Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology announced Friday that Dan Peterson has been named the college’s new CEO.
Peterson said he was drawn to Spartan for the hands-on, outcome-oriented career training the school offers students.
The U.S. Air Force veteran said he also deeply appreciates the school’s rich aviation history. Spartan, which trains students for careers as pilots, aviation maintenance technicians and work in related fields, will celebrate its 90th anniversary next year.
“To me, the more I get involved with Spartan, the more excited I am about being able to be selected to come here and work alongside so many of the professionals that for 90 years have been providing quality training to pilots and technicians,” Peterson said.
Peterson most recently served as CEO and chancellor at Kentucky-based Daymar College. He has more than 25 years in higher education as well as a military career, retiring from the Air Force and Utah Air National Guard in 2008 with 23 years of service.
Peterson has a Ph.D. from Utah State University with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction.
Peter Harris, who previously served as CEO of Spartan Education Group, has taken on the role of executive chairman through which he will have a leadership role on the board and continue to work on strategies, transactions and other matters for Spartan.
“Dan has a striking combination of education, aviation and military backgrounds that perfectly align with Spartan’s needs,” Harris said.
Like Harris, Peterson will be based in Dallas and will travel among Spartan’s campuses in Tulsa, Los Angeles and the Denver area. Collectively, the schools have trained 130,000 students since it was founded with approximately 90,000 of those training in Tulsa. Around 1,700 are currently enrolled systemwide.
Spartan also recently announced that after an extensive review process, its Tulsa and Denver campuses were selected by Delta Air Lines to train prospective employees as aviation maintenance or airframe and power plant technicians.
Delta Air Lines undertook an evaluation of programs across the country to prepare for the demand of highly skilled aviation maintenance technicians. According to a long-term aviation and aerospace outlook from the Boeing Co., more than 2 million pilots and technicians will be needed by 2035.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to partner with Delta, and we’re excited to just be selected,” Peterson said. “I think this is unique to Spartan, it’s unique to the industry and it’s just what the industry calls for.”