Auburn’s aviation and flight programs have generated significant support the last
few weeks from students, alumni and industry representatives. We have heard from those
who support the recently announced plans and those who prefer to leave the program
as is. I have listened and appreciate everyone who passed along their input and shared
It is a pleasure to announce that Associate Dean Joe Hanna will serve as interim director of the aviation programs. Dr. Hanna is the College’s Regions Bank Professor and, as associate dean, leads research and outreach programs. He is also the former head of the Aviation and Supply Chain Management Department. He brings considerable talent and enthusiasm to the table, and I’m pleased to appoint him to the position.
Dr. Hanna will lead the flight program through the program review process. He will investigate several alternatives to the current recommendation to ensure we are looking at all options. The options will include those that are financially self-supporting and those that require an investment from alumni, industry, and government. During the next few weeks, Dr. Hanna will consult with industry, other universities, accrediting agencies, the Aviation Management Advisory Board, and other stakeholders. The investigation will closely examine factors such as student interest, aviation industry needs, financial models for flight education, program fees, and support from industry and government.
Overall, our flight program goals remain the same. They include making the program
available to more students, building a sustainable program, ensuring up-to-date facilities
and equipment, and adapting to changes in the aviation industry. We will continue
working with the Aviation Accreditation Board International to reaffirm the accreditation
so vital to the program and our students.
We will look at all options, and the information we gather will help ensure we ultimately choose the best and most-sustainable path forward. In the near future, Dr. Hanna will provide opportunities for stakeholders to provide input. I hope we can count on your positive participation and assistance.
Bill C. Hardgrave, Ph.D.
Dean and Wells Fargo Professor
College of Business