First off, thank you for your patience as we navigate the best way to provide for your education during this challenging time. Please remember that the most important thing is for us to remain safe, calm, and flexible during this process. Life in general, and aviation careers in particular are always subject to ups and downs. Many of you have only experienced aviation during a period of exciting growth. Those of us that have been around this industry understand this cyclical process and realize that the economy, health issues, and many other things impact this career field. Be patient. Don’t make rash decisions. Keep working and you will achieve your career goals.
I would like to update you on a number of issues:
- UND Aerospace has created a blog on which we will provide updates to you on matters specific to our college. The blog address is http://blogs.und.edu/jdosas-coronavirus/. Please feel free to subscribe to this blog in addition to the general UND blog which will contain broader UND updates (http://blogs.und.edu/coronavirus/).
- No changes are going into effect until Monday, March 23. Until this time we will operate normally.
- Beginning on Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3, all lecture and seminar classes will be delivered remotely. Many of our faculty have substantial experience with remote instruction, but there will no doubt be a learning curve for some. Don’t worry, we will work through any issues and do the best we can to provide the high quality education to which you are accustomed. Plan on classes being held at the regularly scheduled times and watch for any directions from your instructors.
- Part 141 ground schools will also be delivered remotely during this period. We have requested an exemption from the in-person requirements from the FAA and hope to hear soon whether that request is granted. If the FAA denies our request, the 141 ground schools will continue to operate remotely and additional consolidated/condensed courses will be held when able to satisfy FAA requirements once in-person instruction is allowed to resume.
- Flight training will continue as normal through spring break. We have briefed UND leadership and anticipate that our plan to continue flight training during the March 23 – April 3 period will be approved. This plan includes enhanced sanitation and screening procedures to keep our students and instructors safe. The plan will apply to manned and unmanned flight training utilizing aircraft and FTD’s.
- Please remember that the main goal of these precautions is to increase social distancing. Meetings, advising sessions, and other similar activities should be conducted with this in mind. Use Zoom, email, phone calls, etc. when possible.
- Please contact the faculty members teaching your courses for specific class related information. Please keep them informed if you need health or travel related accommodations.
- This is a very fluid situation. The one thing to be certain of is that things will change. We will keep you up to date as best we can. Please monitor your UND email and the blogs for more information as it becomes available.
Also, please keep in mind, all of these changes and disruptions are in an effort to keep the larger society as safe as possible. While you may personally face little risk, we need to think about how to protect those that we interact with for whom the risk is increased. We can all put up with a little personal inconvenience to do this. If you need assistance in any way, please reach out to the resources here for you at UND.
Brett D. Venhuizen, J.D., ATP
Professor of Aviation & Chair
Aviation Department, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
University of North Dakota
Ryan Hall, Room 212D
4251 University Avenue Stop 9036
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9036