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Board of Governors approves new degree programs, including aviation

Following approval from the Marshall University Board of Governors during its summer meeting today at Glade Springs Resort, the university is a step closer to takeoff for its aviation degree programs.

The board also approved new degree programs in other areas of study.

Marshall’s new School of Aviation will offer a Bachelor of Science in aviation sciences, fixed-wing, and a Bachelor of Science in aviation, rotor-wing (helicopters).  The academic program will be housed at the South Charleston campus with hands-on training at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

Under the partnership with Southern Utah University (SUU), both schools will receive benefits.  Marshall will share SUU’s Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification and SSU will consult with Marshall on academic matters. Both schools will participate in national recruitment efforts, with SUU focusing on the western part of the country and Marshall on the eastern section.

“There is a huge demand for pilots across the United States,” Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert said. “As an industry, a commercial pilot is the only profession with a federally mandated retirement age. Marshall is poised to meet the educational requirements with these new programs.”

All classes for the aviation program will be held at Marshall’s South Charleston campus, which will serve as the academic hub. The university plans to construct a residence hall on the campus to provide housing for the students. It will include a kitchen and cafeteria which will be open to all students enrolled at the South Charleston campus.

Yeager Airport will host new facilities for hangar space and FAA-required laboratories and computer facilities. The airport will also provide the necessary technical services needed to support the flight school (e.g., access to aviation fuel, air traffic control, security and similar necessities.)

It’s expected the program will open in fall 2021.

The board also approved a degree consolidation plan for the Lewis College of Business, the Bachelor of Business in Administration, which effectively consolidates six current degrees into one. Dean Avi Mukherjee says the reorganization will streamline the college’s operations and have a clearer presentation of the programs offered.  Accounting will remain a separate degree program to maintain flexibility to respond to separate accreditation standards. Also approved were a Master of Science degree in data analytics that will be administered through the Weisberg Division of Computer Science in the College of Information Technology and Engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

In ongoing action, the board approved revised versions of university policies, including updates to the Measles and Rubella Immunization Policy for all admitted students. Several updates were made to more closely align with the state’s current policy.

And, following an executive session, the board approved the acquisition of two real estate parcels for a combined cost of $10,000.  More information on the purchase will be available once the transaction is completed.  They also approved the appointment of two members to the West Virginia Autism Training Center Advisory Board. They are Natalie Henchey of Hurricane and Christy Robinson of Charleston.

Gilbert and the board also recognized outgoing members Phyllis Arnold, Cam Brammer, Hunter Barclay, David Haden and Wyatt Scaggs for their service.