SBD/March 28, 2014/Colleges

Kansas Athletics Loses $340K After Compromise On Lowered Student Fee

Kansas' athletic department is "poised to lose close to $340,000 in net revenue after a student-led push to eliminate a $25 per semester campus fee designated for women’s and non-revenue sports," according to Rustin Dodd of the K.C. STAR. The KU student senate "previously voted to cut the fee altogether, but Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who had the power to veto the senate vote, issued an alternate plan on Thursday." Gray-Little said that she would lower the fee from $25 to $7 per semester, while "increasing a Student Recreation and Fitness Center fee by $12." The decision for KU's athletic department means a nearly 50% cut in what it "was receiving from student fees." The push to "eliminate the women’s and non-revenue sports fee, which KU used to fund travel for its women’s programs, raised the question of whether the general student population at universities should be subsidizing portions of the school’s athletic department budget." However, KU athletics officials contended that the $50 yearly fee "allowed it to keep their student ticket package ($150) among the cheapest in the Big 12." KU Associate AD/Public Affairs Jim Marchiony said that the department "may explore ways to make up for the loss in revenue, including higher ticket prices for students" (K.C. STAR, 3/28). In Kansas, Sara Shepherd in a front-page piece noted KU's student subsidy in '13 "accounted for" $1.1M of the athletic department's $93.7M in total revenue. The $25-per-semester fee "voted out by the senate began" in the late '70s. Student leaders have said that revenues of Kansas Athletics Inc., the operating arm of the athletics department, 'are big enough to support women's sports without the student subsidy" (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 3/28).
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