FAA: "UND is #1"

UND CFII

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This article was printed in the Friday, April 6th edition of the "Dakota Student". (UND's student newspaper) I guess this will put the "Which school is the best?" and "Does it matter where you go to school?" debates to rest. Right? Well Probably not.


UND ranked #1 in aerospace

by David Hager, Dakota Student Staff Writer


The UND School of Aerospace Sciences lived up to its reputation, being ranked the number
one aviation school in the nation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences the Air Transportation Center of Excellence for General Aviation award.

"Although we feel we are the best, it's always nice when a body, like the FAA, recognizes us and confirms that we are the best," said Dr. Bruce Smith, dean of the Odegard School. "What sets UND apart from other schools is that we are a liberal arts school, not just a flight school. Also UND is the only school that provides the opportunity for our students to qualify for commuter airlines."

UND provides graduate students the opportunity to become flight instructors for
undergraduate students at the college. As a flight instructor, a UND graduate has the
opportunity to build on their flight hours. This advantage allows UND to have large
undergraduate classes.

"UND is the largest aviation school in the nation with the largest and newest fleet," Smith said.

The Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences has won the Intercollegiate Flying Association
National Conference 11 out of the last 14 years.

"Other schools such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, and Western Michigan were certainly eligible for the award," Smith said.

Essentially this award provides UND with the opportunity to associate with the FAA in
research, which could double the school's research funding. This is part of UND President Charles Kupchella's strategic plan.

"The strategic plan for the university covers everything, it is a very comprehensive document that covers a curriculum and how we are going to use technology, how we are going to serve the people of North Dakota and the upper Midwest," said University of North Dakota President Charles Kupchella. "This plan is about how we are going to make UND a better place to come study and also to improve our campus climate. We want to move our research funding from $40 million to $100 million. The aviation program is certainly doing their part to help this plan along."

According to the FAA there are several aspects of the aviation program at UND that sets it apart from other aviation institutions.

"In addition to UND research capabilities, the fleet of aircraft and mediated distance learning capabilities are quite impressive and will be useful as we establish this center, representing universities and industries across the nation," said Chris Seher, FAA Airport Aircraft Safety Research Developer.

FAA administrator Jane Garvey will be in Grand Forks April 19 to tour the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Garvey will also meet with city and airport officials about transportation issues.

"I invited Jane Garvey to Grand Forks because I want to expand the opportunities that exist for the UND Aerospace School to be engaged with the FAA to train air traffic controllers and be involved in a range of other FAA operations," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

With the recent pilot shortage, airport infrastructure, and strained air traffic control systems, Dorgan said he thinks UND can play a significant and increasing role in helping the FAA resolve some of these issues.
 
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