Dr. Saunders' AirPlane
(February 13, 2009 editorial) Everything is on the Table . . . ". . . except my airplane. I 'made' the money for the lease-purchase by cutting administrators when I got here. I know that every other item does not count like that in the budget, but surely the President has some privileges...".
When your job is on the table, remember President Saunders' airplane costs $16,662.98 per month for
59 months with the 60th payment, to include a final balloon payment of $907,053.85
(March 31 2009) “The Plane, the Plane!” A Brief Examination of the Expense Associated with Saunders’ Plane "USM President Martha Saunders’ decision to lease a Beechcraft King Air turbo-prop airplane in 2009, in the midst of multi-million dollar budget shortfalls facing the University, will most likely go down as one of the more egregious acts of her presidency....".
(February 15, 2009 ) D. for Dissembler: Martha D. Saunders Dissembles about USM Plane at USM Town Meeting "On 12-Feb-09, USM students, faculty and staff, along with other concerned citizens gathered on USM's Hattiesburg campus (USM-GC joined via webcast) for a Town Meeting to hear USM president Martha D. Saunders (shown below) speak about the budget crisis facing USM...".
April 1, 2009 ) "Dear USM News, Like your last reader did with the first analysis of USM President Martha Saunders’ plane, I pulled your last reader's analysis and ran with it. Really, all I had to do was add the final March 31st return to Hattiesburg from Manassas to complete that reader’s analysis of the plane’s use during February and March of this year...".
(July 12, 2009 ) Oh Panama! "USM president Martha Saunders' 10-July-09 blog about her recent visit to Panama is one for the surreal column. Her week-long trip across the Gulf, during a economic/budgetary crisis no less, is one for the ages. Now, however, the "USM family" is beginning to detect cracks...".
(February 10, 2010) Air Farce One Continues to Hound Saunders "USM president Martha Saunders' 2008-09 decision to lease a Beechcraft airplane from the USM Foundation continues to hound her USM presidency. Marika Smith's Feb-10 article for The Student Printz entitled House votes to sell Mississippi's state jet revisits Saunders' ill-advised decision in the context of growing pressure in Mississippi's legislative to sell the state's airplane...".