The Institute’s History
The Economic Crime Investigation Institute was formed in 1988. The name was changed to the Economic Crime Institute of Utica University in 2003 and the Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Institute (ECCI) in 2014. The original board of directors of the Institute had approximately eight members, drawn from MasterCard International, The Equitable (now AXA Financial), the United States Department of Justice, the United States Congress, and the Internal Revenue Service. The Board of Advisors now includes representatives of such organizations as KPMG, JP Morgan Chase, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Northrup Grumman, Bank of America, and the Air Force Research Lab.
In 1990, the first annual conference was held in Utica, New York. It was the first national conference on computer crime and attracted individuals from the northeast. By 1994 the conference was relocated to the New York City area; as the attendance had widened in geographical scope and a larger and more convenient arena was required. Two years later the conference was moved to the Washington, DC area, where it is still held. Keynote speakers and conference panelists are drawn from the top levels of government, academia and major corporations on a regular basis.
At the time of the Institute’s conception, Utica University had just begun to offer the first undergraduate degree in Economic Crime Investigation, the first of its kind in the country. The BS degree continues to be the cornerstone of the Economic Crime program at Utica University and now offers two concentrations; Financial Investigation and the new “Fraud Prevention and Detection.” The Board of Advisors has been instrumental in providing financial support for what was then a state-of-the-art computer laboratory at the college, as well as for print and non-print resources accessible by all persons without fee. With the Board of Advisors’ guidance and financial support, Utica University developed the Economic Crime Management (ECM) Master’s Degree in 1998, also the first of its kind in the Americas. The program is offered in a distance learning format, with two four-day on-campus residencies over two years. The first cohort of 13 students graduated in 2001.
The Board of Advisors also provides advice and support for additional programs at Utica University, all of which are offered in a distance learning format. Those programs currently include:
- Certificate program in Financial Crimes Investigation
- M.B.A. degree in Economic Crime and Fraud Management
- Undergraduate bachelor’s degree program in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, the latter an outgrowth of the computer security concentration in the economic crime investigation major
- M.S. degree in Criminal Justice Administration
- Undergraduate bachelor’s degree program in Economic Crime Investigation
- M.S. degree in Cybersecurity-Intelligence and Forensics
Utica University’s Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (www.cimip.org) was launched in June 2006. The Center is a research collaborative composed of corporate, government, law enforcement, and academic partners committed to conducting research that will result in cutting edge educational and training materials for academe, law enforcement, government agencies, and corporations, as well as the foundation for new legislation and regulation. The Institute serves as the advisory body for CIMIP.
Utica University – a Pioneer in Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Education
The University was the first in the United States (and, to our knowledge, the world) to offer an undergraduate major in economic crime investigation. The undergraduate program has since been cloned by other undergraduate institutions. The curriculum includes a solid grounding in accounting, fraud prevention and detection as well as other forensic techniques that help investigators uncover evidence of financial crime; relevant governmental policies and laws that apply to financial institutions and commercial entities; and economic theories and market principles.
Utica University was the first, and to our knowledge remains the only, University to offer a graduate program in economic crime management, a degree program designed to integrate the disciplines of fraud investigation, compliance, auditing, management and technology, into an academic format designed to provide executive-level education to individuals with considerable experience in these disciplines. Students come from all industries and levels of government.
The new MS in Cybersecurity was designed in response to calls from cybersecurity professionals for a graduate-level program that combines state-of-the-art practices in intelligence and forensics. There are two concentrations:
- Intelligence: Designed for professionals interested in cyber intelligence and counterintelligence, cyber counterterrorism, and cyber countersabotage.
- Computer Forensics: Designed for students interested in collecting and preparing evidence of computer crimes such as fraud, child pornography, and cyber espionage.
In sum, Utica University has been the academic thought leader in the field of economic crime and cybersecurity for more than 20 years.