Graduate Schools of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Operational and Information Sciences, Business and Public Policy, and International Studies. [CFR 1.2, 1.6]

Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Collaboration and Relationship 

In 2002, the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Air Force signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) forming an educational alliance between the services. The Alliance purpose was to ensure that NPS and AFIT meet the advanced education requirements of the Armed Forces of the United States. The MOA served as a basis to eliminate unnecessary duplication and to identify efficiencies between the two schools. As a result, the Meteorology and Acquisition Degree programs moved from AFIT to NPS, and Aeronautical Engineering moved from NPS to AFIT. In 2004, AFIT and NPS developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify additional areas that support education and research collaboration. The MOU set up collaborative groups in the academic areas of Meteorology, Acquisition, Space, and Aeronautical Engineering. The groups met periodically to review these programs and made recommendations to the respective Boards. Working groups were also established in administrative areas including admissions and registrar, public affairs and resource marketing, financial affairs, and research. These working groups identified and completed 25 specific action items, resulting in streamlined processes and shared information that has increased the efficiency of both institutions. In 2008, an updated version of the MOU will ensure continued improvement of the alliance through the collaboration of faculty and staff members. (18, 19) [CFR 3.10, 4.1, 4.6]


At the time of NPS's last WASC accreditation review, the Secretary of the Navy appointed an active-duty officer, usually an admiral of the U.S. Navy, as the NPS Superintendent for a period of about two years. In 2006, legislation outlining the requirements of NPS leadership was changed to permit the former Superintendent position to be renamed President, be held by a civilian, and subject to a five-year term with the possibility of one renewal. (20) In April 2007, Daniel Oliver, a retired Vice Admiral, was appointed as NPS's first civilian president, allowing a new level of stability for NPS. [CFR 3.10]


During the NPS accreditation review in 1999, the Graduate Education Review Board (GERB) was a significant influence on NPS programs. While not directly involved with the policies or daily activities at NPS, the GERB acted at the direction of the Secretary of the Navy to ensure that the various graduate programs sponsored by the Navy provided sufficient educational opportunities for its officers and maintained a workforce with appropriate levels of graduate experience. At the time that NPS submitted its Institutional Proposal to WASC in the fall of 2006, the GERB had disbanded; however, in 2008, the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations re-instated the GERB to help facilitate the development of a strong and educated officer corps. (21) [CFR 3.9]

Administrative Structure

In 2007, the Provost initiated a review of the administrative and executive organizational structure, including analysis by an outside consulting firm. As a result, NPS has adopted an administrative structure similar to that of other research universities. This process is detailed in section IV of this document, under Theme Three. (22)

Academic Programs, Students and Faculty

Over the past 10 years, there have been a number of changes in the academic programs:

Distributed Learning (DL)

Like many universities, NPS increased and expanded the delivery of curricula through modes other than resident, on-campus settings. Since 1999, 13 DL curricula have been added, serving a total of over 700 DL degree students. Unlike other universities, NPS delivers its degree and certificate curricula across a broad geographical spectrum including not only the entire U.S. and other countries, but also aboard naval ships in fleet concentration areas throughout the world, which requires significant technological accommodation and coordination. [CFR 2.1, 2.11, 3.6,3.7]

Program Mix

NPS's historic educational focus has been primarily on master's-level degree programs. From that base, NPS has expanded its program offerings in three directions: doctoral-level education, graduate-level certificates, and not-for-credit education in the form of professional development, management development or executive education short-course programs. Most notable in this group are the first degree and certificate programs in Homeland Security, created in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. [CFR 2.11]

Geographical Expansion

In 2007, NPS expanded its physical presence in the Washington, D.C. area (the National Capital Region) with a program in Homeland Security (approved by WASC as a sub-change August 16, 2007). (23) NPS has long held VTE courses at sites in San Diego, California, and Norfolk, Virginia. These two sites, and others, are now being explored for possible on-site educational programs with faculty in-residence, initially with an emphasis on Systems Engineering. Appropriate application to WASC for sub-change review will be submitted as needed. A new research presence in Port Hueneme, California, the Center for Asymmetric Warfare, provides training, technology testing and evaluation for developing tactics, techniques and the effects of asymmetric warfare. These sites provide a greater expansion of NPS programs where there are concentrations of potential sponsors and students, while presenting the challenges of coordinating distributed operations.

Curricular Domains

Since the 1999 accreditation visit, NPS has developed a number of new curricula in response to the needs of the Departments of Defense and the Navy, and in support of the national security needs of the United States. Examples of these curricula include Mechanical Engineering for Nuclear Trained Officers, Electronic Systems Engineering, Homeland Security, Human Systems Integration, and Executive Management. [CFR2.4]

In the years since the last accreditation, the make-up of the student body has changed in important ways. In the mid 1990s, approximately 65 percent of resident students were naval officers. Naval officers now comprise just 45 percent of the students in residence at the Monterey campus. NPS now hosts a diverse mix of students from all the U.S. military services, as well as civilians from defense and other government agencies, and international officers.

