ERAU Considers Third Campus

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If there's any truth to the maxim that the right time to expand is when times are tough, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University may be poised to test that. The country's largest aviation education institution is considering a third campus to complement the current facilities in Daytona Beach and Prescott, Ariz. ERAU President John Johnson told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Houston, Los Angeles and Rockford, Ill., are being considered for the new facility, which he said will be similar in scope to the Daytona main campus but much smaller. Johnson said the university is looking to serve untapped markets. "We are not expanding for the sake of expanding. We are trying to make it possible for students to get an Embry-Riddle education who currently would not come to either Daytona or Prescott," he said. Johnson said no decision has been made on whether to expand, much less where, but Rockford is rolling out the red carpet.

The town's airport, about 80 miles west of Chicago, is already used as a bizjet reliever airport and local officials clearly think ERAU would be a good fit. There's even talk of a taxpayer-funded $35 million building to lease to ERAU. "We are very impressed with some of the things they have to offer," Johnson said. "But we also have not ruled out Houston or Los Angeles either." The expansion discussions are going on even though enrollment is down slightly at both the main campuses and its satellite operations all over the world.