(Sacramento, CA) – Orange County Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, a member of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, today became the first legislator to call on University of California President Janet Napolitano to resign her post, citing a lack of confidence in Napolitano’s leadership.
“The leaders of our state university systems are duty-bound to maintain the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and accountability to California taxpayers, students, their families, and the Legislature, especially when it comes to public monies,” said Quirk-Silva. “President Napolitano no longer engenders the public trust required to perform her duties.
“It’s time she resigned.”
Last week, the Assembly Higher Education Committee, of which Quirk-Silva is a member, held a hearing examining a recent state audit of the University of California (UC) Office of the President that found UC had secretly hidden $175 million from legislative oversight while raising student fees and that Napolitano and her office sought to manipulate surveys sent out by the auditor.
New revelations today from the State Auditor’s office show Napolitano’s office spent lavishly on parties and other extravagant events and took steps to deny information on its spending practices to the auditors.
“Spending $13,000 – the equivalent of one undergraduate student’s tuition for an entire year – on a fancy retirement dinner shows President Napolitano is not worthy of the public’s trust,” Quirk-Silva continued. “She’s not the person to lead the university system.”
In light of the UC Office of the President’s spending, Quirk-Silva also renewed her call for the UC Regents to rescind their recent tuition increase.
“Too many families are struggling to give their children better lives. Needlessly raising fees while there are secret pots of money and a bloated bureaucracy that should be cut is ridiculous. Rescind the fees and give middle class families a break.”
A summary of the audit report can be found here: https://www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2016-130/summary.html
The full audit report can be found here: https://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2016-130.pdf
Quirk-Silva is authoring AB 393: The Student Protection Act in response to the financial challenges faced by today’s college students, including deepening debt and long work hours necessary to supplement their educational costs. The bill will place a moratorium on student tuition and fees at California’s public community colleges and state universities.
For further information, visit Quirk-Silva’s website.