Who's the Man Tasked with Getting Texas Woman’s University’s New Aviation Program off the Ground?

Oct. 11, 2023
The Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences is a school geared towards two different career tracks for a bachelor’s in aviation science: becoming a pilot or a career in aviation management.

Texas Woman’s University has tapped a former pilot and aviation dean to run its new aviation school, and he’s excited to recruit more women into a field he’s been passionate about all his life.

J. Clinton Grant, the new director of Texas Woman’s University’s aviation school, has been in higher education since 2000 and designed curriculum and led development in the area of pilot training at Tarrant County College, where he was the dean of aviation, business and logistics. He was also an aircraft maintenance technician at Delta Air Lines and Sunjet Airlines. TWU’s program was created this year after a $15 million gift was received from The Doswell Foundation, which has been a major benefactor of the Denton school.

Grant describes himself as someone who “just fell in love with airplanes” as a kid, and knew what he always wanted to do. When the job opened up at Texas Woman’s University, he said he believed in the mission the school was trying to accomplish — diversify the industry of aviation.

“Just about anything you can think of as it relates to aviation needs more opportunities for underserved populations, women,” Grant said. “That’s been dominated by males for the beginning, so knowing that the leadership at TWU are so for this and it was coming from the top, not from the bottom, that got me excited.”

While the pay off of becoming a pilot may be great — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median pay for commercial and airline pilots was $148,900 per year — its an expensive road to become one. ATP Flight School estimates that it costs $101,995 to become a pilot with no experience or $80,995 when starting with a private pilot certificate.

The Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences is a school geared towards two different career tracks for a bachelor’s in aviation science: becoming a pilot or a career in aviation management. The university expects its first class for fall 2024.

He said the market that Dallas-Fort Worth brings for students interested in aviation — two major carriers and two major airports — will make Texas Woman’s University stand out.

Men have been admitted to both undergraduate and graduate programs at TWU since 1994, and the aviation program would be open to all genders. Men account for about 11% of the overall student population while women are about 89% of the population, according to Texas Woman’s University.

“Clint Grant has a wealth of aviation experience that spans both the academic and corporate arenas,” said O. Finley Graves, interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Texas Woman’s University in a release. “His reputation will give the Doswell School instant credibility and put our aeronautical sciences program in a strong position to flourish as it recruits faculty and students and launches its inaugural year.”

Over the next 20 years worldwide, the aviation industry needs more than 602,000 new civilian pilots. At the end of 2022, Southwest had 413 female pilots, 4% of the total pilot workgroup. In 2021, 5% of American’s pilots were women, according to the carrier.

Hiring will be on his list of to-do’s for the next year, alongside getting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Grant earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology and avionics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1988 and an MBA is business finance from the University of North Texas in 1996.

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