MU gives final nod for aviation sciences degree


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall University Board of Governors recently approved the creation of a new academic degree and major leading to a Bachelor of Science degree, Commercial Pilot-Fixed Wing.

Initially presented to the board in June 2019 as an intent to plan, the new degree program will help meet the nation’s significant need for commercial pilots. Students completing the degree can be hired as commercial pilots of single and multiengine airplanes.

During the specially called meeting, Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert said the program will be a win for the university and the country.

“I want to commend our provost, Dr. Jaime Taylor, and Dr. David Pittenger, dean of the graduate college, for their tireless effort to bring this degree offering to reality,” Gilbert said. “And I want to thank all of our partners for working alongside us to create a dynamic program for West Virginia.”

The aviation sciences program will launch in fall 2021 and will be housed at the university’s South Charleston campus and Yeager Airport in Charleston. Grant funding from several organizations, including the Maier Foundation, has assisted in getting the program started.

The board also approved refinancing of current bonds to take advantage of low interest rates, to consolidate two existing bond packages and, simultaneously, to tap into new monies for future projects, including a building to house the Lewis College of Business, planned for Fourth Avenue.

In other action, board members approved a new fee for international students needing English as a second language instruction. The action follows a joint decision by Marshall and INTO University Partnerships to change the terms of their operating agreement, thereby requiring the university to take additional steps to assist international students. The revised operating agreement is a result of a changing international student recruitment market.

Information submitted by Marshall University.