This Cessna CJ4 jet has been at the center of controversy for “KU Against Rising Tuition.” The jet was an $8 million gift to KU but they say this is costing students $1.5 million each year to run. The group thinks it unnecessary to keep using it.
“It’s not an efficient tool, it’s not a necessary tool, it is something we can live without,” said Lev Aron Comolli.
KU Athletics currently uses the jet 68% of the time, followed by KU Med. at 17%. Director of Public Affairs for KU Athletics Jim Marchiony says the athletics department pays for the use of the jet with its own non-state funds.
KU presented testimony before the Kansas house education committee for the use of the jet in 2013.
It states that most of the flights are for medical outreach and has a high return on investments for taxpayers and students. It did not mention athletics.
KU Against Rising Tuition is pushing a new proposal from KU’s planning and resource committee.
“At the end of the day if we make this first step in the right direction, it will be a domino effect, it will be monumental,” said Comolli.
The 2017 proposal suggests selling KU’s current jet and purchasing a safer and more cost-efficient jet in addition to renting out the extra hanger space.
KU Against Rising Tuition’s next meeting is Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium.
The full proposal can be found here.