President Wyatt's Report on SUU Aviation Talks in D.C.

Published: April 10, 2015 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt met with key congressional staff members in Washington D.C. Tuesday. The driving purpose for the visit was to reassure those making policy that Southern Utah University and Upper Limit Aviation are committed to helping make flight training for veterans more affordable while maintaining quality training programs that will lead those who have served our country to good paying jobs.

Among those Wyatt met with was Jon Clark, Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (Committee on Veterans’ Affairs) and who is the author of House Bill 476 which, if passed and signed by the President, will impose new limits on funds paid to support veteran training at public universities. Wyatt said, “We support the effort to establish limits and were invited to offer assistance in crafting measures that will help veterans get the best training possible, while at the same time being responsible stewards of public funds.”

Steven Benson, a Marine veteran who has completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, joined Wyatt and others from Upper Limit Aviation to their visit with Congressional staff members Tuesday. Benson, who just recently moved to Southern Utah University with his wife and baby to start flight training, was notified shortly after signing a year lease on a home in Enoch that he would not be able to start flight training at SUU. Benson cannot start training because VA officials just communicated a new interpretation of policy that changes the manner in which SUU is to count students under the VA 85-15 rule. The new directive, issued last week, puts SUU at least six students over the limit making enrollment of new veterans impossible. Benson was able to tell congressional staff members how VA policy changes, without advance notice, are hurting veterans.

Talks will continue over the next few months with congressional staff members and to help reach a viable conclusion.

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