Governor Hutchinson Speaks to U of A Students for Homeland Security Course

Richard Ham (r), associate director of the masters in Operations Management program introduced Governor Asa Hutchinson to students in the Homeland Security for Operations Managers course.
Photo by Molly Hiller

Richard Ham (r), associate director of the masters in Operations Management program introduced Governor Asa Hutchinson to students in the Homeland Security for Operations Managers course.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson was guest lecturer Monday evening, April 18, for the class “Homeland Security for Operations Managers,” a course in the Master of Science in Operations Management program in the College of Engineering. About 50 graduate students attended the lecture.

Hutchinson is an alumnus of the U of A School of Law and had built an impressive resume long before he was elected governor. He had a private law practice for 21 years in Fort Smith before being appointed U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas by President Ronald Reagan. He was elected and served three terms as U.S. representative from the 3rd Congressional District of Arkansas. He was appointed administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2001 by President George W. Bush. And, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and creation of the Department of Homeland Security, he was named Undersecretary of Border and Transportation Security.

Hutchinson described his duties as being in charge of all the U.S. borders and all transportation systems coming into and out of the country – a total of some 1.3 billion transactions per year.

“A terrorist only has to get it right once,” he said. “We have to be perfect each and every check.”

Hutchinson established a four step process to make each transaction secure:

  1. Collect information about every shipment at least 24 hours in advance.
  2. Assess the risk by comparing this information with past travel patterns and crew history.
  3. Implement new technology to review travelers’ documentation and legal records.  
  4. Create public and private sector partnerships to establish a balance between security and civil liberties.

Hutchinson said that one thing he learned from his work in Homeland Security was that visa laws, passed in the 1920s, needed to be reviewed and updated to meet the needs and realities of the modern era.


Molly Hiller, communications intern
University Relations

Steve Voorhies, manager, media relations
University Relations

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