State Audit: UC Should Be More Transparent About Its Spending
There are significant differences in how much the University of California invests in each of its 10 campuses, and UC should be more transparent about its finances, according to a report released by state Auditor Elaine Howle, the Sacramento Bee reports (Rosenhall, Sacramento Bee, 7/29).
The audit examined finances at the university system from 2005 to 2010.
Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) requested the audit last year, saying it couldÂ help expose waste, fraud and abuse.
Though the audit found a lack of transparency in UC's budgeting, it found no major malfeasance in the budget or spending process (Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/29).
According to the audit, UC spent $12,309 per student at UC-Santa Barbara and spent more than $55,186 per student at UC-San Francisco (Sacramento Bee, 7/29).
The spending disparity could be associated with the higher costs of health science programs, medical schools and the number of graduate students at some campuses, according to the audit. However, university officials have failed to report these details to justify the spending discrepancies, according to the audit.
The audit noted that because UC "does not provide details about its budget process, university stakeholders cannot sufficiently evaluate this process" and determine if state funding is equitable across UC campuses (Sacramento Bee, 7/29).
The audit also found that from 2005 through 2010, UC retirement and pension costs rose from $211 million to $3.2 billion -- a hike stemming from changes in accounting rules and retiree health care obligations (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/29).
The report recommended that UC:
- Identify the amount of funds that each campus receives for specific types of students -- such as graduate students and health sciences students -- and explain any differences in the amount given; and
- Make available an analysis of spending variations at its campuses, such as specific research and public service programs (Audit summary, 7/28).
In a statement, UC President Mark Yudof said the audit did not find any evidence of waste, fraud or abuse.
Yudof added, "It is not plausible to expect that the San Francisco campus, devoted exclusively to graduate programs in the health sciences, would receive the same funding per-student as the Santa Cruz campus, which offers no health sciences programs and enrolls less than 10% of its student body at the graduate level" (Sacramento Bee, 7/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.