Has Acted As Interim Dean Since August 2007
Following a nationwide search, David
M. Powell has been named the new dean of the Western Michigan
University College of Aviation, effective July 1.
Powell, whose appointment is subject to approval by the WMU
Board of Trustees, has been serving in the position on an interim
basis since late last summer. He replaces Rick Maloney, who left
the college in August 2007 to become president and chief executive
officer of Pentastar Aviation, based in Waterford, MI.
"We looked at candidates from around the nation to lead this
high-profile college," said Dr. Bassam Harik, WMU's interim provost
and vice president for academic affairs. "In the final analysis, it
became clear that the college was already in the hands of a superb
administrator who is thoroughly familiar with every aspect of the
programs and has the confidence and enthusiastic backing of the
college's faculty, staff and students as well as that of the
community. Under his leadership, the college will continue its
forward progress without missing a beat."
Powell who joined the college in 2003 as director of operations
and assistant dean in the college, came to WMU from United's Miami
and San Francisco flight operations facilities, where he has served
as chief pilot since 1999. In that capacity, he was responsible for
all aspects of flight operations at those two locations, including
safety of flight qualification for up to 1,650 line pilots. Prior
to that, he served from 1996 to 1999 as flight manager at Chicago's
O'Hare International Airport, where he managed daily flight
operations for United's largest hub.
A member of the United team starting in 1986, Powell also served
the airline as a line pilot and captain. In addition, as a pilot
instructor for the airline, he was the first instructor selected
for the rollout of the Airbus fleet, and he developed training
materials for that fleet and for a basic first officers' course for
all new United pilots.
Before launching his commercial aviation career, Powell, who is
an Arizona State University graduate, served in the US Air Force
for 14 years, with 10 years logged in as a senior pilot, aircraft
commander, instructor and flight examiner.
"I am just so proud and terribly excited to be leading this
wonderful group of people -- faculty, staff and students--and to
continue to lead this college." Powell says. "We've been able to
blend the experience of industry professionals with the wonderful
work of our faculty and staff to build a program that competes
easily with the best flight schools in the country. People in
industry tell us we're producing the best pilots in the nation, and
we're going to do some wonderful things in the coming years."
WMU's College of Aviation has educated aviation professionals
since 1939 and offers complete academic degree programs leading to
a bachelor's degree in three areas--aviation flight science,
aviation management and maintenance technology. The college enrolls
more than 700 students and is home to the Sky Broncos, a precision
flight team that has been among the top three in national
competition for 17 consecutive years.