Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[486] Ferrara Appointed MTSU Interim Aerospace Chair for 2012-13

For release:  June 21, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
Aerospace contact: Dr. Ron Ferrara, 615-898-2788 or

Ferrara appointed MTSU interim aerospace chair for 2012-13

MURFREESBORO — Dr. Ron Ferrara, a 26-year member of the MTSU aerospace faculty, has been appointed interim department chair.

Dr. Tom Cheatham, dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, made the announcement June 20.

Cheatham had asked Ferrara to serve as interim chair for the 2012-13 academic year while a national search is conducted. The Tennessee Board of Regents notified University officials recently that the recommendation of Ferrara had been approved.

“Dr. Ferrara has served as chair previously and has the respect of his colleagues,” Cheatham said. “He will do a great job as chair in aerospace in the coming year.”

Ferrara replaces Dr. Wayne Dornan, who stepped down after serving as aerospace chair since joining MTSU in 2003.

“Dr. Dornan will continue to serve the department as a faculty member and director of special projects,” Cheatham said.

Ferrara, whose aviation background and MTSU career began in maintenance in the Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport, previously served as department chair from 1993-2000. He has served as aerospace graduate coordinator since 2000.

As interim chair, Ferrara said he will oversee curriculum, personnel, faculty workloads, airport operations, maintenance of aircraft and more.

“We have four separate budgets, we have contracts with Murfreesboro Airport and the city, property leases and we work closely with the FAA and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration),” he said.

Ferrara has immediate objectives he hopes to accomplish.

“My primary goal is to reengage faculty in the day-to-day operation of the department,” Ferrara said. “… I want to get everybody back together as one team, and work for what’s best for the department and not one concentration.”

Ferrara added that he wants faculty “to get back to the basics — teaching and interact with students.”

“Our department always has been a strong department,” Ferrara said. “It has a very good reputation in the industry and with the FAA and other universities. I want to see that remain high.”

Ferrara said he had a goal to retire Aug. 1, 2013. However, he said his plans might change.

“If some projects I’ve been working on for years come to fruition, I might stay a little longer,” he said. “If not, my plan is to retire.”

He said he performs research in aviation history, working on a special project for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Ferrara earned his bachelor’s at the University of Connecticut in 1968. He also obtained an associate’s degree from Western Kentucky University in ’79; a master’s in ’82 and doctorate in ’93 from the University of Kentucky; and a master’s from MTSU in 2007.

Ferrara and his wife, Julie, live in Murfreesboro. A grandson, Joey Ferrara, lives with them. Ron Ferrara said his hobbies include coin collecting and growing orchids.


Note: Two high-resolution jpeg photos of Dr. Ron Ferrara are attached.


Ron Ferrara mug.jpg photo caption

Ron Ferrara

Ron Ferrara.jpg photo caption

Aerospace veteran faculty member Dr. Ron Ferrara has been appointed interim department chair for the 2012-13 academic year. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

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