AU Aviation program in danger of losing accreditation - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AU Aviation program in danger of losing accreditation

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

The skies aren't so friendly for Auburn Universities Aviation Program.

"Right now the university has failed to respond to the accreditation," said Jason Mohroman, a United Airlines pilot and AU Aviation alum. "The accreditation is vital for the current students and the future of this program.

He's one of about 3,800 Auburn aviation graduates, determined to keep the program in the air.

The group is reaching out not only to university leaders, but city and state leaders as well, believing if the program crashes, it could have a negative impact on our economy.

The biggest threat to accreditation is the lack of instructors. The program's one remaining tenured professor retires after this semester. So far, AU has not hired a permanent replacement.

Students can't understand why AU hasn't corrected the matter, considering the program's top-notch reputation worldwide.

"I am from Minneapolis, I came all the way to Auburn for its world-renowned program, not just to be a good pilot but because it produces good round people and I came here from Minnesota for the program," said David Hoebelheinrich, AU Aviation Management student.

Auburn spokesperson Mike Clardy says the top priority is to help current aviation students. and no decisions have been made on the long term viability of the program.

"There is no doubt the program has declined over time to about one-third the size it was 10 years ago," Clardy said.

But Auburn's Aviation Management Advisory Board, made up of industry leaders, disagree enrollment has declined by a third.

The board believes at least 150 students will enroll this year despite concerns AU will have zero tenured faculty. Some alum attribute a slight decline in enrollment to AU's lack of support for the program.  

"If we had the resources, support and leadership, I have no doubt this program would be unstoppable and the numbers greatly increase," said Mohroman.  

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