Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County), as a member of the California Assembly Committee on Higher Education, engaged in the oversight hearing on the University of California Board of Regents fact-finding review. Today, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva calls on the UC Regents to focus on students, and use its funding more efficiently, in light of the UC Office of the President’s history of fiscal mismanagement that included lavish spending and a secret $174 million reserve fund.
This year, a proposal being considered by the UC Regents would increase in-state tuition by $342, or 2.7% for 2018-19. It follows a $336 tuition increase imposed by the Regents last year. Last week, following outcry from students, parents and elected leaders, the Regents postponed a vote on the tuition increase until their meeting in May.
“Significant structural reforms to both the UC Board of Regent and Office of the President are required to improve accountability, reduce bloated budgets, and restore credibility,” said Quirk-Silva. “California students and hard-working families deserve better financial management from our prestigious educational system, and not tuition hikes.”
An April 2017 report by the State Auditor revealed that the UC Office of the President used misleading budget practices, paid extraordinarily generous salaries and interfered with investigators. The Auditor also reported that the Office of the President had spent more than $2 million on wasteful items like theatre tickets, luxury hotels and limo rides. Furthermore, the UC Office of the President admits to wrongfully interfering with an audit called by the state legislature.