School of Aeronautics names Dr. Rick Roof interim dean
Effective July 1, Dr. Richard “Rick” Roof will assume the role of interim dean for the Liberty University School of Aeronautics. Dr. Roof, now the third dean in the SOA’s history, has an M.A.R. in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, as well as an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. He replaces outgoing dean Jim Molloy.
Regarding this transition, Liberty University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Scott Hicks, said: “Under Jim Molloy’s leadership, the School of Aeronautics has achieved critical milestones, bringing the aeronautics program and the university national acclaim. Jim’s presence will be missed, but his influence will be lasting. We are equally excited to welcome Dr. Roof as our interim dean and look forward to continued program growth and accomplishments under his very capable hands. His business and aviation experience will serve him well in this new position as he leads a great team to new heights.”
Dr. Roof brings a vast amount of industry and education experience to the School of Aeronautics. After serving nine years in the Air Force as an avionics technician and operations researcher, Dr. Roof spent twenty years in senior positions in information technology, manufacturing, and publishing. He led an internet start-up company and was president and CEO of a specialized air carrier.
His professional flying began with his role as Director of Flight Operations-ISR for Dynamic Aviation, where he also led their leadership and organizational development program. Dr. Roof then served as dean of students and chair of the Leadership and Justice program at San Diego Christian College. He has served Liberty University since 2012 as an online adjunct and instructional mentor for the School of Business, School of Engineering, and School of Aeronautics. Most recently, Dr. Roof has served as online chair for Liberty’s School of Aeronautics.
“Liberty has consistently been blessed with committed and innovative leadership,” said Dr. Shawn Akers, Liberty University’s online provost. “And nowhere has that been more evident than in the development and growth of the School of Aeronautics’ online programs. Dr. Roof has extensive experience with online program development and has shown strong leadership as the online chair for the School of Aeronautics. I am confident that our students will benefit from his leadership, and the School of Aeronautics’ online programs will continue to grow and prosper during his tenure as interim dean.”
When speaking about this new opportunity, Roof said, “This is an exciting time for the School of Aeronautics as the urgent demand for aviation professionals continues to provide abundant opportunities for our graduates. The future of the school is exciting with plans to launch new graduate programs, relocate and integrate much of the school to the main Liberty campus, research and integrate new aviation and instructional concepts, and continue to refine and expand our online presence across the country. I am humbled and honored to be able to serve the School of Aeronautics in this new role and to continue the school’s legacy of preparing true Champions for Christ to impact aeronautics communities everywhere.”
Dr. Molloy served as dean of the School of Aeronautics since 2014. He will continue with Liberty University as an online adjunct professor and will assist in the development of the school’s graduate degree programs.
“Liberty is a very special place, and I consider myself extremely blessed to be a part of Liberty’s mission,” Molloy said. “In our roles, we have a very special mission to equip, mentor, and send our students into the aerospace industry to become leaders and difference-makers as Champions for Christ. Within God’s vision and economy, we want to influence every aspect of the aerospace industry with aviation professionals of godly character and virtue.”
The School of Aeronautics has over 450 residential and over 2,300 online students. Its programs prepare graduates for careers as airline, corporate, and mission aviation pilots, aircraft mechanics and aircraft mechanic managers, unmanned aerial systems operators and mechanics, flight attendants, airport managers, and leaders for all other aspects of the aviation industry. The school has been the holder of both the Loening Trophy and the American Airlines Safety Trophy for the past three years. The Loening Trophy is awarded annually to the top collegiate aviation program in the nation. Liberty’s aircraft maintenance competition teams have been awarded the United Airlines Team Professionalism Award two of the last three years at national competition.