Supporters of an aviation program at St. Cloud State University say its closure is poorly timed as the industry expects to see more demand for pilots and aviation workers.
The St. Cloud program trains students for jobs as air traffic controllers, airport managers and pilots. Minnesota Public Radio reports the university will close the department by 2014 as part of its new focus on broad learning over career training.
About 150 students are pursuing aviation degrees in the department, but no new students are being admitted. Teacher Jeff Johnson said he doesn't understand the move to shut down his department.
"I've heard the Legislature talk about jobs, jobs, jobs," Johnson said. "There's a lot of degree programs out there that are producing graduates that can't get jobs."