Thursday, May 30, 2024

In Memoriam: UTSA will honor Glenn Dietrich on Thursday, May 30

In Memoriam: UTSA will honor Glenn Dietrich on Thursday, May 30

MAY 29, 2024 — Glenn B. Dietrich, M.B.A. ’77, professor of information systems and cyber security in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA, passed away on May 16 of natural causes under medical care.

Known as the father of the cyber security program at UTSA, Dietrich was instrumental in developing the college’s B.B.A. in Cyber Security and the concentration in Cyber Security as part of the Master of Science degree in Information Technology.

“Our top-ranked, world-class cyber security program wouldn’t exist today without him,” said Nicole Beebe, Ph.D. ’07, interim associate vice president for research partnerships and strategies at UTSA. “Glenn accomplished a great many things, but perhaps the most important to our success was his early vision to obtain the National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Education designation for UTSA in 2002 and his tireless efforts to maintain it for more than two decades.”

In a recent Cyber Runners Podcast produced by the department, Dietrich shared that he pursued the designation to ensure the success of the college’s cyber security program. “We were one of the first 34 schools in the country and the first in Texas to obtain our CAE designation in education. It was the key to getting our program where it is today.” He later led UTSA’s effort to earn the CAE designation in research in 2009.

Serving as chair of the Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security from 2001-2011, he founded and was the first director of the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security and served as director of the Center for Education and Research in Information and Infrastructure Security.

“Glenn will always be remembered for his vision and his unique contribution to the department, along with the late Jan Guynes Clark, when they started the UTSA cyber security program in our department over two decades ago,” said Charles Liu, interim chair of the Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security. “He was an exceptionally caring human being. Those of us who had the honor and pleasure to work with him know the depth of his loyalty to his students, colleagues and loved ones. This is a huge loss to the department.”

While he was known to be a man of few words, his passion for the success of his students and the field of cyber security was undeniable. Helping students discover and find careers in the field of cyber security, he was always a compassionate advocate of his students and the greatest cheerleader for the program.

“I’m so lucky to have had Glenn in my life,” said Dan Karam, ’97, M.S.I.T. ’01. “Our relationship came full circle first as a teacher in my undergraduate program, then a mentor when I began my career, later a friend and finally a colleague. He was one of the most important people in my career, and I considered him a member of my personal board of directors. I’m truly going to miss him.”

Dietrich’s immeasurable impact extended beyond UTSA into the community as he often served as the external face and ambassador for UTSA cyber security. His work encompassed partnering with community colleges, K-12 students, military organizations, Wounded Warriors and national research centers such as the Idaho National Laboratory. He was the lead researcher for UTSA’s Cyber P3 Initiative, which worked to train Army reservists to fill critical cyber security positions with the federal government. His most recent grant provided cyber security training to transitioning military, first responders and veterans.

“Glenn will forever be connected to what is now among the best cyber security program in the country,” said Joe Sanchez, executive director of the CyberTexas Foundation. “His support of the CyberTexas Foundation has been key to our success. He can be credited for helping me start the Cyber Innovation and Research Consortium and also for keeping it going during lean times. He was always willing to step up and help others. Without Glenn, San Antonio and the cyber security community wouldn’t be where it is today.”

Throughout his UTSA career he was awarded over $8 million in grants including numerous NSA grants such as the NSA’s Cyber Scholarship Program. Much of his grant funding centered around workforce development, scholarship, mentorship and capacity building to support continued educational outreach in the field of cyber security.

“Glenn was a visionary. He had a forward-looking perspective. In the early 2000s there was not another business school in America that would have considered adding cyber security to their curriculum,” said Beebe, the Melvin Lachman Endowed Chair and professor of cyber security in the Alvarez College of Business. “He was passionately committed to providing cyber security training and education to a wide range of people.”

Recognizing his contributions to the cyber security landscape, he was named an inaugural member of the San Antonio Cyber Hall of Honor in 2016. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional, he was active in several professional organizations including the DHS Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group, The Hawaiian International Conference on Systems Sciences and the Portland International Conference on Management on Engineering Technology.

Joining UTSA in 1991, Dietrich’s research interests included information assurance, cyber physical systems security and privacy, technology management and innovation. He published in leading journals such as Decision Support Systems, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, MISQ Executive and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. Prior to joining UTSA, he worked in private industry building information systems for the government. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.


A memorial service that is open to the public will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 30 in the Richard S. Liu Auditorium in the Business Building on the UTSA Main Campus.

In recognition of his monumental contributions, the college has established the Glenn Dietrich Cyber Security Fund to continue his vision by providing support for student success programs, experiential learning, research and scholarships for cyber security students at UTSA.

“We wanted to honor Glenn’s extraordinary contributions to our cyber security programs by establishing a fund in his name to support future generations of cyber security students,” said Jonathon Halbesleben, dean of the Alvarez College of Business. “This fund will live in perpetuity within the college to help sustain what he put so much effort into building.”

Contributions can be made by visiting Choose “other” in the drop-down menu and enter “In memory of Glenn Dietrich.” Gifts can also be sent by mail. Make checks payable to UTSA and on the memo line, write “In memory of Glenn Dietrich.” Send to Cassandra Salazar, UTSA Alvarez College of Business, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249-3209.

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