NDSU Isn’t Really Selling Their Airplane After All


Starting in 2011, SAB exposed the fact that North Dakota State University was spending extravagant sums of money on a private airplane for the use of university officials. Ironically enough, the most common use of the airplane at the time was to shuttle NDSU President Dean Bresciani back and forth to Bismarck so that he could tell legislators how underfunded NDSU is.

True story.

Anyway, the legislature took it upon itself to study the use of state aircraft in order to see if more oversight was ready. NDSU attempted to avoid the study by misleading legislative council as to the ownership, but ultimately the plane was deemed state-owned and was included in the study which found that, because of the plane, NDSU was paying 400% above market rate for air travel.

Legislators weren’t impressed. NDSU announced they were selling the plane.

It seemed, for a while, that common sense had won the day. But when I learned earlier this week that new legislation creating a management system for oversight of state aircraft exempts the university system, I began to wonder if NDSU really was going to sell it.

Not so much, it turns out. According to records obtained from NDSU yesterday (see below), they did market the plane for sale, and there was apparently some interest, but according to university officials it’s not for sale right now.

“The plane is not being actively marketed at this time,” Mimi Monson from NDSU’s General Counsel’s office told me in an email. “The plane is still being used by the university.”

So, in summary, when NDSU was getting a lot of heat over the airplane they said they were going to sell it. Except, now that the heat is off, they’re not selling it. Oh, and there’s legislation proposed that would ensure the use of the airplane never has to come under the scrutiny of mere elected officials ever again.

If there’s one thing you can say about North Dakota’s higher ed officials, they’re relentless. And shameless.

NDSU airplane broker

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • sbark

    Gotta have it for one last trip to Frisco Texas………then its for sale again, for awhile…

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I’m checking, but I don’t think they used it for Frisco.

      • Disgusted in ND

        Why would those higher ups want to ride in that cramped little puddle jumper clear to Frisco TX, when they can take the 1st class seats on the team Charter so they can spend all 5 days down there.

        If they wanted to bounce clear to Texas in that king Air they would have to wait and leave on Friday and return after the game. This way, its 1st class jet travel with restrooms and free booze. 4 days on the state dime to party like the “Rock Stars” they imagine themselves.

        Rob can you get a FOI to see who rode that charter? I’ll bet I’m right.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Already on it.

  • jimmypop

    bismarck just has to say no. its actually just that simple…… oh, good luck with that.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well, it’s more than that. Yeah, the legislature needs to say no, but the independence of the university system also has to be ended.

      These fools need to be accountable to somebody who is elected.

      • Drain52

        End the Round Table.

  • Roy_Bean

    Refresh my memory, will this take legislation or a constitutional amendment? Either way its time to get started.

    • RCND

      If you are speaking to changing their governance, it will take a change to the Constitution

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    So the lying liars in the Higher Education system lied to us again. I’m shocked, really I am.

  • ObservingTheProcess

    Where are Heidi and Joel on this? Were not they demonizing Rick Berg for collecting milage due him for commuting from Fargo to Bismarck while being in the legislature as “House Leader.” Here is the reason for NDSU was to beg for money.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Berg actually never collected that much money. He collected exactly what he was entitled to under state law.

      NDSU, on the other hand, uses the airplane and racks up extravagant costs.

      But they like NDSU, and not Berg, so it’s different or something.

  • stever2

    Would like a story on UND honoring Angela Davis, by inviting her to be a guest lecturer for their “Great Conversations” symposiums.
    So an affirmed communist that wants to overthrow the US Constitution and free all US prisoners for the injustices imposed upon them is fine, but a Fighting Sioux nickname is somehow a travesty?