State Assembly Proposes Audit of UC Budget
By: Carolina Dominguez
Assemblyman Mike Gipson requested a new audit by both the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the Assembly Higher Education Committee regarding the University of California’s budget process.
This is in response to the last audit which occurred over four years ago in 2011. Since the last audit, various policies where created to address issues of transparency and accountability that have not yet been addressed.
One of the changes that was passed by UC was a rebenchive initiative which was created to address the issues of transparency and accountability and designed to reallocate state funds more equitably after the audit found a large discrepancy in per-student funding for campuses with larger percentages of ethnic minority students. After the last audit, a report was released by the state auditor, which showed how schools with a higher-than-average-portion of Hispanic, Black, Native American and other ethnic groups were receiving over $30,000 less annually per student than the rest of the other campuses in the UC system.
The rebenchive initiative is set to be fully implemented by 2018, yet with the sudden increase of non-resident and international students, the admission slots for California residents have been reducing according to Gipson.
The changing demographics have complicated matters, requiring a new audit since the university’s increase in nonresident enrollments has not been examined by an independent auditor yet.
Gipson emphasized the need for a new audit in the face of imminent tuition increases.
“We cannot wait years to determine whether our policies are effective, and when students are facing tuition increases, it is our responsibility to ensure that their sacrifice is not wasted. That is why I am requesting this new audit to assess the University’s initiatives that impact per-student funding, the methods for determining resident and nonresident enrollment targets, and to examine the compensation for UC top executives.”
These changes are critical to the state’s future and in keeping the overall cost of higher education sustainable and affordable, especially with the amount students looking to earn degrees today.
The new audit will be voted to be approved during the next JLAC hearing on March 4.