Message from the Chairman
Chairman of the Board
Dear Fellow Alumni:
On behalf of the Embry-Riddle Board of Trustees, I share these thoughts on the great work of the past year. This is a time of tremendous forward momentum, energized by President Butler’s commitment to honor our history as the aviation and aerospace leader while accelerating our emergence as an
aerospace business, science, and engineering powerhouse.
As our March Board of Trustees meeting approaches, we look forward to reviewing a bold, new strategic plan that advances our mission. We are grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders who contributed as members of the Strategic Implementation Teams. We will be intentional and thoughtful in our review of those recommendations.
Following our unanimous choice of Dr. Butler as our new president, I promised an annual update from the Board. Throughout 2017, we worked to ensure that faculty and departmental achievements and new proposals delivered the greatest benefits to students, alumni, benefactors, industry partners, and the many community stakeholders who share an interest in our future.
The Board’s observations on the current state of the university include these highlights:
- Enrollment hit an all-time high. We’ve reached record enrollment across our campuses with no
compromise to our academic standards.
- Our reputation and reach are expanding. U.S. News & World Report ranked Embry-Riddle Worldwide at the top of its 2017 list of best online bachelor’s degrees in the nation. We awarded our first certifications in Brazil and undergraduate and graduate degrees in Asia.
- Our financial health is strong. Moody’s upgraded Embry-Riddle to an A-rating, our highest credit rating to date. We enjoy the highest operating margin and cash flow in our history. Investment growth is significantly above U.S. averages for higher education endowments.
- We have received over $60 million in state grants. Recognizing the importance of our talent pipeline and unique value proposition, Florida is investing $5.5 million in Embry-Riddle initiatives. The 2018 funding, just signed by the Governor, supports the creation of the Applied Aviation and Engineering Research Hangar, a specialized autonomous system testing facility, and the expansion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through our Gaetz Aerospace Institute. This program benefits thousands of Florida high school students who are considering aviation and Embry-Riddle as a potential higher education path. These grants will enable us to grow research initiatives, strengthen partnerships with industry, and create high-paying local jobs that provide opportunities for our graduates.
- The John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex (MicaPlex) is open for business. In its first year, this hybrid research center and business incubator is already attracting scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. The MicaPlex is home to six new business incubator programs and two customized business accelerator programs. The Board fully endorses our 10-year goal to bring 220 skilled professional jobs to Volusia County.
- Faculty proposals sparked the creation of new degree programs. Faculty-driven initiatives have brought us to more than 80 academic programs, with new undergraduate degrees in Simulation Science, Games & Animation, and in Aerospace Physiology, and a Master of Science in Security & Intelligence Studies. We also opened the School of Business at Prescott with four core business programs.
- Students and faculty are thinking big. Students inspired and mentored by amazing faculty continue to impress the Trustees. When we see students designing payloads that are orbiting the Earth, we are reminded that thinking big is central to Embry-Riddle’s DNA. It’s a value we encourage, share, and applaud.
- Eagles are giving in increased numbers. Overall donor participation is growing as well. Even so, alumni giving is much lower than other institutions and less than what we need it to be. Your gifts support the margin of excellence in the delivery of an Embry-Riddle education, sustain a mission of paramount importance, and provide badly needed scholarship assistance to deserving students. You can make your gift online at givingto.erau.edu. Please help us as much as you can.
- We are investing in tools for exploration. We are committed to acquiring and upgrading resources to support a spirit of exploration. Additions include the building of a subsonic wind tunnel, the acquisition of a Cray supercomputer, the opening of a STEM Education Center with 20 state-ofthe-art labs, and the redesign of a Virtual Lab Hub.
- We are making our campuses more enriching environments. Quality of life on campus goes beyond the classroom experience. We are adding new residence halls in Prescott and Daytona Beach. On the Daytona Beach Campus, a four-story, technology-rich student center will become a hub of social and intellectual engagement.
- We remain a great place to work. For the seventh year, Embry-Riddle was rated as a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, which cited our excellence related to facilities; workspace and security; job satisfaction; professional and career development; respect and appreciation; supervisor/department chair relationship; and work/life balance.
- We assembled a stellar leadership team. We have been involved in national searches for accomplished professionals to join President Butler’s leadership team. The appointments of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Lon D. Moeller, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Marc Archambault, and Vice President for Marketing and Communications Anne Broderick Botteri reflect our ability to attract great talent.
As Board members, we appreciate our role as advocates and stewards of a great university as the honor that it is. On behalf of my fellow Trustees, we thank you for your dedication and commitment to making Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University all that is it today and all that it will be tomorrow.
Chairman and CEO
ICI Homes (Intervest Construction Inc.)