Stillwater News Press

November 30, 2012

Oklahoma State University adopts strict travel policy

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

LANGSTON, Okla. — A new travel policy for Oklahoma State University employees was approved by the Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges Friday morning at Langston University.

The school began working on a new policy in response to the deaths of four people, including two coaches, in a 2011 plane crash. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

The new, rigid policy outlines air and ground travel requirements that apply to all OSU employees and student employees conducting university business.

Private aircraft must be inspected and those piloting the aircraft must be approved every six months before travel is OK'd by aviation consultants. Commercial air carriers and fractionally owned air craft are already heavily regulated by the Federal Aviation Association and and have less stringent guidlines in the new policy.

Those traveling by car must have at least two drivers if going farther than 350 miles or travelling later than 2 a.m. and switch every eight hours in a 24-hour period.

There is a provision that requires employees to report any violation of the travel policy.

The new policy was produced by a task force comprised of coaches, professors, aviation professionals and university officials charged with constructing a new policy for the athletic travel.

The previous policy allowed coaches to travel at their own discretion. The task force was put together as a result of the Nov. 17, 2011, plane crash that killed OSU women's head basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others.