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Originally published April 1, 2009 at 03:59p.m., updated April 1, 2009 at 06:28p.m.

KU ends athletic ticket discounts for faculty and staff, citing budget concerns

Kansas University announced that faculty and staff will no longer receive discounts at sporting events.

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The days of discounted athletic tickets for Kansas University faculty and staff are at least temporarily over as KU battles a tightening budget.

KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Lariviere on Wednesday sent an e-mail to faculty and staff announcing that the university would not offer the 20 percent discount to employees and KU retirees.

“We cannot in good conscience lay off additional employees in order to maintain this discount,” Lariviere said in the e-mail.

In 2008-2009, the discounts cost the university $451,000 — about the equivalent of 11 or more employee salaries, the e-mail noted.

The change also eliminates the discount that faculty, staff and retirees receive for Lied Center tickets.

Reaction among KU employees was mixed Wednesday.

“It is a discount that is going to be missed,” said Nancy Kinnersley, president of KU’s Faculty Senate. “But it is important to put it in perspective of saving jobs, too.”

Until about two years ago, the Kansas Athletics Corp. provided the discounted tickets, and the money for the program did not come out of the general university budget.

But university and athletic department leaders reached a mutual agreement that KUAC would start paying all utility bills for athletic facilities, and the university would start paying for the cost of the employee discount program, KU spokesman Jack Martin said.

Martin said the university is not considering asking KUAC to once again pick up the cost of the discount program.

“The university and KU Athletics have worked hard to get KU Athletics to where it is self-sustaining,” Martin said. “This wasn’t a situation where we felt it would work for either party to go back on that agreement.”

Associate Athletic Director Jim Marchiony said the athletic department could not pick up the cost of the discount program, but said the department would continue to allow faculty and staff ticket holders to sit in preferred seating locations without the requirement that they become donors to KU Athletics. The department also offers a special half-season ticket package to faculty and staff that is not offered to the general public, Marchiony said.

KU Athletics generated about $53 million in revenue for the 2007-2008 school year, according to the department’s annual report. But Marchiony said expenses are near the $53 million mark as well.

In 2007-2008, about 2,100 athletic tickets were purchased under the program. At the Lied Center, about 780 tickets were purchased at a discount, and retirees were provided about 2,000 free tickets to selected performances, Martin said.

Lariviere’s e-mail said KU hopes to restore the discounts as “soon as the budget situation improves.”

Comments

Wichita_Jayhawk 5 years ago

With the discount now gone please allow the faculty/staff to purchase more than 2 tickets so they may take their families to games.

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Robert Lofthouse 5 years ago

Wouldn't it be nice if some of the big-money coaches would step up to this, lead the way and show their appreciation for the Kansas faithful fans by underwriting the difference!!!

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FlaHawk 5 years ago

IT's the Economy stupid! It will get much worse before it get's better. Seems all the Academic big guns are retiring or moving on. Interest to see the new regeme's attitude to the KU AD money machine.

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deepind 5 years ago

The Provost, Richard Lariviere is moving to Oregon - as the President of University of Oregon!

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oldalum 5 years ago

Not unless you're faculty or staff.

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WeAreTheChamps 5 years ago

Does this include the sports package we can get at the beginning of the year for like $130?

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John Strayer 5 years ago

The Chancellor is gone after this school year. The Executive Vice Chancellor should be safe unless the new guy wants his own people.

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KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

What the hell does this guy care? He's gonzo anyways.

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sevenyearhawk 5 years ago

Oy ... this is gonna get real ugly.

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coldplay 5 years ago

11 or more employee salaries?

Must not be employees of the Athletic Department.

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