Faculty, athletics department evaluating how faculty receive football season tickets

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A committee at Kansas University is studying ways to institute a faculty football ticket policy that could allocate seats in a similar fashion to the faculty basketball seats.

The move would represent the first time a formal policy was in place for faculty football ticket allocations, and would help make the seat selection process more transparent, faculty and athletics officials said.

Jim Marchiony, athletics department spokesman, said the athletics department would like the faculty to determine its own method of choosing which faculty and staff members get access to better seats, he said.

“That should be their decision,” he said.

One solution could be something similar to the model used for men’s basketball, where faculty members select from seats in a designated faculty section based on seniority.

The current football system allows faculty members to apply for season tickets, and to receive them at a 20 percent discount.

That situation would not change, nor would the level of availability of tickets to faculty members, Marchiony said.

Marchiony said that although the recent achievements of the Jayhawk football team have not caused the situation to become strained, a formal policy would help in case the demand exceeded the supply.

“What we’re trying to do is to stay one step ahead of that curve,” he said.

The demand for tickets among faculty members has increased in recent years, he said.

Nancy Kinnersley, faculty senate president, said about 600 faculty members have football season tickets.

A policy could help promote understanding in cases like John Nalbandian’s. The professor of public administration’s football season tickets were moved from the 30-yard line to the 15-yard line in 2008, and he said it was difficult to determine how the process worked.

In his case, he said the move may have happened because he let a Williams Fund membership lapse, but he didn’t know how he ended up where he did.

“I had just assumed that the football tickets were allocated like the basketball tickets,” he said.

He said he’s not objecting to the process but would like a greater level of transparency.

“I do raise the question of whether the process of allocating tickets to faculty who are non-Williams Fund members is made clear,” he said.