Kansas State University Salina has a new professor leading its airport management program.
Tara Harl has been hired as a full-time faculty member to lead the program on the Salina campus, which was created in 2011, the university said in a news release Tuesday.
She brings to the position a doctorate in aviation leadership development from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis and experience as a co-owner of a flight school and charter operation. She also has experience as the owner of an Iowa management company that maintained turboprops and jets for corporate clients between Chicago and St. Louis.
Harl also holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate; basic, instrument and multi-engine flight instructor ratings; and a commercial seaplane license. She also is type rated in business jets.
She came to K-State Salina from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where she established the first business and corporate aviation management degree track in the country.
“With Tara’s versatile expertise in aviation, specifically workforce development, she brings many new ideas, and her industry connections will provide a substantial benefit to the program and our students,” Verna Fitzsimmons, dean and CEO of K-State Salina, said in the release.
Harl said in the release that she hopes to expand the program beyond airport management.
“K-State Salina’s program has so much potential,” she said. “But managing an airport is just one piece of aviation management. Adding two other tracks would mean students could lead a corporate flight department, an FBO or ag flying operations or work for the airlines, as aviation encompasses more careers than just piloting. All of this will make the university more marketable.”