Oklahoma State University is expected to tighten travel rules

by Silas Allen Modified: November 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012

— One year after a plane crash killed two women's basketball coaches and a former state senator and his wife, Oklahoma State University is expected to tighten the travel policy that governs university employees.

Among other changes, the new policy would end the practice of allowing coaches to exercise their own discretion when making travel arrangements that don't include student athletes, according to documents.

OSU officials plan to bring the proposed travel policy before the Board of Regents of Oklahoma State University and the A&M Colleges at a meeting at 10 a.m. Friday in Langston University's Scholars Inn Clubhouse.

Task force's review

The proposed policy is the result of a yearlong review by a task force assembled after the Nov. 17, 2011, plane crash that killed OSU head women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna, pilot former state Sen. Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula.

The plane crashed into the mountains of central Arkansas as the two coaches were headed to Little Rock for a recruiting trip.

The task force included OSU faculty members, administrators and alumni, as well as Mike Holder, OSU's athletic director; Doug Burns, a regent, and Gary Johnson, director of Stillwater Regional Airport. The committee met seven times to review the university's policy and examine similar policies at other universities, OSU spokesman Gary Shutt said.

The new policy lays out requirements for what planes may be used for employee travel, and under what circumstances they may fly. Among the new rules is a requirement that a flight plan be filed and followed for all private air travel.

Olin Branstetter hadn't filed a flight plan.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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