HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Board of Governors is poised to approve the purchase of three new airplanes for the newly formed School of Aviation during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.
The board will consider purchasing two Cirrus SR20 planes and a used single-engine analog airplane.
The Cirrus planes will cost approximately $500,000 each. According to the board’s agenda, these planes are ideal for student training, particularly for the whole airplane parachute to safely lower the plane to the ground.
The used plane will cost up to $175,000. That plane will be used for initial training of students and to certify students for a spin maneuver.
Both planes will be painted in kelly green and white with the Marshall insignia.
The university has $1.25 million in grants from the Maier Foundation and AEP that can be used toward infrastructure for the School of Aviation, which will be housed mainly at Yeager Airport in Charleston.
The board will also vote to change the name of the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE) to the College of Computer Science and Engineering, which the college is requesting to allow for future growth and to enhance research capabilities toward the goal of becoming an R1 research designated university.
According to the agenda item, the college is undergoing a restructuring to split specific areas within engineering and computer science. The change will move CITE programs and faculty from divisions to departments. The restructuring will produce new biomedical engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering departments. It will also streamline the college’s plan to create a Center of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering in collaboration with the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
Currently, the college is defined as focusing on information technology, which is more about installing, maintaining, and improving computer systems, operating networks and databases. Computer science is about using mathematics to program systems to run more efficiently, including design and development. This latter emphasis is more inclusive of computer science, data science, information systems, information technology, internet of things, virtual and augmented reality and cybersecurity. The college has a goal of becoming a regional leader in engineering and computer science education.
The change would take effect Friday, Feb. 21, if approved.
The board will also vote on program changes to the College of Business and a new combined Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Philosophy (BS/Ph.D.) program in biomedical research.
The board meets at 10:30 a.m. or immediately following committee meetings, which begin at 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center.