DURANT, Okla. – For more than fifty years, aviation has been a signature program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, attracting students from across the country.
This tradition of excellence continues today as the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute transitions with a new leader at the controls.
Lloyd Sauls, who has served as director of the Institute since 2019, recently retired, with Mike Gaffney named as his replacement, effective June 1.
“Southeastern is very appreciative of the job that Lloyd has done during the past year due to the challenges of the pandemic,’’ said Southeastern president Thomas Newsom. “Mike has been a valuable member of our team as a department chair and we look forward to the future as he moves into this leadership role. The potential for growth in the aviation program is truly unlimited.’’
Gaffney is currently chair of aviation flight/assistant professor at Southeastern, a position he has held since April 2019. He has 45 years of aviation experience, with an industry background in aviation education, automation technology integration, and quality process management.
He holds an MBA from the University of Bridgeport and a bachelor’s in aeronautics (aircraft maintenance management) from Parks College of St. Louis University.
Gaffney is a Gold Seal Master Flight and Ground Instructor, an ATP rated pilot, and certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic with more than 4,400 flight hours in 46 aircraft types. He was recognized as the “National Flight Instructor of the Year” by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2007 and presented the 2007 “Flight Training Excellence Award” by the National Aviation Transportation Association (NATA).
Southeastern offers degree programs in Aviation Management, Professional Pilot, an Aviation minor, and a master’s in Aerospace Administration and Logistics.