Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has a rich history steeped in the traditions and great innovations of the industry that it serves. As its newly minted sixth president, I have been given a truly unique honor to lead this great university.
Throughout my career, I’ve kept an eye on Embry-Riddle. Its reputation and place in the world of aviation and aerospace is unparalleled. I believe everything in my professional life to date has worked to prepare me for this role — and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Joining the Embry-Riddle community officially in March was a dream come true for me and my wife, Audrey. With my background in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and my three decades in higher education teaching, research and administration, I feel the job is a perfect fit. Likewise, Audrey, a seasoned educator and an engineer herself, is looking forward to serving as an active advocate for the university.
In my first few months, I’ve met with corporate partners who speak with great respect about our students and graduates. I’ve talked with alumni who have expressed an overwhelming pride and ownership for their alma mater. And I’ve observed a shared passion for all things flight among our students, faculty and staff.
It’s true: Embry-Riddle “lives and breathes aviation.” And, yet, it is so much more.
Across the university’s campuses, we are engineering technologies for the future and building leaders in areas as diverse as cybersecurity and intelligence, human factors psychology, forensic biology, spaceflight operations, business administration, astronomy, meteorology, space physics – and as of August, aerospace physiology, to name just a few.
Embry-Riddle’s unique campuses (Daytona Beach, Prescott, Worldwide/Online and Worldwide – Asia) bring depth and breadth to our academic programs, research and the student experience. The Prescott Campus, which I have now been fortunate to visit on three separate occasions, offers a smaller, family-like environment. Project-based learning and faculty mentorship amplify the educational experience there.
Our Worldwide Campus, with more than 135 locations across the globe, 41 online graduate and undergraduate programs, including a Ph.D. in Aviation, and a growing Asia Campus in Singapore, meets the needs of military students, working professionals and on-the-go millennials. And our online students receive a top-notch education. In 2017, Embry-Riddle had the No. 1 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree program in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report.
While all of our campuses are involved in research, the Daytona Beach Campus is developing a research hub that promises to transform the region, the state of Florida and beyond. The cornerstone building of Embry-Riddle’s Research Park, the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex), opened this spring and is already teeming with activity.
Our campuses may be geographically distinct but they are united by an unwavering commitment to student success.
It’s an exciting time for aviation and aerospace. Tremendous challenges lie ahead, but as you and I both know, “challenge” is just another word for “opportunity.” You can expect Embry-Riddle to be front and center when it comes to researching and innovating solutions to industry problems – as well as developing new knowledge.
Join us on the journey! I look forward to making new history for Embry-Riddle with you.
P. Barry Butler, Ph.D.
President, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University