An Air Force Academy professor has been nominated to serve as the academy's 10th dean of faculty, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

Col. Andrew Armacost, head of the academy's department of management, was picked to take the post of outgoing dean Brig. Gen. Dana Born. President Barack Obama's selection paves the way for Armacost to oversee a $350 million budget at a time of deep, Defense Department-wide budget cuts.

Hours after the announcement, Armacost called his nomination a 'great opportunity, ' especially given his experience as a professor specializing in logistics and management practices.

'It gives me a really good perspective on the role of faculty members ' in developing cadets, Armacost said.

Armacost's appointment - as well as the nomination for his first star - must now clear the Senate.

The president selected him from a pool of 10 people interviewed for the post, including eight military officers and two civilians, according to a report in mid-March by Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the academy's superintendent.

Of those applicants serving in the military, six were assigned to the Air Force Academy.

Born, a 1983 academy graduate, plans to retire from the Air Force this summer. She has been selected as a faculty member in Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, according to the Air Force Academy.

Unlike his predecessor, Armacost didn't graduate from the academy.

He earned his commission in 1989 from Northwestern University's ROTC program and went on to earn his master's degree and doctorate in operations research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Since receiving his commission, Armacost has spent a considerable amount of time at the academy - first as an instructor from 1995 through 1997, and then as a professor since 2000.

He became the head of the department of management in 2008.

Armacost's appointment comes at a pivotal time for the academy, which faces millions in budget cuts due to sequestration that went into effect on March 1.

The academy expects to place about 300 civilian professors on at least 14 days of furlough later this year, complicating course schedules.

Armacost declined to discuss how he would address those issues until he assumes the post.

'These are challenging times, ' he said.


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