The past decade has also seen changes in the characteristics of the NPS faculty, with resulting impacts on the academic programs and their delivery. In particular, the composition of the faculty has significantly shifted over time with respect to numbers of practitioners vs. academics. A primary driver for the programs at NPS is the need to maintain relevance in support of the needs of the national security community. Changes in the world's political and defense situations occur rapidly, and require the latest in support and response from the programs at NPS. Officers with field experience (practitioners) provide real-life information and relevance to NPS academic programs. At the same time, the increase in doctoral programs requires strength in academic faculty dedicated to basic research. NPS strives to maintain the right balance of faculty to ensure excellence in both the more practically oriented master's degree and certificate programs and the theoretical research focus of its doctoral areas. [CFR 3.1, 3.2]

Fiscal Resources

Since 1999, there has been a significant growth in funding. In addition, the source of funding has shifted from Navy-only to increasingly non-Navy; there has been a faster increase in sponsored programs for education than for research; core research is focused more on consulting; and there is an entrepreneurial thrust to seeking additional sponsorship of educational programs and research. [CFR 3.5]

Income Growth

In terms of dollars, NPS income grew from $110 million in 1999, to $309 million in 2008. The fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, was over $338 million.

Revenue Sources

Broadly, NPS has 2 sources of funds: direct resources from the Navy based on its historical mission and reimbursable resources from a wide range of military, governmental and commercial organizations that provide sponsorship for specified education, research programs and projects. NPS has evolved from 40 percent direct Navy funds and 60 percent reimbursed funds in 1999, to 30 percent direct Navy funds and 70 percent reimbursed funds in 2008.

Sponsored Activities

There has been considerable growth in NPS sponsored activities (340 percent since 1999). Sponsored activities include traditional basic and fundamental research, applied research, as well as educational and outreach programs. Approximately 26 percent of the activities in 2008 focused on educational or outreach programs, signaling a considerable shift from the traditional research activity. Sponsorship has shifted from primarily the Department of Defense to other federal agencies (most notably Department of Homeland Security) and NPS has an increasing number of funded relationships with non-government activities (industry, state and local government).

Information Resources

The Information Technology and Communication Services (ITACS) division provides central support for voice, video, and data infrastructure and services. As the numbers of students and complexity of curricula and research has increased, data infrastructure has also increased. This includes support for a core gigabit network for the .edu network (planned for a 10-gigabit upgrade in FY2009), but also support for six other communications networks on campus (.mil, High Performance Research, public guest access, PacBell Research, legacy wireless, lightweight access point wireless) and two classified networks. [CFR 3.6, 3.7]


The Naval Postgraduate School has access to the Internet through the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) and Cal-REN (California Research and Education Network). Through Cal-REN, NPS has access to Internet2 and other high-speed global networks. Remote network access is supported, as well as robust wireless capability.

Distributed Learning

Both resident and non-resident curricula are supported through technology infrastructure and services. Synchronous collaboration tools are supported, as are video-tele-education classrooms and services. Streaming media services permit capture of classroom content and large-scale storage capabilities make that content available to students on demand.

Research Support

High Performance Computing (HPC) includes nearly 15 teraflops of processing power on campus and support for access to other HPC centers around the country. Visualization and graphical capabilities at the 4K level are being developed now.

Physical Resources

In 2004, a significant reorganization took place within the Navy concerning support. The Navy centralized ownership and responsibility for the land and buildings to Commander Naval Installations Command (CNIC), which established separate regional commands throughout the world in order to further coordinate "ňúlandlord type activities' through respective installation commands. This was an effort to both standardize support across all Navy bases and to find the greatest cost efficiencies. The installation command is responsible for providing all base operations for its tenants, including: real estate, facilities, public works, environmental, security, safety, recreational, lodging, food and beverage, Fleet and Family Support, and housing. Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) has further centralized their command to provide a better support partnership with CNIC. NPS is now a tenant to a separate Navy command organization. Since this change, NPS has experienced an increase of $2 million to $5 million of annual funding, with a significant increase in large-scale repair projects and infrastructure support, in order to provide an expanding academic enterprise. [CFR 3.5] Major construction projects include:

  • Development of a centralized SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) in the basement of Glasgow Hall
  • Complete renovation of Bullard Hall, home of the Space Systems Academic Group
  • Renovation of Herrmann Hall basement and conversion to the Dean of Students, International Program Office, and the Student Services area
  • Construction of a new Fitness Center
  • Construction of the final wing to Mechanical Engineering building (Watkins Hall)
  • Construction of Glasgow Wing East, 35,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art classrooms, offices, and conference rooms to house the growing Computer Science Department and the Cebrowski Institute
  • A $32M renovation of the historic Herrmann Hall wings converted administrative spaces into short-term on-campus housing, and visitors' quarters, and resulted in national acclaim from the National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Renovation of Halligan Hall, home of the Research Office, the Naval War College and the Defense Resources Management Institute
  • Replacement of the central steam system including new efficient boilers
  • Construction of Glasgow Wing West, an additional 10,000 sq. ft. facility
  • Renovation of laboratories supporting engineering programs
  • A $1.4 million remodel of the Dudley Knox Library created and upgraded student study spaces and separated quiet areas from high-activity zones. Many of the Library's 19 group collaboratories and 3 conference rooms (in public and classified areas) were technology enabled with AV projection, plasma displays, and sound systems to promote and facilitate interactive student collaboration
  • Current projects include: the complete renovation of Ingersoll Hall, as well as an Unmanned Systems Center in Halligan Hall, and a Free Electron Laser (FEL) Facility at the Golf Course lab area. The FEL facility will provide instructional and research sup port for modeling and simulation from basic FEL physics to systems design and increase ongoing collaboration with Stanford University, Naval Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jefferson Laboratory, and the University of Maryland.