by Grand Forks Herald
January 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm in Grand Forks Herald
Should the aircraft be used as economically as possible? Absolutely. Should North Dakota agencies share their aircraft to bring the cost-per-flight-hour down? Without a doubt. Continue Reading
Tags: aircraft, NDSU, Opinion, Our Opinion, updates 20 Comments »
At $5k a flight hour he can drive to Bismarck or hire a car service if he has to work and travel. How much work is getting done on an airplane with no internet or cell phone? Comparing the president of a University to the Governor and ignoring the extreme cost associated with this piece of equipment is where you loose the argument.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 8
Get the facts straight – the airplane did cost $5k/hour last year but thats because NDSU got chastized everytime they used it so they kept it in the hangar. Go buy/lease a car and park it in the garage. Make the lease and insurance payments and only drive it one mile a year. How much does the car cost for that mile?
Just about everytime NDSU took the airplane out of the hangar, the press was there wondering who was on it and where it was going. Nobody wanted to use it because they would become a headline in the newspaper.
If they truely used the airplane as it should be, the cost would be more around $500-700/hour. I would rather have my top officials on a short 40 minute plane ride than a 2.5 hour car ride each direction.
Also, there isn’t much of a market for a used 1991 King Air. How can you get rid of something if nobody wants it?
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 20
You have made some interesting points but your last line … “How can you get rid of something if nobody wants it?”… is easy to answer. You do that by lowering the asking price. Or is the plan to not negotiate in order to keep the plane NDSU doesn’t want to get rid of in the first place?
Like or Dislike: 15 5
I do believe I did have my facts straight and you confirmed those facts.
As far as the president of NDSU or even the president of UND being at top official in the state I disagree. Neither have a spot on the state board of higher education. The only place they are a top official is in their respective schools.
If these presidents really need to go to Bismarck that bad then UND can drive to Fargo pickup NDSU then drive to Jamestown pickup the president there and all three of them can car pool. Might I add in a state owned car
Like or Dislike: 9 5
I believe Jamestown College is private.
Like or Dislike: 7 2
Correct. Jamestown College is a private liberal arts college.
For more information: https://www.jc.edu/
Like or Dislike: 7 0
“Just about everytime NDSU took the airplane out of the hangar, the press was there wondering who was on it and where it was going. Nobody wanted to use it because they would become a headline in the newspaper. ”
Frankly I don’t care if they have a plane or not, but I can’t help but find your statement befuddling. If I go hop into one of the vehicles owned by the company I work for, and my use of that vehicle is job-related and justified, anyone can ask me any question they’d like. On the other hand, I might not entertain any such inquiries if I weren’t as confident that my use of the vehicle fell into job-related and justified category.
I guess my point is, if the press showed up to do an expose’ of some sort as I was boarding the school plane, to fly somewhere on school business, and there was no story to report because I was flying somewhere….in the school plane….on school business, then who’s face would the egg be on?
Like or Dislike: 8 2
Remember the press is very good at making a non story into a controversy. It is what they do and how they make money.
Glen – that was what I meant to include in my previous post.
Like or Dislike: 3 1
John D. Odegard wrote his thesis on the use of private aircraft for business (I read it while doing my undergrad thesis on the history of the Odegard School). If you believe in the concept of value per man hour, & you earn over $250K a year, driving makes absolutely no sense. You are losing money for the company.
ND likes to pretend we are all the same. The reality is we are not. Some people’s time is simply more valuable than others. That may hurt your feelings but its true.
I can count on two hands the number of chest cutters in this state. Say they need to go to Bismarck for some meeting. Do they drive each way, take two days, & have the added expense of staying overnight?
How many people who need surgery didn’t get it? How many initial or follow up office visits did not get done? How much money did he/she lose ($30,000 -$50,000 per surgery)?
Sorry folks, beyond a certain level, not flying is a mistake they need held accountable for. It costs too much & wastes too much money to drive
Like or Dislike: 16 8
Bad comparison Nurse, the President of NDSU isn’t worth his pay to the people of ND. His time is useless to the State. To compare him or any University personell to a heart surgeon is being way to generous. I’ve said it before and I’ll state it again. NDSU pays an overinflated lease price to the NDSU Foundation to move general fund dollars to the Foundation so they can spend it on any thing they want to without Legislative authority. That’s the bottom line.
Like or Dislike: 13 12
While I may agree with you, the people of ND obviously don’t. They hired the guy via their representatives. They OK his wages via the budget.
If I found out the Governor drove I would be angry. I don’t pay him to sit and listen to 80s tunes and get fat at greasy spoons. I want him in and out. I want him everywhere at once. That requires transportation.
Like or Dislike: 8 6
But the president of NDSU doesn’t NEED to fly all over the state, a trip to Bismarck every now and then is ok but he doesn’t need to fly. His time isn’t worth that much. I guess my idea of what a small time university president is worth is different than others. He’s overpaid, underworked and the perks are extreme and NDSU has figured out a way to swindle the taxpayers to fund a slush fund.
Like or Dislike: 10 8
It all comes down to the transportation costs. Hourly pay per individual traveling + mode of transportation cost= which mode is most effective. The state cars are not free, the university leases the vehicles from the state motor pool at a flat rate per mile, add gas, and add hourly pay for everyone traveling. It may be more cost effective to fly 4 executives than to have them drive 5 hours.
Like or Dislike: 6 1
I think some are thinking that no work can be accomplished in either a a care or airplane. I’d say that to be true more in an airplane than car. Busy people can and do work while in a car, and I’ve known some who appreciate the time away from people who try to pry into their limited time. They get a lot of work done while being driven. Air travel is incredibly expensive.
Like or Dislike: 5 3
Two thoughts here 1) NDSU said they would sell the plane, now they claim no one wants it. The reason they were asked to sell it is the maintenance was perceived to be cost prohibitive, not losing money on the sale. An Economics 101 student could have told them that. 2) Being a former ND resident, I saw issues coming like this years ago when NDSU was in the thinking stages of going D1, and that is big dollars scare the heck out of a lot of ND residents. You want the glory of having a D1 athletic program, but the salaries of a D1 school president make you wonder how anyone could be paid that much. This (private airplanes, high salaried administrators) is part of the deal folks, get used to it or give up your D1 status.
Like or Dislike: 4 1
To add to my previous comment, I happen to reside in a metropolitan area where no one would bat an eye at a D1 university owning, leasing, renting, etc. a private plane. People, this is a drop in the bucket at a D1 school.
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You hit the nail on the head withyour comment. In any other state no one would care that one of their large public schools use an airplane to transport the highly paid officials. In this case people are second guessing the need for an airplane after pen has been put to paper and shown it is more cost effective in certain situations. They need to find a way to keep the plane in the air when the university is not using it. Leasing to other state agencies is a quality start.
Like or Dislike: 4 3
The degrees that these Universities give out can be based on “Distance Learning”. Distance learning is a process where folks pay more money for their degree; but also don’t have to show up on campus most of the school year.
What the hell is wrong with “Distance Meetings”. Don’t show up…project your image on the flatscreen.
Welcome to internet-based teleconferencing.
Quit paying the aircraft lease, let the Foundation swallow the result. APOLOGIZE to the entire state, and don’t let it happen again.
(This is me, not holding my breath…)
Like or Dislike: 5 1
Would it not be cheaper to charter a plane when needed than to have one sitting around for that occasional need?
Like or Dislike: 2 0
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