A group of UC unions are planning to submit an official request for the state to audit the UC system. First of all, we want the audit to examine how the UC is spending state funds. Specifically, we are concerned that funds targeted for instruction and research are going for other purposes, and the result is that student fees are going up, but there are fewer classes and fewer teachers and researchers. As a state audit showed in 2001, state funds are often redirected to support an expansion of administration and staff, and we feel that an effective audit should be able to establish which job titles are growing and whether or not these position supports the core mission.
The audit also needs to examine the UC compensation policies and trends. In 2006, the state performed an audit of UC compensation policies and found many inconsistencies; however, this audit only looked at senior management, and we feel that the compensation issues are much deeper and wider. In 2007-2008, the UC had 6,647 employees making over $150,000, and 3,010 earning $200,000 or more. Furthermore, 1,538 people made over $250,000, and 779 earned over $300,000. We believe a thorough audit could determine where state money is going and how compensation is being decided. While the UC is an autonomous institution, the state does have oversight over the money the state provides.
The state auditor should also determine which funds are legally restricted in the UC budget. The university often claims that it has no money to pay for salary increases or to support student services because most of its funds are restricted. We believe an outside authority should be able to make this determination and clarify once and for all which UC funds are restricted.
Perhaps the most important judgment that a state auditor should make is whether the UC was really facing a fiscal emergency when it initiated its furlough plan and gave extraordinary powers to President Yudof in July 2009. There are accepted standards for defining a fiscal emergency, and we need to be sure UCOP met those standards.
We would also like to know how much money the UC system is saving through the furlough system, and where the savings are going. At first, the Office of the President said that furloughs would save $185 million, but after we calculated that the number would be closer to $600 million, the UC said that most of the extra money would be returned to the programs.
The state auditor should also determine how much the UC system has lost in state funding over the last five years. While this number should be easy to calculate, we have received many different figures. There is also a question of what happened to the federal stimulus money (ARRA) that was earmarked for the UC system.
Please give feedback on what you would like us to audit.