Assembly Demands Answers from UC for Hidden $Millions

Ting McCarty

UC President Napolitano, others questioned over misleading budget practices, $175 million hidden from regents and the public

University of California Audit(Sacramento) - Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento), Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Jose Medina (D – Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and Al Muratsuchi (D – Torrance), Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee convened a joint hearing to obtain answers about the results of the recent state audit of the University of California Office of the President titled, “The University of California Office of the President: It Failed to Disclose Tens of Millions in Surplus Funds, and Its Budget Practices are Misleading.”

“I find the audit of the University of California Office of the President deeply troubling,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “California’s scarce public dollars should be spent on expanding university access to our state’s students, and this audit legitimately questions tens of millions of dollars in expenditures. The Legislature will be taking decisive action this year to hold the University of California accountable and to make sure that tax dollars are spent to help California students achieve their higher educational goals.”

“The University of California's mission is to provide a world-class education for its students,” said Assemblymember Medina. “Fulfilling this promise requires trust and a joint effort by the UCOP, the Regents, and the Legislature. The egregious lack of trust and transparency demonstrated by the UCOP has impeded this mission. We need to address these issues, restore the relationship between the three, and ultimately better serve our students.”

“If the board of regents is not going to exercise proper oversight, then the legislature needs to step up, to make sure that state dollars are being well spent for California students,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi. “As a dad, and as a proud Cal bear and UCLA Bruin, I want to know if the UC is spending state dollars well, so that my daughter and all California kids can have the same educational opportunities that I had. The UC must be made more affordable and accessible for California students.”

The hearing, held today at the State Capitol, featured testimony from Elaine Howle, the California State Auditor, Kathleen Fullerton, Audit Principal, and Monica Lozano, Chair of the UC Board of Regents, in addition to UC President Janet Napolitano.