The Aviation program should be split from the Technology program and allowed to exist as its own separate Department.
This petition made change with 353 supporters!
In the 60's and 70's, SJSU (then) Aeronautics was the leading collegiate aviation program in the nation, and set the standard for the members of the University Aviation Association.
However, in the late 1990's the program was merged with the Technology department, and has been chaired by non-Aviation faculty ever since. The Aviation campus at Mineta airport was not maintained, and the lease expired in 2010, after 10+ years of disuse. The once proud fleet of aircraft were ravaged by lack of maintenance, and eventually turned into scrap aluminum.
Once, there were at least 4 full-time and tenured aviation faculty, now there is only one. Technology faculty outnumber Aviation, and votes tend to favor Technology viewpoints, especially when it comes to hiring aviation faculty. Courses tend to favor Technology (Aviation students are required to take Tech 198, whereas no Tech students are required to take any aviation courses. This reduces the money that aviation receives for student enrollments). Budgeting has been non-transparent. Where once the Aviation program was considered the most cost-effective program in COE, it is now claimed to be one of the most expensive programs. (strange, since almost all Aviation classes are taught by part-time lecturers at a much lower pay scale). As a result, the department chair has used this new and undocumented "calculation" to justify cutting classes, unilaterally changing the semester in which classes are taught, and increasing class sizes up to over 60 students per class in some instances, further increasing the load upon part-time faculty and reducing their ability to interact individually with students.
The Technology program is healthy, and can stand alone. Likewise, so is the Aviation program, which has just added the flight training curriculum to the available options, and expects the surge of enrollments in the forthcoming years as word of this degree option circulates. Now is the perfect time to advance the interest of the Aviation program by allowing it to, once again, stand as its own separate department within the COE.
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