Richard Heist-Karen Holbrook
Dr. Richard Heist with Interim President Dr. Karen Holbrook

Dr. Richard Heist Honored at Retirement Reception

The Embry-Riddle community gathered to congratulate and say farewell to Dr. Richard Heist, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research, on Aug. 24 at the Daytona Beach Campus.

Dr. Heist is retiring after holding several leadership roles at the university. He joined Embry-Riddle as Provost and Senior Vice President and as an engineering professor in 2007. In subsequent positions at the Daytona Beach Campus, he became Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer in 2009, Chancellor in 2012 and Chief Academic Officer in 2013.

Interim President Dr. Karen Holbrook hosted the reception at the Henderson Administration & Welcome Center to thank Dr. Heist for his service. “Richard has been an incredible asset to the university,” she said. “We look back with admiration and gratitude at his achievements as he and his wife, Molly, look forward with anticipation to the next adventures in their lives.”

As a special and well-deserved honor, Dr. Heist will retain his current title with emeritus status.

At the reception he received a framed certificate, a commemorative chair engraved with the Embry-Riddle seal and his name, a gift basket from the Cabinet members and a plaque from the Daytona Beach Campus deans.

In a recent email to university faculty and staff, Dr. Heist wrote, “I spent more than nine years doing something I love to do with folks I love doing it with. A person cannot ask for more than that. I like to think I made a small contribution in helping the university grow in academic stature. I certainly had a lot of good help and support along the way, and I greatly appreciate all those efforts. I thank everyone at the university for their friendship, their help over the years, and, especially, the privilege of knowing and working with all of you.”

Among his many responsibilities at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach, Dr. Heist supervised all academic, instructional and research endeavors of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. During his tenure, Embry-Riddle became a Ph.D.-granting institution, adding doctoral degrees in Aerospace Engineering, Aviation, Aviation Business Administration, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering.

Following Dr. Heist’s last day in the office on Aug. 26, Dr. Maj Mirmirani assumed the vacated role of Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research. Currently he is also Dean of the College of Engineering at the Daytona Beach Campus, where he has grown his college into a powerhouse of academic and research excellence.



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