According to a recent report released by California’s state auditor, the California State University system has been sitting on $1.5 billion in reserves… while also raising tuition and lobbying the Legislature for additional funds.
A majority of the money in the reserve, which had been placed in outside accounts rather than in the state Treasury, had come from student tuition, which nearly doubled from 2008-2018.
According to the audit, CSU leaders kept legislators, students and the public in the dark about the surplus, while also using the money as a discretionary fund to cover the costs of instruction or other operations it considered crucial.
CSU was quick to respond to the report, with CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White calling the report misleading and that it incorrectly claims that the CSU failed to inform the public about the funds, while also misrepresenting CSU practices.
The report recommends that the Chancellor’s Office disclose its spending surplus, as well as an estimate of how much tuition contributes to the surplus, to the Legislature by November 30th each year.
To increase transparency, the audit recommended that the Chancellor’s Office publish on its website information about its surplus, including how much of it came from tuition. One of the audits recommendations for the Chancellor’s Office to increase transparency was to share this information publicly on its website.