Board of Visitors to gather at AFIT



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


4/18/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air University Board of Visitors will meet at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Monday through Wednesday. This will be the first time the group has visited Wright-Patterson since 2005.

The group, which normally meets at Maxwell, will tour the Air Force Institute of Technology in order to give more accurate recommendations and see the facilities firsthand, according to Dr. Bruce Murphy, chief academic officer of Air University.

The Board of Visitors was created to advise and make research, doctrinal and policy recommendations to Air University. The group is comprised of 35 members appointed to one-year terms by the Secretary of Defense, with specialties in education, military, industry, law and other various fields.

"The Board of Visitors has wide-ranging responsibilities," Dr. Murphy said. "They are looking at, essentially, everything," including educational programs, facilities, financial resources and faculty qualifications, "so that they can fully understand and make recommendations."

Having a group with a varied background is a key component to the success of the board, according to Dr. Murphy.

"If you have all military people, you'd get one perspective. If you had all educators, you would get a different perspective. If you had all business people, you'd get another," he said. "We try to have that mix of people."

Three new members have been recently appointed to the board, including Dr. Ding Jo Currie, a distinguished educator who has had a deep experience with community colleges, Fletcher Wiley, a graduate of both the Air Force Academy and Harvard Law School, and Retired Col. Bob Beasley, a graduate of several AETC programs as well as a research engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Even though this is a high-level appointment, Board of Visitors members are not compensated for their service, according to Dr. Murphy.

"I really treasure these members," he said. "They essentially work pro-bono. They do this out of a sense of devotion to their country, and we are very grateful for what they do."

In the past, the board has been instrumental in helping Air University achieve regional accreditation, grant masters and honorary degrees. They have also been working with Air University to develop a doctoral program.

"(The Board of Visitors) is an incredible array of talent and an absolute pleasure to work with," Dr. Murphy said. "They are so committed to wanting to make Air University better."