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Oversight Hearing Calls for Audit of UC Budget

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) – Today, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), under the chairmanship of Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), conducted a joint oversight hearing with the Assembly Higher Education Committee regarding the University of California’s budget process. The hearing was in response to ongoing issues stemming from a 2011 State Audit of the UC budget system.

“The UC system is world-renowned among institutions of higher learning, and is something that all Californians are proud of and benefit from,” states Gipson. “However, when questions arise about inequity amongst our student population, and there arise concerns regarding a lack of accountability and transparency, it is the job of the Legislature to get answers.”

In July 2011, the State Auditor released a report that identified a lack of transparency and accountability within the UC budget process. Amongst the findings, the State Auditor found significant inequity in per-student funding between campuses. 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 top schools.

“I believe that the University of California has a responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability in funding decisions; and, that all of our students, regardless of which UC campus they attend, have access to a high-quality education,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

In response to the 2011 audit, the UC passed a “Rebenching Initiative” to address these issues, which is set to be fully implemented by 2018. However, the recent increase in nonresident students has complicated the issue by reducing the number of University slots available for California students and shifting demographics.

“Ensuring our students have equal and affordable access to higher education is not only critical to Inland Southern California’s future but for our State’s as well. As more students look to earn higher degrees, it will be critical to work together so the cost of higher education is predictable and sustainable, and I look forward to continuing this discussion,” states Senator Roth (D-Riverside), Vice Chair of JLAC.

During the hearing, questions arose regarding the current status of the “Rebenching Initiative” and whether or not the UC is on track to achieve their intended goals. Furthermore, it became clear that the Universities recent increase in nonresident enrollments has not been examined by an independent auditor. As such, Assemblymember Gipson announced his plan to request a new audit of the UC budget system.

“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,” states Gipson. “That is why I am requesting this new audit to assess the Universities initiatives that impact per-student funding, the methods for determining resident and nonresident enrollment targets, and to examine the compensation for UC top executives.”

During the next JLAC hearing on March 4th, members of the committee will vote to approve this new audit, in addition to several other proposals. To find the initial State Auditor report, follow the link -

Mike Gipson represents the 64th Assembly District. The district includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.