NDSU Foundation & Alumni Association is paying for President Dean Bresciani’s upgraded airfare on his recruitment trip to India and Malaysia last month.
Through an open records request, The Spectrum found on Jan. 27, Bresciani emailed North Dakota University System chancellor Mark Hagerott saying that he “asked the NDSU Foundation to pay the cost difference between coach and business class to NDSU.”
John Glover, president and CEO of NDSU Foundation, emailed Bresciani, writing, “Donors have voluntarily come forward with an intent to make gifts to pay the difference between the coach and business fare.”
“Please send me the bill,” Glover wrote in the same email.
In a Jan. 28 Listserv, Bresciani said that “private individuals from the community have volunteered to pay the difference between coach and business class.”
Bresciani replied to Glover’s email on Jan. 28, saying, “The support from donors is greatly appreciated and my hope is that we can now dispense with the criticisms and focus instead on what is being accomplished.”
As of Friday, NDSU Foundation has not yet received a bill for the cost of Bresciani’s airfare, said Sara Wald, NDSU Foundation vice president for engagement.
The difference between coach and business class airfare is about $7,000.
A current policy change regarding NDUS presidents’ airfare expenses is “in fast form with our chief financial officer just waiting to be approved,” said Billie Jo Lorius, an NDUS spokesperson.
Bresciani’s airfare drew scrutiny statewide and from Hagerott, who called the upgrade an “embarrassment.”
NDUS institution presidents are not required to fly coach class.
Bresciani’s trip to 10 institutions in India and Malaysia lasted Jan. 15-26. He, former vice president for student affairs Prakash Mathew and Kalidas Shetty, associate vice president of international partnerships and collaborations, were on a recruitment trip to attract international graduate students to NDSU.
Travel records obtained by The Spectrum showed Bresciani’s airfare cost $8,293.10.