State Legislators Wondering Why NDSU Is Spending 400% More Than Market Rate For Private Airplane
We here at Say Anything have been carping about North Dakota State University’s lavish spending on a private airplane to ferry the higher education elite around for some time now. And when NDSU tried to exclude the airplane from a legislative study into the use of state-owned airplanes, claiming falsely that the plane was owned by the university’s alumni foundation and not the university itself, it was Say Anything that exposed the truth.
Now it looks like the folks in the legislature have had enough, with the Associated Press reporting that members of a committee are questioning why the university needs its own airplane:
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota lawmakers have questions about North Dakota State University’s spending on a private plane.
The university spends more than $500,000 a year to lease and operate the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air plane.
It’s flown for fewer than 70 hours a year. That adds up to more than $7,600 an hour. When a private company rents out the same plane, it charges $1,500 an hour.
A legislative committee is looking into airplane use by state agencies.
Keep in mind the context this is happening in. Not only did NDSU try to exempt itself from this legislative inquiry, as I alluded to above, but the university has been complaining that the legislature has underfunded it even going so far as to threaten to shut down certain academic programs and nailing students with a nearly 9% tuition increase earlier this year.
All that while the university spends over 400% the going market rate for the use of a private airplane.
Last week I posted a chart created for the state legislature which showed spending on higher education in North Dakota skyrocketing even as student enrollment stayed relatively static (click for a larger view):
Higher education spending on things like this private plane is why that happens.Tags: dean bresciani, NDSU, North Dakota News, north dakota state university