Founder Jack Northrop
|Former names Northrop Aeronautical InstituteNorthrop Institute of Technology|
Location Inglewood, California, United States
Notable alumni Naveed Qamar, Shawn Steel, Gordon Novel, Lin Ling‑san
Similar Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Central Florida
Northrop University was founded in 1942 by Jack Northrop of Northrop Aviation. Originally named the Northrop Aeronautical Institute, the school opened for classes in June 1946 to 412 students committed to and/or already employed by Northrop Aviation. The school was founded by Jack Northrop for the purpose of training aeronautical engineers and mechanics.
Due to financial difficulties, the school became independent from the Northrop Aircraft Corporation in 1953, and the name of the school changed to The Northrop Institute of Technology. In 1975, after the addition of a Law School and a MBA program, the school's name was changed to Northrop University, although the airframe and power plant mechanic school facility continued to be known as The Northrop Institute of Technology. The University was located at 1155 West Arbor Vitae Street, Inglewood, California. Administered by previous alumni and faculty, the University offered bachelor's and master's degree programs in aeronautical sciences, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science and design engineering project management. Northrop University added business and law to the curriculum. In 1975, the school received a large donation from its original founder to build the American Hall of Aviation. The museum enjoyed great fame from its housing of the David D. Hatfield collection of aviation history, and it accepted donations from individuals and corporations. Donations were tax deductible. It once housed over half a million pieces of historic value: by far the largest collection of aviation history to ever be displayed at any one location.
Northrop University was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the regionally recognized accrediting bodies in the United States. Northrop University received an accredited standard in 1960, and the final month and year of being accredited was February 1992.
In August 1993, Northrop University closed its doors to the public. Mismanaged funds, decreased attendance, and lack of donations crippled the university into bankruptcy. The campus facilities still exist in Inglewood, California. As of January 2016, the campus site has already been torn down and currently being used as a rental car parking lot. The original dormitory is now an apartment complex.
The scandal that led to the loss of accreditation was reported in an article in a local alternate paper, the Reader. The article detailed some of the issues found by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Dr. Ar-Young Wang had set up his own program within the University in which he controlled records and admissions, changed grades from others professors for his students, sent six-figure payments to Taiwan to someone the university had never met for a program that did not exist. Between $1.5 million and $2.4 Million per year were not accounted for.
Pat Lukas, Director of Admissions and Records, used to refer to the students as "Wangers" and began marking their records with a rubber stamp and red ink "WANG" so they could be sorted out later. Dr. Wang accepted personal checks for tuition from students in at least 100 and up to 400 cases. ["The Reader" was sold to New Times Media in 1996, which merged it with the Los Angeles View to form New Times LA, which went out of business in 2002).]
Northrop Rice Advanced Institute of Technology
Northrop University and Northrop Institute of Technology were separate schools under the same administration. Northrop University offered the degree programs, and Northrop Institute of Technology offered the airframe and power plant certification courses. The Northrop Institute of Technology was acquired by Rice Aviation shortly after Northrop closed and eventually became Northrop Rice USA, Inc (NRUSA). Northrop Rice USA created what is now the Northrop Rice Advanced Institute of Technology which continues to operate in the old Northrop Institute of Technology and Northrop University facilities.