LSU Office of the President

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Yesterday at the Port of New Orleans, to polish off LSU President William F. Tate IV’s successful bus tour around the state to promote the university’s Scholarship First Agenda, LSU announced a landmark partnership between the university and the largest ports in Louisiana to develop homegrown cybersecurity talent and technology for critical infrastructure. The partnership is a major win for LSU’s mission to secure Louisiana’s future through the Scholarship First Agenda, since these ports play a crucial role in securing food, energy, goods, and materials for our state and beyond. The agreement also provides opportunities for LSU’s faculty and students to solve ongoing and emerging cyber challenges.

“Like our students and research expertise, Louisiana’s port system impacts every corner of the state and has national and global reach,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “The Scholarship First Agenda elevates domains that meet citizens’ most pressing needs and define Louisiana’s role in the world. These areas—agriculture, biomedicine, coast, defense—including cybersecurity—and energy—all converge in Louisiana’s ports. Our designation last year by the National Security Agency, or NSA, as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, or CAE-CO, positions us as one of the best and most technical cybersecurity schools in the country, and we’re now connecting our talented students and experts with our friends here at Louisiana’s ports to tackle cybersecurity and critical infrastructure challenges across Louisiana.”

The five partner ports include Port Fourchon on the Gulf of Mexico and four ports along the Mississippi River—Port of Greater Baton Rouge, Port of New Orleans, Port of South Louisiana, and St. Bernard Port—which make up the largest port complex in the world:

  • The Port of New Orleans is the only international container port in Louisiana and the 6th largest cruise port. It’s a modern multimodal gateway connecting the inland U.S. and Canada to markets around the world by river, rail, and road.
  • Port Fourchon is home to over 250 companies, services nearly 100 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s deep water energy production, handles significant volumes of domestic and foreign oil, and is connected to 50 percent of the United States’ refining capacity, ultimately furnishing the country with approximately 16 percent of its entire oil supply.
  • The Port of South Louisiana is the second largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere, the largest tonnage port in Louisiana, and the nation’s grain leader with over 60 percent of the United States’ grain exported as well as 100 million tons of petrochemical products exported annually.
  • St. Bernard Port is home to the only deep draft slip on the lower Mississippi River, handles nearly 10 million tons of bulk cargo in critical materials, and the port and its tenants employ nearly 20 percent of the entire parish.
  • The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is ranked 8th in total tonnage nationally and 65th in the world and handles a diverse range of essential commodities including asphalt, coal, coffee, forest products, biomass, chemicals, oats, pipes, steel, and sugar.

To browse highlights from the tour, visit To stay informed about how LSU is impacting Louisiana and creating a model of the future at home and for the world, follow our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.